Speakers and Workshop Facilitators

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    Anne Klein

    (Rice University)

    Anne Carolyn Klein/Rigzin Drolma, Professor and Former Chair of Religious Studies, Rice University, and Founding Director of Dawn Mountain. (www.dawnmountain.org). Her six books include Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse: A Story of Transmission; Meeting the Great Bliss Queen, Knowledge & Liberation, and Paths to the Middle as well as Unbounded Wholeness with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. She has also been a consulting scholar in several Mind and Life programs. Her central thematic interest is the interaction between head and heart as illustrated across a spectrum of Buddhist descriptions of the many varieties of human consciousness.

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    Alexander Gardner

    (Rubin Foundation, Conference Facilitator)

    Alexander Gardner is the Executive Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and the Director and Chief Editor of the Treasury of Lives, an online biographical encyclopedia of Tibet and the Himalayan Region. He completed his PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan in 2007. He is a board member of Music & Memory, an initiative dedicated to improving the lives of the elderly or infirm through personalized music, and Himalayan Art Resources, an online resource for Himalayan art and iconography that was started by the Rubin Foundation in 1998 and has been independent since 2015. His research interests are in Tibetan life writing and the cultural history of Kham in the nineteenth century.

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    Susan Bassnett

    (University of Warwick)

    Susan Bassnett is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick and has just been appointed Special Adviser in Translation Studies for a 3 year period attached to the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. She established postgraduate programmes in Comparative Literature and then in Translation Studies at the University of Warwick where she also served twice as Pro-Vice-Chancellor. She continues to lecture and run workshops around the world and her current research is on translation and memory. She is an elected Fellow of the Institute of Linguists, elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the Academia Europaea. In recent years she has acted as judge of a number of major literary prizes including the Times/Stephen Spender Poetry in Translation Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the IMPAC Dublin prize. She is also known for her journalism, translations and poetry.

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    Robert Thurman

    (AIBS, Columbia University)

    Dr. Robert Thurman holds the Jey Tsong Khapa Chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. After education at Philips Exeter and Harvard, he studied Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism for fifty years as a personal student of H. H. Dalai Lama and numerous other Mongolian and Tibetan teachers. He has written both scholarly and popular books, and has lectured all over the world. His special interest is in the history of Buddhism as a set of socially revolutionary, educational institutions, as well as in the Indo-Tibetan philosophical and psychological traditions, as alive in relevance to parallel currents of contemporary thought and science. He is also the president of Tibet House US, the president of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, and the Editor-in-Chief of the “Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences.” His own published translations include the Vimalakīrti Sūtra, Tsong Khapa’s Essence of True Eloquence, and his Brilliant Illumination of the Lamp of the Five Stages.

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    Janet Gyatso

    (Harvard University)

    Janet Gyatso (BA, MA, PhD, University of California at Berkeley) is a specialist in Buddhist studies with concentration on Tibetan and South Asian cultural and intellectual history. Her books include Apparitions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary; In the Mirror of Memory: Reflections on Mindfulness and Remembrance in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism; and Women of Tibet. She has recently completed a new book, Being Human in a Buddhist World: An Intellectual History of Medicine in Early Modern Tibet, which focuses upon alternative early modernities and the conjunctions and disjunctures between religious and scientific epistemologies in Tibetan medicine in the sixteenth–eighteenth centuries.

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    Andrew Quintman

    (Yale University)

    Andrew Quintman is assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, specializing in the Buddhist traditions of Tibet and the Himalaya. For seven years he served as the academic director of the School for International Training’s Tibetan Studies program based in Kathmandu. He is the author of The Yogin and the Madman: Reading the Biographical Corpus of the Great Tibetan Saint Milarepa (Columbia University Press 2013), and co-editor of Himalayan Passages: Tibetan and Newar Studies in Honor of Hubert Decleer (Wisdom Publications 2014). His English translation of The Life of Milarepa (2010) was published in the Penguin Classics series. He currently serves as the co-chair of the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group at the American Academy of Religion and is co-leading a 5-year AAR seminar on Religion and the Literary in Tibet.

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    Art Engle

    (Tsadra Foundation Fellow)

    Artemus B. Engle began studying the Tibetan language in Howell, New Jersey in early 1971 at Labsum Shedrup Ling, the precursor of the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center. In 1972 he became a student of Sera Mey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche, a relationship that spanned more than thirty years. In 1975 he enrolled in the Buddhist Studies program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and received a PhD in 1983. Since the mid 1980s he taught Tibetan language and Buddhist doctrine at the Mahayana Sutra and Tantra Center in Howell, New Jersey. In 2005 he became a Tsadra Foundation Translation Fellow and has worked primarily on the Pañcaskandhaprakarana and the Bodhisattvabhūmi.

