Archive Project: Annual Report 2007
January 23, 2008
Dear friend of Windhorse,
Greetings and well-wishes from Windhorse Boulder. I hope this letter finds you well.
As Director of the Windhorse Guild Archive Project, I would like to offer you a brief summary of our activities for this past year, and on into 2008. Also included is an update on the Windhorse Guild, our non-profit organization here in Boulder that hosts the Archive Project.
In 2007, the Archive received generous donations of $30,100. from a committed circle of friends and private foundations. These gifts enable us to continue to develop the Archive. Thank you. Mary Freund, the Guild’s Executive Director, and James Miller, Archive Coordinator, continue to work tirelessly with the Archive Project. Thank you.
The commitment of the Archive Project is: to protect the intellectual property of the Windhorse Project; to preserve the authentic Windhorse tradition for future generations; to serve the learning needs of the international network of Windhorse practitioners, and of all persons exploring recovery from extreme states; to be a clear voice of sanity in our challenged world.
Here are the highlights of our activities this past year:
- James Miller continues to digitize the aging audio tapes (700) of the Edward Podvoll Legacy at a steady pace. We are keeping up with the emerging computer software technologies for this process. We are purchasing software with tech support which will streamline what has been a time-intensive process. We are now focused on the many graduate psychology courses that Dr. Podvoll taught at Naropa (1977-1989), along with their study sourcebooks, which will be offered through on-line universities and other venues. Dr. Podvoll left us a wealth of material that we are only beginning to fathom.
- We continue to archive presentations of Windhorse work as they occur. E.g., we conducted a 7-month seminar on the application of the Windhorse approach to caring for elders with psychiatric problems at home, a service we are developing. I am completing a 2-year certification program in intensive psychotherapy for senior Windhorse staff. We are designing a course on Windhorse, based on Dr. Podvoll’s book, for Windhorse staff which will be videotaped and then made available online for other recovery explorers.
- We continue to log stories from those people who knew and studied with Dr. Podvoll. Several people have provided copies of personal correspondence with Dr. Podvoll while he was in meditation retreat (1990-2002). I also have many letters from Dr. Podvoll while in retreat, all of which will be collected in a proposed volume, Retreat Letters.
- I am supporting the translation and publication of Dr. Podvoll’s book, Recovering Sanity, in France and Greece.
- I have edited Dr. Podvoll’s final chapter for Recovering Sanity on “Psychotherapy” for an upcoming book on contemplative psychotherapy at Naropa University, titled Brilliant Sanity: Buddhist Approaches to Psychotherapy, due out this Spring.
- I am in continued contact with serveral persons internationally who are studying the Windhorse approach for application to their local work. One is a graduate student in British Columbia who has “a dream of developing a place like yours over here”. A second is a counselor in Greece who corresponded with Dr. Podvoll in retreat and is practicing the Windhorse approach. He is currently translating Recovering Sanity into Greek. A third is a psychiatrist in The Netherlands who wrote on 10/29/07:
“I read the book by Dr. Podvoll and would like to try to bring ‘basic attendance’ onto our psychiatric unit. So far I have been doing some basic attendance shifts with one of my patients myself, and I‘ve encountered some problems about which I would like advice from someone experienced in basic attendance. Also, if there are any more books about how to do basic attendance and how to deal with the problems one faces, I would very much like to read them. Do you know where I could turn for advice on these matters?”
I am now relating with such persons as a pilot study in how to make the online archive practical and useful for such distance learning.
- We are promoting the world-wide distribution of the Swiss documentary by Edgar Hagen, Someone Beside You. This film is being met with strong positive acclaim in Europe and we are working to bring it to the US. It has extensive footage of Dr. Podvoll during the last year of his life, and also features "Karen." She was the very first Windhorse client in 1981, and the film portrays her remarkable journey of recovery. Mr. Hagen has many hours of unused film of Dr. Podvoll during his last year, which eventually will become a part of our archive.
- We provide ongoing educational resource to the international network of Windhorse practitioners.
- We have made productive contact with several Buddhist lineage teachers (e.g., The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche) who continue to offer us instruction and encouragement, urging us to make our intellectual heritage accessible to a wider audience.
These vital activity areas continue on into 2008.
On behalf of the Archive working group, and the Windhorse Guild, I would like to thank you for your interest in our work. If you would like to contribute in some way to the Archive, please contact me. It is our prayer that our humble efforts may continue to promote the message of recovery and sanity for our challenged world.
Please accept all of our best wishes that you may have a healthy and cheerful New Year,
Director, Windhorse Archive Project
Board member, Windhorse Guild, Inc.