About the site

Welcome to the personal website of Adele Tomlin, an independent scholar/translator, practitioner and student of Tibetan/Vajrayana Buddhism.

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The purpose of the Dakini Translations and Publications website is not only to provide an independent, online resource for my own ongoing translation work and research, but also as a general source of information, activities and work by, and about, Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism, particularly trying to support and promote the work of female teachers, scholars, translators, practitioners and artists whenever possible.

I am an English woman with a Bachelor’s degree in Law (qualified barrister), a Master’s Degree  in Western Philosophy (King’s College, University of London) and a Master’s degree in Tibetan Buddhist Studies (University of Hamburg, Germany).  My thesis was awarded a first-class result and later published as a book Taranatha’s Commentary on the Heart Sutra (LTWA, 2017), with a foreword by Prof. Matthew Kapstein. Another translated book recently published is the Chariot that Transports to the Four Kayas by Bamda Gelek Gyamtso (LTWA, 2019), an important instruction text in the Dro Kalacakra tradition. For other work, see this website and Texts and Translations.

Myself with root lama, HH 17th Karmapa at Gyuto monastery, 2008.

Since 2006, after taking refuge in a private audience with the supreme head of the Karma Kagyu lineage, HH the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, in India (for more on that see here), I have been studying Buddhist Philosophy and Tibetan language in Europe, Nepal and India, and taking teaching and empowerments from Tibetan Buddhist masters from all major lineages, such as HH 17th Karmapa, HE Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, HE Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, HE 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche, HE Thrangu Rinpoche, HE 12th Garchen Rinpoche,  HH Sakya Trizin, HH 14th Dalai Lama and more. For more on my background and work see online CV here.

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Why the name ‘Dakini Translations and Publications’? Well, first I am not at all trying to claim I myself am a dakini (although some have said I am :-)). I am a very ordinary woman with lots of faults.  However, in the Vajrayana, one of the fourteen root vows is to respect and never denigrate women, any woman. Why? Because the ‘female principle’ is seen as the nature of wisdom, and dakinis often appear in a female form, and unless one is an awakened being (who can see who is a dakini or not) then one should be very careful! A dakini represents Dharma activity, of which translation and research is a part of such activity. However, being called a dakini is ‘not always a compliment’ as Khandro Rinpoche playfully reminds us all in this short video teaching here!

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Also, the Dharma translation and publications world is still  (like many other fields) dominated (and run ) by men. Even the few women who are successful in the field are often sidelined, ignored or their work subtly denigrated. As a female translator, I wanted to have a site name that not only reflects my female-ness but also as a feminine symbol in a male-dominated field. (A few people have even questioned my use of ‘attractive’ photos of myself smiling and so on, to them I say, life and Dharma never was supposed to be only for and about serious, po-faced celibate men in robes!)

New translations and publications will be updated and made available to view or obtain on the website, depending on certain restrictions or requirements for the texts.    Most of the work I do is in accordance with ‘right livelihood’ and is voluntary, on a non-profit basis, and funded by my own money or private donations.  The Innate Kalacakra project was co-sponsored by the Ashoka Grant from Khyentse Foundation.  Therefore, any support or sponsorship is always most welcome.

May it be of benefit and may the feminine principle, energy and wisdom be nurtured and flourish in all sentient beings!

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At the golden stupa of Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro in Tashi Ding, Sikkim, India, 2020.

You may contact me here if you have any questions or requests.