Tsadra Foundation is a privately funded nonprofit trust established in New York City in 2000. Contributing to the ongoing development of wisdom and compassion, we provide vital funding for the combined study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.
Two Advanced Scholarships
In recognition of the growing interest of Western Buddhists in undertaking serious studies, as well as long-term contemplative retreats, Tsadra Foundation is pleased to offer two scholarship initiatives.
Advanced Contemplative Scholarships
Offering Western practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism an opportunity to pursue long-term contemplative training. These scholarships are available to individuals who have been accepted into a traditional three-year retreat and to three-year retreat graduates wishing to undertake solitary retreat for a year or longer.
In 2024 we will be supporting 30 contemplative scholarship recipients in ten different retreat centers and solitary hermitages in Europe and North America. Ten new scholarships were awarded for retreats beginning in 2024. Applications for scholarships to begin in 2025 will be accepted until August 1st 2024.
Advanced Buddhist Studies Scholarships
Providing Western Buddhists with an opportunity for in-depth study of Buddhist philosophical literature. The Foundation offers scholarships for those with an intermediate to advanced proficiency in Tibetan to study in Tibetan at traditional Tibetan Buddhist institutes in India and Nepal.
There will be 23 studies scholarship recipients attending six different shedras and institutes in India and Nepal in 2023.
Tsadra Foundation has been offering grants and scholarships to those entering into long-term retreat since its inception in 2000. Since 2010, the Foundation has offered specialized three-year retreat scholarships and more than 137 people have completed retreats at 18 retreat centers in Europe and North America since that time.
Much of Tibetan Buddhist retreat and the retreat experience is hidden from the general public, but as a way of providing access and insight into this esoteric world, we have created a series of “Conversations With Contemplatives.” where Lama Drupgyu Anthony Chapman explores the lives and retreat experiences with a number of our contemplative scholarship graduates.
Main Translation Projects
Tsadra Foundation is particularly interested in the translation of the core curriculum of the traditional college of studies, as well as texts that will benefit individuals who are actively engaged in the contemplative process.
The Treasury of Precious Instructions:
Essential Teachings of the Eight Practice Lineages of Tibet
Following completion of the translation of Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Taye’s 10-volume Treasury of Knowledge, Tsadra Foundation has embarked on the translation of Kongtrul’s 18-volume Treasury of Precious Instructions: Essential Teachings of the Eight Practice Lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, gdams ngag rin po che’i mdzod. The first volume of this collection, Chöd: The Sacred Teachings on Severance Essential Teachings of the Eight Practice Lineages of Tibet, Volume 14, translated by Sarah Harding, was published by Shambhala Publications in 2016. By 2023 seven volumes are published with three more in the final editing phases. We hope to be finished with the project by 2030.
The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra
In honor of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche and with deep appreciation for his extraordinary kindness and generosity to a generation of Western Buddhist students, Tsadra Foundation is delighted to bring to fruition his long held dream of making this seminal work available to English speaking students. Books 1-10, Foundations of the Buddhist Path appeared in June 2015; Books 15-17, The Essential Tantras of Mahayoga appeared in 2016; Book 13, Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission, and Book 14, An Overview of Buddhist Tantra, appeared in 2017.
Tsadra Foundation supports the work of students, practitioners, translators, and researchers of Tibetan Buddhism through the development of digital resources. In taking advantage of contemporary tools in the digital humanities, Tsadra Foundation aims to be at the forefront of providing tools for the study and practice of Buddhism.
The Rinchen Terdzö Catalog
The Great Treasury of Rediscovered Teachings
This catalog presents information about each of the texts in the 72-volume Shechen Edition of the Rinchen Terdzö Chenmo, The Great Treasury of Rediscovered Teachings. This unique collection is comprised of many Rediscovered Teachings (gter ma) from various traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. This catalog is unique in that it provides access to all texts in unicode and as PDF documents, available for free download, including the tsagli and mandala images associated with each terma cycle. The catalog also provides critical information for researchers such as biographies of revealers and authors, cross-referenced with the Tertön Gyatsa (gter ston brgya rtsa), and textual metadata with cataloging notes.
The Damngak Dzö Catalog
The Treasury of Precious Instructions
This catalog presents the eighteen volumes of Jamgön Kongtrul’s Treasury of Precious Instructions: Essential Teachings of the Eight Practice Lineages of Tibet (gdams ngag rin po che’i mdzod). Through this collection Jamgön Kongtrul and Khyentse Wangpo encouraged respect for the principal transmission lineages of practice that came from India. The catalog includes detailed information about each text such as size, location, lists of people associated with each text, lineage data, lists of translations available, and comparisons with previous catalogs. For research purposes, all colophons, text titles, and author names are recorded in both Extended Wylie and Unicode Tibetan.
