On June 01, 2011, the Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, China, held the opening of the E. Gene Smith Library. The library opening coincided with the university’s 60th anniversary celebration. Southwest University for Nationalities is located in the Sichuan province and has a strong Tibetology research program, as well as a focus on minority education. [More, with links to our extensive coverage of Smith's life, work, and passing, after the jump.] Read More
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From Emily Danies
The Board of Arizona Friends of Tibet recently finalized grants of $14,000. About half are repeat projects and half new ones. We are always so amazed at the true bodhisattva activity that abounds in the world, and how grateful people are for our small grants. We wish we had more to give. See a list of this year’s beneficiaries after the jump. Read More »
One merely has to know of the late Tibetologist E. Gene Smith to have a sense of his singularity. As recounted by Jeff Wallman in his interview with Melvin McLeod (posted here earlier today), Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche even said that he “wouldn’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that Gene Smith did more for the Tibetan Buddhist religion and Tibetan Buddhist culture than anyone in this century.”
Those who knew Smith also speak of a generous and joyful human being, a true bodhisattva. At Saturday’s heavily attended memorial at New York’s Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, that’s just what they did. In the following we share praise and memories offered at the memorial by colleagues and Buddhist teachers including Alak Zenkar Rinpoche, Shelley Rubin, Janet Gyatso, Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, Tulku Tenzin Gyatso Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche, and others. Read More »
Continuing our coverage from Saturday’s New York memorial for the legendary Tibetologist E. Gene Smith, we present now an interview with Jeff Wallman, a dear friend and colleague of Smith’s. Wallman is Executive Director of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, whose mission is to digitalize and share precious Tibetan texts. Smith founded the TBRC, dedicating his latter years to it.
At the reception after Smith’s memorial, Wallman spoke to Editor in Chief Melvin McLeod about the manifestation of the TBRC mission, and discussed the giant of a man whose generosity and brilliance has made its realization possible. Click through to listen. Read More »
Yesterday at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, several hundred people, including Tibetan Buddhist teachers and scholars, gathered to remember E. Gene Smith, the famed Tibetologist who died late last year. In this video filmed during the post-memorial reception, Melvin McLeod speaks with Leonard van der Kuijp – professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies and chairman of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian studies at Harvard University – about the meaning and impact of Smith’s life and legacy, and his work to digitalize and share Tibetan literature through the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center.
More from the Smith memorial will be found here in the days ahead.
Previously on Buddhadharma’s Buddhist News: Our original announcement of E. Gene Smith’s death | A remembrance of Smith by His Holiness the Karmapa | TBRC board member and Wisdom Publications president Tim McNeill remembers Smith | Memorial announcement including the entirety of Janet Gyatso’s tribute to Smith, from the Spring 2011 Buddhadharma magazine
A memorial for E. Gene Smith, the legendary modern Tibetologist and founder of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, will be taking place at 2 pm this Saturday at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St., New York City; click here for the location via Google Maps.) Saturday’s memorial will include special tributes offered by long-time colleagues, family, and friends, as well as brief musical interludes offered by Jon Gibson, Philip Glass, Yungchen Lhamo, and Ning Tien. Please visit egenesmith.org or call 646-839-5915 ext. 7 for more information.
Smith dedicated his life to preserving Tibet’s literary heritage and played a key role in its survival. His life and passing was noted here earlier by His Holiness the Karmapa and also by Tim McNeill, president of Wisdom Publications and a member of the TBRC board of directors.
To read our original announcement of Gene’s passing, click here. A feature profile of Gene, by his colleague Janet Gyatso, is in the new issue of Buddhadharma. You can be one of the first to read it here: Read More »
Message from His Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje
From the time the Buddhadharma arrived in Tibet, the translation and production of texts formed a key area of activity, mobilizing and shaping Tibetan culture. During the mass exodus into exile in the mid-20th century, Tibetans could easily carry the meaning of the texts written in their hearts but had to carry the books on their own backs. In this process, and in the subsequent years of exile and during the Cultural Revolution within Tibet, texts and wood blocks were scattered, and painfully many were lost. In such an era, to dedicate one’s life to seeking out, preserving, publishing and digitizing Tibet’s vast textual heritage, as Gene Smith did, is a kindness that cannot be expressed in words. I do not believe it unfair to say that his life’s accomplishments follow in the example of the great Dharma kings of Tibet. Read More »
As reported here this past Friday, the Tibetan Buddhist world and the Buddhist world at large are mourning the December 16 passing of E. Gene Smith, who dedicated his life to preserving and sharing vital Tibetan Buddhist texts.
