For over twenty-five years we have translated a broad range of Buddhist and Shambhala teachings from Tibetan into English. The committee has translated over four hundred texts, including such key works as the Heart Sutra, Werma Sadhana, and Vajrayogini Sadhana. Following in the Buddha’s footsteps, the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was adamant that people needed to practice and study in their own languages, and the committee’s work with him and other teachers has made this possible in English and other Western languages.
Recognizing that translation will remain important to our community for decades and centuries to come, the Translation Committee is now exploring apprenticeships, to ensure that the expertise gained over decades is passed on. What we learned at the feet of the Vidyadhara, particularly the general principles of what constitutes a good translation, must not disappear with the committee’s first generation. Establishing this apprenticeship program is a key step in the committee’s effort to train a new generation of translators, and we have had a number of enthusiastic and well-qualified applicants.
Our apprenticeship program is beginning to grow, both from a number of sangha members actively pursuing Tibetan-language studies, as well as our last apprentice: Jessie Litven, a second-generation Buddhist Shambhalian raised here in Halifax. After living in India with Tibetans for just over nine months in 2005, her facility with spoken Tibetan is remarkable and inspiring, and we feel it is important to encourage and support her. We are excited to have her working with us since then. Patricia Kirigin, our first apprentice, was in Asia during 2005-06 and returned to work with us in Halifax in the summer and fall of 2006. In the winter of 2007, she and Jessie returned to Asia for further study and training at the Rigpe Dorje Institute, a Tibetan language and dharma study program held at Pullahari Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal.