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Gyurme Dorje

Gyurme Dorje holds a PhD in Tibetan Literature (SOAS, London) and an MA in Sanskrit with Oriental Studies (Edinburgh). From 1991 to 1996 he held research fellowships at London University, where he worked on the Encyclopaedic Tibetan-English Dictionary. Other titles by the author include The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History (Wisdom, 1991), Tibetan Medical Paintings (Serindia, 1992), The Tibet Handbook (Footprint, 1996), and A Handbook of Tibetan Culture (Shambhala, 1994). Forthcoming publications include The Complete Tibetan Book of the Dead.

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About the Author

Gyurme Dorje was born in 1950 in Edinburgh, where he studied classics (Latin and Greek) at George Watson's College, and also developed an early interest in Buddhist philosophy. He holds a master’s degree in Sanskrit and a PhD in Tibetan literature. It was while reading Sanskrit at Edinburgh University in 1969 that he was encouraged by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche to study Tibetan in India. Since then he has been continuously engaged in classical and modern Tibetan studies, translating primary sources and conducting fieldwork throughout the Tibetan plateau.


During a decade of residence among the Tibetan communities of North India and Nepal, Gyurme had the good fortune to meet and study with renowned Nyingma masters of the previous generation: Kangyur Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, as well as Chatrel Senge Dorje. Among them, Kyapje Dudjom Rinpoche encouraged him to begin translating The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism in 1971—an undertaking of twenty years that eventually reached its completion in 1991. During the 1980s he returned to Europe and in 1987 completed his doctoral dissertation on the Guhyagarbha Tantra at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. 


Gyurme has also led sixty-five expeditions and cultural tours to the Utsang, Ngari, Kham, Amdo, and Gyarong regions of the Tibetan plateau since 1985. Most of these have been under the auspices of Trans Himalaya, which he founded in 1989 with the intention of opening diverse overland routes to Lhasa through eastern Tibet. These activities incidentally gave rise to a few small-scale cultural and welfare projects. 


Since 2005, Gyurme has been based in the quiet hill station of Crieff in Scotland, where he has been establishing a small research library for Tibetan and Himalayan studies. Currently he is engaged on two long translation projects: The Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra in Ten Thousand Lines (for 84000) and Longchen Choying Tobden Dorje's Treasury of the Sūtras and Tantras (for Tsadra).