When Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche gave me his blessing to translate his root guru’s autobiography into English, he warned that the text “consists entirely of essential spiritual instructions (gdams ngag) and therefore must be translated without a single error or else everyone’s sacred commitments will be impaired.” He also cautioned against mistaking the many personal and place names mentioned throughout this magnificent work. With these grave risks in the forefront of my mind, I am proceeding with utmost care to ensure an accurate, high-quality translation.
The aim of this project is to present to the English-speaking world a translation of the astonishing spiritual autobiography of one of the greatest Nyingma masters in recent history, Kathok Khenpo Ngawang Palzang (1879-1941). Also known as Khenpo Ngagchung, his life story reveals the full glory of the Nyingma school in general and the Longchen Nyingtik tradition in particular. Its translation will represent a significant contribution to the authentic transmission of Tibetan Buddhism to the West. Khenpo Ngagchung’s pithy advice to disciples and his own exemplary life will be a tremendous source of blessing and inspiration for anyone who aspires to follow an authentic teacher and apply him or herself correctly to the path of Dharma practice. Khenpo Ngagchung portrays every facet of a disciple’s experience, from seeking and following a genuine master to the subtle meditation experiences of a highly realized practitioner.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Khyentse Foundation for helping to fund this project. This generous support brings me closer to realizing my goal of offering the complete translation to the English-speaking world. I sincerely pray that all who form a connection to this precious text may draw inspiration from the sublime life of Khenpo Ngagchung and follow in his footsteps on the path to perfect enlightenment.
May it be auspicious! Heidi Nevin received a Khyentse Foundation grant to translate the spiritual autobiography of Kathok Khenpo Ngawang Palzang (Khenpo Ngagchung), with the blessings of her lama , Chatral Rinpoche. Heidi studied Tibetan language in Darjeeling, India from 1996-8 and remained in India and Nepal following Chatral Rinpoche until 2003. Later, she taught Tibetan in the San Francisco Bay Area for two years and worked as a translator for the Jnanasukha Foundation. She and her husband Tsultrim and their daughter Clara Choemtso, who is two years old, live in Corvallis, Oregon.