The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

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The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby heart » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:05 am

Many years ago Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche had a translator called Kennard Lipman. He translated and published some of the first important Dzogchen text available openly. Such as "Primodial Experience" and "You are the eyes of the world". I wonder what happened to him and happened to run across this
http://www.reformjudaismmag.net/03summer/buddhist.shtml . In short he left Buddhism and became a Rabi.
Anyway, suddenly out of the blue a new book arrives with his name on it.
http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=21310
It is a translation of two texts from the Khandro Nyingthik. They are very interesting texts. However I can't quite stop to wonder if he is back to Buddhism again? Anyone knows?
When reading texts like this it is kind of nice to know if the translator actually believe in the subject matter or not.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby muni » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:27 am

heart wrote:Many years ago Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche had a translator called Kennard Lipman. He translated and published some of the first important Dzogchen text available openly. Such as "Primodial Experience" and "You are the eyes of the world". I wonder what happened to him and happened to run across this
http://www.reformjudaismmag.net/03summer/buddhist.shtml . In short he left Buddhism and became a Rabi.
Anyway, suddenly out of the blue a new book arrives with his name on it.
http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=21310
It is a translation of two texts from the Khandro Nyingthik. They are very interesting texts. However I can't quite stop to wonder if he is back to Buddhism again? Anyone knows?
When reading texts like this it is kind of nice to know if the translator actually believe in the subject matter or not.

/magnus


Am so wondering, as all embracing nature, (he wrote another book of Dzogchen) is not excluding anything or any religion, knowing how all phenomena are...

My cat long time lives with a dog, but cat doesn't bark.

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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby muni » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:34 am

That other book,
http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/i ... -898-6.cfm

Gratitude for translation work.
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby Pero » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:44 pm

heart wrote:In short he left Buddhism and became a Rabi.


Yup... Heard about it two years ago. Also read this article last year I think. I found it a little ironic...

It is a translation of two texts from the Khandro Nyingthik. They are very interesting texts.


They're interesting indeed. Too bad that to actually practice them you need transmission of this...

However I can't quite stop to wonder if he is back to Buddhism again? Anyone knows?


I have wondered the same thing when I saw that he's going to publish a new book. The thing is that's what he studied for, translating, right? So it doesn't necessarily mean he went back to Buddhism...

When reading texts like this it is kind of nice to know if the translator actually believe in the subject matter or not.


Why? I think belief is not so relevant. What is relevant is the translators ability to translate. But to that I suppose is related the translators practical understanding of the teachings.

Muni wrote:Am so wondering, as all embracing nature, (he wrote another book of Dzogchen) is not excluding anything or any religion, knowing how all phenomena are...


That may be true for some, I personally don't think it is in this case...
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby muni » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:32 pm

Pero wrote:
Am so wondering, as all embracing nature, (he wrote another book of Dzogchen) is not excluding anything or any religion, knowing how all phenomena are...




That may be true for some, I personally don't think it is in this case...


When understanding is, is there understanding of the nature of all phenomena, religions.

dzogchen transcends earthly (conditioned)institutions. Furthermore am i grateful for this man his work.
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby udawa » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:31 pm

Looking at the extract from his introduction, I see that Lipman references C.G. Jung and talks about archetypes when explaining vajrayana practice.

Possibly not a good sign if you are looking for a translation from within the tradition.

D
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby muni » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:28 pm

udawa wrote:Looking at the extract from his introduction, I see that Lipman references C.G. Jung and talks about archetypes when explaining vajrayana practice.

Possibly not a good sign if you are looking for a translation from within the tradition.

D


No idea. The buddhists who knows him and worked with him, can maybe the best ensure the qualility of the translation for people who like to read this new book.
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby heart » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:15 pm

Pero wrote:
heart wrote:When reading texts like this it is kind of nice to know if the translator actually believe in the subject matter or not.


Why? I think belief is not so relevant. What is relevant is the translators ability to translate. But to that I suppose is related the translators practical understanding of the teachings.


Eh well, the ability to translate is dependent on how well we know the subject and also on our relationship to the subject. There a quite a few translations that are made by scholars that are pretty doubtful as far as translations go. I would say that this is particularly true about Dzogchen.

/magnus
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby heart » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:17 pm

udawa wrote:Looking at the extract from his introduction, I see that Lipman references C.G. Jung and talks about archetypes when explaining vajrayana practice.

Possibly not a good sign if you are looking for a translation from within the tradition.

D


Yes there are quite a few odd quotes here and there in his own commentary. He was a student for Herbert Gunther so his translation style is a bit odd as well.

/magnus
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby udawa » Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:59 pm

heart wrote:
udawa wrote:Looking at the extract from his introduction, I see that Lipman references C.G. Jung and talks about archetypes when explaining vajrayana practice.