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    Christian Wedemeyer

    (University of Chicago)

    Christian K. Wedemeyer is associate professor of the history of religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is the author of Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism: History, Semiology, and Transgression in the Indian Traditions (Columbia University Press; winner of the 2013 American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion) and Āryadeva’s Lamp That Integrates the Practices (Caryāmelāpakapradīpa): The Gradual Path of Vajrayāna Buddhism According to the Esoteric Community Noble Tradition (AIBS, 2007). He is currently completing another volume of translations: Tantric Practices of the Esoteric Community: Ritual and Exegetical Works of the Noble Tradition.

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    Dan Martin


    Dan Martin, PhD in Tibetan Studies, Indiana University, 1991.  Researcher and translator with many interests in Tibetan religions, literature and cultural topics.  Currently working on a translation of a lengthy 13th-century history for the Library of Tibetan Classics series.

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    Dan Hirshberg

    (University of Mary Washington; Nitartha Translation Network)

    Dan Hirshberg’s study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism began as an undergrad in 1996 and culminated in a PhD at Harvard University (2012) where his dissertation focused on Nyang-rel Nyima Ozer (1124-92), the first of the great Buddhist treasure revealers, and the textual and religious innovations that produced the first biography of Padmasambhava. Since becoming a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in 2004, he has translated several liturgies and their supplementary rituals as a member of the Nitartha Translation Network. Dan is now Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Mary Washington.

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    David Bellos

    (Princeton University)

    David Bellos is professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton, where he also directs the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. He has translated works by Georges Perec, Ismail Kadare, Fred Vargas and many others and is also the author of literary biographies of Georges Perec, Jacques Tati and Romain Gary. HIs irreverent essay on translation, Is That A FIsh In Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything, was published in 2011.

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    David Germano

    (University of Virginia)

    David Germano teaches and researches Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia, and is director of the Tibetan and Himalayan Library, the Tibet Center, the UVa Contemplative Sciences Center, the Tibet Participatory Culture Initiative, and SHANTI (Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts Network of Technological Initiatives). His personal scholarship focuses on the history of Tibetan culture and Buddhism from the ninth to fourteenth century with a special focus on esoteric religious movements. With the Tibet Center he has directed exchange programs between China and the US in relationship to Tibetan communities. Under the Tibet Participatory Culture Initiative, he is working to use technology to support bridges between academics and development projects, and to enable local communities to use modern tools as vehicles for their own self-expression and empowerment.  At UVa, he is coordinating a pan-University exploration of contemplation in learning and research. Germano is currently working on a fourfold set of works on the Great Perfection Seminal Heart (rdzogs chen snying thig) tradition.

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    Donald Lopez, Jr.

    (University of Michigan)

    Donald Lopez is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan, where he is chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000. His most recent translation, with Thupten Jinpa, is Grains of Gold: Tales of a Cosmopolitan Traveler (the Gtam rgyud gser gyi thang ma of A mdo Dge ’dun chos ’phel). Forthcoming translations include Ippolito Desideri’s refutation of rebirth and emptiness (also with Thupten Jinpa), and the grub mtha’ of Lcang skya rol pa’i rdo rje.

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    Douglas Duckworth

    (Temple University)

    Douglas Duckworth is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Temple University. He is the author of Mipam on Buddha-Nature: The Ground of the Nyingma Tradition (SUNY, 2008) and Jamgön Mipam: His Life and Teachings (Shambhala, 2011). He also introduced and translated Distinguishing the Views and Philosophies: Illuminating Emptiness in a Twentieth-Century Tibetan Buddhist Classic by Bötrül (SUNY, 2011).

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    Ken McLeod

    (Unfettered Mind)

    A student and practitioner of Buddhism for over 40 years, Ken McLeod left academia after completing his M.A in mathematics. He served as Kalu Rinpoche’s interpreter on his first two North American teaching tours (1972 and 1974-5). Subsequently, he completed two three-year retreats and was then sent to Los Angeles to teach. After Kalu Rinpoche’s passing, Ken established Unfettered Mind in Los Angeles as a place for those whose path lies outside established institutions. Currently his interest is in the translation of teaching poems and prayers. His books include The Great Path of Awakening (1987), Wake Up to Your Life (2001), An Arrow to the Heart (2007), Reflections on Silver River (2014) and A Trackless Path (2016).

