Foundation for the Preservation of Yungdrung Bön / གཡུང་དྲུང་བོན་ཉར་ཚགས་རིག་མཛོད།

Carol Ermakova

CAROL ERMAKOVA was born in Malaysia in 1967 and much of her first two years was spent travelling with her family before they returned to live in the UK.

Carol studied modern languages and literature at St. Andrews University, Scotland, graduating in 1992 with First Class Honours. She also holds an MA in Contemporary Russian Studies from SSEES, London University (1994), and an MA in Translation and Interpreting from Bath University (2005). She has worked as an English Language teacher in Italy, Russia and the UK, and has also assisted many Bönpo Geshes in their language studies, notably Drubdra Khenpo Tsultrim Tenzin, Ponlop Tsangpa Tenzin, Khenpo Rhakyung and Khenpo Gelek Jinpa.
Many of her literary translations have been published in journals such as The London Magazine, Litro and Steppe. Her work has also been included in anthologies such as Squaring the Circle, Winners of the Debut Prize, 2010. In collaboration with UNESCO, she has translated several books on Central Asian culture as well as a full-length documentary film.

It was as a student in St. Andrews that she first became interested in Tibetan Buddhism when a friend took her to visit Karma Kargyu Samye Ling, Eskdalemuir, Scotland. Struck by the strong spiritual energy of the rituals, Carol returned several times to sit with the monks, first in the atmospheric puja room, then in the newly-built temple. It was not until 1994, however, that she received her first Buddhist teachings, from Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, in Ulaan Batar, Mongolia.

She met Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche in Amsterdam the following year, when he was teaching The Twelve Chapters from Zhang Zhung Nyengyud and immediately asked to attend the small retreat to be held in Austria the following month. With the exception of 2003, Carol has attended his teachings in Europe every year since, as well as visiting Triten Norbutse monastery several times. She has also received transmissions and teachings from other Bön masters both in Europe and Asia.

It was in 1996 during her first visit to Kathmandu that, at the request of Yongdzin Rinpoche, Carol first began transcribing translations and teachings, initially for personal use and subsequently for the Bönpo sangha at large. When the international Bönpo centre Shenten Dargye Ling opened in France in 2005, Carol and her husband Dmitry were asked to live there as the first caretakers. It was during this time that Yongdzin Rinpoche gave them detailed instructions on how to transcribe and edit his teachings. He has always encouraged and tirelessly supported and encouraged this work, patiently clarifying points and personally translating any sections he had inadvertently skipped. To date, over 50 transcripts have been made available to the international sangha, as well as 9 public books. Carol also collaborated with Khenpo Gelek Jinpa on the feature film Hidden Treasure Of Bön: Secrets of Mustang and translated for several retreats in Italy.

Carol has completed several personal retreats. She currently works as a freelance translator in the North Pennines, UK, as well as teaching Translation Methodology at Durham University and Bukhara State University.

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