Am happy to announce that today I was informed that I been awarded the Ashoka Grant by Khyentse Foundation, for the second year running. The first year it was awarded for the ‘Innate Kalacakra’ project (this translation booklet can be downloaded for free from this website here). This new proposed project, aimed to be completed and published in 2021, is for a philosophical Shentong text, ‘Music of the Ultimate Sphere’, written by HE 10th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, which I started translating in March 2019 (after freely offering to do it) and for which I received the personal permission, transmission and one on one instruction (as well as a personal small financial offering) to translate from Rinpoche himself (for more on that see a previous post here). He also met me several times in Nepal in May 2019 to give personal one on one explanations of sections of the text.
In July 2019, I applied for the Ashoka grant funding, before Rinpoche abruptly ‘disappeared’ from contact and public view in September 2019, and did not return to Nepal as originally planned. The reason for this seems to be is continuing psychological and physical health reasons, as well as the surfacing of independent allegations regarding his conduct towards various women who have told people they feel exploited and harmed by him. I sincerely hope these issues will be resolved appropriately in the forthcoming year and that truth, love and compassion will prevail for all concerned.
In any case, as I also took the Dharma translator’s commitment to the text after getting the oral transmission and permission, this award is very welcome as a valuable acknowledgement and commitment to my own independently-funded work as a translator and to Dharma translation in general.
Therefore, I would like to thank the Khyentse Foundation (and of course the root of all their activity HE Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche) for their unparalleled continuing support and encouragement not only to myself but to many other Dharma translators, students and practitioners. May it be of benefit!
UPDATE: JULY 2020
In February 2020, the Benchen Phuntshok Ling Belgium chairwoman, Carina Bleicher-Kramer, sent a vindictive and misleading letter to Khyentse Foundation that led to them withdrawing their award of an Ashoka Grant I had been awarded to translate the shentong text, Music of the Ultimate Sphere, by Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche. The letter misleadingly informed them that I did not have permission to translate or publish the text, even though since January 2019 I had been working on that text, and others, with the express direct permission, transmission and instruction of the author, Sangye Nyenpa.
White Tara text
In May 2019, after translating Sangye Nyenpa’s White Tara text here, for example, with his direct permission and support with it, I published it and shared it in a FB group of followers for Tenga Rinpoche, the text was quickly removed and I was banned from the group by a Polish man, Tomek, who accused me of lying about getting support from Sangye Nyenpa on it.
As a result, I requested Sangye Nyenpa to inform Lama Rinchen (of the Polish centre) that he had been helping and supporting me with the translation of that text and with others. As you can hear, Sangye Nyenpa agrees to inform Lama Rinchen but also also says how he dare not write to these people on Benchen letterhead in case Benchen people complain to him afterwards and also that he cannot guarantee the Polish student and community will listen to him as he is ‘not close to any of them’ and they are ‘not his students’.
After Sangye Nyenpa spoke to Lama Rinchen, Tomek did then re post the White Tara text in the group with an apology. However, he did not reinstate me back into the FB group and did not offer me any personal apology.
I have uploaded the voice messages Sangye Nyenpa left me on wechat in May 2019 to prove this, and also some sample screenshots of messages he sent me about the translation work I was doing. In the audio messages he also clearly states that he gave me permission and support with the shentong text. The damage in terms of loss of funding, reputation, time etc these false accusations have caused me is significant and part of a strategy to silence and bully me in connection with my relation with Sangye Nyenpa and the work I was doing with him.
Vindictive and misleading letter to Khyentse Foundation
At no time, did Benchen or Sangye Nyenpa contact me personally, verbally or in writing, to communicate this to me before writing to the Khyentse Foundation.
Despite several requests to Benchen in Nepal and Europe to withdraw (or amend) this false and misleading letter to Khyentse Foundation, they have refused to respond or do so. For that reason, I am now uploading the clear evidence here.
Publication in 2020 of same text
Benchen also, in retaliation for my relation with Sangye Nyenpa, hurriedly published a translation of the same text by David Molk this year. I was very surprised to see this, as I had been working for months on it with the direct support and input of Sangye Nyenpa and this other translation had never been mentioned. David Molk told me in emails that:
- he completed the translation in 2011 and sent it to Benchen but they never responded.
- that he has never been to Nepal, met Sangye Nyenpa or got transmission or instruction on the text from him verbally at any time.
- that he was surprised when they contacted him ‘out of the blue’ this year saying they wanted to publish it but that he did not check with Sangye Nyenpa if he agreed to the publication of his translation.
After these actions have been taken, I no longer have any wish to translate the text. However, such bullying, vindictive actions against a lone woman, female Dharma translator, taken for speaking about the conduct of a lama towards herself and other women, should not be tolerated.