Reflections on the 2023 Translation Seminar

Sep 15, 2023

“What impressed me most is the group dynamic. I had never expected this way of translation of sutras before. It was like a dream, suddenly bringing me back to the ancient time of Jiu Mo Luo Shi (鸠摩罗什). When we gathered around and discussed [every] single word of the chapter in English, I [got] a deeper understanding of the Buddhist text…”


“The translation taught me that there were more things to learn … and that the sutras are so much more profound than what normal English translations suggest. Experiencing the text in two languages, English and Chinese, gave me a deeper look into the meaning behind the words.”


“I grew the most from reading the texts. It gave me a firsthand look at what I needed to aspire after to become a better Bodhisattva. The most impactful part of all this was the translation process because it forced me to look at all the layers in my brain to render the perfect translation—personal Buddhist philosophies and understanding, English word knowledge, Chinese comprehension ability, and teamwork with others. The translation] itself is accruing great merit. 

Translating the text would not have been the same without the environment and people. I think the success of the translation assignment went hand in hand with my excitement to see my group mates every day, hear their reflections and suggestions, and be able to have fun with them in the presentations while spending the days with them meditating and doing daily routines. I loved how every aspect of the day helped guide us down a more spiritual path and consideration of life. I loved how the 7 days fully enriched my view on life, community, and spirituality so thoroughly.”