Thursday, September 23, 2010

Please give feedback on the new site

A few days ago, we introduced you to our new site for transcripts of talks I have given over the last few years (

Several of you sent some encouraging comments already:
  • This looks absolutely fantastic! I look forward to "listening". (Toronto, Ontario)
  • The new site is amazing. (Montreal, Quebec)
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for this...I really appreciate this new offering. (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Now we would like your feedback so that we know how to make the site better for you.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey

With best wishes,


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New talks and transcripts site

Dear Friends,

Our new site for talks and transcripts is now ready! Here is the actual URL if you need it:

Over the last two years,
an extraordinary group of people have done an extraordinary job developing this site. There is more work to be done, of course, but we wanted to make the talks, the transcripts, and the ability to search on key words available to you as soon as possible.

Please join me in giving heartfelt thanks to all of the people who contributed to making this happen. They all volunteered their time, energy, and intelligence to create a unique offering on the web that will serve as a support for people in their practice.

This new site is the first section of what will be a totally redesigned site for Unfettered Mind, just in time for our 20th anniversary. We are interested in your thoughts and feedback, so we will be sending you a short survey in the next few days, after you've had a chance to look at this new section.

Right now about half of the 37 TAN transcripts are up, along with a couple of other talks. More of the TAN transcripts will be going up soon, as well as transcripts of other retreats and classes. All the transcripts have direct links to the audio files, paragraph by paragraph, and you will find a list of key words to search on to the right of each talk.

You will find a fledgling user guide
here, and a description of how this all happened here.

There are many other features and we invite you to explore, experiment, and then send us your feedback when the survey arrives.

With best wishes,


Monday, May 31, 2010

TAN 03 and 04 Now Available

Hello Readers,

Just a notification that we have published TAN03 and TAN04 to the website.

We had detailed level orientation for proofreaders a few weeks ago, and now our new team of proofreaders and editors has begun working through the backlog of transcripts. We hope to have several out to you each month.

It's been really exciting having new proofreaders and editors on board, as their expertise is raising the bar on our editing style and standards. I hope you enjoy the subtle, but palpable, improvements. We still could use some additional support in the proofreading and editing departments, so if you have some experience in this area and would like to help, please contact myself or Ann Braun.

I've also been working in the background with our Taxonomy team to refine some entirely new ways to access transcript information. We hope to have it delivered to you within the next few months.

In Joy,


Thursday, April 8, 2010

April Highlights from the UM Transcript Project

Hello readers.. it's been such a busy month, that Ken had to remind us to look up from our electronic scrolls to give you another snapshot into our progress.

Our big milestone this month was our third Cross-Team Transcription Orientation. We held a Skype conference with over twelve people, introducing five new volunteers to our ever-growing team that works year round to bring transcripts of your favorite podcasts to the web. The event was a culmination of weeks of work by the whole team, which prepared by reviewing existing documents, updating them with lessons learned, and preparing very detailed instructions for each step of the way from audio through editing the text for the web.

The majority of the new team members responded to our petition last fall for new Proofreading and Editing team members. These new members brought our total count of transcription volunteers to 10! Now that our Transcribing and Auditing Team has completed all 37 classes of the Then and Now podcasts, our new Proofreading & Editing Team members will start soon on getting these proofread and edited. We're still on-track to get all 37 of these out on the web before the end of 2010.

So what is our Transcriber and Auditor team going to work on next? We asked Ken to help prioritize the many requests received for various transcripts, and he's given us the following list: Releasing Emotional Reactions, one of the most popular podcast series; Guru, Deity, Protector, a wonderful resource for anyone interested in Vajrayana Buddhism and others including Death: Friend or Foe, The Four Immeasurables and Monsters Under the Bed. No doubt some of these will be ready before the end of the year as well.

If this project calls you to action and you would like to contribute your time and skills, feel free to contact myself or Ann Braun at any time and we'd be happy to get you started!

Have a Wonderful April!

Jesse & Ann

Monday, April 5, 2010

event postings on the ning site

If you haven't visited the ning site for a while, I suggest you do so. Ann Braun has done a wonderful job reconfiguring the site to make it easier to use and more helpful. There are any number of active conversations in the Forums and great participation in the photo galleries, curated by Tracy. Check out the Hell Realm photos, for example.

Our next venture is in the Events section. Starting today, anyone may post events, i.e., retreats, workshops and classes related to Buddhist practice. We want you to learn about events that may be helpful in your practice and let other people know about practice-related events in your area.

