I have been practicing and studying literary Tibetan since 1982 within a surrounding of Tibetan and mainly western Buddhist teachers. I started teaching the language in 2000, and continued beyond then per my Lama’s request. I have since created three courses, from the basics to an extensive explanation of the elements of grammar, continuing with the complete study of a Wisdom practice (or sadhana) ending this complete cursus with the study of parts of a text in prose (the famous: Kunzang Lamey Zhellong: commentary on the Nyingmapa preliminaries by Patrul Rinpoche).
I insist on the fact that I have made my classes devoid of intimidating grammar terms both in English and Tibetan, and focused on just the essential. That’s how I learned myself and it works! I like the Tibetan calligraphy, sound and sacred meaning, which reveals itself as we study and practice it.
I think it’s a gift to be able to bypass English translations and many of you, without knowing it, have that ability. As you progress, you will access the different ways of thinking of this language, as opposed to read a pre-digested translation. Understanding Tibetan directly will bring you unexpected new understanding.
I learned Tibetan language essentially through the help of western teachers and by studying untranslated texts. For this reason I was not exposed very much to colloquial Tibetan but instead had to focus on literary. That’s why spoken Tibetan is not my specialty and I prefer to let this task to other skilled teachers. Literary Tibetan is a sacred language that uses an exclusive vocabulary, while colloquial focuses on communication. Ultimately, it would be more complete to learn both, but if you don’t have this ambition and want mainly to understand the Tibetan writing: this class is for you!
I have completed two three year retreats in the Kagyupa and Nyingmapa lineage and I am so grateful to have been exposed to my practice only in Tibetan. I was part of the BeroJeydren Publications team, the goal of which is to publish all the practice texts of the Dudjom Tersar lineage (with phonetics and translations) according to Lama Tharchin Rinpoche’s wish.
In the past, I did prepare students to join other intensive mode of training like University of Virginia or abroad (Nepal, Katmandu). They were very grateful for the substantial help they gain during our studying together.
I wish you the best learning ever and I am looking forward to meet you!