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    Elizabeth Callahan

    (Tsadra Foundation Fellow)

    Elizabeth has been engaged in contemplative training and Tibetan Buddhist studies for more than 35 years. A Tsadra Fellow since 2002, she has engaged in both written translation and oral interpretation including working closely with Khenpo Tsültrum Gyamtso, as well as completing two three-year retreats at Kagyu Thubten Chöling, New York. Elizabeth specializes in translating texts related to mahāmudrā and esoteric tantric commentaries and has published the Ninth Karmapa’s Mahāmudrā: Ocean of Definitive Meaning, Jamgön Kongtrül’s The Treasury of Knowledge Book 6, Part 3, and the third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje’s Profound Inner Principles (with Kongtrül’s commentary). She is currently working on Dakpo Tashi Namgyal’s Moonbeams of Mahāmudrā (Phyag chen zla ba’i ‘od zer) and the Ninth Karmapa’s Dispelling the Darkness of Ignorance (Ma rig mun sel). Elizabeth is also the Director of Advanced Study Scholarships at Tsadra Foundation and is the executive director of Marpa Foundation.

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    Gyurme Dorje

    (Tsadra Foundation; 84000)

    Gyurme Dorje holds a PhD in Tibetan Literature (SOAS) and an MA in Sanskrit with Oriental Studies (Edin). Since 1970 he has been writing, editing, translating and contributing to numerous books on diverse aspects of Tibetan culture, including Buddhist philosophy, history, geography, medicine, art, divination and travel.

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    Holly Gayley

    (University of Colorado, Boulder)

    Holly Gayley is Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research focuses on the revitalization of Buddhism in the Tibetan region of Golok since the 1980s. She completed her Masters in Buddhist Studies at Naropa University in 2000 and Ph.D. at Harvard University in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies in 2009. Currently, she is finalizing a manuscript on the life and love letters of the contemporary female tertön, Khandro Tāre Lhamo, and her consort Namtrul Rinpoche and translating texts of advice to the laity by Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok and his successors at Larung Buddhist Academy in Serta. In 2013, Holly co-organized the conference, “Translating Buddhist Luminaries,” which brought translators and scholars into a conversation about the art of translation in relation to pithy texts of advice by 19th century ecumenical masters such as Patrul Rinpoche, Ju Mipham, and Jamgön Kongtrul. The translations will appear in an edited volume with Wisdom Publications.

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    Jacob Dalton

    (University of California, Berkeley)

    Jacob Dalton, Associate Professor and Khyentse Foundation Distinguished Professor of Tibetan Buddhism, received his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Michigan in 2002. After working for three years (2002-05) as a researcher with the International Dunhuang Project at the British Library, he taught at Yale University (2005-2008) before moving to Berkeley. He works on Nyingma religious history, tantric ritual, early Tibetan paleography, and the Dunhuang manuscripts. He is the author of The Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism (Yale University Press, 2011) and co-author of Tibetan Tantric Manuscripts from Dunhuang: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Stein Collection at the British Library (Brill, 2006). He is currently working on a study of tantric ritual in the Dunhuang manuscripts. His most recent translation work has focused on the recently discovered biographies of two tenth-century Tibetan figures: Nupchen Sangye Yeshe and Lha Lama Yeshe Ö.

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    John Canti

    (Padmakara Translation Group; Tsadra Foundation Fellow; 84000)

    In 1970, while studying medicine at Cambridge, he first met his Buddhist teachers, and started to practice under their guidance. After hospital work in London and Cambridge, he moved in the late seventies to eastern Nepal to establish tuberculosis programs in two remote hill districts. Beginning in 1980, he underwent two three-year retreats in the Dordogne, France. Emerging from retreat at the end of the 80s, he helped found the Padmakara Translation Group, of which he is now president, and remains an active translator. Since 2001 he has also been a Fellow of the Tsadra Foundation. He serves on the working committee of 84000 as chair of the editorial section. He is based in France but also spends part of his time in Nepal and India. Currently John is working on Mipham’s commentary on the Ratnagotravibhāgottaratantraśāstra.

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    Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel

    (Samten Ling)

    Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel has studied and practiced the Buddhadharma for 30 years under the guidance of her teacher and husband, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She has been intimately involved with Rinpoche’s work in bringing Buddhist wisdom to the West. Having spent over six years in retreat, she now serves as the Retreat Master for Samten Ling, a long-term retreat center located in Southern Colorado. Elizabeth delights in wrestling with the challenges that tend to plague modern day practitioners, while maintaining a deep respect for the tradition she comes from. She teaches throughout the U.S. and Europe. She holds a degree in anthropology and an M.A. in Buddhist Studies and is the author of The Power of an Open Question and The Logic of Faith, which will be released in August, 2017.

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    Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen

    (Nitartha Institute, Naropa University)

    Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen graduated from Karma Shri Nalanda Institute at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India, together with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. He completed his studies with an Acharya degree in 1991 and following his graduation taught Buddhist philosophy at the Institute for two years. Under the guidance of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, he then entered a three-year retreat in Pullahari, Nepal. He was a resident teacher in Hamburg, Germany, before becoming a professor of Buddhist Studies at Naropa University.

