Erick Tsiknopoulos

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Erick Tsiknopoulos (b. 1981) is a renowned translator of Buddhist texts and a scholar-practitioner of Buddhism. He has been practicing the Buddhist path since 1999 and studying Tibetan language since 2004. He engaged in an intensive study of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan language in the Himalayan region of India and Nepal for 11 years from 2008 to 2019, where he lived primarily in Dharamsala and other towns in Himachal Pradesh, but also in Darjeeling and Kathmandu. There he studied Tibetan literature and Buddhist teachings closely with learned Tibetan scholars and experienced Buddhist teachers, while experiencing daily life within this culturally and linguistically immersive environment.

During his time in India and Nepal he attended many important teachings and precious blessings and empowerments with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin (Gongma Trichen) Rinpoche, His Holiness Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, His Eminence Denma Lochoe Rinpoche, His Eminence Lama Zopa Rinpoche and other respected Tibetan lamas on a frequent basis. His main Tibetan Buddhist teacher and Vajrayana root guru is His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. In India he studied modern spoken and literary Tibetan with Gen Dawa Tsering and others at the Manjushree Centre of Tibetan Culture, Buddhist tenets with Geshe Tsewang Nyima at the Thosam Ling Institute, Buddhist dialectics and epistemology with various khenpos at Dzongsar Shedra, Buddhist philosophy with Geshe Lobsang Tsondu at the Tibetan Library of Works and Archives, Buddhist theory and praxis with Geshe Lobsang Dawa, and in particular, Tibetan textual analysis and Buddhist hermeneutics with Gen Lobzang Gyatso at Esukhia. He also studied closely in private lessons with Geshe Tenzin Ludrup in Darjeeling, Serta Khenpo Choying in Sidhpur/Norbulingka and several other geshes and khenpos. Erick Tsiknopoulos was and still is referred to as "Sherab Zangpo" (Excellent Insight) by some Tibetans.

He has been working professionally as a textual Tibetan-English translator since 2009, and since then has translated hundreds of Tibetan texts into English. Over the years he has completed important translations for numerous Dharma centers, organizations and individuals around the world, as well as his own translation projects. He thus has extensive experience in translating Tibetan literature, in particular Buddhist scriptures from the Tibetan Canon and Tantric ritual texts (sādhanā), and is familiar with most topics of Buddhist doctrine and Tibetan literary genres, including philosophical writings and esoteric doctrines. Many of his translation works have been published in various formats, including printed books. His translations and essays have been cited in numerous publications and academic articles. He has also served as an oral interpreter for several Tibetan Buddhist teachers in the USA, India and Nepal.

In addition to his prolific translation output, Erick has worked as a Tibetan language instructor since 2011, teaching classical, colloquial spoken and modern literary Tibetan. His unique linguistic skills and broad depth of experience in translation and teaching are widely sought by educational institutions, Buddhist organizations and serious students of Tibetan language internationally. Having spent many years integrating into Tibetan society in Asia, he is highly fluent in colloquial Tibetan, which aids him greatly in both his translations and language teaching.

Aside from Tibetan, he also has significant knowledge of Japanese, Sanskrit, Pali and Hindi, and is currently working on Chinese, Romanian and Persian, among others. Further, he has significant experience with other (non-Tibetan) Buddhist traditions, especially Zen/Ch'an, but also Theravada, Pure Land and Nichiren. He has also completed the equivalent of a Master's degree in Buddhist Studies through the International Buddhist College (Thailand) and the University of South Wales (UK), and studies Pali through the University of Oxford. In terms of his personal practice, he is currently training to become a Buddhist lay priest and Dharma teacher under the guidance of his spiritual masters.

Erick Tsiknopoulos is the founder of Trikāya Translations and the Trikāya Tibetan Linguistic Academy, and is a regular contributor to the Rangjung Yeshe Dharma Dictionary (under the auspices of the Tsadra Foundation). He aims to help make Tibetan literature, Tibetan language and the teachings of the Buddhadharma more widely available and better understood.

Erick Tsiknopoulos is available for commissioned translation work and online Tibetan language classes. Email:, or