The Bilingual Library and Apps
Interactive bilingual collections of key translated texts for the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism are a unique contribution to study resources and are already used in Western classrooms and by shedra students in Asia to deepen their knowledge with the support of the latest technologies. These resources are distributed by the Foundation at the App Store and Google Play Store.
The NEW DharmaCloud Library
NOW UPDATED IN 2022! This online library of Tibetan texts is the fruition of a genuine collaboration combining the work of Himalayan publishers and Tsadra Foundation’s digital expertise. Containing hundreds of digital Tibetan texts from more than twelve different publishers, offered for free download, this digital library is a treasure for people wishing to gain access to Tibetan Buddhist teachings in Tibetan.
Conferences and Workshops
Providing an international forum for sustained dialogue and the sharing of ideas and experiences, as well as for collective reflection on the larger cultural and societal dimensions of the transmission of Tibetan Buddhism to the contemporary sphere.
Translation and Transmission Conference
Two conferences in this series of meetings for translators, scholars, and practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism have already taken place. Explore the content of each session from any one of the conferences in our website. All the contents are available online, along with supporting documents, presentations, recordings, and pictures.
The 2018 Lotsawa Translation Workshop
The Lotsawa Translation Workshop, an opportunity to create a community of practice around the translation of Tibetan Buddhist texts, was held October 5-8th at the University of Colorado Boulder with the support of the Tsadra Foundation.
2022 Lotsawa Translation Workshop
Celebrating Buddhist Women’s Voices in the Tibetan Tradition
The thematic focus of the second Workshop will be an exploration of the many issues around translating the voices and experiences of Buddhist women from Tibetan sources into English. Hosted by Northwestern University.
Advancing Buddhist Literacy: Buddha-Nature
The purpose of the buddha-nature website is to provide a resource hub for trustworthy information for learning about and teaching the concept of buddha-nature, its associated texts, teachings, lineages, and relevant Buddhist ideas. Unique content will be shared there, but the site will primarily act as a broker for other projects and authors that have already created quality materials, which we will curate for a wide range of audiences. Learn more here.
Masterclass on Translation with Thupten Jinpa
Produced in partnership with Wisdom Publications, this unique online course brings you face to face with master translator Thupten Jinpa as he discusses his process and shares his world with you. Other master translators also join Jinpa on screen and share their insights, including Padmakara translator Wulstan Fletcher, Library of Tibetan Classics translator Gavin Kilty, and professor Anne Klein. The class is available to everyone for free via the Wisdom Experience online platform.
The Art of Translating Tibetan
Jinpa will speak to you directly on:
- His own translation process that he’s developed and honed over the last 30 years, including his favorite tactics and resources
- What his process is when interpreting for His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- Key principles that can help guide any translator
- How to translate terms related to meditation
- How to approach different genres of Tibetan texts
- And many other issues
A Wisdom Academy Course
In Tsongkhapa’s Madhyamaka, Thupten Jinpa will take you on a ten-week journey through some of the most fascinating and important ideas in Buddhism. You’ll discover the mādhyamaka teachings of one of the most renowned minds in Tibet: influential monk and yogi Je Tsongkhapa Losang Dragpa (c. 1357–1419).
The Journal of Tibetan Literature
Tsadra Foundation supported the necessary research and development to launch a new peer-reviewed online journal and then committed to supporting the first four years of journal issues. The Journal of Tibetan Literature is a biannual, peer-reviewed, open-access journal dedicated to publishing research, translation, and criticism on Tibetan-language texts from the origin of the written language to the present. The Journal of Tibetan Literature focuses on the aesthetic dimensions of Tibetan literature in order to enhance appreciation of one of the world’s great traditions. Learn more here.
Journal of Tibetan Literature: Research, Translation, Criticism.
Read the current issue online now. The inaugural issue included eleven contributions, including critical essays from Janet Gyatso and Lama Jabb; research articles by Leonard van der Kuijp, Gedun Rabsal and Nicole Willock, and Brandon Dotson; translations by Rongwo Lugyal, Sarah Harding, Lowell Cook, and Lama Jabb; an interview with Gedun Rabsal (with video), and more.
Created by Andrew Quintman, Kurtis Schaeffer, and Tenzin Dickie. Supported by Tsadra Foundation and published in cooperation with the Buddhist Digital Resource Center.