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    Robert Miller


    Robert Miller began working as an interpreter in 2000 under the guidance of Gyume Khensur Rinpoche, Geshe Tashi Tsering at Chenrezig Institute in Australia. In 2007, Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche appointed him Director of Education at Lhundrub Chime Gatsal Ling, a Nyingma monastery near Dharamsala. Since resigning his position in 2015, Robert has begun a Ph.D. with the Group in Buddhist Studies at the University of California-Berkeley. His most recent translations, done under the auspices of 84000, include several chapters from the Vinayavastu, a massive work on monastic community life found in the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya.

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    Sarah Plazas

    (Ewam and Namchak)

    Sarah has been a practicing Buddhist since 1999, and has been studying the Tibetan language since 2002. She lived at the Garchen Buddhist Institute in Arizona for five years, completing the first three-year retreat there. Sarah studied at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal in their translator training program. Her main teachers are Garchen Rinpoche, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, and Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche. Sarah served as Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche’s personal interpreter for five years, and Lama Tharchin Rinpoche’s interpreter for the last year of his life. Sarah has worked with the Namchak Foundation for the past two years, translating the corpus of Tsasum Linga’s Namchak cycle with Richard Barron. She translated Luminous Moonlight: The Life of Do Dasal Wangmo.

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    Andreas Doctor

    (Dharmachakra Translation Committee)

    Andreas Doctor (Ph.D., University of Calgary) is director of Dharmachakra Translation Committee, Kathmandu, Nepal. He also serves on the editorial committee of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha. He is currently working with the Dharmachakra Translation Committee on translations of several sūtras and tantras from the Tibetan canon as part of the 84000 project to translate the Tibetan Kangyur into English.

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    Klaus-Dieter Mathes

    (University of Vienna)

    Klaus-Dieter Mathes earned his doctorate at Marburg University, and is a Professor of Tibetology and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. He previously worked as a research fellow and lecturer at the Asia Africa Institute at the University of Hamburg, Germany. His research in progress deals with the Indian origins of Tibetan Mahāmudrā traditions. Major publications include “A Fine Blend of Mahāmudrā and Madhyamaka” (2015) and “A Direct Path to the Buddha Within: Gö Lotsawa´s Mahāmudrā Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhāga” (2008). He is also a regular contributor to the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies.

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    Judith Simmer-Brown

    (Naropa University)

    Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. She is an Acharya (senior dharma teacher) of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, Naropa’s founder. She lectures and writes on Tibetan Buddhism, American Buddhism, women and Buddhism, interreligious dialogue, and contemplative education. Her books are Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism (Shambhala) and, with Fran Grace, an edited collection of articles called Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies (Religious Studies Series, State University of New York Press, 2010).

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    Dominique Side

    (Rigpa International)

    Dominique Side is a senior instructor in Rigpa International. She has been a student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism since 1975 following Sogyal Rinpoche, and was a founding trustee of Rigpa Fellowship in the UK.  She was founding director of the Lerab Ling retreat centre in France from 1990-1994, and left to complete an M.A. in Indian Religions (SOAS) and a Ph.D. in Madhyamaka (Bristol University, UK). She taught Buddhism in secondary schools in the UK (1996-2005). She edited The Four Noble Truths and Transforming the Mind by H.H. the Dalai Lama and is author of a school textbook on Buddhism.  Under the guidance of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche she is currently involved in developing a teacher training programme for Western Dharma teachers, and participates in discussions on how to adapt Dharma teaching to the West.

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    Lara Braistein

    (McGill University)

    Lara Braitstein is Associate Professor of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism at McGill University. She has also taught at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (K.I.B.I.) in New Delhi, and the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Kathmandu. She teaches Mahayana & Vajrayana Buddhist Philosophy, Buddhist Hagiography, and Tibetan/Himalayan Buddhist literature and historiography. She translated the 14th Shamarpa’s The Path to Awakening, and is the author of The Adamantine Songs: Study, Translation, and Tibetan Critical Edition, a study of Saraha’s Mahamudra poems. Her recent research is a study dedicated to untangling the history and representation of the 10th Shamarpa Chodrup Gyatso.

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    Luis Gómez

    (Profesor Investigador, El Colegio de México; Thurnau Emeritus Professor, University of Michigan; Academic Director, Mangalam Research Center)

    LUIS O. GÓMEZ, is Research Professor at El Colegio de México, México, DF., Academic Director at the Mangalam Research Centers for the Study of Buddhist Languages, Berkeley, CA, and Thurnau Professor Emeritus of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in East and South Asian Languages and Literatures from Yale University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan. He delivered the Stewart Lectures at Princeton, April 24-30, 1997, and the Clark and Horrowitz Lectures at Pomona College. He has been Numata Visiting Professor at the University of Hamburg (2013) and Shinnyo-en Visiting Professor at the Ho Foundation Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford University (2013). Some of his books include The Land of Bliss, the Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtras, and The Literature of the Great Vehicle.

