| Sep 5, 2023
Berzin Archives Report: June through August 2023
By Dr. Alexander Berzin | Founder and Author of Berzin Archives
A Buddhist stupa in Siberia.
Throughout the summer, the dedicated global team at Study Buddhism has remained steadfast in our mission to enrich our online platform, making Tibetan wisdom more accessible to a global audience. We are thrilled to provide you with an update on our recent achievements and share the exciting news that we are expanding the language offerings on the Study Buddhism website!
As you may recall, in our previous language expansion, we introduced 11 new languages to our website, extending the reach of our content to the entire traditionally Buddhist world. Since the onset of summer, our team has been tirelessly working to incorporate five additional language sections: Ukrainian, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, and Punjabi (using the Indian Gurmukhi script). This development will bring the total number of languages available on our website to an impressive 37, of which 10 are Indian languages. As interest in Buddhism experiences a resurgence in its land of origin, we are optimistic that the inclusion of these Indian languages will be of immense value to many individuals. Simultaneously, our new Ukrainian section will serve as a source of authentic Buddhist wisdom for the global community of 45 million Ukrainian speakers. We’ll let you know when these new language sections are live, so keep your eyes open!
Meanwhile, this summer, we released our first online course on the educational platform Udemy. This four-module course, entitled “Introduction to Buddhism,” offers a comprehensive overview and exploration of the life, teachings, and practice of Buddhism. We start by uncovering the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, and the historical context of Buddhism's emergence. The course then delves into Buddhism's core principles, emphasizing the Four Hallmarks of the Dharma. Next, we focus on Buddhism's ultimate goal: enlightenment. We explore its significance and the path to attain it, leading to liberation from suffering and the growth of wisdom, compassion, and inner peace. Lastly, we examine the multifaceted nature of Buddhist practice, covering meditation, the cultivation of positive emotions, and the development of wisdom. Practical tools and guidance are provided by a wide range of Buddhist teachers to apply Buddhist principles in daily life, fostering personal growth, well-being, and harmonious relationships. Over 500 people have enrolled in the first two months alone, and feedback has been very positive.
In the same period, our website garnered over 600,000 visits, with readers learning from nearly a million articles. Leading the way in visitor numbers are the United States, India, Germany, Russia, and Thailand. The top languages accessed include English, Russian, Spanish, German, and Traditional Chinese. Our social media presence is also thriving, boasting nearly 60,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel, while engagement across all platforms, especially among younger users on Twitter and Instagram, is on the rise.
Here are some of our accomplishments over these last three months:
- Preparation and publication of 530 translations of articles into our various languages
- Copyediting of 104 transcripts, files and articles
- Preparation and publication of 87 subtitle files in our 32 languages.
- Revision of 15 single-part English articles
- Revision of 17 parts of multi-part English articles
- Translation begun of Interface and of articles for 5 new language sections – Ukrainian, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati and Punjabi (Indian Gurmukhi script)
- Conversion of 99 Punjabi articles from Pakistani Shahmukhi script to Indian Gurmukhi script
- Expansion of the Content Management System for the input or the 5 new language sections and addition of the user Interface translations for each
- Creation of url transliterations for the 5 new language sections under preparation
- Preparation and audio recording of “The Power of Karma: How to Stop Acting Compulsively” for a multipart podcast
- Preparation and video recording of an abbreviated version of “The Power of Karma: How to Stop Acting Compulsively” for the Dharma in Daily Life Conference being held in October 2023
- Preparation of a four-part multimedia course “Introduction to Buddhism” and publication of it on Udemy
- Addition of written interviews with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Telo Tulku Rinpoche, and Geshe Dorji Damdul, in the Interviews section
- The editing of 28 videos from an interview with Dr. Philippe Goldin, Professor at University of Californis, Davis, on neuroscience and Buddhism
- The English-language subtitling of the abovementioned videos from the interview with Dr. Philippe Goldin
- Preparation of 12 quotes taken from our video interviews and other sources, accompanied with graphics, and the uploading of these to social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter)
- Preparation of 12 different video clips and the uploading of them to social media channels. Each video was prepared for posting on Facebook with 32 language subtitles, on Twitter with embedded English subtitles, and on Instagram at 9:16 format with embedded English subtitles
- Preparation of 12 article posts for our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) along with introductions to these articles
- Display a promotion banner for the Udemy course on all pages of the English section and hide the Accounts promotion banner in all languages
- Translation and deployment of the Accounts section in the remaining 15 language sections
- Addition of deletion function in the Favorites section of Accounts and display of saved articles’ titles and descriptions in the saved language
- Display yellow “New” badge by the Accounts button on the top navigation bar in all languages
- Creation and addition of 30 icons to the top navigation bar and the index pages of the website
- Deletion of the static Interviews section on the homepages in all languages and creation of a dynamic one on the English homepage that, each day, displays a different random selection of 3 Interview articles
- Addition of images to the Interviews articles
- Correction of non-centered vertical images in articles
- Continuing maintenance of all technical systems
- 3-day team meeting in Berlin of key staff to plan the next Study Buddhism projects
All of this hard work is made possible by your continuing generous support. Together, we shall “Make the Ageless Wisdom of Tibet Available to All.”