The Dragon Awakes: Losar Celebration of Tibetan Literature Day 1

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The Dragon Awakes: Losar Celebration of Tibetan Literature Day 1

This event is organised by the Shang Shung Institute UK, it is essential that you register through their website using the link.

SATURDAY 24th *Onsite at Lekdanling & Online

Morning Session – 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

Approaching Tibetan Literary Genres and the art of Translation


Dr George FitzHerbert – 84000: Translating the Wording Words of the Buddha.
In light of the foundational role of Kangyur translations for the history of Tibetan literature, in this talk Dr FitzHerbert will give a broad introduction to the 84000 project to publish the Kangyur in English and provide the translations online, along with the research tools and features available for interested readers on the 84000 website.
By way of illustration, Dr FitzHerbert will introduce and discuss a text he recently worked on, consisting of a series of verses on circumambulating stupas.
Rewarding in itself as a devotional hymn, this text will be used to discuss and illustrate the research processes and editorial decisions required when publishing  an English translation such as this.
George FitzHerbert spent several years teaching Tibetan studies at the University of Oxford after obtaining his own doctorate there on the subject of the Tibetan Gesar epic. Since 2022 he has been working full time as  Research Editor for 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha. He lives in Oxford.


Professor Fabian Sanders – Tibetan Literary genres: styles and purposes 
In this talk Professor Sanders will outline a few of the better known Tibetan literary genres. Looking at the peculiarities of biographical, historical, philosophical, experiential, liturgical and tantric practice texts, he will outline the specific characteristics, styles, vocabularies that define them, as well as the challenges and difficulties they pose for translators to western languages. We will also give some advice on the attitude that is more productive to adopt when approaching such texts and what one should not expect from them.
Charles Manson – “Memoirs of a Reincarnate” 
Karma Pakshi (13th century) is credited with being an early instigator of the reincarnate lama tradition of Tibet, whereby the succession of Buddhist lineage and monastic property often occurred through identified reincarnate children. 400 years later the tradition was used to identify the head of government, as seen with the Dalai Lamas succession for 300 years.
Karma Pakshi wrote one of the earliest surviving memoirs in Tibetan, which exists as a collection of manuscripts (probably 14th century). This presentation will outline the extant memoirs, and delve into some of their content relating to discussion of reincarnation. Also under examination will be a recently (2010) available manuscript of Karma Pakshi’s statement of previous incarnations, with some potentially surprising results.
Charles Manson works as a librarian cataloguer at the Bodleian Library (Oxford University) and at The British Library (London). He recently (2022) published a book on Karma Pakshi’s life and writings: ‘The Second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi: Tibetan Mahāsiddha.’


LUNCH BREAK 1:30-2:45


Afternoon Session  3:00 – 6:00 pm

Words of Awakening: Songs, Stories & Poetry

The afternoon will be filled with enlightening poems and inspiring stories as we immerse ourselves in the literature of awakening. This will includes heart advice from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and stories about his life; tales of the crazy wisdom yogi Drukpa Kunley and songs from Milarepa, all well as words from other great Masters, past and present.
The winning poems from the SSIUK Wood Dragon Literary competition will be also presented. Please bring your own poems, favourite stories or other anecdotes to share too.
If you would like to participate in this event by sharing a reading, please contact Julia Lawless by Losar (Tibetan New Year) 10th February.

End of Losar Celebration and Party

In the evening, starting from 6:30 pm we will have Tibetan momo dumplings (both vegetarian and non-veg), accompanied by music and wine, for an enjoyable evening together. Please come and join in the fun to celebrate the new year of the wood dragon.

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