Peter Skilling was appointed a Khyentse Foundation Fellow in 2012, and is an advisor to the foundation.
Peter Skilling grew up in Hanover, New Hampshire, and then Toronto, Canada, but a fascination with Buddhism and Asian culture inspired him to move to Asia. In the 1970s, he spent 3 years as a Buddhist monk in Nakhon Si Thammarat, southern Thailand. Since then he has lived in Thailand, studying and translating Buddhist texts in classical and local languages, including Thai, Pali, Tibetan, and Sanskrit. In the early 1990s he founded the Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation for the study and preservation of Southeast Asian manuscripts. Currently, the foundation cooperates with BDRC on the digitization of Pali and Burmese manuscripts, which digitizes manuscripts, inscriptions, and visual art in central Thai monasteries. He has received many academic honors and has been a visiting professor at universities around the world, including Oxford, Paris, Harvard, Berkeley, Sydney, Pune, Soka, Fudan, and Dongguk.
Now retired from academia, Peter is devoted to translating Buddhist sutras from the kanjur and the Pali and Sanskrit canons and to the study of ancient inscriptions and the archaeological and other remains of early Buddhist cultures and civilizations.
His book, Questioning the Buddha: A Selection of Twenty-Five Sutras, with a foreword by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, was published in August 2021 by Wisdom Publications. A second book, Buddha’s Words for Tough Times, An Anthology, contains 20 translations from Tibetan, Sanskrit, and Pali.