About us

About us

Shang Shung Institute - International Institute of Tibetan Studies
 
Tibetan civilization is one of the world’s greatest sources of spiritual knowledge that remains intact to this day, but there is now a real danger that this may be lost. The Shang Shung Institute, therefore, endeavors to safeguard different aspects of Tibetan culture in order to keep it alive for future generations. 
The Shang Shung Institute organizes courses, study seminars, conferences and exhibitions as well as translating original Tibetan texts into the major Western languages. It has a publications arm as well as an archive based in Italy and the International Institute offers study grants to young Tibetans. 
 
Shang Shung, the name of the Institute, reflects the pre-Buddhist foundations of Tibetan culture and history. The ancient kingdom of Shang Shung once occupied a large area including Western and Northern Tibet with Mount Kailash at its centre. The study of Shang Shung is important if we are to understand the unique nature and the universal importance of Tibetan culture, past and present. 
Many of its traditions have been transmitted across the centuries by both oral and literary means. Knowledge of Tibetan culture is traditionally classified into five major fields or sciences: Arts and Crafts, Medicine, Linguistics and Poetry, Logic and "Inner Knowledge" which refers to the more esoteric aspects of Meditation and Buddhist Studies and the Shang Shung Institute is active in the fields of Arts and Culture, Translation and Language Programs, Publications, Archiving, Tibetan Medicine, Buddhist Studies and Academic Research . 

The International Shang Shung Institute, founded in 1989 by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and inaugurated in 1990 by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is a non-profit, non-political heritage organisation dedicated to the preservation and study of Tibetan culture. Today there are branches in Italy, Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, Austria, and The Netherlands.

"I therefore hope and pray that all Tibetans and those who are interested in the future of Tibet and its culture, will help in whatever way they can to ensure the continuing survival of the authentic Tibetan tradition.” Chögyal Namkhai Norbu.
 
 
 
Shang Shung Institute Austria
 
The Shang Shung Institute Austria  is part of the International Shang Shung Institute. 
The Shang Shung Institute Austria is mainly responsible for translation projects, the "Ka-Ter Translation Program" and the "Complete Works of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu". 

 

 

The Shang Shung Institute Austria was founded on January 1st in 2000 and is located in East-Styria about 45 km to East of Graz and about 160 km to the South of Vienna. Together with the Yeselling, the Ling of the international Dzogchen-Community, the Shang Shung Institute Austria is renting parts of a former Gasthaus (“Krenn's Dorfleben”). It is located on the top of a lovely smooth hill, surrounded by vineyards and offering a marvelous view in all directions. 

 

The Shang Shung Institute Austria possesses one of the biggest collections of statues in relation to the Dzogchen Teachings. Such collection of statues is hardly to find anywhere else. The statues are of extraordinary quality, gold plated and especially made for the Shang Shung Institute.

 

Coordinates of the Shang Shung Institute Austria: 47.155769 °N, 15.845214 °E

 

 

 

 

  Short film about the 1st Styrian-Tibetan Cultural Days in Gschmaier in November 2011

Tibetan Language Courses 2018

The School for Tibetan Language and Translation is very happy to announce a new online initiative to deepen our knowledge of the Tibetan language as a means to better understand the Teachings.
 
We are planning a 2-hours online meeting every two/three weeks from 5-7pm (Italian time), Tuesday or Wednesday according to circumstances, in which we will focus on some parts of the Tibetan text of "The Precious Vase" by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and of extended excerpts from texts quoted therein. The ‘Precious Vase’ is an ideal text for the study of Tibetan language. It features numerous quotes from a variety of classical texts linked by passages in modern literary Tibetan. The topics discussed are ideal to form an important basic vocabulary of buddhist terminology.
 
FIRST MEETING: JANUARY 24, Wednesday 5-7pm CET
For more infos write to Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!
 
Requirement: The students need to be able to read Tibetan and must have basic knowledge of Tibetan grammar. The working language is English. 
 
Join us!
 
Book your courses in our webshop: https://www.ssi-austria.at/shop/kurse.html
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We are also very pleased to inform you that also in 2018 we will hold our Training for Translators from Tibetan in Merigar West:
16th Training for Translators from Tibetan
 August 16th - September 7th 2018
More info will follow soon
 

 

Online courses for beginners

Ka-Ter Translation Project:

Tibetan Language Weekends in 2016:

Guided translation of practice text with Prof. Fabian Sanders

 

Tibetan is a sacred language. It is a perfect recipient to contain and convey all of the Bon and Buddhist teachings. It is used by the practitioners of all related paths to explain the Doctrine and the Practice, to establish communication with subtle beings, to evoke the content of their visualizations, to proclaim the attainment of the fruit of practice and so on. The sheer beauty of the Dharma is mirrored by the clarity and imaginative creativity of the Tibetan language. For these and many other reasons the study of Tibetan language represents a crucial step towards a closer relation with the teachings and particularly with their practice.
As many people put it, it is a marvelous experience to be able to directly understand the words you are reciting during the practices; it cuts through the distance between the mind, the sound of the words and their actual meaning. Even more than that it is certainly very fulfilling to be able to follow Dharma teachings while reading the text on which they are based.
To give the possibility to the practitioners of the Dzogchen Community and others to begin and further the study of Tibetan language, the Ka-Ter project of the Shang Shung Institute Austria has been organizing various courses on Tibetan language.
 

Since 2015 the Shang Shung Institute Austria has successfully been offering various Tibetan Language Weekends. These Tibetan language Weekends can be either followed directly at Dzogchen Community Merigar West or online from anywhere per Skype in the form of a screen shared conference.

