User:Stephen Hodge

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I am a translator and writer on Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, working with texts in a number of the major Buddhist canonical languages, including Tibetan, Chinese, Sanskrit, Pali, Japanese and Mongolian.

Following a very early childhood interest in Buddhism and languages, I went on to study Japanese, Tibetan and Buddhism at the University of London. After graduation, I spent ten years in Japan doing post-graduate studies in Yogācāra and early Tantric Buddhism at Tohoku University in the 1970s. During my stay in Japan, I also became a monk in the Shingon School at Mount Koya and was the first Westerner ever to receive the full esoteric initiations there. On the Tibetan side of Buddhism, I also studied for many years with several leading masters of the Nyingma and Kagyü schools.

Following my return to the United Kingdom, I have been involved in a wide range of teaching activities at various Dharma centres, as well as lecturing at the University of London. I was also President of the European Buddhist Union during the mid-80s.

My principle interests in the Buddhological field focus on the key phases in the development of Indian Buddhism – pre-Nikayan Buddhism, the emergence of Mahayana, and the rise of Tantric Buddhism. I also have a keen interest in the neglected field of Buddhist lexicography.

On-going work currently includes a translation in English of a large portion of the Yogācāra-bhūmi-śāstra for the Numata Foundation series of translations from the Chinese canon, an Introduction to Reading Buddhist Chinese, as well as a complete translation and study of the Mahāyāna Mahā-parinirvāna-sūtra from Tibetan and the Chinese version by Faxian.

My main publications include:

Tibetan Divination (1998), An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism (Piatkus 1999), The Illustrated Tibetan Book of the Dead (Godsfield 2000), Atlantis (Piakus 2000), The Tibetan Alamanac (Eddison & Sadd), The Dead Sea Scrolls (Piatus 2001), Tao Te Ching (Stirling 2002), Zen Master Class (2002), An Introduction to Classical Tibetan (reprinted Orchid Press 2003), The Mahā-vairocana-abhisaṃbodhi-tantra (Routledge Curzon 2003), Oxford Dictionary of Buddhism ed. Damien Keown (OUP 2003) [Tibetan and non-Pali Indic entries]

Truth[edit]

"The greatest enemies of truth are those who think they have a monopoly of truth."

Official Wikipedia Disclaimer[edit]

"Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by professionals with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information".

The Faith-based Encyclopedia[edit]

"However closely a Wikipedia article may at some point in its life attain to reliability, it is forever open to the uninformed or semiliterate meddler..." (Robert McHenry, "The Faith-Based Encyclopedia", Tech Central Station, 15/11/04)

Advice for New Editors[edit]

But why should I contribute to an article ? I'm no expert. That's fine. The Wikipedia philosophy can be summed up thusly: "Experts are scum." For some reason, people who spend 40 years learning everything they can about, say, the Peloponnesian War -- and indeed, advancing the body of human knowledge -- get all pissy when their contributions are edited away by Randy in Boise who heard somewhere that sword-wielding skeletons were involved. And they get downright irate when asked politely to engage in discourse with Randy until the sword-skeleton theory can be incorporated into the article without passing judgment. (Lore Sjöberg, The Wikipedia FAQK)

Basic Laws of Human Stupidity[edit]

1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

2. The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.

5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person. (Carlo Maria Cipolla)

Greetings from Australia. Stephen, the good humour and elegance of your contributions is so refreshing. If you get a moment, please visit the relatively undeveloped Tibetan Buddhism article on Wikipedia. Also, in the Tibetan Buddhist Canon article, you may be interested in the subheading, "The Translations".

Moonsell (talk) 01:15, 19 May 2008 (UTC)