During the Conference of Translators in Boulder, Surmang Khenpo, Larry, and Mark meet on Gesar text with Committee in Halifax using on-line video conferencing.
We produced several new publications over the last year. An edited transcript of talks by Changling Rinpoche from his seminar for sadhakas at Dorje Denma Ling on Khenpo Gangshar’s “Naturally Liberating Whatever You Meet” was just published this fall, and we look forward to Rinpoche’s return to continue this teaching. We are especially pleased to be able to offer committee-member Ann Helm’s fine translation of Miracle Stories of Mipham Rinpoche, composed by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok. We released new editions of the Profound Guru Yoga, which now includes a long devotional poem that is to be inserted into the liturgy, along with a full commentary on this; and the Gesar offering (“Ocean of the Play of Enlightened Activity”), which includes an extensive commentary and practice instructions—both texts written in Tibet by the Vidyadhara; a new edition of The Life of Tilopa by the great Drukpa Kagyu master Pema Karpo, and very slightly revised editions of our Vajrayogini Sadhana Practice Manual, printed for the recent abhisheka this summer, and the Committee’s more literal translation of The Sadhana of Mahamudra,first published in 1990 as a study aid (changes available on our website).
Teaching and Other Activities
Jessie completed a first draft translation of a biography of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s mother, Lady Könchok Paldrön, compiled by Lady Könchok’s husband, Lama Pejal.
This will be edited by Emily Sell and published by Vajradhatu Publications. Jessie spent some time with Lady Könchok in Boulder before heading off to Tibet, visiting Surmang, Wenchen nunnery, and Kyere monastery—home to Karma Senge Rinpoche. Click here to see a slideshow of her trip. Jessie lived at the nunnery for several weeks, learning their dialect and enjoying their company. They were very appreciative of the Tibetan liturgical texts we published with Karma Senge Rinpoche last year, thanks also to Tony Duff’s TibetDoc word processor. The nuns often sang the chorus of the Vidyadhara’s Yeshe Tsogyal song Jessie had translated (click here for the latest translation), and this inspired her to set the English to that melody. Jessie then traveled to India, attended the Kagyu Mönlam in Bodhgaya led by H.H. Karmapa.
H.H. Karmapa with Jessie and other sangha members in Dharamsala.
After that, she attended Mingyur Rinpoche’s Tergar Institute and became his “prepositional-adviser,” meaning when he was unsure of himself, he would look at her and she would say “angry with him, devotionto her, jealous of them.” She translated for his khenpo, Khenpo Kunga, for the daily meditation class.
Larry was one of several faculty for a translation workshop in Bhutan, which ended up offering opportunities for a number of helpful and auspicious encounters, including a surprising request to lead the chanting of the Heart Sutra as we do in our centers, which was met with great enthusiasm. Read the full report. He taught a vajrayana weekthun at the Seattle Shambhala Center in the spring, a program for sadhakas in Halifax, and the Chakrasamvara training at Denma Ling this fall, along with Dorje Loppön Lodrö Dorje, Scott, Mark, and Walker.
Mark continues to lead fire offerings at Dorje Denma Ling—both the full Four Karmas and shorter weekend ones, focusing on one karma. He will teach a Vajrayogini practice course in the fall in Halifax.
Scott led a mahamudra reteat in the Pacific Northwest last winter and taught at Nitartha Institute in July. He also taught in the fall at a program by the Sakyong on meditation, as well as continuing his Tibetan class in Halifax.
We are delighted to announce that Walker Blaine has now joined the Translation Committee in Halifax.
A student at Naropa University (1984-86), he became hooked by the Vidyadhara at a fund-raising auction. He paid $50 for the Vidyadhara’s spontaneous definition of Naropa: “sick corpse person.” Years later Walker came to understand this as a Tibetan pun on the Sanskrit name. In Tibetan, na means “sick,” ro means “corpse,” and pa makes it a person. After spending most of the next fifteen years at Karmê Chöling and Shambhala Mountain Center, Walker has divided his time between retreat, studying Tibetan, and pilgrimage to sacred places under the instruction of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.
This fall, Light of Berotsana hosted a weekend “Conference of Translators” in Boulder, Colorado. Many of our friends and colleagues were in attendance, and we had a very rich and meaningful schedule of presentations and dialogues. In the spring, we participated in the Khyentse Foundation translation conference entitled “Translating the Words of the Buddha,” taking place for a week in Bir, India. Larry and NTC-member Derek Kolleeny have been involved in the planning of this latter event, and we will report on both conferences in our next newsletter. Such gatherings seem long overdue, and with many people attending both conferences, we expect there will be a natural continuity of discussion.