Gampopa Lotus Sutra Shedra Studentlife Study Translating

Reading week

At the middle of the semester, it is always good to take a little bit of rest from all the study, which is why we have reading week. But for some reason, this week is not called “relaxing week”. 
For sure, we all like to relax a little bit, but if they call it “relaxing week”, we may just relax too much! So I’m in favor of the present name, “reading week”. Moreover, at least for me, this time is how it looks like.

Some like to use this week to travel and visit some places in Nepal or even India, others to practice, others to advance in writing essays or doing homework, and maybe in many cases to do a little bit of everything.

This time for me, as part of my subjects’ work this semester, I’m doing quite a bit of reading, particularly on the Lotus Sutra and related articles, as well as memorizing verses for the philosophy class. As part of the Translation Project class, I’m also translating a couple of public teachings from Gampopa, which involves reading… but in Tibetan!

Translating from Tibetan is not easy, especially at the beginning, when one can feel like one is really struggling to get anywhere. It takes effort, but once you get to the point when you are able to translate with some confidence, it feels very rewarding and that in turn can also boost your motivation to learn more. As I’m experiencing now, translating properly takes time, and there are always tricky sections, but it also feels like a discovery and a meeting with the beauty and depth of the text.

~ Julio from Spain

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