Alexander Berzin (scholar)

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Alexander Berzin
Alexander Berzin.jpg
Alexander Berzin, April 2015
Religion Tibetan Buddhism
Education Ph.D., Harvard University (1972)
MA, Harvard University (1967)
BA, Rutgers University (1965)
Born 1944
Paterson, New Jersey
Religious career
Works Relating to a Spiritual Teacher: Building a Healthy Relationship (2000), Developing Balanced Sensitivity (1998), Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra (1997), Taking the Kalachakra Initiation (1997)

Alexander Berzin (born 1944) is a scholar, translator, and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.[1]

Early years[edit]

Berzin was born in Paterson, New Jersey, United States. He received his B.A. degree in 1965 from the Department of Oriental Studies, Rutgers University; his M.A. in 1967; and, his Ph.D. in 1972 from the Departments of Far Eastern Languages (Chinese) and Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University.


Berzin served as the Dalai Lama's archivist and occasionally his interpreter.[2]

Berzin is on the Board of Advisors of Tibet House Germany[3] and the International Center for Buddhist-Muslim Understanding of the College of Religious Studies of Mahidol University, Thailand.[4]

He currently lives in Berlin, Germany.


  • (Co-editor with John Bray) Kuleshov, Nikolai S. Russia’s Tibet File. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1996. ISBN 8186470050.
  • (Coauthor with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Translator, and Editor), The Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra. Ithaca, Snow Lion, 1997. ISBN 9781559399302.
  • Taking the Kalachakra Initiation. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1997. ISBN 1559390840. Reprinted as Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2010. ISBN 9781559397384.
  • Developing Balanced Sensitivity. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1998. ISBN 9781559399937.[5]
  • Kalachakra and Other Six-Session Yoga Texts. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1998. ISBN 9781559399968.
  • Relating to a Spiritual Teacher: Building a Healthy Relationship. Ithaca, Snow Lion, 2000. ISBN 9781559399838. Reprinted as Wise Teacher, Wise Student: Tibetan Approaches to a Healthy Relationship. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2012.[6][7][8]
  • "A Buddhist View of Islam" in Islam and Interfaith Relations: The Gerald Weisfeld Lectures 2006 (Perry Schmidt-Leukel and Lloyd Ridgeon, eds.). London: SCM Press, 2007, 187-203. ISBN 9780334041320.


  1. ^ Virtanen, Riika J. (1999). Review: Kalachakra and other Six-Session Yoga Texts by Alexander Berzin. The Tibet Journal 24 (4), 87-88.  – via JSTOR (subscription required)
  2. ^ Fineman, Mark (January 1, 1991). "Dalai Lama's Disciples Gather for Peace Prayer Religion: About 150,000 participate in ceremony with the Peace Prize winner.". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ "Tibethaus Advisory board, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.". Retrieved 2016-09-11. 
  4. ^ "International Center for Buddhist-Muslim Understanding at the CRS in Mahidol University, Thailand". Retrieved 2016-09-11. 
  5. ^ Pettit, John. "Review: Developing Balanced Sensitivity",Tricycle: The Buddhist Review (New York) (winter 1998)
  6. ^ Marquis, A. (2000). "Book Review: Relating to a Spiritual Teacher: Building a Healthy Relationship by Alexander Berzin", Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 32 (2), 178
  7. ^ Harrison, Anna (2000). Review of Alexander Berzin, "Relating to a Spiritual Teacher", Publishers’ Weekly
  8. ^ Tatz, Mark (2002). Review of Relating to a Spiritual Teacher: Building a Healthy Relationship. Tibet Journal 27 (3-4), Autumn and Winter 2002.  – via JSTOR (subscription required)

External links[edit]