Update from the Buddhist Literary Heritage Project

In March of 2009, over 12,000 of us signed a letter of support to the Translating the Words of The Buddha conference ––a gathering of over 50 of the world’s top Tibetan-English translators––letting Dharma translators around the world know that we appreciate and support their translation effort. At the conclusion of this conference, the assembled group of translators and patrons pledged to translate the entire collection of Buddha’s teaching and commentaries into English within 100 years.

Also at the conclusion of the conference, the attendees co-created the Buddhist Literary Heritage Project (BLHP) as an organizational structure charged with overseeing this tremendous endeavor. The conference participants further requested Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to take on the interim responsibility of overseeing the establishment of the necessary structure. Khyentse Rinpoche recently appointed Huang Jing Rui as the interim executive director of BLHP. Following this note is a letter from her describing the progress made so far.

We look forward to keeping you up to date on this exciting undertaking.

Thank you again for supporting Dharma translation.

Sincerely,
The BLHP Team
Dear Friends,

My name is Huang Jing Rui, and I am honored to be newly appointed as the interim executive director of the Buddhist Literary Heritage Project (BLHP). The goal of this new initiative is to see all of the vast and extraordinary riches of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist literature, particularly the Kangyur and Tengyur, translated into English and other modern languages and made universally accessible within a hundred years.

Over the past few decades, many groups and individuals have been working with great dedication to translate a wide range of Buddhist teachings into English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and other languages. The BLHP grew from the jointly expressed wishes of more than 50 such translators, teachers, and academics who met in Bir, India, in March 2009 at the Translating the Words of the Buddha conference.

Conceived as a project with its own activity and funding, and not simply as a forum for discussion, the BLHP clearly needs an effective organizational structure. At the Bir conference, the participants requested Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to take on the interim responsibility of overseeing the establishment of the necessary structure.

In the six months since the conference, many interesting developments have taken place toward setting up that interim organizational structure, together with the key policies and strategic plans that will get the BLHP going. These steps include:

May: Planning meeting
June: Editorial policy meeting
July: Appointment of executive director and working committee
July: Confirmation of two “proof of concept” pilot translations
September: Four-day working committee planning meeting

The Buddhist Literary Heritage Project will officially begin to operate in January 2010, managed by an interim working committee consisting of eight members:

Chair: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Executive director: Huang Jing Rui
Committee members: Ani Kunga Chodron, Gene Smith, Ivy Ang, John Canti, Steven Goodman, and Cangioli Che

The BLHP interim working committee is committed to an open, inclusive, and collaborative approach that seeks the involvement of Dharma teachers, translators, academics, scholars, and researchers from all segments of the Buddhist community.

The BLHP has taken birth from the great aspirations of teachers, translators, and people like you, but it is still in its infancy. As we develop, learn, and move forward, we humbly seek your patience, understanding, and goodwill. Your ongoing support is absolutely necessary for the project to accomplish its objective of preserving and making available the precious teachings of the Buddha.

Finally, we wish to express our heartfelt thanks to all the past and present volunteers and donors, who have generously offered time, money, experience, expertise, effort, and goodwill to the BLHP. We look forward to your continued support.

Please feel free to forward this letter to anybody whom you feel might be interested in our project. Thank you.

Yours in the Dharma,

Huang Jing Rui
Executive Director
Buddhist Literary Heritage Project (BLHP)

For more information and to find out how you can support this project, please email us at info@buddhistliteraryheritage.org.

You can download a PDF of the conference proceedings from
http://khyentsefoundation.org/pdf/Translation_Conference.zip.

You are also welcome to join our BLHP Facebook group site on
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=59296950597&v=wall.