From translations and publications to the tradition of oral teaching, discourse plays an important role in the programs of Nitartha Institute. The Institute brings skilled translators, Tibetan masters, and committed students together in an in-depth collaborative effort to preserve texts of the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages and sustain the oral tradition of teaching. The entire process — involving a synergy among texts, translators, teachers, students, transcribers, and editors — is crucial to ensuring an accurate and faithful transmission of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition to Westerners.
Through the educational environment provided by the Institute, Tibetan masters with the help of Tibetan-English interpreters present oral commentary on key translations of the major lineage texts. Those oral teachings are then transcribed, edited, and combined with the root translations into publications for use by the Institute’s students and interested others.
Publications from Nitartha Institute
Since the founding of the Institute in 1996, over a dozen texts, some with several volumes, have been taught by Tibetan lineage masters. Several of these transcripts are now being developed into Nitartha Institute Sourcebooks.
Other manuscripts by Nitartha translators have been published in the Nitartha Institute Series of books by Snow Lion Publications.
Supplementary materials have also been produced to assist the learning process, including study guides, charts, flashcards, digital versions of course materials and text outlines, samples of formal Tibetan-style debate, and new translations of technical vocabulary. The design of these materials represents a significant pedagogical innovation, as the traditional monastic college curriculum is re-envisioned for a Western learning context.