The simple way to search
Simply type in words separated by spaces and click the Search
Titles and Descriptions button -- if all of those search words are
found in the title or the description of a talk, the talk will be
The advanced way to search
Like a simple search, you provide search words that you wish to find
in titles or descriptions, but you then refine your search by
adding modifiers that restrict it in various ways. This allows you to
find only talks that were recorded at a particular place, or that were
given within a certain date range, for example.
Search modifiers have a colon (:) after them and come after all the search
words. Here are some examples of searches (leave off the quotes when
you type them in):
- "metta before: 2001"
- Finds all talks with metta in their title or description before 2001
- "by:gil fronsdal in: may 2008"
- Finds all talks by Gil Fronsdal in May 2008.
- "Satipatthana Sutta not: by: Fronsdal"
- Finds all talks that have Satipatthana Sutta in their title or description by teachers other than Fronsdal
For a talk to be found by a search, all the search words must be
present in its title or description and all the search modifiers
must be satisfied. If you do not provide any search words, then every
talk in the catalog is checked to see if it satisfies the search modifiers.
The search modifiers and their meanings
- before: date
- Matches talks that were recorded before the given date. (See the comment about dates in the notes)
- after: date
- Matches talks that were recorded after the given date.
- in: date
- Matches talks that were recorded within the span of the given year, year and month, or year, month and day.
- on: date
- (same as in)
- by: teacher name
- Matches talks by the given teacher. Use more words to refine the search. E.g. "Armstrong" matches both Steve Armstrong and Guy Armstrong, but providing "Guy Armstrong" matches only the latter.
- at: location
- Matches talks recorded at the given location. The location may be specified by its abbreviation or some words from its name.
- retreat: word(s)
- Matches talks that have all the given word fragments in their retreat name.
- title: words(s)
- Matches talks that have all the given word fragments in their title.
- description: words(s)
- Matches talks that have all the given word fragments in their description.
- talk: words(s)
- Matches talks that have all the given word fragments in their title or their description. This modifier is implied for the search words that occur before the modifiers.
- language: spoken language
- Matches talks spoken in the given language. Currently only English, Spanish, and Chinese. Multiple languages are ORed -- e.g. "Chinese Spanish" means talks in Chinese or Spanish.
- under: minutes
- Matches talks shorter than the given number of minutes in duration.
- over: minutes
- Matches talks longer than the given number of minutes in duration.
- Takes no parameters but negates the modifier that follows it.
- Takes no parameters but restricts the search to finding only 'collections' of talks.
- Takes no parameters but restricts the search to finding only talks that are not collections.
- Spaces are allowed, but not required on either side of the colon
- The modifiers may be abbreviated to as few as their 2 initial letters, so, e.g "la: span" will find all Spanish language talks.
- Search words and search modifiers ignore type case distinctions.
- The date can be given with 3 different levels of exactness. That
is, as just the year, the year and month, or the year, month and
day-of-month. Most date formats are understood. For the Europe/US form
that is ambiguous, the system understands it as a US date, that is:
MM/DD/YY. Examples of date formats that are understood: "2003-12-3",
"2003.dec.3", "3/dec/2003", "December 3, 2003", "Dec/3/2003",
"12/2003", "03", "20031203", "03DEC03", etc.
- When we say 'word fragments' above, we mean something that
matches even a part of a word.
- The database has a considerable amount of missing and/or
inaccurate bits of information in it, especially for older talks. We
are working to improve this situation. If you find something that is
clearly wrong and you know what it should be, please don't hesitate to
send us a correction.