Chris is applying 38 years of experience in computer systems R&D to help preserve and make accessible Buddhist texts and cultural knowledge. This includes the design, development and support of current and future systems for cataloguing, semantic access, image retrieval and restoration.
A significant component of the BDRC mission is the return and redistribution of texts to lineage holders and practitioners in Asia where most still live. In support of this mission component, Chris manages Palri Parkhang Software, a group of young people in Nepal outside of Katmandu, that restore selected texts from the BDRC archives. These texts are then formatted for printing on laser printers on widely available page sizes that permit low cost dissemination of hardcopies of texts for use in shedra and the like.
Also there are a number of standalone installations of copies of the BDRC archives including the server that provides user searching and retrieval of texts in the archives. These installations are in various monasteries, institutes and national libraries in Asia and Palri Parkhang provides support for these.
The Palri Parkhang Software project provides training for the young people in the use of image processing and text input applications as they apply to supporting Tibetan Buddhism. Palri Parkhang also prepares searchable Unicode text input of selected Tibetan texts. Searchable texts increase the depth of access to the BDRC archives.
Lobsang graduated with Shastri degree (equivalent to BA) from Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi, U.P., India. He then joined Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA), Dharamsala, as a translator in 1985 and from 1988-2009 was the chief Librarian of the Tibetan Manuscript Department (LTWA).
Tibetan language instructor at the Department of History of Religion, Oslo University, Norway, September 20 to November 18 , 1994. Lecturer/Visiting scholar at the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA from April-Dec 2006.
Elected Advisory Board Member of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (IATS) in 2003. Editor-in-chief of Tibet Journal, LTWA. Member of the XIIth and XIIIth Tibetan Parliament in Exile from 1995-2005.
Attended conference of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (IATS) since 1992 and also many other seminars in India and Bhutan. Presented papers on Tibetan history and culture. Research papers have been published in various journals both in Tibetan and English dedicated to Tibetan studies. Compiled and published three departmental catalog books of Tibetan Manuscript Library of LTWA.
Joined Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC), formerly the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) on 24th of August, 2009. Interested in Tibetan history and culture; also preservation of Tibetan cultural heritage.
Since obtaining his Diplôme d'ingénieur in Télécom Bretagne (France), Élie has been excited to help cultural preservation through free software.
He first did so by creating a Gregorian Chant score engraving software that is now used by major publishing companies, encouraging the creation of a collaborative score repository and developing tools for the etymological hyphenation of liturgical latin.
Élie also developed free software for other issues he has a passion for, such as typography (with projects around LuaTeX), calendar calculation and astronomy (including the Tibetan Calendar), linguistics in general and Tibetan language in particular (Tibetan spellchecker, Tibetan collation, analysis and Unicode publication of parts of the Dunhuang corpus and publication of a verb database).
After 3 years developing a learning platform to train the French team for the International Olympiad in Informatics, Élie sees joining BDRC as a great opportunity to use and develop his skills and passion for the preservation of Buddhist teachings.
Dechen has an M.A. in Tibetan Studies from the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. She worked for two years at the East Asian Library at UC Berkeley, where she learned skills in cataloguing, reference service, and collection development. She also instructed college-level Chinese language classes in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at UC Berkeley. For the past eight years, she worked for various insurance companies as Office Manager in charge of daily office operation, staff supervision, compliance issues, and account receivables.
With her tri-lingual fluency in Tibetan, Chinese and English, as well as academic training in Tibetan Studies and years of work experience as Office Manager, Dechen is well prepared for her current work at BDRC as Director of Administration to direct and coordinate the organization's operations and communications.
Chungdak joined BDRC in May 2009 and since then he has been working on cataloging works, creating outlines, mapping subjects such as persons and places records for all genres of Tibetan literatures.
Before joining BDRC, Chungdak was a lecturer of Tibetan Buddhist History and Philosophy at the Central University of Nationalities in Beijing for eight years. He also taught Chinese classes at the Higher Institute of Tibetan Buddhism founded by the 10th Panchen Lama in Beijing for four years. After moved to the U.S., he taught Tibetan reading classes at Columbia University in New York for four years.
Chungdak is an experienced translator of Tibetan Buddhism. He started his translator career when he was teaching at the Higher Institute of Tibetan Buddhism in Beijing. Serving as interpreter for many great Lamas of almost all of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, he traveled to many places in China, and other countries in Southeast Asia and North America. He also translated, edited and authored numerous texts or articles on Tibetan Buddhism and Literature.
Philip is the former Senior Editor for the politics and current events website Bloggingheads.tv, and former Project Coordinator at Union Theological Seminary. While at Union, he helped launch MeaningofLife.tv, a website for discussions about science, philosophy, and spirituality. Philip also implemented a major science and spirituality project at Union. Before entering the nonprofit world, Philip applied his writing and research skills to federal and state civil litigation as a legal analyst. With a deep interest in Buddhist literature and philosophy, Philip is delighted to contribute to BDRC's mission.
Kelsang was born 1973 in Lhokha area, south of Lhasa. She received teachings from Sheldak Khen Rinpoche and Dungkar Losang Tinley, mainly on Tibetan medicine, but also on the Five Minor Sciences, mostly Nyingma teachings.