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    Thupten Jinpa

    (Institute of Tibetan Classics)

    Thupten Jinpa, PhD, received his early education as a monk and obtained the Geshe Lharam degree from Ganden Monastic University in South India. He holds a B.A. in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies, both from Cambridge University. Jinpa is an adjunct professor at McGill University. He is associated with the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, and is the main author of its Compassion Cultivation Training program. He is the board chair of the Mind and Life Institute, the founder and president of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, and the general editor for The Library of Tibetan Classics. Since 1985 he has been the principal English translator to H.H.the Dalai Lama. Jinpa’s published works include translations of numerous books by the Dalai Lama, Songs of Spiritual Experience, Mind Training:The Great Collection, and The Book of Kadam. His Tibetan publications include a first ever introduction to Buddhism in vernacular Tibetan and a comprehensive modern Tibetan grammar. Most recently he co-translated Grains of Gold by Gendun Chopel.

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    Karma Lekshe Tsomo

    (University of California, San Diego)

    Karma Lekshe Tsomo is a professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego. She received novice precepts from the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa in France in 1977 and full ordination in Korea in 1982. She studied Buddhism in Dharamsala for 15 years and received a doctorate in Comparative Asian Philosophy from the University of Hawai`i in 2000. She is a founder and past president of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women (www.sakyadhita.org) and director of Jamyang Foundation (www.jamyang.org), an innovative education project for women in developing countries. She has edited a number of books on women in Buddhism.

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    Ringu Tulku

    (Bodhicharya International)

    Ringu Tulku Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Master of the Kagyu Order. He was trained in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism under many great masters including HH the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa and HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He took his formal education at Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Sikkim and Sampurnananda Sanskrit University, Varanasi, India. He served as Tibetan Textbook Writer and Professor of Tibetan Studies in Sikkim for 25 years. Since 1990, he has been traveling and teaching Buddhism and meditation in Europe, America, Canada, Australia and Asia. He participates in various interfaith and ‘Science and Buddhism’ dialogues and is the author of a number of books on Buddhist topics. These include Path to Buddhahood, Daring Steps, The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, Confusion Arises as Wisdom, the Lazy Lama series and the Heart Wisdom series, as well as several children’s books, available in Tibetan and European languages.

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    Kurtis Schaeffer

    (University of Virginia)

    Kurtis R. Schaeffer received an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Washington in 1995, a Ph.D. in Tibetan and South Asian Religions from Harvard in 2000 and is now an associate professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia. His books include Sources of Tibetan Tradition (2013), The Tibetan History Reader (2013), The Culture of the Book in Tibet (2009), An Early Tibetan Catalogue of Buddhist Literature (2009), Dreaming the Great Brahmin, and Himalayan Hermitess (2004).

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    Karl Brunnhölzl

    (Nitartha Translation Network)

    Karl was originally trained, and worked, as a physician for twenty years. He took Buddhist refuge vows in 1984, and received his Buddhist and Tibetan language training mainly at Marpa Institute For Translators in Kathmandu, Nepal. He also studied at Hamburg University, Germany. Karl has served as a translator, interpreter, and Buddhist teacher mainly in Europe, India, and Nepal, and has acted as one of the main translators and teachers at Nitartha Institute. In addition, he regularly taught at Gampo Abbey’s Vidyadhara Institute. He is the author of several books on Buddhism, such as The Center of the Sunlit Sky, Straight from the Heart, In Praise of Dharmadhātu, Gone Beyond, Mining For Wisdom Within Delusion, and The Heart Attack Sutra. Karl was a Tsadra Foundation Fellow from 2006-2015. He currently lives in Seattle and teaches weekend seminars and Nitartha Institute courses in Nalandabodhi centers, mainly in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

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    David Kittelstrom

    (Wisdom Publications)

    David Kittelstrom is a senior editor at Wisdom Publications, where he has worked since 1993, and staff editor for The Library of Tibetan Classics, Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, Teachings of the Buddha, and Classics of Indian Buddhism series. He is not himself a translator but has had the good fortune to work closely with many.

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    Larry Mermelstein

    (Nālandā Translation Committee)

    Beginning in 1971, Larry Mermelstein became a close student of the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist meditation master and scholar, and he is empowered as a senior teacher, or acharya, by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. He has been the Executive Director of the Nalanda Translation Committee since 1978, the same year he became an editor at Shambhala Publications, where he continues to serve as a consulting editor. He was among the founding administrators and later a language teacher (Sanskrit and Tibetan) at Naropa University, and he was a member of the Vajradhatu/Shambhala International board of directors for many years.