When you now click on the Events tab, you will see a drop-down menu with three items: guidelines, add an event, and events listing. All you have to do is enter the relevant information for your practice event. Be sure to include both city and state in the location field, to make it easier for people to find events close to them. You will also need to upload a graphic associated with the event.

In keeping with our community guidelines, please remember that Unfettered Mind and this ning site are all part of our effort to nurture and enrich a culture of awakening. A culture can be thought of as a collection of on-going conversations that take place in different media. Our aim is that these conversations support your efforts to be awake and present in your lives and be free from both promotional or commercial intrusions and from rigid rules of behavior. And this can only happen if you help to make it this way.

If you have any problems, please contact any of the site administrators (hmmm, we'll probably have to change that term, administrator sounds awfully official). They are all familiar with the site and are usually available to help with problems.

As I said, this is an experiment. We'll try it, and see how it goes. If problems develop, we have a Plan B.

Happy postings!


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Many Hands Make Light Work

Today, a little over a year since the Transcript project was birthed, I wanted to take a moment to give a special thank you to the many individuals who have contributed to the Unfettered Transcripts effort, and without whose hard labor this transcription would not have been possible.

First off, I would like to recognize Janet H., Mary S., Ann Braun, and Tracy Ormond, who have been performing a variety of roles as needed, but always working regularly in the background, transcribing and auditing month in and month out as their lives permit. These four "founding transcribers" have been working since the beginnings of the UM Transcript project.

And no less important, but simply either newer to the team or of more modest contribution, I'd like to thank Fred Binchy, Loren Enders, Carolyn Bremer, Marc Clark, and Ann Hill. Thank you each for joining us.

If I have forgotten anyone, please forgive me and let me know and will gladly update my thanks.

I'd also like to express special thanks to Valerie Brewster, who not only helps coordinate the many transcript-related projects, but who has also shared her skills and expertise in publishing and proofreading the transcripts before they hit the web, as well as keeping me on my toes by asking the hard questions.

And last, I can't help but express my gratitude to my teacher, Ken McLeod, who has made all of this possible. I feel blessed many times over for these opportunities to learn and to serve all beings.



Friday, February 26, 2010

Now There's More Then and Now!

Hello Listeners,

It's been an exciting few weeks at Unfettered Transcripts!

We had set a goal to finish two more Then and Now transcripts and have them proofread and published by our next Team Leaders meeting, which was this Thursday. had actually met our goal, but it took me a day to get them out to the web.

You can now enjoy Then and Now, Classes 1 and 2 in written format. We've also committed to finish publication of all 37 podcast transcripts by the end of 2010. At the rate we are going (we're going to try to stick to three or four per month), you'll hopefully see a few of the most-requested retreat transcripts as well: Monsters Under the Bed; Guru, Deity, Protector; and Releasing Emotional Reactions.

If you haven't actually read a transcript yet, now is a great time to start. I have listened to the TAN01 podcast several times, but in actually reading the transcript, I picked up even more. I had several of those, "WOW, this is just so painfully, beautifully simple! Why did it take me 30 years to find it!?" By the end of the transcript I felt like I had really received something wonderful, and I felt my world shift one more notch towards clarity.

Along with Ann Braun, who has agreed to be our temporary coordinator for the Transcription and Auditing team, I'm also getting ready to welcome four or five new team members who have experience with proofreading and editing, and a few new people interested in transcription as well. This will free my time up to focus more on the technological underpinnings of our publishing process.

We're hoping that among them (or any of you readers!) we might find someone interested in this process enough to help us with some leadership roles... the team is getting bigger but our leadership pool is not growing to meet the need! Please send myself or Ann an email if you might be interested in helping to coordinate the workflow at Unfettered Transcripts.

Speaking of technological underpinnings, there's been many great developments this past few weeks as well:
  • We have now set up a development site for Unfettered Mind, where we can model new ideas and have the team give feedback before we "roll it out" to the main website.

  • I'm working with Laura Trippi and the Taxonomy team now on several initiates. One is to help bring a special Google search capability to Unfettered Transcripts, making it easier and easier to find relevant entries to support your practice and teaching. I'm excited to be working with Laura on the "information architecture" which underlies the website to better integrate our transcripts with the podcasts. Look for some exciting changes coming down the road.

  • We now have the times within the podcast itself available for each section of the podcast. This will help those interested in helping on the Audio Clips team generate their favorite podcast excerpts for sharing.
Well, that's it for February!

Yours in Dharma Publishing,