The Conference Revisited

October 2–5, 2014

Keystone, Colorado, USA

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the 2014 Translation & Transmission Conference and helped make it such a great success! The conference was an amazing meeting of translators, practitioners, and scholars of Tibetan Buddhism that allowed for community building and open an honest dialogue about translation and transmission to be taken to the next level. We hope that this meeting will contribute to the development of the field of Tibetan translation and that further opportunities for collaborative projects will develop from the meeting of so many great minds.

Whether you were with us in Keystone or not, we would like to share the experience of the conference with you through the different digital media recorded and collected here from each event.


Please notice that depending on your bandwidth, you should allow some time for the multimedia contents to be available for streaming.


All conference photos are thanks to Marv Ross Photography.

Tap / Click events

FRIDAY,  October 3, 2014

  • Opening Remarks by Anthony Chapman


  • Keynote Lecture by David Bellos


    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.

  • Plenary Session  -  Translation


  • Plenary Session  -  Traduttore, Traditore: The role of the translator


  • Workshop 1  -  Translating Biographical & Historical Materials


  • Workshop 2  -  Translating Philosophical Materials A


  • Workshop 3  -  Translating Spiritual Instructions


  • Workshop 4  -  Translating Vajrayana Commentarial Materials


  • Workshop 5  -  Translating Canonical Materials: Sutra


  • Evening Event with Robert Thurman


    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.

    Dr. Thurman is also the president of Tibet House US (THUS), the president of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies (AIBS), and the Editor-in-Chief of the “Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences” series of peer-reviewed translations of works from the Tibetan Tengyur and associated literature, co-published by AIBS, THUS, and the Columbia Center for Buddhist Studies, and distributed by Columbia University Press. His own published translations include the Vimalakīrti Sūtra, the Ornament of the Mahāyāna Sūtras, Tsong Khapa’s Essence of True Eloquence, and his Brilliant Illumination of the Lamp of the Five Stages.

SATURDAY,  October 4, 2014

  • Keynote Lecture by Janet Gyatso


    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.

  • Plenary Session  -  Transmission


  • Plenary Session  -  Scholars, Translators, Practitioners:  In transmission

  • Workshop 1  -  Translating Poetic & Inspirational Materials

  • Workshop 2  -  Translating Philosophical Materials B

  • Workshop 3  -  Translating Sadhanas & Rituals

  • Workshop 4  -  Translating Abhidharma Materials

  • Workshop 5  -  Translating Canonical Materials: Tantra

  • Evening Event with Jeffrey Hopkings


    Jeffrey Hopkins

    (UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies)

    Jeffrey Hopkins is Professor Emeritus of Tibetan Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia where he taught Tibetan Buddhist Studies and Tibetan language for thirty-two years from 1973. He received a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1963, trained for five years at the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America in Freewood Acres, New Jersey, USA (now the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in Washington, New Jersey), and received a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin in 1973. He served as His Holiness the Dalai Lama's chief interpreter into English on lecture tours for ten years, 1979-1989. At the University of Virginia he founded programs in Buddhist Studies and Tibetan Studies and served as Director of the Center for South Asian Studies for twelve years. He has published thirty-nine books in a total of twenty-two languages, as well as twenty-three articles. Recently, professor Hopkins has established the UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies and is working on translation projects related to the Gomang Project, among others.

SUNDAY, October 5, 2014

  • Plenary Session  -  Translation & Transmission


  • Special Guest: Interview with Alak Zankar Rinpoche


    Alak Zankar Rinpoche

    Dr. Alak Zenkar Rinpoche Tupten Nyima is the incarnation of Alak Zenkar Pema Ngödrup Rolwé Dorje. He has been instrumental in the resurgence of Buddhism and Tibetan literature in Kham in recent decades.

    Alak Zenkar Rinpoche was born in Lhagang in Minyak, East Tibet, in 1943. His father was called Nyima Özer, and his mother, who was from Gyarong, was called Rinchen Lhamo. In 1946 he was recognized as the incarnation of Alak Zenkar Pema Ngödrup Rolwé Dorje (1881-1943), who was in turn the direct incarnation of Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje (1800-1866), the mind incarnation of Jikmé Lingpa (1730-1798). Following his recognition, he was invited to take his seat in two different monasteries, Maha Kyilung monastery in Gyarong, which had been established by Do Khyentse, and the Sakya monastery of Lhagang in Minyak, which was home to the famous Lhagang Jowo statue.

  • Concluding Address by Thupten Jinpa


    Thupten Jinpa

    (Institute of Tibetan Classics)

    Thupten Jinpa, PhD, received his early education as a monk and obtained the Geshe Lharam degree from the Shartse College of Ganden Monastic University, South India. In addition, Jinpa holds a B.A. Honors in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies, both from Cambridge University. He taught at Ganden monastery and worked also as a research fellow in Eastern religions at Girton College, Cambridge University. Jinpa is an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal. Associated with the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at the School of Medicine, Stanford University, he is the main author of CCARE’s Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) program. Currently the board chair, Jinpa has been a core member 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, in addition to translations of numerous books by the Dalai Lama, Songs of Spiritual Experience (co-authored), Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy: Tsongkhapa’s Quest for the Middle View, as well as Mind Training:The Great Collection, and The Book of Kadam: The Core Texts, the last two being part of The Library of Tibetan Classics. His Tibetan publications include Chos kyi snang ba gsar pa (A New Light on Dharma), a first ever introduction to Buddhism in vernacular Tibetan, a comprehensive modern Tibetan grammar entitled bod skad kyi brda sprod gsar bsgrigs smra sgo’i lde mig (A Modern Tibetan Grammar, Key Opening the Door of Speech), as well as a series of essays as introductions to the critical Tibetan editions of The Library of Tibetan Classics (bod kyi gtsug lag gces btus pod phreng). Most recently he translated (with Donald Lopez, Jr.) Grains of Gold: Tales of a Cosmopolitan Traveler by Gendun Chopel (University of Chicago Press).

Sidney Piburn's

Lifetime Achievement Award

Download the Conference


Modern Translation Timeline

(70 MBs download)

Tibetan Translator Timeline

(34 MBs download)

Jamgon Kongtrul's

Five Treasuries Timeline

(28 MBs download)


The content included in these three timelines is a work-in-progress. If you would like to inform us of mistakes or missing information, please contact:

Marcus Perman:

Dr. Peter Skilling’s video address to the conference



We were unable to provide professional videography but are very thankful for the hard work of Nitartha Institute's volunteers, Valentina and Michael, who worked tirelessly to record the conference events for those who were not present. Where there was no video possible, volunteers from Naropa were able to get basic audio recordings, which are provided here thanks to their good work.

Thank you everybody!


October 2-5, 2014     |     Keystone, Colorado, USA