Reading & Translating in Tibetan


Completing the Level II Course, students are empowered to delve deeper into their study of Tibetan using various TLI reader/translation workbooks. As with previous courses, the group reads and studies a Classical Tibetan text such as the Heart Sutra in conjunction with the study of The Divine Tree Grammar Poem and Commentary. With Lama David as your experienced guide, we will study in an integrated manner to learn more about Tibetan grammar and vocabulary, as well as about Tibetan Buddhism.


Reading & Translating in Tibetan

Principal Aspects of the Path and Rockwell  Continuation Reading Course (Winter 2023 Reading Course required)

Je Tsongkhapa’s (1357–1419) wrote this famed presentation and it remains a core Tibetan Buddhist text. The three principal aspects of the path are renunciation (the determination to be free), bodhicitta, and wisdom (specifically the wisdom realizing emptiness). These topics are both philosophically compelling and the heart essence of a delightful and tranquil life.

Required: Previous registration in the Winter 2023 JR-Principal Aspects of the Path Reading Course.  Enhance your ability to understand how it all fits together with a Tibetan text–let Lama David be your guide.

  • The class will use John Rockwell’s excellent A Primer for Classical Literary Tibetan: selections from the grammar in Volume I.
  • The class will also use TLI’s new edition of the Divine Tree Grammar Poem and Commentary (found in the Level II Package).
  • TLI’s new Principal Aspects of the Path Translation Workbook : The class will spend 4 weeks in order to complete the 14 verses.

This will be a 4-week continuation course by Zoom webinar. Student goal: to study 30 minutes of Tibetan per day.

Class Start Date: Thursdays, April 6-27, 2023.

Time: 5:00-6:45 pm Pacific Time

Duration: 4 Weeks

Hosted on: Zoom

Video Recordings of classes and student folders on Dropbox: Available to students until September 10, 2023.

Additional information


Tibetan Language Institute

How This Course Works

  1. Add this course to your cart.
  2. Purchase your study materials. See Required & Recommended Materials.
  3. Check out and pay. You will receive a confirmation of your purchase, and then shortly before the class start date, a personal welcome email with course details.
  4. For the duration of the course, class video recordings and study guides will be made available to you each week as you progress through the course.


Course Details

Being able to access this kind of course from the comfort of your home or when you are traveling is a great opportunity to continue to deepen your relationship to the Dharma.

Weekly Class Meetings: 10 weeks on Thursdays

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM    Pacific Time

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM    Mountain Time

7:00PM – 8:30 PM     Central Time

8:00PM – 9:30 PM     Eastern Time

Course Instructor

The principal instructor at TLI is David Curtis. He has a university degree in Classical language. David began his Dharma studies in 1980, traveling in 1984 to receive teachings from H.H. the Dalai Lama. He lived and trained at Kagyu Ling in France, in 1992 completing the traditional Tibetan Three-Year Retreat in meditation, yoga and philosophy. Subsequently David has sought teachings from all schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

In 1993 he began teaching the Tibetan language to students in Los Angeles.  Many Rinpoches from Kagyu and Nyingma lineages have encouraged him to teach Tibetan and guide others in their meditation practice. As a teacher and author, Lama David established the nonprofit Tibetan Language Institute in 1996 and is its president and executive director.

 Lama David combines his linguistic skills with a practitioner’s knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism. In 2007, Gochen Tulku Rinpoche (Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche) awarded him the title of Acharya (master teacher). For more information.


What Students Say about the Reading Course:

“Studying Tibetan has absolutely transformed my retirement–I can’t explain my excitement when a formerly opaque liturgy or text suddenly jumps off the page with meaning! So I can’t thank you & David enough for all you that offer.  –Richard D

“A primary hope of mine was that learning classical Tibetan would deepen my understanding and love of Buddhadharma.  It has done so immeasurably, and much, much more…. –Jim L.


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