To pursue further studies, she left for India in 1989. She received novice vows from His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, and for a period of ten years studied and received Gelug teachings, mainly from Geshe Dupthob Rinpoche and many other masters. At the same time she studied Hindi language and the Vedas in Varanasi.
Kelsang moved to USA in 1999 and for a period of several years taught Tibetan and Buddhist philosophy to the son of Sogyal Rinpoche. During this time she also translated Sogyal Rinpoche's Tibetan Book of Living and Dying into Tibetan language with Rinku Tulku. In 2003, with the kind support of Alak Zenkar Rinpoche and Tashi Tsering, Kelsang joined the Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC), formerly the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC). Under the guidance of Gene Smith, the founder of BDRC, she continued her study of Tibetan literature. Kelsang has taught Tibetan language and literature to many students. At present she is working as Librarian and cataloger at BDRC.
- Dreaming at the sage's Abode: Biographical Sketches of Four Living Tibetan Nuns
- Biography of great kalayanmitra Geshe Yeshe Topden
- Collection of contemporary writings of Tibetan women
- A Maiden's Wandering Westward
- Translated Sogyal Rinpoche's Tibetan Book of Living and dying into Tibetan language
Jim Katz is a lifelong New Englander who moved to Boston to pursue a music career, but found software development a more difficult, yet more relevant challenge.
Earning his BA in Computer Science from University of Massachusetts, Boston in 1985, he began software development in the twilight of the minicomputer era. Since 2000, he has developed and created web applications in finance, government, and life sciences, acting as a team lead and manager at several points. He recently designed and implemented a workflow management platform for translation of an online clinical library into Mandarin.
A long-time practitioner in the Shambhala lineage, Jim has assisted and consulted on some of their internal IT projects. After consulting for BDRC in 2017 to work on uploading BDRC's holdings to Harvard University's digital archives, he joined BDRC full-time in 2018 to facilitate the coordination of BDRC's technical activities.
Jim sees the chance to strengthen the internal operations of BDRC as an auspicious opportunity to repay and continue the devoted work of those who make these profound treasures available.
Karma Gongde has worked with BDRC to catalog and create outlines for its vast collection of Tibetan texts since 2007. He also maintains the English and Hindi language collection of books at BDRC.
Karma received an Acharya (M.A.) degree in Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan language in 1991 and a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree in 1992 from the Central University of Tibetan Studies (CUTS) in Sarnath, Varanasi, India. He studied extensively with his first cousin, the late Ven. Pema Gyaltsen, who was the Tibetan Language Department Chair at CUTS from 1982 to 2001.
As a Post-Graduate Teacher in the Central School for Tibetans (CST), Karma taught Tibetan language, poetry, and history; the history of Buddhism; and Buddhist dialectics and philosophy at CST Mundgod, Gurupura, and Dolanji (1992-1997).
From 1997 to 2002 he was a Research Assistant in the CIHTS Dictionary Unit, working with Chief Editor J.S. Negi to compile references, check Tibetan equivalents, and proofread Vols. 5-11 of the 16-volume Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary. He taught supplementary classes in Tibetan grammar, poetry, and prose for graduate and undergraduate students at CIHTS.
Since moving to the USA in 2002, Karma has taught Tibetan language as co-instructor of the summer Tibetan language intensive at Padma Samye Ling, a retreat center in upstate NY; as a Language Partner in the Directed Independent Language Study (DILS) at Yale University; and as a tutor to individual students. He has proofread and corrected texts for Asian Classics Input Project (ACIP) and worked on translation projects for authors Mikel Dunham and Douglas Veenhof.
In his endeavors at BDRC, Travis brings together his years of experience working in the software industry with his passion for Buddhism and meditation. He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2004 with a degree in Software Engineering. After his studies at engineering school Travis spent 3 months on a leadership expedition through the backcountry of Mexico with the National Outdoor Leadership School. After returning from his outdoor adventures Travis began his career working at IBM as a Tools Support Engineer and then swiftly moved on and worked at Vistaprint as a Release Engineer for the next 7 years. During that time, Travis became interested in yoga and meditation and in 2010 discovered his love for Dharma at the Boston Shambhala Center where he began to devote himself to the study and practice of Buddhism and meditation.
In 2014 Travis connected with Jeffrey Wallman through a member of the Shambhala community and has been working with BDRC ever since.
Nicolas Berger holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Nantes, France, where he has spent 4 years both researching at the Laboratoire d'Informatique de Nantes-Atlantique and teaching at the Faculty of Science and Technology. His specialization in the field of Constraint Programming has lead him to focus on the design of specific yet simple algorithmic languages in a variety of topics including web development. As a freelance web developer since 2012, he has been working with graphic designers and communication agencies from France to Japan through Switzerland, where his expertise in development has constantly been much appreciated.
More than fifteen years of interest in Buddhism give Nicolas a deep motivation for helping BDRC achieve its mission of preserving and disseminating Buddhist literature. Being personally interested in directly studying Pali, Chinese and Tibetan original sources, working on BDRC's Buddhist Universal Digital Archive (BUDA) project is like a dream come true! Developing BUDA also provides an opportunity to significantly advance Semantic Web technology, another field of research that interests him. Putting the most recent technologies at the service of the most ancient wisdom moves Nicolas close to the center of his own ikigai, "the reason for which you get up in the morning".