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    Nicole Willock

    (University of Denver)

    Nicole Willock received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in Tibetan Studies and Religious Studies in 2011. Nicole has been translating for a number of years, including two books: A Brief History of Dentik Monastery and Eastern Tibet: Bridge between Tibet and China, which was translated from the German Ost-Tibet: Brücke zwischen Tibet und China by Christoph Baumer and Therese Weber (Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2008). She is currently polishing up A Tibetan-English Primer for Poetics (Snyan ngag leg deb bod yin shan sbyar), which is co-authored by Gendun Rabsal. She co-translated  “Zhangtön Tenpa Gyatso’s Adv a Jeweled Rosary” with Gendun Rabsal, which will appear in Buddhist Luminaries: Inspired Advice by Nineteenth-Century Ecumenical Masters in Eastern Tibet, edited by Holly Gayley and Joshua Schapiro (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2014). Some of her translations of Alak Tseten Zhabdrung’s poetry have appeared in the Latse Newsletter.

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    Thomas Doctor

    (Dharmachakra Translation Committee)

    Thomas Doctor has studied Buddhist philosophy at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Kathmandu since the late 1980s. He teaches on the Rangjung Yeshe Institute graduate program and works for the Dharmachakra Translation Committee (DTC). Thomas received his BA and MA degrees in Tibetan Studies from the University of Copenhagen and his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Lausanne. He is the author of Reason and Experience in Tibetan Buddhism: Mabja Jangchub Tsöndrü and the Traditions of the Middle Way (Routledge 2013). With DTC he has translated sūtras and tantras for the 84000 project, as well as classics of Buddhist philosophy, such as Ornament of Reason (Mūlamadhyamakakārikā with commentary by Mabja Jangchub Tsöndrü, Snow Lion 2011) and Ornament of the Great Vehicle Sūtras (Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra with commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham, Shambhala 2014).

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    Sangye Khandro

    (Light of Berotsana)

    Sangye Khandro has been a Buddhist since 1971 and a translator of the Dharma since 1976. She has helped to establish numerous centers in the USA and has served as translator for many prominent masters in all four lineages. Sangye has been the spiritual companion of the Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche for nearly thirty years and has continued to help serve the centers established by her root teacher, Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, with whom she studied and practiced for many years. Sangye Khandro is one of the founders of the Light of Berotsana Translation Group.

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    Sarah Harding

    (Tsadra Foundation Fellow; Naropa University)

    Sarah Harding has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1974 and has been teaching and translating since completing a three-year retreat in 1980 under the guidance of Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche. Her publications include Creation and Completion, The Life and Revelations of Pema Lingpa, Treasury of Knowledge: Esoteric Instructions, Machig’s Complete Explanation and Niguma, Lady of Illusion. She is an associate professor at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she has been teaching since 1992, and has been a fellow of the Tsadra Foundation since 2000. Currently she is working on translating the zhi byed and gcod sections of the gdams ngag rin po che’i mdzod.

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    Tom Yarnall

    (AIBS, Columbia University)

    Dr. Tom Yarnall is an Associate Research Scholar and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, where he specializes in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. He works with the Columbia Center for Buddhist Studies and the American Institute of Buddhist Studies as the Executive Editor for the “Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences” series. Dr. Yarnall began his engagement with Buddhism in the late ‘70s, studying with Tibetan Lamas from all four orders while earning a B.A. in Religion at Amherst College in 1983. He later earned an M.A., M.Phil, and ultimately a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2003. Dr. Yarnall’s own scholarly work has focused on Mādhyamika philosophy, Buddhist ethics, and Tantric materials of the Unexcelled Yoga class. His study and translation of the creation stage chapters of Tsong Khapa’s Great Treatise on the Stages of Mantra (sngags rim chen mo) was published in the “Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences” series in 2013.

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    Paul Hackett

    (Columbia University)

    Paul G. Hackett holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil. from Columbia University, a M.L.S. from the University of Maryland at College Park, a M.A. from the University of Virginia, and a B.S. from the University of Arizona. He specializes in canonical Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan culture, as well as their influence on alternative religion in America. He is also active in the field of Digital Humanities, is the director of the Buddhist Canons Research Database, and serves as co-chair of the Tibetan Information Technology and Digital Humanities Panel of the International Association for Tibetan Studies. He is the author of “A Tibetan Verb Lexicon,” “A Catalogue of the Comparative Kangyur,” and others, and is one of the primary translators of the Guhyasamāja Tantra (with Candrakīrti’s commentary, the Pradīpoddyotana) under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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    Wulstan Fletcher

    (Padmakara Translation Group; Tsadra Foundation Fellow)

    Wulstan Fletcher studied modern languages and theology in Oxford and Rome. He completed a three year meditational retreat in Chanteloube, France 1986-1989 and is a member of the Padmakara Translation Group. He has been a Tsadra Fellow since 2001. Wulstan has completed several Tibetan-English translation projects in collaboration with Helena Blankleder, including Treasury of Precious Qualities (Book 1 2010; Book 2, 2013),  The Root Stanzas of the Middle Way (2008), The Way of the Bodhisattva (revised 2006), The Nectar of Manjushri’s Speech (2007), White Lotus (2007), Introduction to the Middle Way (2005), The Adornment of the Middle Way (2005), Food of Bodhisattvas: Buddhist Teachings on Abstaining from Meat (2004), and Counsels form My Heart (2003). Wulstan is currently working on Longchenpa’s sems nyid ngal gso and Mipham’s brgal lan nyin byed snang ba.

