Translations of Tibetan texts into English

Tashi Delek - Welcome!

rainbow light

Zang thal is a Tibetan Dzogchen term with a range of meanings including " totally open, unimpeded, transparent, directly penetrating", describing the clarity of awareness of our true Nature of Mind. It seemed to me a good name for this site, in which I aim to share my translations of Tibetan Buddhist texts and teachings, especially those relating to Dzogchen, the Great Perfection. There is a growing interest in Dzogchen in the West, but there are still very many Dzogchen texts as yet untranslated. It is my hope to be able to contribute to spreading the knowledge of this unique tradition more widely.

In addition to texts related to the Longchen Nyingthig Dzogchen lineage, you will also find here some of the earliest works of the Dzogchen Mind Series (sems sde) including "The Cuckoo of Awareness", traditionally said to be the first Dzogchen text to have been translated into Tibetan.

Also on the site is a page with notes on the Kham dialect and other matters of interest to those studying Tibetan, and a photo gallery of my travels over the years, on retreats and translating for various Tibetan lamas.

"Dharma has no owner"

So goes a Tibetan proverb, and I believe that it is important to offer texts without charge. So feel free to download the files, print them out, and hand them on - still free, please! - to others, as long as it remains clear that they are my work. However, if you would like to include them in any publication please contact me first.

I began studying Tibetan in 1992, and have worked hard over the years, on my own and with my Buddhist teachers and academic tutors, to improve my Dharma knowledge and translation skills. This improvement is an ongoing process. While I put my best effort into translating the texts on this site, and am confident that they are of at least a reasonable standard, I do not delude myself into thinking that they are perfect, definitive versions. Even so, in the spirit of Patrul Rinpoche's "Nine Considerations", I believe that making them freely available online will be of more benefit to people than just keeping them to myself. I will revise them from time to time, however, and if you have any constructive comments I'd be happy to hear from you.

What's new

13 September 2017 - Now available, updated and revised version of the Longchen Nyingthig Chod practice, incorporating a few minor corrections.

17 August 2017 - A new text uploaded on the Translations page - Dza Patrul Rinpoche’s satirical "Town-roaming Chod Practitioners".

31 August 2015 - 'Research' - a new page with downloadable copies of my published academic papers on early Dzogchen literature.

14 April 2015 - Revised version of Patrul Rinpoche's "Nine considerations and criteria for benefitting beings" uploaded, along with corrected Tibetan text.

5 August 2010 - Uploaded the Tibetan texts of "Accomplishing the aim of meditation" and "The Lamp of the three realms/Wish-fulfilling Jewel". Also minor revision of the translation of "Accomplishing the aim of meditation", and correction of typing errors in the Tibetan text of the "Cuckoo of Awareness".

26 May 2010 - Two new texts uploaded on the Translations page - translations of "Accomplishing the aim of meditation" and "The Lamp of the three realms/Wish-fulfilling Jewel", two of the Thirteen Later Translations of the Dzogchen Mind Series, with a link to my article about these texts in the October 2009 issue of the Revue d'Etudes Tibetaines.

8 March 2009 - A few minor revisions made to the translation of "Nine considerations and criteria for benefitting beings".

21 December 2007 - Revised and corrected version of the Chöd uploaded on the Translations Page.

13 July 2007 - On the Translations page, two new Dzogchen translations from the Dunhuang manuscripts in the British Library: "The Cuckoo of Awareness" and its commentary, and "The Small Hidden Grain" (sBas pa'i rgum chung).

10 November 2006 - On the Tibetan page, there is a slightly revised version of the Kham Dialect Notes, to match a newly uploaded audio file of the Trehor dialect passages.

15 September 2006 - New text uploaded on the Translations page: "Nine Considerations and Criteria for Benefiting Beings" by Dza Patrul Rinpoche.

11 July 2006 - Increased the font sizes of the files on the Translations page.

6 June 2006 - Three new texts uploaded on the Translations page: Jigme Lingpa's "The Queen of Great Bliss" (Yum mkha' bde chen rgyal mo), two prayers by Dza Patrul Rinpoche, and "The Dakini Prayer which spontaneously accomplishes the two goals" by Jigme Trinle Oser.

15 May 2006 - The site first went live.

Mailing list

If you would like to be kept informed of future updates to the site please get in touch via the Contact page.