The Wisdom Podcast

Jamyang Rinchen 1: Translating for the Dalai Lama

Jamyang Rinchen (蔣揚仁欽) moved away from his family in Taiwan at a very young age to become a monk and study at the Dalai Lama’s Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala. In this first episode of two, Jamyang talks about his early life and education at a monastic institution, and how he later went on to become the Dalai Lama’s principle Chinese translator.

Jamyang also tells the story of his journey to Boston to complete his doctoral degree at Harvard and shares some of the key points from his dissertation.

Jamyang now lives in Dharamsala, India, which is where this interview took place in Jamyang’s home.

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David Loy: Modern Buddhism

Join us for an intimate and wide-ranging discussion with David Loy, Zen teacher and Wisdom author. David tells us how he was introduced to Buddhism, sharing stories from key points in his life and his experiences as a student of Yamada Koun and Robert Aitken. He then discusses how modern spiritual people tend to distort spiritual ideas to their own ends through a process known as spiritual bypassing, and how Buddhists today might engage with issues like the institutionalization of ignorance and suffering.

This is a rare opportunity to hear a leading Buddhist thinker discuss his personal story and the ideas he’s renowned for, including the most pressing issues of Buddhist philosophy in our time.

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Bhikkhu Bodhi: Translating the Buddha

One of Wisdom’s most renowned authors, translator Bhikkhu Bodhi, recently visited the Wisdom office. In this episode, he tells his own story, painting a picture of what it was like in the days of Buddhism first coming to the West, how he encountered Buddhism, and what living in Sri Lanka in the 70s was like. He also gives some translation advice to aspiring translators and discusses his forthcoming translation of the Buddha’s teaching in the Sutta Nipata. Finally he tells us about his recent humanitarian efforts in Asia.

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Elijah Ary: The First Western Geluk Tulku

Elijah Ary was the first Westerner to be recognized as the tulku (reincarnation) of a Tibetan lama in the Geluk tradition. In this episode, Elijah discusses the process of his being recognized as a tulku, the impact this has had on his life, and what he imagines his role to be in the dialogue between East and West.

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H.H. Karmapa: Vegetarianism, Online Education and Nuns’ Ordination

For our debut episode, Daniel travels to Dharamsala, India, to interview His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

His Holiness talks about the efficacy of listening to Dharma classes, receiving empowerments, and taking ordination vows online, touching on the differences between Tibetan and traditional Western education and how each benefits from dialogue with the other.

He further shares some thoughts on how Western Dharma centers could be improved; he talks about vegetarianism, including anecdotes from his own and his previous emanations’ experiences with vegetarianism; and he discusses his recent involvement planning to re-establish the tradition of full ordination for Tibetan Buddhist nuns.

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