Possibly not a good sign if you are looking for a translation from within the tradition.

D


Yes there are quite a few odd quotes here and there in his own commentary. He was a student for Herbert Gunther so his translation style is a bit odd as well.

/magnus


Ah yes. Lipman also did the Longchenpa text which he gave a Grateful Dead title (You are the Eyes of the World). I guess the ironic thing about late Guenther translations (and possibly those of his students) is that they are so opaque, and require so much un-translation to understand, that they remain almost as 'secret' as if they were left in the original Tibetan.
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby heart » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:29 pm

udawa wrote:
heart wrote:
udawa wrote:Looking at the extract from his introduction, I see that Lipman references C.G. Jung and talks about archetypes when explaining vajrayana practice.

Possibly not a good sign if you are looking for a translation from within the tradition.

D


Yes there are quite a few odd quotes here and there in his own commentary. He was a student for Herbert Gunther so his translation style is a bit odd as well.

/magnus


Ah yes. Lipman also did the Longchenpa text which he gave a Grateful Dead title (You are the Eyes of the World). I guess the ironic thing about late Guenther translations (and possibly those of his students) is that they are so opaque, and require so much un-translation to understand, that they remain almost as 'secret' as if they were left in the original Tibetan.


I agree, they are almost impossible to read. This one is better than Lipmans other translations. Still it irritates me a lot when he translate element as mode. The wisdom of the five elements have a long history in the west and might even point to a common source with Tantra (just speculation on my part). Calling it mode is just obscuring the meaning.

/magnus
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby mutsuk » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:36 am

Upon reading the translations, I must admit to have been quite puzzled sometimes. I asked Jean-Luc to check with his own translation of these texts and we found that the Lipman versions are not very precise. For instance, at the beginning of text one, some lines are squeezed, others are skipped (like announcing the structure of the text), another one (the enumeration of the elements) has extra material added by Lipman and a quotation is not translated. There is nothing typographically that lets you be aware of this. Translating back from Jean-Luc french translation (switch technical words with your usual ones if necessary), the first lines are after the homage :

I, myself, Padma from Orgyen,
Will reveal the oral teachings (zhal gyi gdams pa)
Of these crucial pith-instructions of the Dakinis.

This has five main subdivisions :
The outer, inner, secret, (as well as)
The innermost secret and the unnexcelled (explanations).

On this (subject), the Longsel Tantra says :
« — [The elements have] outer, inner, secret, etc., [aspects]
As well as fluctuating, changing and arising activities. »

First as to the five outer elements (or the five elements in their outer aspect),
These are earth, water, fire, wind and space.


etc.

(o rgyan padma bdag 'dra yis: dâ kki gnad kyi gdams ngag 'di: zhal gyi gdams pa bstan par bya: de la spyi don rnam lnga ste: phyi dang nang dang gsang ba dang: yang gsang bla na med pa lnga: de la'ang klong gsal rgyud dag las: phyi nang gsang ba la sogs pa: dar gud 'pho 'gyur 'byung ba'i las: zhes pas: dang po phyi 'byung ba lnga ni: sa chu me rlung nam mkha' dang lnga'o:)

The treatment is even worse in the second text, where a large part of the introductory material in tibetan is lacking in the English translation. It’s a wonder such a work was accepted for publication by Shambhala. Nobody reads Tibetan in their offices ? This is not very serious and not very respectful of the Terma tradition... I always had reservations regarding Lipman's translations (starting with his lexicon) but these are really confirming my opinion on this author's work.
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby heart » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:47 am

mutsuk wrote:Upon reading the translations, I must admit to have been quite puzzled sometimes. I asked Jean-Luc to check with his own translation of these texts and we found that the Lipman versions are not very precise. For instance, at the beginning of text one, some lines are squeezed, others are skipped (like announcing the structure of the text), another one (the enumeration of the elements) has extra material added by Lipman and a quotation is not translated. There is nothing typographically that lets you be aware of this. Translating back from Jean-Luc french translation (switch technical words with your usual ones if necessary), the first lines are after the homage :

I, myself, Padma from Orgyen,
Will reveal the oral teachings (zhal gyi gdams pa)
Of these crucial pith-instructions of the Dakinis.

This has five main subdivisions :
The outer, inner, secret, (as well as)
The innermost secret and the unnexcelled (explanations).

On this (subject), the Longsel Tantra says :
« — [The elements have] outer, inner, secret, etc., [aspects]
As well as fluctuating, changing and arising activities. »

First as to the five outer elements (or the five elements in their outer aspect),
These are earth, water, fire, wind and space.


etc.

