A solid foundation for the future of Buddhism
issue of the Communiqué focuses on academia. It's
filled with the latest news, new media, articles, updates, and more
Images: Khyentse Foundation's logo, the Ashoka pillar; Dzongsar
Khyentse Rinpoche in Mexico, June, 2013 (photo by Emily Avery Crow);
University of California at Berkeley library; Award for Excellence
winner Sunisa Charoenpakdee at the University of Sydney with KF
representative Chantal Gebbe and department chair Mark Allon, May,
2013; "A Flourish of Activity: Ashoka Splatter," a painting by
Julie Adler donated to the foundation for auction; the
University of Vienna campus; Rinpoche's seat at the Halifax,
NS teaching, June, 2013.
you read the Communiqué, one thing should be clear: You
did this. You
made all of this incredible Buddhist patronage of academia happen. We
rely entirely on our sponsors, the IMS
and all of our friends who have signed up as monthly donors to create
this ocean of merit, so thank you again and again.
note that we recently renamed the Monthly Donor Program — it is now
called Friends of Manjushri.
If you are already a monthly donor, you are now a Friend of Manjushri.
Nothing changes except the name. All of your monthly contributions are
still matched, dollar for dollar.
become a monthly donor, please sign
up online or contact
your country representative for instructions. As
Rinpoche said, "Even if Khyentse Foundation becomes a
multi-billion-dollar foundation, I hope that people still consider
giving more. And I hope people never think that contributions of one
cent are not worth it."
course, KF is not quite there yet, but even one cent adds to this great
ocean of merit.
Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the Khyentse
Foundation Award for Outstanding Dissertations in Buddhist Studies. The
$5,000 prize will be awarded every two years to an outstanding PhD
dissertation in the field of Buddhist studies written in China, Hong
Kong, or Taiwan during the previous two academic years. The
dissertation must be based on original research in the relevant primary
language or languages, and it should significantly advance our
understanding of the subject or Buddhist scriptures studied. Accredited
institutions that offer PhD programs in Buddhist studies or religious
studies in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are invited to nominate one
dissertation that was completed during the academic year 2011–12 or
AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE AT UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
Kong) -- In 2012, the University of Hong Kong Centre for Buddhist
Studies produced two winners of the Khyentse Foundation Award
for Excellence in Buddhist Studies, Ms. Yoo Hee Sung (pictured left)
and Mr. Scott Anthony Robert. Having earned the highest average scores
in their foundation courses, both graduate students received
certificates in recognition of their achievements at the Arts Faculty
Prize Presentation Ceremony last November. In 2011 the KF award was
given to Venerable Karmananda, a Buddhist monk born in Bangladesh,
after he graduated from the same master’s degree program at HKU.
AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE AT UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
Australia) -- This year Khyentse Foundation acknowledges a talented and
inspiring young woman studying in Australia. Ms. Sunisa Charoenpakdee
received the Khyentse Foundation Award for Excellence in Buddhist
Studies at the University of Sydney on May 2, 2013, for her outstanding
PhD thesis, which examines the complex issues around the validity of
Thai bhikkhunī ordination. Her thesis is an important contribution to
the scholarship on Thai female monasticism.
grew up in a Buddhist family in Thailand, but it wasn't until she
became an adult that she really embraced the dharma. For Sunisa, her
thesis is not purely an academic exercise — it addresses an issue in
Thai society that she feels deserves more attention. Scholarship on
Thai bhikkhunī ordination will help draw attention to the issue and
will also give it credibility. Sunisa sees the dispute about the
authenticity of women's ordination as being both a social and a
historical problem. Her academic training allows her to address the
issues from an academic perspective, not just a social or political
perspective, and to delve deeply into the Pali Cannon and Bhikkhunī
Vinaya to present the historical evidence.
Charoenpakdee at the University of Sydney with KF representative
Chantal Gebbe and department chair Mark Allon, May, 2013
help you keep up with the expanding scope of KF activities, we post
regular updates on our website to keep you informed about the people
and projects that you help support.Have you read these recent posts?
Check back often for the latest news.
