In an effort to simplify things, Lotsawa School has been transformed into a blog, as you can see. This means most of the content from the old site has disappeared. You will find much of it over on the Rigpa Shedra Wiki, and some of it will slowly appear elsewhere. Meanwhile, the new look Lotsawa House should come online very soon. I hope you enjoy the new site.

During a recent visit to the offices of TBRC, I was fortunate enough to glimpse Gene Smith‘s famous ‘notebooks’, the painstakingly typewritten transcripts of texts and interviews, with their own particular system of colour coding, capitalization, underlining and marginalia. Many pages feature handwritten corrections and further notes added at a later date. Most of the books are leather-bound in green with titles on the spine. There appeared to be at least fifty in the office, but there might be others elsewhere. Jeff Wallman estimated that they represent about twenty years of work.

Following Zenkar Rinpoche’s call for them to be published, echoed by others, at the recent seminar at Columbia University, work will soon begin on scanning the books and using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology in order to preserve their contents and share them with other scholars. Let’s hope they can secure the necessary funding.

The following points derived from Gene Smith’s Among Tibetan Texts by Kurtis Schaeffer were shared today at Columbia University’s panel discussion on the future of Tibetan studies after Gene Smith.

  • Know the breadth and depth of Tibetan history
  • Read single works for depth
  • Read collected works for breadth
  • Collect all available works on a topic
  • List all unavailable works on that topic
  • Find those unavailable works
  • Make those works available
  • Collect, describe, and compare all editions of a given work
  • Know which edition you are reading and why
  • Know the material context of the text
  • Know the social context of the work
  • Know the author’s biography
  • Know the author’s teachers, students, friends’ and enemies’ biographies
  • Know the author’s collected works
  • Know the author’s teachers, students, friends, and enemies’ collected works
  • Do not trust the text to be that of the author
  • Trust the text to reveal something interesting about the context
  • Trust the work to reveal something interesting about the author
  • Rely on the context to discern what is interesting about the author
  • Study the breadth of Tibetan tradition
  • Study the depth of Tibetan history
  • Read single works with breadth
  • Read collected works with depth


Kunleng invites Lobsang Shastri, New York based writer and expert on the Buddhist canons, Kagyur and Tengyur, and Penpa Dorjee, Central University of Higher Tibetan Studies, to discuss the recently concluded International Conference on Translating the Tengyur into foreign languages.


Here are a few photos from the recent International Conference on Tengyur Translation in the Tradition of the Seventeen Pandits of Nalanda, which was held in Sarnath, India 8-11 January 2011. I will try to post a full report before too long. Needless to say, it was a great experience! Thanks again to all those at the CUTS in Sarnath and AIBS in New York who helped to make it possible. Sarva mangalam.

The following message appears in the latest news bulletin of the Deer Park Institute:

Tibetan Translator Training Program

Starting from June 2011

Recognising the immense benefits of translating words of Buddha and Indian panditas which is preserved in classical Tibetan language and Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Deer Park will initiate the institute’s first Tibetan Translation Program in the summer of 2011.

The aim of the program is to produce 10-15 classical Tibetan-English fluent junior translators capable of translating texts within the Kangyur and Tengyur.

This four-year program will have native Tibetan teachers, part time lamas and khenpos, and visiting translator scholars.

All applicants will go through a strict screening process to ensure that they have a rudimentary understanding of Tibetan and that they are committed to becoming a translator. This process will create a committed group of students that progress together through each level of the program.

Please circulate this information to friends you know who have passion in becoming Lotsawa! Scholarships are available.

For more info, contact [email protected]

The School is immensely grateful to long term collaborator and all round superhero Dominik Schloesser for making available his wonderful TibetDict, a Tibetan dictionary tool for Windows based on the Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary compiled by Erik Pema Kunsang. It is absolutely free and can be downloaded here on

For those on Mac OS X, there is a version available here. Spread the word.

Buddhist Literary Heritage Project site

The School just noticed that the Buddhist Literary Heritage Project website is up and running over here, all bright and shiny and brand spanking new. Go on, have a look.

Following on from the last post, here is a fine example of the very latest in Amdo hip-hop, ‘New Generation’ (mi rabs gsar pa) by Green Dragon (g.yu ‘brug):


Tibetan Alphabet

© 2011 Lotsāwa School Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha