In This Issue
Slideshow of John and Wulstan's amazing path, featuring some of the greatest masters of our time.
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Meet John and Wulstan
Excerpts of John and Wulstan's translations and more about their vision for translation (from the Tsadra Foundation web site).
Meet the 2016 Khyentse Foundation Fellows,
John Canti and Wulstan Fletcher
(San Francisco, January 21, 2016) – We are very pleased to announce that translators Dr. John Canti and Wulstan Fletcher of the Padmakara Translation Group have been awarded Khyentse Foundation's top award, the 2016 Khyentse Foundation Fellowship, for their service to the Buddhadharma.
Canti and Fletcher are two of the original founders of Padmakara Translation Group, based in the Dordogne, France. Padmakara has earned a distinguished reputation for its clear and accurate literary style in its translations of seminal Tibetan Buddhist texts into English, French, German, and Spanish. As a medical doctor and a former Benedictine monk, respectively, Canti and Fletcher have travelled a colorful path to becoming highly respected translators. Padmakara's list includes Nagarjuna's Letter to a Friend, Treasury of Precious Qualities, The Excellent Path to Enlightenment, The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones, Lady of the Lotus-Born, and the two books read by nearly every Tibetan Buddhist, The Way of the Bodhisattva and The Words of My Perfect Teacher.
"What makes their translations so special is that Wulstan and John are practitioners first, translators second," said Cangioli Che, Khyentse Foundation's executive director. Canti and Fletcher, both originally from England, began Padmakara, along with a group of five friends, after finishing a three-year meditation retreat...
A Conversation with John Canti and Wulstan Fletcher
The foundation’s 2016 Khyentse Fellows, Padmakara Translation Group founders John Canti and Wulstan Fletcher, sat down with KF Communications Director Noa Jones in a village café in southwest France for a colorful conversation about their paths from medical doctor and Benedictine monk, respectively, to becoming great translators of the Dharma. The conversation wandered freely through many of the pressing concerns for Tibetan Buddhists, and translators in particular. How can we make sure that young translators have the support, and the training, they need to make a living? When so much of our practice material is originally in Tibetan, how can we ensure that practioners and academics have accurate, inspirational translations? How has translation changed since the 1980s, moving from a typewriter to electronic books?
NJ: When did you learn Tibetan?
WF: My Tibetan is entirely self-taught, which is not the best way. It’s been a very haphazard process. It’s amazing when you see what is now available. In those days there was nothing. Now there are so many resources, lots of people learning how to translate.
NJ: What are your wish lists, what would you like to see in translation?
JC: The inspiration behind Padmakara was to produce texts for practitioners, and that’s always been a priority. Although we also try to reach a level that is academically acceptable, which is not that easy. Connecting with the lineage is a really important element, and the texts that we work on have always been taught to us at some point by a lama who holds it, so there’s a transmission there.
John Canti is editorial chair of 84000, which was initiated by Khyentse Foundation and is now a global nonprofit organization, dedicated to translating all of the Buddha’s words into modern languages, and to making them available to everyone, free of charge. Watch this video of John and Prof. Peter Skilling (Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation founder and 2012 Khyentse Fellow) talking about about the concept of Buddhist canons and their history.
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