MEETING AT SEA TO SKY RETREAT CENTER, JUNE 2013
twelfth annual KF board of directors meeting took place at Sea to Sky
Retreat Center in the rain forest of British Columbia, Canada. Board
members and advisors met with Rinpoche to discuss plans for the next 10
years. These rare opportunities to meet in person are the inspiration
for the following year of work. The intense planning and meticulous
reporting by our dedicated team of volunteers are what keep Khyentse
Foundation strong. With this collaborative energy, the foundation is
able to continually carry out groundbreaking new projects that support
dharma practice and study across all lineages and traditions of
Buddhism around the world.
Listen to Rinpoche saying a few words on merit at the 2013 board
ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Che 陳季佩, Chair
Dr. Sydney Jay, Research Director
Florence Koh 許功化
See a complete KF team list on the web site.
next major publication from Khyentse Foundation will be the 2013 KF
Yearbook including the Annual Report, coming in April. Until then, we
will send brief updates on individual projects. What would you like to
know more about? In the meantime, check the KF website and join our
Facebook group for news and updates on activities.
you are not receiving the Communiqué directly from Khyentse
Foundation, please sign up on the
Mandala Mailing List.
If you have moved, changed your address, or any other contact details
have changed, be sure to update your information.
Foundation’s logo is Ashoka’s lion. King Ashoka reigned during the
Mauryan Empire (3rd century B.C.), one of Buddhism’s golden eras. His
trademark was the pillars inscribed with Buddhist teachings that he
erected throughout his kingdom. Below is a portrait of King Ashoka by
Michelle LaPorte, which she painted for Khyentse Foundation as part of
the art auction. There were many wonderful submissions, and Rinpoche
also donated two portraits on canvas board, which were auctioned off in
Vancouver and Los Angeles. Six of the original 12 pieces are still
available for sale. We will be featuring them on our web site.
only mission is to preserve and protect the dharma.
you for reading.
Portrait of King Ashoka by Michelle LaPorte (2012). Illustration board
with paper, ink, acrylic, and gold enamel. Above: Khyentse Rinpoche by
Ven. Balangoda Manjusri.
"We don't all have to be rocket
scientists, but we can certainly benefit from those who are." —Peter
the task of protecting and preserving all traditions of Buddhist study
and practice for generations to come rested on your shoulders, what
would you do? What methods would you use and in which areas would you
invest your time, energy, and resources?
one of its initial five prioritized projects, Khyentse Foundation has
been investing in academic studies at universities around the world for
over a decade. KF has now fostered working relationships with top
institutions through a number of targeted grants, scholarships, and
partnerships. KF Awards for Excellence are awarded to students at 10
universities, from the University of Pennsylvania to the University of
Hong Kong to Sydney University, and a new dissertation award has just been
announced. We are also supporting the next
generation of translators through sponsorship programs in Asia and
most outstanding and ambitious undertaking to date has been the
establishment of positions for professors of Buddhism at
major universities in the United States, Europe, and Asia. When
Khyentse Chair of Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley, Rinpoche said that
with this advancement, he felt that he was
building the equivalent to one hundred monasteries. KF’s support of the
university was a turning point for
the department. which
has continued to flourish. According to UC Berkeley Professor Robert
Sharf, “These endowments create stability in the transmission of
knowledge across generations.”
according to KF advisor Professor Peter Skilling, “There is a crisis in
academia, especially in the humanities.”
Top: Rinpoche at Pema Osel
Ling in 2011, by John Solomon. Above:
Gene Smith and Peter Skilling arrive in Kengtung, Shan State, Burma,
video made in 2007
of the Khyentse
Chair of Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley. Still inspiring after all
Making History at the Khyentse Center at the
University of Hamburg
Watch this short video about the Khyentse
Center, featuring Professor Wangchuk in Hamburg.
Germany) -- In January 2011, Prof. Dr. Dorji Wangchuk established the Khyentse
Center for Tibetan Buddhist Textual Scholarship
in the Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, Asia-Africa Institute,
University of Hamburg. Supported by a grant from the Khyentse
Foundation, the center is devoted to scholarly investigation of Tibetan
texts, primarily Buddhist.
Executive Director Cangioli Che said that the Khyentse Center is
exactly the kind of effort that the foundation wishes to support. “Very
few people are focusing on such in-depth study of the texts in their
original languages. While there is increasing support for exploration
of basic Buddhist concepts such as mindfulness, often the objective is
to make people feel good or to reduce stress, and it is often divorced
from the essential Buddhist view of the four seals. Of course,
mindfulness provides many positive side effects but the present day
discourse is not necessarily tied to the view of emptiness. It is so
important that we support rigorous academic religious studies so that
the wisdom tradition can be preserved in its entirety."
