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Jeffrey Hopkins

Jeffrey Hopkins

Jeffrey Hopkins, PhD, served for a decade as the interpreter for the Dalai Lama. A Buddhist scholar and the author of more than thirty-five books, he is Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia, where he founded the largest academic program in Tibetan Buddhist studies in the West.

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  • Maps of the Profound

    Maps of the Profound


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About the Author

Jeffrey Hopkins is Professor Emeritus of Tibetan Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia where he taught Tibetan Buddhist Studies and Tibetan language for thirty-two years from 1973. He received a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1963, trained for five years at the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America in Freewood Acres, New Jersey, USA (now the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in Washington, New Jersey), and received a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin in 1973. He served as His Holiness the Dalai Lama's chief interpreter into English on lecture tours for ten years, 1979-1989. At the University of Virginia he founded programs in Buddhist Studies and Tibetan Studies and served as Director of the Center for South Asian Studies for twelve years. He has published thirty-nine books in a total of twenty-two languages, as well as twenty-three articles.


His most prominent academic books are the trilogy Emptiness in the Mind-Only School of Buddhism (2000); Reflections on Reality: The Three Natures and Non-Natures in the Mind-Only School (2002); and Absorption in No External World: 170 Issues in Mind-Only Buddhism (2006). In 1999 he published The Art of Peace: Nobel Peace Laureates Discuss Human Rights, Conflict and Reconciliation, edited from a conference of Nobel peace laureates that he organized in 1998 for the University of Virginia and the Institute for Asian Democracy.


Recently he published the first translation into any language of the foundational text of the Jo-nang sect of Tibetan Buddhism in Mountain Doctrine: Tibet's Fundamental Treatise on Other-Emptiness and the Buddha-Matrix. He has translated and edited thirteen books by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the latest being How to See Yourself as You Really Are. He is also the author of A Truthful Heart (Snow Lion, 2008), which includes anecdotes from his years as a practitioner of Buddhism.


Other books include Emptiness in the Mind-Only School (1999), Cultivating Compassion (2001), and translation and editing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's How to Practice (2002). From 1979 to 1989 he served as His Holiness's chief interpreter into English.

Hopkins was born in Barrington, Rhode Island, USA, has traveled to India nineteen times and Tibet five times to do research. He has received three Fulbright Fellowships.

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