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 2021 we will be supporting 24 contemplative scholarship recipients in eleven different retreat centers and solitary hermitages in Europe and North America. Eight new scholarships were awarded for retreats beginning in 2021. Applications for scholarships to begin in 2022 will be accepted until August 1st 2021.
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 proficiency in Tibetan to study in Tibetan at Tibetan Buddhist institutes in India and Nepal.
There will be 27 studies scholarship recipients attending six different shedras and institutes in India and Nepal in 2020. The application deadline for scholarships at shedras is September 1st and, for scholarships at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, it is February 1st.
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. We are happy to announce the publication of 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 (Shambhala Publications, 2016).
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.
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, is scheduled for October 5-8th at the University of Colorado Boulder with the support of the Tsadra Foundation.
The 2019 Vienna Symposium
Tathāgatagarbha doctrine and the concept of buddha-nature continue to be of interest to academics and traditional scholars and practitioners of Buddhism around the world and a recent series of books, articles, and meetings have brought new energy and interesting information to light that requires continued discussion and analysis. To that end, Tsadra Foundation partnered with the University of Vienna to host a symposium on the topic.
Organized by Professor Klaus-Dieter Mathes.
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 Timeless Treasuries Library
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.
The Shantarakshita Award
The Shantarakshita Award for Excellence in Translation was established by Tsadra Foundation in order to honor excellence in the field of Tibetan translation. After an exhaustive search of translations from Tibetan to English published between 2012 and 2015, an international committee of scholars and translators voted and reduced that large number to a “shortlist,” from which twelve finalists were chosen for detailed review. Each book was then read and reviewed by the twelve-person committee and rated on values such as quality of word choice, overall flow of text, translation accuracy, perceived importance of the contribution to the field, and eight other measures. We would like to thank the committee for their efforts to award the first Shantarakshita Award for Excellence in Translation.
2017 Award Winners
Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 award: Gavin Kilty, for A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages (Wisdom Publications, 2013); Wulstan Fletcher and Helena Blankleder of the Padmakara Translation Group, for Treasury of Precious Qualities: Book Two (Shambhala Publications, 2013); and Bryan Cuevas, for The All-Pervading Melodious Drumbeat (Penguin Classics, 2015).
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
Tsadra Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for Tibetan Buddhist Studies
This fellowship program provides two one-year grants to graduate students at North American universities in order to support them in their pursuit of dissertation research focused specifically on Tibetan Buddhism. Dissertation work must include significant textual work on Tibetan Buddhist primary sources and include translation into English. Two grants of $35,000 are available each year.
Dissertation Research and Writing
Graduate students in doctoral programs in North America who are engaged in study of Tibetan Buddhist texts, practices, and related topics are eligible to apply, once they have finished course work and exams. See full description linked below for details.
Doctor Douglas Duckworth
2020 Recipient of the Distinguished Research Grant in Tibetan Buddhist Studies
Dr. Duckworth won the award for his proposal to study and translate Künzang Sönam’s commentary on The Way of the Bodhisattva, The Excellent Vase. This 915-page (Degé folio side) text is an encyclopedic source that ties many Indian and Tibetan sources together around Śāntideva’s text, and follows Patrul Rinpoché’s oral teachings on it.
Distinguished Research Grant in Tibetan Buddhist Studies
The Distinguished Research Grant in Tibetan Buddhist Studies is awarded to scholars who have shown a track record of excellence in the field, hold a Ph.D. degree, and have made significant contributions through their publications, presentations, and projects. The grant supports their research, translation, and writing on Tibetan Buddhist studies topics. Grants are awarded to unique individuals by the Foundation after significant observation and research in the field.
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.