Foundation Meets University of Sydney Half Way
matching sponsor could create a key position in the Department of
Australia) -- In 2011, the University of Sydney faced a critical
funding situation in the Department of Buddhist Studies. Support was
running out for an important faculty position: Lecturer in South Asian
and Indo-Tibetan studies. KF’s Academic Development Committee realized
that a more permanent visiting professorship (or an endowed chair or
faculty position) would be the key to maintaining and strengthening the
program, which could in turn benefit Buddhist Studies programs in the
entire region. The University of Sydney has long been identified as a
center of excellence, offering a range of Buddhist Studies programs,
including Pali and Sanskrit, the two major Buddhist languages in the
annual cost of supporting an academic lecturer at the University of
Sydney would be at least A$120,000 (US$110,000). In 2011, Khyentse
Foundation pledged to fund 50% of the faculty position for 3 to 5
years, as long as matching fund partners from the university or the
community could be found. We are happy to report that a foundation in
Australia has pledged up to $20,000 per year for 3 years. If we can
find another sponsor to fund the remaining 33% (A$40,000) per year,
this faculty position can finally be filled.
For more information about supporting this position at the University
of Sydney, please contact Sydney Jay: [email protected]
Chair at UC Berkeley
Dalton officially appointed to Khyentse Chair in his fourth year at
Jacob Dalton (back row, fifth from right) with students and friends on
the annual Buddhist Studies Hike, Marin County. Dalton teaches Buddhist
Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. His appointment
was made possible through the establishment of the Khyentse Chair in
Tibetan Buddhist Studies in 2006.
California) -- With each passing year, the Buddhist Studies program
here at Berkeley has been growing. In September, Mark Blum will join
our faculty as the Shinjo Ito Professor in Japanese Buddhism. Blum is
already a senior professor at SUNY Albany with particular expertise in
the history of Pure Land Buddhism. His arrival will significantly
expand our offerings in the area of Japanese Buddhism. Our
current student cohort continues to grow. In recent years we have
enjoyed great success in luring top
scholars to our program. At present we have 10 Ph.D. students, with
another starting in August.
developments have led to some felicitous connections between our own
training program and the 84000 initiative to translate the Kangyur;
several of our students are now translating sutras or tantras for the
project. Increasing numbers of students are coming to work on
tantric Buddhism in particular, thanks to the combined interests of our
faculty. In March we hosted a ten-day workshop on Hevajra ritual
practice, led by Professor Harunaga Isaacson of the University of
Launches Groundbreaking Professorship at ELTE in Hungary
KF survey finds that Eastern Europe is ripe for a
Buddhist Studies program to flourish
Hungary) -- Khyentse Foundation has made a commitment to fund Buddhist
Studies programs at the Institute of East Asian Studies at Eötvös Loránd University
in Budapest, Hungary. With this funding the university will establish
an additional faculty position and offer more courses in Buddhism and
Tibetan language to the university’s BA students. The new faculty
member will also lead the development of an MA program in Buddhist
Studies and coordinate the activities of their newly created Budapest
Center of Buddhist Studies. KF has committed to supporting the
additional faculty position for 1 year, with future funding to cover a
3-year pilot program if the initial year meets the objectives of the
Center of Buddhist Studies at ELTE was established in 2012 to meet
increasing demand for undergraduate and graduate studies in Tibetan
Buddhism, but until now lacked the resources to develop its programs.
According to the department’s Professor Imre Hamar, an internationally
recognized expert in Chinese Buddhist commentaries, the time is ripe
for supporting ELTE.
the Land of Khan
has been a student of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche since 1999. While
living in Vietnam working as a manager for European investment
projects, he began learning meditation in Burma and has since practiced
under the guidance of Rinpoche. Greg is an instructor for Rinpoche’s
Dharmadas training program. He has also been translating sutras for the
84000 project for the past 2 years. The father of two teenagers, Greg
currently lives in Austria, where he is completing his PhD dissertation
at the University of Vienna. He specializes in Sanskrit and Tibetan
Mongolia) -- In July of 2013, the International
Association for Tibetan Studies (IATS)
held its largest ever conference in the capital city of Mongolia,
Ulaanbaatar — the first time this seminar has taken place in Asia. For
the past 6 years the IATS has been presided over by Charles Ramble from
Paris, who at the end of the seminar handed over the presidency to
Tsering Shakya. This week-long seminar consisted of nearly 100 panels,
with more than 600 scholars presenting on topics ranging from Tibetan
climate change to Dzogchen philosophy. The IATS is seen as a chance for
scholars of Tibet to present their research to colleagues and to map
the direction the field is taking.