(o rgyan padma bdag 'dra yis: dâ kki gnad kyi gdams ngag 'di: zhal gyi gdams pa bstan par bya: de la spyi don rnam lnga ste: phyi dang nang dang gsang ba dang: yang gsang bla na med pa lnga: de la'ang klong gsal rgyud dag las: phyi nang gsang ba la sogs pa: dar gud 'pho 'gyur 'byung ba'i las: zhes pas: dang po phyi 'byung ba lnga ni: sa chu me rlung nam mkha' dang lnga'o:)

The treatment is even worse in the second text, where a large part of the introductory material in tibetan is lacking in the English translation. It’s a wonder such a work was accepted for publication by Shambhala. Nobody reads Tibetan in their offices ? This is not very serious and not very respectful of the Terma tradition... I always had reservations regarding Lipman's translations (starting with his lexicon) but these are really confirming my opinion on this author's work.


Thank you mutsuk, how strange off Lipman to drop lines and extra material is even stranger. Did Jean-Luc translate both the texts to English or is it only in French?

/magnus
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby mutsuk » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:57 am

heart wrote: Did Jean-Luc translate both the texts to English or is it only in French?


He actually translated the entire Khandro Nyingthik (2 vols!!) but it's all in French (so far... I hope to help him render this into English some day)...
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby Pero » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:04 pm

Could it be that he used a different edition of the text or something?
In any case, this is one of the reasons I want to learn/am learning to read Tibetan...
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby mutsuk » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:34 pm

No, he mentions his edition on p. 101 and 119. This is the standard version of the Nyingthik Yabzhi widely available. This is the same that was used for the French translations.
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby heart » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:32 pm

mutsuk wrote:
heart wrote: Did Jean-Luc translate both the texts to English or is it only in French?


He actually translated the entire Khandro Nyingthik (2 vols!!) but it's all in French (so far... I hope to help him render this into English some day)...


Dear mutsuk, what a wonderful aspiration. Thank you for that thought, may it be completely fulfilled.

lots of love
/magnus
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby udawa » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:25 pm

I agree, they are almost impossible to read. This one is better than Lipmans other translations. Still it irritates me a lot when he translate element as mode. The wisdom of the five elements have a long history in the west and might even point to a common source with Tantra (just speculation on my part). Calling it mode is just obscuring the meaning.

/magnus


Magnus, on the face of it, 'mode' does seem to be a perverse translation of 'element' (presumably 'byung ba/bhuta?). Does Lipman give any explanation for his choice of word here?

Allowing for Mutsuk's very helpful comments about unreliability issues in the translation, I'm still wondering whether it's worth reading. Any thoughts?

D
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby heart » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:29 pm

udawa wrote:
I agree, they are almost impossible to read. This one is better than Lipmans other translations. Still it irritates me a lot when he translate element as mode. The wisdom of the five elements have a long history in the west and might even point to a common source with Tantra (just speculation on my part). Calling it mode is just obscuring the meaning.

/magnus


Magnus, on the face of it, 'mode' does seem to be a perverse translation of 'element' (presumably 'byung ba/bhuta?). Does Lipman give any explanation for his choice of word here?

Allowing for Mutsuk's very helpful comments about unreliability issues in the translation, I'm still wondering whether it's worth reading. Any thoughts?

D


D,

Yes, he give a explanation for this, but I don't buy it. I will write what he says when I have more time. I don't read Tibetan but I found the texts very interesting but I did have some doubts even before mutsuk posts which is why I started this thread.

/magnus
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Re: The return of Kennard Lipman - A new book

Postby narraboth » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:15 pm

Pero wrote:
It is a translation of two texts from the Khandro Nyingthik. They are very interesting texts.


They're interesting indeed. Too bad that to actually practice them you need transmission of this...

When reading texts like this it is kind of nice to know if the translator actually believe in the subject matter or not.


Why? I think belief is not so relevant. What is relevant is the translators ability to translate. But to that I suppose is related the translators practical understanding of the teachings.



Hi Pero,

hope you get some nice idea about Padmalingpa's Dronpa Munsel text :)
To reply your post, I think it's normal that you need a transmission to practice it? So it's probably not 'too bad.' :P
I don't know what they are, but if it's tsa lung practice, even you got WANG and LUNG you wouldn't be able to practice it properly.

And about translation... I am in the middle of western and tibetan thinking (undecide yet). Tibetan people think if you can translate a high text such as dzogchen properly, you must have got the blessing from guru or diety, otherwise you can't do it properly. That's why there's always translator's homage phrase in translated texts. Logically the ability of translation and one's moral/spiritual level are different, but most of Tibetan believe they are very related.

Anyway, I might be too strict but I believe Buddhist texts, not to mention Dzogchen texts, have to be treated extremely carefully. Losing lines carelessly is just immoral.
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