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Buddhadharma : Fall 2009
29 fall 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly translating into English the 100,000-stanza Perfec- tion of Wisdom sutra. Most of us have read the Heart Sutra, which is a concise summary, but have never seen the full version. As anglophone Tibetan Buddhists, we hear so much about what the Buddha taught, but often don’t get to read the teachings themselves. Why? One reason is that Tibet- ans, unlike those in most other Buddhist nations, tend not to emphasize the sutras. They prefer to rely on summaries, commentaries, and treatises by the great Indian teachers and Tibetan lineage lamas. The more important reason, though, is that the sutras remain largely untranslated into English. The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, chair of the conference and founder and director of Nalandabodhi, said that with- out those sutras, the migration of Buddhism to the West is incomplete. “We’re trying to establish a Western Buddhism lineage,” he said. “But without the original words of the Buddha, how can we claim to be a Western Buddhist order?” He was referring primarily to the collection of texts known in Tibetan as the Kangyur—more than 500 sutras and (in most editions) 1,100 tantras, most of which were translated from Sanskrit. “We can have lots of lamas teaching, and Zen roshis and Theravadin monks, but these are all secondary,” he said. The conference was organized by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and sponsored by his foundation. Dzongsar Khy- entse—also known as filmmaker Khyentse Norbu, director of The Cup and Travellers and Magicians—is a lama from Bhutan who was recognized at age seven as the incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangmo, a founder of the Rimé school of Tibetan Buddhism. (Above) Deer Park Institute (Right) Conference chair Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche (Far Right) Conference organizer and host Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche giving his keynote address MaTThIEuRIcaRd(Top)pETERaRonson,(RIghT)johnsoloMon