Vajra Echoes was established by Patrick Lee in 2001 after consultation with The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Prior to establishing the business, Patrick had been producing audio recordings of significant dharma teachings for nearly 10 years. He began single camera video recording in 1998. The motivation for creating the business in 2001 came from an aspiration to make watchable video recordings of dharma teachings available to practitioners at affordable prices. He recognized that multi-camera video is much more watchable than single-camera video but prohibitively time consuming and expensive for week-long and even week-end teachings. In order to make watchable video readily available, Patrick developed a multi-camera live-mix system operated by a single videographer. This approach to video recording significantly reduces post-production labor, making it possible to release recordings reasonably quickly and affordably. Most of the video recordings found at this website were recorded in this way. For more information click on "About Multi-Cameria Video" at the top of this screen. For an example of multi-camera live mix video, click on "Sample Multi-Camera Video" on the navigation menu.
Vajra Echoes is also committed to providing quality audio recordings in MP3 and CD formats. While nothing matches the DVD recordings for an immediate and powerful experience of the teachings and the teacher, many practioners find audio recordings to be a convenient and affordable way to access and review teachings.
Our Business Philosophy
Vajra Echoes is a dharma business. Its purpose is to provide high quality recordings of excellent dharma teachings by great lineage masters and other highly qualified teachers at prices that are affordable to dharma practitioners. Although Vajra Echoes was started by a student of The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and a significant number of our recordings are of his teachings and of teachings given by other teachers in his mandala, Vajra Echoes is an independent company and records many other great teachers as well. The history of the company has been such that nearly all of its recordings are of teachers of the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, but Vajra Echoes is open to recording the teachings of masters of other lineages.
Vajra Echoes is not a non-profit organization. Vajra Echoes is a for-profit business simply because that is the only way to sustain its activities. It is not supported in any major way by contributions or volunteer labor. The owners of Vajra Echoes are not independently wealthy and are unable to donate all of the necessary equipment and labor. The audio-video recording business is capital intensive in terms of equipment and labor intensive in terms of production and distribution. Not only is video recording and editing labor intensive, it requires skilled labor. Producing quality recordings and serving the needs of customers is a full-time occupation for more than one person. The only way to accomplish this without a very large investment of money and volunteer labor is through profits from the sale of recordings. “For-profit” doesn’t mean “make a lot of money.” It simply means selling recordings at a price that covers the capital and labor costs required to produce those recordings.
It is important to understand that Vajra Echoes is a dharma business. We do everything in our power to be as charitable and as helpful to dharma practitioners as is possible. In addition, profitability is simply the means by which beneficial activities can be continued over a very long period of time. Profitability is not an end in itself.
Vajra Echoes strives to maintain a business model that is as beneficial as possible to all involved: If this model is successful, dharma practitioners will benefit from high quality recordings of excellent teachings at prices that are affordable. In addition, teachers and the centers that host them will benefit from recordings that are professionally produced and widely distributed.
The teachers and centers benefit financially because they receive free copies of the recordings and the opportunity to purchase recordings at wholesale and distribute them for a profit. In addition, the teachers retain the copyright and receive royalties. More importantly, however, the benefit to teachers, centers and students is that these recordings make the teachings available to a wider audience beyond those that attend a weekend or week-long retreat. Practitioners who cannot afford the time or money to attend teachings can watch them at home or listen to them in their cars. Practitioners who live in remote locations around the world can access teachings that would otherwise never be available to them.
In essence, Vajra Echoes strives to embody the principles of Right Livelihood as fully as possible.