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Buddhadharma : Fall 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 09 28 Charting the Future of Buddhist Translation I was just about to get up from the breakfast table and introduce myself to Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche when Robert Thurman bounded up and intercepted him. Thurman was talking enthusiastically about some project, but I couldn’t catch the details. We were at Deer Park Institute, a dharma center belonging to Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in the quiet Tibetan settlement of Bir in India’s Himalayan foothills. It was March, and more than fifty prominent translators, scholars, and lamas had gathered for a five-day conference on “Translating the Words of the Buddha.” Thurman later told me what he’d been saying: Now that he’s semi-retired from his post as chair of Buddhist studies at Columbia University, he plans to devote the coming years to Peter Aronson is a freelance journalist and former nPr contributor currently living in Dharamsala, India. In addition to his writing, he is attending courses in Buddhism at the Library of tibetan Works and Archives. More than fifty of the world’s leading Tibetan–English translators, Buddhist scholars, and lamas met in Bir, India, to work out a plan for translating the Tibetan Buddhist canon. Peter aronson reports on the conference and how it promises to shape the future of dharma translation in the West. Participants at the Translating the Words of the Buddha conference held at Deer Park Institute in Bir, India. MaTThIEuRIcaRd(Top)pETERaRonson,(RIghT)johnsoloMon