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    Emily Bower

    (Shambhala International)

    Emily Bower works as a book editor specializing in Buddhism, psychology, and yoga. She is the project manager and editor for an 84000 translation team that has completed three projects. She worked at Shambhala Publications for a total of 11 years, 10 years as an acquiring editor. She has worked on a freelance basis for Wisdom Publications as well. She is a staff reviewer and curator at Dharma Spring, the online Buddhist bookstore. She also serves as a senior teacher in the Shambhala International community, leading retreats and weekend workshops for the past 12 years in the U.S. and Canada, and more recently in Australia and New Zealand. She has a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from Brown University and studied writing and editing in UC Berkeley’s annex programs. She is married to the translator and novelist Peter Alan Roberts.

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    Yeshe Gyamtso (Peter O'Hearn)

    (Kunzang Palchen Ling, NY)

    Yeshe Gyamtso completed two three-year retreats in the 1980s at Kagyu Thubten Chöling in Wappingers Falls, NY. Since then he has taught, interpreted for several Tibetan Buddhist teachers, translated a number of biographies of Buddhist historical figures, and written two books on Buddhist practice. Recent translations include Luminous Clarity (2016), Shower of Blessings (2015), and Siddhas of Ga (2013).

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    José Cabezón

    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

    José Ignacio Cabezón is XIVth Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies, and former chair of the Religious Studies Department at UC Santa Barbara. He has published a dozen books and numerous articles related to Tibetan and Buddhist Studies including several translations. His most recent books include The Buddhist Doctrine and the Nine Vehicles (Oxford, 2012), Tibetan Ritual (Oxford, 2010), and Meditation on the Nature of Mind, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Wisdom, 2009). He is currently completing a monograph that is a doctrinal study of Buddhism and sexuality in classical India and Tibet and will have a new book from Shambhala Publications coming out in June 2017, The Just King: The Tibetan Buddhist Classic on Leading an Ethical Life.

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    Elizabeth Napper

    (UMA Institute of Tibetan Buddhist Studies)

    Elizabeth Napper began studying Tibetan in 1970. She studied in Wisconsin, Tibet, India (Sanskrit University), and at the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, the University of Virginia, where she received a PhD in 1985. She is the director of the Tibetan Nuns Project in India and the USA. She has translated lo rig (Mind in Tibetan Buddhism (Snow Lion, 1980) and major portions of Tsong kha pa’s lam rim chen mo, which was published as the Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, (3 volumes, Snow Lion, 2000, 2002, 2004). At present she is working on sa lam, a long chen nying tik ngon dro text, and Sakya practice texts.

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    Kurt Keutzer


    Kurt Keutzer is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley. Kurt received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Indiana University in 1984, and gained a doctoral minor in Tibetan Studies in the process. In the ensuing thirty years he has continued his studies with many Western and Tibetan scholars from all five of Tibet’s principal traditions, and produced many privately circulated translations. In 2013 he published his first serious research paper in Tibetan studies: “The Nine Cycles of the Hidden, The Nine Mirrors, and Nine Minor Texts on Mind: Early Mind. Section Literature in Bon” in Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines. Kurt is currently working to develop a robust optical character recognition software for Tibetan script, and is generally quite delighted to have the opportunity to unite and engage his diverse research interests in service of the preservation of Tibetan literature.

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    Brandon Dotson

    (Georgetown University)

    Brandon Dotson has worked and taught at Oxford University, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of California at Santa Barbara, LMU München, and now Georgetown University. His research on ritual, history, narrative, and text has taken him to Nepal, Tibet, and China. Dotson’s PhD thesis (2007) is a study of Tibet’s earliest extant corpus iuris, and his first monograph (2009) is a translation and study of Tibet’s earliest historical and bureaucratic record, the Old Tibetan Annals. His postdoctoral research focused on the origins of Tibetan historical narrative and its relationship with ritual narrative, including divination. The results of this research include an annotated translation of the Old Tibetan Chronicle, Tibet’s first and only chronicle epic, which formed the basis of Dotson’s Habilitationsschrift at LMU München in 2013.

