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

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


  • 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




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.




14th Training for Translators from Tibetan

Ka-Ter Translation Project:


Merigar West, July 18h - 31st 2016 

Join us and learn to translate ancient texts from the Tibetan tradition. If you are already skilled you can deepen your knowledge, discuss techniques, compare with others, and train your ability in a collaborative environment inspired by the ancient practice of translating in groups.  The training for translators from Tibetan is an initiative of the Shang Shung Institute Austria and first started in 2003. In 2016 we will hold the 14th training. 
The training will be divided into two levels:  
Students will be assigned to them according to their ability and experience. Both levels will be held at the same time.
1. Intermediate Level
Intermediate students Level will be given a relatively simple text and work on the translation individually or in small groups. Their work will then be reviewed and corrected in group-sessions. The instructor will be available for clarifications. The objective is for students to become familiar with vocabulary, grammatical structures, and syntax in context. 
2. Advanced Level
Advanced students will translate in groups with the instructor and focus on all aspects of the language as well as on theories and techniques of translating. They will read and translate without any advance preparation. The text will be more complex both grammatically and in terms of content. The goal is to produce publication-ready translations. 
Fee for the 2 weeks summer-training: 
160 Euro, 144 if you pay before May 15
Special fee for people who also follow the 3 weekend-courses for advanced or intermediate students: 120 Euro, 108 if you pay before May 15
The 10% Early-Bird discount until May 15th 2015 will be applied at the time of payment.
In order to be able to participate to this course all participants need to be member of the Shang Shung Institute Austria in 2016. The membership of 2016 costs 75 euro.
Both the Intermediate and Advanced levels will be held by Prof. Fabian Sanders.
Prof. Fabian Sanders, tutor of the Tibetan Language courses of the Shang Shung Institute Austria