Translating the Words of the Buddha Conference, March 15-20, 2009
Photo: Matthieu Ricard

In March 2009, more than fifty of the world’s top translators, teachers, academics and students gathered at the Translating the Words of the Buddha Conference, sponsored by Khyentse Foundation at Deer Park Institute in Bir, India. The participants discussed the importance of making the Buddha’s teachings available to people around the world, first in English and then in other languages.


The conference culminated in the collective undertaking of the Buddhist Literary Heritage Project, with the goal of seeing all of the vast and extraordinary riches of Buddhist literature, particularly the Tibetan Kangyur and Tengyur, translated into English and other modern languages and made universally accessible within a hundred years.

Resolutions jointly developed by the conference

The teachings of the Buddha have brought immeasurable benefit for sentient beings for many centuries.

Therefore, for the benefit of all beings today and in the future,

  • We resolve to adopt the 100-Year Vision, 25-Year Goals, and 5-Year Goals developed at the Translating the Words of the Buddha Conference, under the name of the Buddhist Literary Heritage Project (renamed as “84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha” in March 2011).
  • We resolve to make every effort to invite the participation of the masters and holders of all lineages and to invite the many translators who were not present in this conference to join us in this effort.
  • We resolve that the interim director of the Buddhist Literary Heritage Project shall be Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.
  • We request Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to select, in consultation with key advisors, the leaders and members of the working committees who will create the structures necessary for this project.
  • We resolve and request that Khyentse Foundation provide administrative support for the initial phases of this project.
  • We resolve to develop all the tools and resources necessary to achieve the goals decided on in this conference.
  • We resolve to undertake this project in the spirit of universal Buddhist fellowship, drawing on the wisdom of accomplished masters throughout the Buddhist world.

View the conference proceedings and documents:

View List of conference participants

Honorary Patrons:
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
His Holiness Sakya Trizin
His Holiness the late Mindrolling Trichen
His Holiness the Karmapa
Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche
Sogyal Rinpoche
Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche  

Chair:
Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche

Host:
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Deer Park Institute

Speakers and Participants:
Alexander Berzin, Berzin Archives
John Canti, Padmakara Translation Group
Ane Kunga Chodron, George Washington University/Tsechen Kunchab Ling
Joshua W. C. Cutler, Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre
Cortland J. Dahl, Rime Foundation/Tergar Institute
Catherine Dalton, Rangjung Yeshe Institute/Dharmachakra Translation
Jake Dalton, University of California, Berkeley/Yale University
Tyler Dewar, Nalandabodhi/Nitartha
Ding Nai-Chu
Lama Doboom Tulku Rinpoche, Tibet House (India)
Andreas Doctor, Rangjung Yeshe Institute
Gyurme Dorje
John Dunne, Emory University
Wulstan Fletcher, Padmakara Translation Group
Jessie Friedman, Light of Berotsana
Steven Goodman, California Institute of Integral Studies
Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen, Tsechen Kunchab Ling
Jeffrey Hopkins (by video), University of Virginia
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche
Gavin Kilty, Institute of Tibetan Classics
David Kittlestrom, Wisdom Publications
Anne Carolyn Klein, Rice University/Dawn Mountain
Derek Kolleeny, Tibetan Buddhist Resource Centre/Nalanda Translation Committee
Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche
Jakob Leschly, Siddhartha’s Intent/Khyentse Foundation
Gwenola Le Serrec, Padmakara Translation Group
Jules Levinson, Light of Berotsana
David Lunsford, Bodhi Foundation
Michele Martin, Tibetan Buddhist Resource Centre/Shambhala Publications
John McRae, Stanford University
Larry Mermelstein, Nalanda Translation Committee/Shambhala Publications
Chok Tenzin Mönlam, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives
Elizabeth Napper, Tibetan Nuns Project
Joan Nicell, Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
Zagtsa Paldor, Tibetan Buddhist Resource Centre
Ani Jinpa Palmo, Shechen Monastery/Khampagar Monastery
Ani Lodrö Palmo, Yeshe Nyingpo East
Adam Pearcey, Rigpa/Lotsawa House
Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche
Raji Ramanan
Matthieu Ricard, Shechen Monastery
Marcia B. Schmidt
Peter Skilling (by video)
Gene Smith, Tibetan Buddhist Resource Centre
David Phillip Stanley
Robert Thurman, Colombia University
Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche
Martijn van Beek
Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche
Jeff Watt
Christian K. Wedemeyer
Scott Wellenbach
Thomas Yarnell 

Observers and Special Guests:
Ang Chui Jin
Matthew Akester
Peter Aronson
Martha Bonzi
Amelia Chow
Trish Deitch
Dr. Sonam Dolma
Khenpo Choying Dorji
Prof Gangnegi
Suresh Jindal
Stanley Lai
Frank Lin
Kelly Lin
Greg Seton
Lama Sonam Phuntsho
Drubgyud Tenzin Rinpoche
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
Tim Walton
Yong Siew Chin

Advisors:
Jeffrey Hopkins
Gene Smith

Program Advisory Committee:
Tyler Dewar on behalf of Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche (Chair)
Wulstan Fletcher
Steven Goodman
Derek Kolleeny
Larry Mermelstein

Organizing Committee:
Tashi Colman (Chair)
Ivy Ang (Conference Facilitator)
Cangioli Che (Budgets and Finances)
Linda Coelln (Conference Administrator)
Lynn Hoberg (Travel Coordinator)
Laura Lopez (Administration Support)
Andreas Schultz (Logo Design)
Alex Trisoglio (Preconference Survey and Proceedings)

Delhi Arrangements:
Atisha
Pema Biddha
Gyurme
Nisheeta Jagtiani
Raji Ramanan
Pema Wangchuk

Cultural Performances:
Vidya Rao
Arjun Sen

On-site Support:
Wyatt Arnold
Amy Barrodale
Ginger Brooks
Pawo Dorje
Craig Kaufman
Corey Kohn
Elise de Grande
Pema Maya
Rob MacLachlan
David Nudell
Michael Rich
John Solomon
Phuntsho Tobgyal

Deer Park Institute:
Prashant Varma (Director)
Jennifer Yo (Administrator)
Melitis Kwong (Program Coordinator)
Linda Griffin (Office Administrator)
Tenzin Noryang (Office Administrator)
Arun (Kitchen Manager)
Vishnu (Kitchen staff)
Vijay (Kitchen, Assistant Manager)
Rajinder (Kitchen & Café)
Pawan (Maintenance Manager)
Prem Meli (Yoga, Baking and Kitchen Volunteer)
Trilok (Ecology Handicraft Project Manager)
Binta (House Keeping)
Latha (House Keeping)
Manulal (Security & Organic Farm)
Tashi (Security)
Gyan Sagar (Maintenance and Hot Water System)
Lucy Jurikora (Ecology Project Volunteer)

Sponsor:
Khyentse Foundation

In Appreciation of Translators

Prior to the conference, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche initiated a drive to gather “signatures of appreciation” for all Dharma translators worldwide.


The response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic––a total of 11,351 signatures and messages were gathered in just one week. These messages of support were presented to the translators during the Translating the Words of the Buddha Conference.

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