The Tibetan Language Weekends are an initiative of the Ka-Ter translation project of the Shang Shung Institute Austria. 

 

 

New dates for Tibetan Language Weekends from September - December 2016:

  • September 17-18
  • October 8-9
  • November 12-13
  • December 3-4

 

Venue: Merigar and skype/screen sharing conference (can be followed from anywhere)

 
Topic and purpose:
During these four courses we will read practice texts of the DC and translate word by word, extensively explaining the terminology, the grammar, the syntax and the structure of the text. Students will increase their knowledge of tibetan text and learn important terminology. Those who wish can attempt to read, analyse and translate sentences. In the next weekends we will study Samantabhadra's invocation (kun tu bzang po’i smon lam) and SMS Base Level practice texts.
 
Who can participate: 
Not only beginner students can join these Tibetan Language Weekends as we will emphasize more on guided translation. The focuses will be put on practice texts and not on the level of participants.
In order to be able to participate 
- one needs to have received the transmission of the practice from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu
- one should know how to read and write Tibetan and have a basic knowledge of classical Tibetan grammar

Costs

  • All four Tibetan Language Weekends for members of the Shang Shung Institute Austria: 160.- Euro
  • One Tibetan Language Weekend for members of the Shang Shung Institute Austria: 49.- Euro
  • One Tibetan Language Weekend for non-members of the Shang Shung Institute Austria: 95.- Euro

 

 

Courses

 
Besides the two TRANSLATION PROJECTS "Ka-Ter" and "Complete Works of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu"
the Shang Shung Institute Austria is also responsible for TIBETAN LANGUAGE COURSES.
These courses are held by Prof. Fabian Sanders. 

 

 

The Shang Shung Institute also offers other courses like calligraphy seminars or Ku Nye courses.

 

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF TIBETAN LANGUAGE 

One of the subjects Chögyal Namkhai Norbu was focusing a lot in the last years was "The Message from Tibet through Songs and Dances". In 2014 Shang Shung Edizioni also published a book by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu called "The Message from Tibet through Songs and Dances" in which He presented the first 108 songs related to various aspects of Tibetan culture also with the English translation of the Tibetan texts.

Here is one song chosen that speaks about the importance of Tibetan language. Rinpoche writes in His book about the meaning of Tibetan songs and dances:

"These songs and dances, which are strongly related to the ancient and modern culture of Tibet, are very valuable since they have the important quality of contributing directly and indirectly to the preservation of the different aspects of the Tibetan culture in our world. For this reason I wish to thank all these young artists."

Rinpoche says about the song "Pagad"

"Pagad means "The language of the fathers". The Tibetan language is very important - we need to study Tibetan. In order to spread and develop Tibetan culture it is indispensable to study and learn Tibetan language.If we want to study Tibetan, we need to teach it. This is what I think and what this song is about.

Young Tibetans need to study Tibetan and need to memorize the Tibetan alphabet. This is what I think and what this song is about. 

Tibetans need to study their language and also the Tibetan script. As you know, Tibetans in official schools have to speak Chinese and not Tibetan. Even if they know Tibetan very well, they cannot use it, as Chinese is the official language. If we go ahead in that way, the Tibetan language will be finished after one generation. For this reason the Tibetan sings and with their songs they make understand the given situation." (translation of an oral instruction of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu)  

 

Pagad: Kadrag Trayang

This is what I have been thinking
And this is what I have been singing
This is what I have been thinking
And this is what I have been singing
 
However I look at it, I see the need to study Tibetan well
         However I look at it, I see the need to study Tibetan well
                          It is necessary to study Tibetan well 
 
This is what I have been thinking
And this is what I have been been singing
This is what I have been thinking
And this is what I have been been singing
 
To develop Tibetan culture we need to rely on Tibetan language
         If we need to develop Tibetan culture, we need to study Tibetan well
                  To study Tibetan well we need good teachers
 
To develop Tibetan culture we need to rely on Tibetan language
         If we need to develop Tibetan culture, we need to study Tibetan well
                  To study Tibetan well we need good teachers
                                                     we need good teachers
This is what I have been thinking
And this is what I have been singing
This is what I have been thinking
And this is what I have been singing
 
All Tibetan children must study Tibetan well
         Ka, kha, ga nga, all the letters of the alphabet must be learned by heart
                  If you study well, you’re a good Tibetan child
 
All Tibetan children must study Tibetan well
         Ka, kha, ga nga, all the letters must be learned by heart
                  If you study well, you’re a good Tibetan child
 
This is what I have been thinking
And this is what I have been singing
This is what I have been thinking
And this is what I have been singing
 
Tibet has its own language, it is necessary to study our own language well
Tibet has its own Tibetan script, it is necessary to study Tibetan well
Not knowing our own language well and to speak another language is a shame
Tibet has its own language, it is necessary to study our own language well
Tibet has its own Tibetan script, it is necessary to study Tibetan well
Not knowing our own language well and to speak another language is a shame
                                            it’s a shame to speak another language
 
This is what I have been thinking
And this is what I have been singing
This is what I have been thinking
And this is what I have been singing
 
However I look at it, I see the need to study Tibetan well
         However I look at it, I see the need to study Tibetan well
                  It is necessary to study Tibetan well 

 

 

See the YouTube music video clip of this song "Pagad" about the importance of Tibetan language

 

 

 

See the KAITA Dancing of this song. 

 

For the preservation of the Tibetan language and in that way also its unique culture the Shang Shung Institute Austria has been offering Tibetan language courses for beginners, intermediate students or advanced students since 2003. If your are interested in following one of these courses please contact us.