A full obituary by Smith’s colleague Janet Gyatso will appear in the next issue of Buddhadharma. Here, another close contemporary — Timothy J. McNeill, board member for Smith’s Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center and publisher at Wisdom Publications, where Gene spent time as an acquisitions editor and trusted adviser — remembers the man who lived his life among Tibetan texts: Read More »
E. Gene Smith, who through his life and work — and particularly his creation of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) — strove to make the literature of the Tibetan people available to all, has died.
After a thirty-year overseas career in the Library of Congress, Smith became Executive Director of the TBRC, which quickly became the world’s most comprehensive collection of Tibetan literature. (Smith and the TBRC were profiled in the second [Winter 2002] issue of Buddhadharma; click here to read this profile.) He also served as an acquisitions editor and adviser to Boston-based Wisdom Publications.
The TBRC Blog has a posting about Gene’s passing, here.
From Hozan Alan Senauke at the Clear View Project, on behalf of Western Buddhist Teachers for a Free Burma
The following letter just went out to President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton regarding serious concerns about the elections in Burma coming up later this week. It was signed by more than 100 Western Buddhist teachers.
November 1, 2010
Dear President Obama,
As you know, the upcoming elections in Burma, scheduled for November 7th cannot be legitimate without participation of the National League for Democracy (NLD). The NLD is boycotting this sham process because the Burmese military regime has designed electoral laws that insure that a rigged and non-representative election will transpire precluding the participation of Burma’s 2100 political prisoners and other democracy supporters. As leaders in the western Buddhist community, we implore you to repudiate the results of this upcoming election.
MahaSangha News and Calendar are brought to you by YOU, our readers who post news and event listings—as well as by 5 volunteer editors who generously offer their time and talents to these areas. We introduce them below.
Eileen Malloy is a freelance writer and editor in Louisville, CO. She practices and teaches Buddhism at the Boulder Shambhala Meditation Center, teaches ESL at Colorado University’s International English Center, and tests English proficiency for international students and business people. Eileen also drives a school bus for the Boulder Valley School District.
Walt Hernandez is a writer, editor, and essayist. He has been a practicing Shambhala Buddhist since 2006 and has attachments to photography, fine literature, and epicurean pleasures. When he’s not at his computer writing stories or lost in the pages of a good book, you can find him out-and-about the beaches of South Florida discovering new places and people to write about, or spoiling his niece and nephews by indulging their every whim. A gypsy and travel enthusiast, he currently makes Miami his home-base.
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Carol Leach, a freelance editor and writer, began her career in New York and is now based in New England. She edits books, articles, scholarly works, and speeches on a wide variety of subjects, with special interest in the arts, humanities, spirituality, and psychology. Her writing projects include publicity for nonprofits, advertising copy, and corporate communications. Outside of work, she is known for her valiant attempts at parenting, her forays into costuming, and her appreciation for the talents of S.J. Perelman, Ethel Merman, Elvis Costello, and Carmen Miranda.
Katie Weisberger is a freelance photographer, editor and designer living in Boulder, CO. She was thrown into Buddhism in early 2003 on a study abroad program in Sikkim, India. After graduating from New York University in 2004, she made her way westward to Shambhala Mountain Center, where she lived and worked for two years. She is an art lover, an avid traveler — most recently to Brazil — and the new mother of an amazing eight-month-old girl, Zoe Nila Smith.
…. Thank you, all 5, for getting the news out with such grace and gusto!
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. Read More »
October 24, 2009: 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. Read More »