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Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park - Dhamma Wheel

Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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pink_trike
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Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby pink_trike » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:53 pm

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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mikenz66
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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:44 pm

Thanks, that's interesting. I imagine that the amount of material in the Tibetan texts is huge, so that's such an enormous job.

The Theravada Canon+Commentaries is presumably quite modest in comparison, and does not appear to be under threat. The Canon is well preserved in Pali in various scripts and has been translated into several other languages. As I understand it, the whole Canon is available in English, but only small selections of the Commentaries.

Metta
Mike

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:14 pm

I'm surprised that it has taken this long for the Rinpoches to get around to translating their texts to English, but better late, then never.

I'm thankful for the many great translators we have in the Theravada who have already translated 99% of the Canon, including Bhikkhu Bodhi, T.W. Rhys Davids, C.A.F. Rhys Davids, I.B. Horner, Norman, and others.
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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:57 pm

Greetings,

Relevant history on the Kangyur...

A Brief History of the Tibetan bKa' 'gyur
by Paul Harrison (University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand)
From Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre, Section 1 of 5, pages 70-94

http://text.lib.virginia.edu/servlet/Sa ... arriso.xml

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby zavk » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:18 pm

Good stuff!

I've always appreciated Khyentse Rinpoche's efforts to make Buddhism accessible to the West. Well, I guess it helps that he is a very skillful filmmaker! :popcorn:

Metta,
zavk
With metta,
zavk

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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:10 am


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pink_trike
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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby pink_trike » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:57 am

I've heard that there are over 5000 texts in over 100 volumes.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:11 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby pink_trike » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:16 am

I think that might be a legitimate concern- especially given the stated goal of creating a "Western Buddhism"...though I think Bob Thurman is probably quite sensitive to this issue, so there exist the possibility that it might be directly spoken to - maybe in an introduction, footnotes, appendix, etc...

Another concern is the goal to create a "genuine Western Buddhism" from a Tibetan Buddhist base. If there is to be a consciously-created Western Buddhism, my selfish little preference (having practiced in more than one tradition) would be that it arises from a thoughtfully combined base of Vajrayana/Theravadan/Zen...which I'm sure many Theravadan practitioners will find equally concerning.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:20 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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pink_trike
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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby pink_trike » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:32 am

From the conference resolutions:

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Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche offered his gratitude to all the participants, organizers and to the conference sponsor, Wayne Tisdale. Rinpoche stressed that it will definitely not be the case that any portion of this work will be ‘owned’ in any way by this group, as “The Words of the Buddha have no owner, they belong to everyone.”

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-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 to undertake this project in the spirit of universal Buddhist fellowship, drawing on the wisdom of accomplished masters throughout the Buddhist world.

This is encouraging. Time will tell.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:49 am


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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:47 am

What is interesting about the Tibetan Canon is that much of it is actually very little studied by Tibetans. What Tibetans study and comment on and produce are doctrinal compendiums based upon other doctrinal compendiums based upon the hermeneutics of whatever particular school one belongs to with all the bumpy things one might find in the sutras smoothed out. The Mahayana sutras are little, if at all, studied, and the Mainstream texts, even less so, and if any group of sutras are studied, it is the Prajnaparamita sutras.

It is a shame that there was not preserved in Tibetan a complete Mainstream canon, given the care that was taken in the translations, but they were hinayana, so no real effort was made in that direction. That being said, there are, nonetheless, hunks of Mainstream texts in the Tibetan canon, and it would be a good thing to have them available.

As for a singular Western Buddhism, it won’t happen. There will be Western Buddhisms.

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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby Kare » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:58 am

Mettāya,
Kåre

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:35 pm

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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:54 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby Dharmajim » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:24 pm

Good Friends:

I want to add several considerations. First, there is the Numata Center BDK English Tripitika translation project the purpose of which is to tranlsate the entire Chinese Canon into English. This has been in progress for a few decades, I think. There is a lot of excellent Mahayana material in this project.

Second, the fact that the Tibetans are not hooking up with BDK indicates that they want to present a strictly Tibetan version of the Dharma. They act as if the BDK group doesn't even exist, and from their point of view it's not a "full canon" because it doesn't contain some Tantras which are central to their tradition. Fair enough, but that's how I read this project; which makes sense given the supersessionist nature of Vajrayana.

Third, I'm no expert in Sanskrit, my studies have been on my own. Having said this I am very suspicious of how Tibetan Buddhism has translated key Sanskrit terms. The more Sanskrit I learn the more suspicious I become. A good example is the word "pratimoksha" (Pali: Patimokkha), which they translate as "Individual Liberation". No other tradition glosses the word that way; e.g. in Chinese Buddhism it is simply understood as monastic liberative discipline, nothing about "individual" is embedded in the term. (As an aside, even Saicho, who was so critical of monasticism, did not gloss the term this way.) There are other examples of how Tibetan Buddhism skews central terms to buttress their particular point of view and I think there should be more awareness of just how systematic and pervasive this is in Tibetan texts. The problem is that these ways of interpreting Sanskrit terms will be presented as definitive, the actual meaning, of these Sanskrit terms when there is no support for such an interpretation in Indian Mahayana Buddhism, nor in other non-Vajrayana Mahayana traditions.

Best wishes,

Dharmajim

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Re: Landmark Translation Conference at Deer Park

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:28 pm



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