the main social event for this discipline, it is also a chance to rub
shoulders with our favorite scholars. I myself had the rare opportunity
to meet with eminent scholars of Tibetan history, language, culture,
and religion, including Leonard Van der Kuijp from Harvard, Vesna
Wallace and José Cabezón from Santa Barbara, Matthew Kapstein from
Chicago, and Dorji Wangchuk from Hamburg, to name just a few.
I am currently writing my dissertation on Mipham’s interpretation of
the Two Truths of Buddhist “philosophy” at the University of Vienna, I
decided to present at the IATS my master’s degree research on ritual
practices of Gesar. Interestingly, I later found out that Mongolians
consider Genghis Khan to have been an incarnation of Gesar.
addition to attending the IATS conference, Greg met with Dean M.
Bayarsaikhan of the National University of Mongolia (NUM) and Orna
Tsultem, a visiting professor at NUM sponsored by KF, to explore
possible KF support for developing an interdisciplinary Buddhist
Studies and research center at the university.
Above: Greg in Mongolia, 2013.
Next Generation of Translators
Translation programs at Rangjung Yeshe Institute and the
University of Vienna get a boost from KF
Austria & Boudanath, Nepal) -- This year KF will dramatically
increase its support of translation efforts by contributing to two
translator training programs, one in Vienna and one in Nepal. The
Program in Buddhist Translation Studies (BTS) at the University of
Vienna’s Institute of South Asian, Tibetan, and Buddhist Studies aims
to improve the training of translators involved in Buddhist canonical
studies in general and in the 84000 Translation Project in particular.
The department’s Professor
Klaus-Dieter Mathes says, “With a high degree of synergy, a Program in
Buddhist Translation Studies
fits well in the BA and MA programs that already exist in Vienna.” KF’s
initial funding of 1 year for BTS will support translation skills
seminars during the winter and spring for MA and PhD students, a summer
seminar on Buddhist text translation into English, and joint seminars
with UC Berkeley and the University of Hamburg. A full scholarship for
a PhD student and funds to bring one khenpo to teach year-round are
also included in the initial year of support.
beginning in fall 2014, KF will support the establishment of Rangjung
MA program in Translation, Textual Interpretation and Philology. The MA
program will augment the basic Tibetan language course of study,
increase offerings in Sanskrit, and add more advanced language and
translation methodologies to ensure that translation efforts into
English are compatible with academic style and rigor. The new program
will expose students to international experts and thus benefit their
Buddhist study efforts. RYI’s goal is to create a program capable of
educating working translators while at the same time contributing to
the current shared knowledge base of all Buddhist translators. KF’s
initial funding will support an additional faculty scholar for 2 years
and one visiting scholar per year. RYI will match KF’s support to carry
the additional costs of administrative support and infrastructure
required to run the 2-year MA program.
OF THE FOUNDATION
Research Director of KF's Academic
each issue of the Communiqué,
we introduce a member of our volunteer team—country representatives,
project coordinators, advisors, board and committee members, and
members of the executive office.
Jay, a student of Rinpoche’s since 1998, is the co-director of Khyentse
Foundation’s Leadership Training Program for khenpos and tulkus and the
research director of KF’s Academic Development Committee. An expert in
the field of business psychology and communication, Sydney came to the
business world after 15 years as a practicing psychotherapist and
several years of project leadership, consulting, and training in the
public and nonprofit sectors. When Rinpoche first shared his vision for
KF’s activities, Sydney was delighted that supporting Buddhist studies
in universities was among his top priorities.
was just coming out of my PhD program at Berkeley and the entire domain
of academic activities was deeply embedded in my thinking. I jumped at
the chance to serve Rinpoche in a context where I felt I might have
something unique to offer,” she says. “Rinpoche has said that it is a
top priority to support the academic study of Buddhism because
universities and professors have so much credibility in the Western
world. This really touched me because I know firsthand how hard
professors work at increasing knowledge in their fields.”