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    Nathan W. Hill

    (SOAS, London)

    Nathan W. Hill was educated at the Catlin Gabel School and Harvard University. At SOAS he teaches courses in historical linguistics and well as Tibetan language and history. Dr. Hill’s research focuses on Tibetan literature and Tibeto-Burman/Sino-Tibetan historical linguistics. In particular he has published on Old Tibetan descriptive linguistics, Tibetan corpus linguistics, Tibeto-Burman reconstruction and comparative linguistics, and the typology of evidential systems. He is currently one of three principal investigators on Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State, a six-year international research collaboration jointly led by SOAS, the British Museum, and the British Library, funded by the European Research Council. He was co-investigator on Tibetan in Digital Communication: Corpus Linguistics and Lexicography (2012-2015).

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    Gerry Wiener

    (Nitartha Translation Network, NTC)

    Gerry has been studying Tibetan since 1974, mostly in Boulder, Colorado. The Sambhota suite of fonts were designed by Gerry and he has worked on a number of digital projects including the Nitartha Digital Library. His main teachers are Trungpa Rinpoche, Ponlop Rinpoche, Khyentse Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, HH Karmapa, Khenpo Palden Sherab, Ringu Tulku, Thrangu Rinpoche, and Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche. He has translated The Excellent Path to Enlightenment and Essential Instructions on the Three Virtues of the Ground, Path and Fruition of Resting in Mind Itself, the Great Completion by Longchenpa.

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    Dominique Townsend

    (Bard College, NY)

    Dominique Townsend is Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies at Bard College. She received her BA from Barnard College, MTS from Harvard Divinity School and PhD from Columbia University in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. Her research is stimulated by productive tensions in Buddhist cultures, such as the relationship between the cultivation of the arts and renunciation. Dominique’s primary interests include Buddhist poetics, pedagogy, and institutionalized charisma. Her current project, based on her dissertation research, focuses on aesthetics and cosmopolitanism in Tibetan Buddhism, with a particular focus on the history of Mindrölling Monastery.

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    Ari Goldfield

    (Wisdom Sun)

    Ari Goldfield is a Buddhist teacher, translator, and psychotherapist in private practice. Along with his wife Rose, Ari co-directs Wisdom Sun, the international Buddhist community founded in 2011. From 1996-2009, Ari served as translator, attendant, and general secretary to his own teacher, Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. Ari is a published author on Buddhist philosophy and meditation, including chapters in The World’s Great Wisdom (SUNY Press) and Freeing the Body, Freeing the Mind (Shambhala Publications), and articles in Buddhadharma and Shambhala Sun magazines. His translations include the books: Sun of Wisdom, Moon of Wisdom, and Stars of Wisdom, and Khenpo Rinpoche’s Song of the Eight Flashing Lances teaching, which appeared in The Best Buddhist Writing 2007 (all Shambhala Publications). Before beginning his Buddhist training, Ari worked as a corporate attorney in Silicon Valley. Ari and Rose live in San Francisco with their three-year-old son, Oliver.

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    Jan Nattier

    (Hua Hin, Thailand)

    Jan Nattier did her undergraduate work in comparative religion (specializing in Buddhism) at Indiana University, where she also began graduate training in the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies. She completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University under the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies (specializing in classical Mongolian and Tibetan). She has taught at Macalester College, the University of Hawaii, Stanford University, Indiana University, and the University of Tokyo, in addition to serving as a member of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology (Soka University). Her monographs include Once Upon a Future Time: Studies in a Buddhist Philosophy of Decline (Asian Humanities Press, 1991), A Few Good Men: The Bodhisattva Path according to the Inquiry of Ugra (Ugraparipṛcchāsūtra) (University of Hawai’i Press, 2003), and A Guide to the Earliest Chinese Buddhist Translations (Soka University, 2008).

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    Roger Jackson

    (Carleton College, Emeritus)

    Roger Jackson is John W. Nason Professor of Asian Studies and Religion, Emeritus, at Carleton College. He also has taught at the University of Michigan, Fairfield University, McGill University, and Maitripa College. He has a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, where he studied under Geshe Lhundub Sopa. His books include Is Enlightenment Possible? (1993), Tibetan Literature (with José Cabezón, 1996), Buddhist Theology (with John Makransky, 1999), Tantric Treasures (2004), The Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems (with Geshe Sopa et al., 2009), and Mahāmudrā and the Bka’ brgyud Tradition (with Matthew Kapstein, 2011). He is a past editor of the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, and currently co-edits the Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies. He is in the final stages of preparing a major study and anthology centered on Mahāmudrā theory and practice in the Geluk tradition.

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    Catherine Dalton

    (Dharmachakra Translation Committee, UC Berkeley)

    Catherine is an oral interpreter and a translator for the Dharmachakra Translation Committee.  She has published a number of translations with Dharmachakra, including several for 84000.  Catherine studied and taught at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal for a number of years, and is the co-director of the Dharmachakra Center for Translation and Translation Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Gomde, CA.  She holds an MA in Buddhist Studies from Kathmandu University, and is currently a doctoral student in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley.