Ka-Ter Translation Project Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

ka-ter 15th translators training

Founded by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in 2002, the Ka-Ter Translation Project celebrates its Twentieth Anniversary this year.

The name Ka-Ter derives from the terms Kama and Terma: Ka stands for Kama, all the words of the Buddha and includes the original scriptures of Mahayoga, Anuyoga, and Atiyoga translated from the Sanskrit and Oddiyana languages; Ter stands for Terma, literally “treasures,” hidden and rediscovered teachings transmitted in short or direct lineages by tertons, masters who have that visionary capacity. Termas manifest in incredible and various ways, about which it is said, “…Revealing the essence of supreme realization, these teachings emerge from the midst of the sky, from walls and trees, and from numberless places to those whose aspiration is perfect.

Throughout the history of the spirit, many seekers in countless searches have looked for authentic and profound teachings that could lead them into the essence of their being. Some, like us, were fortunate enough to encounter a great and generous master prepared to share his knowledge, but only when the teacher and the student speak the same language or in the presence of qualified translation could this essential process take place.

The sacred Tibetan texts, so precious and unique, must be translated correctly, precisely, without changing essential meanings, and if possible composed by an artful translator with an equal command of the languages employed, thus enabling the transmission of the highest degree possible of understanding of the original teaching, given the limited absorption of its truth and power attainable from the printed page. This requires of the translator a profound dedication of skill, energy, devotion, diligence, humility, and long years of study and training and to accept this responsibility in order to become a qualified translator and/or an able instructor of potential translators is really extremely difficult.

Our Master pointed out that to become familiar with the unique knowledge of the ancient masters of Tibet, you must comprehend their scriptures and precious texts and make the age-old wisdom, knowledge, and experience of Tibetan culture available for future generations in Western and Asian languages in precise and correct translation. To realize this goal, the possibility must be offered to study and learn Tibetan for beginners as well as to deepen the extant familiarity with that language of the more knowledgeable students, in both cases to enable the development of high capacity translators.

Reflecting that priority, already in the late 1970s, several Tibetan translation projects had been launched in our Community and numbers of texts completed, mostly by Adriano Clemente and also by Jim Valby who devoted many years to the translation of Dzogchen Tantras. In addition, outside the ken of translations from the Tibetan, the first transcriptions of Rinpoche’s teaching-retreats in booklet form began to appear, published by Shang Shung Edizioni, now known as Shang Shung Publications, in Italian and English.  

However, the translation of Dzogchen texts from Tibetan, a main task of the translators and the publishing house, faced notable challenges during the early years after the founding of the Dzogchen Community because of the large number of original texts to be translated, the few qualified translators available within the Community, and the limited, irregular sources of funding available to compensate the full-time commitment of the translators. In 1989 Chögyal Namkhai Norbu founded the Shang Shung Institute in Italy, charging it among other responsibilities with the task of establishing a functional base for all translating activity and for the training of new translators, proposals which for a while longer remained unrealized due to difficult circumstances.

Then, laying a stable foundation for the fulfillment of these urgent needs, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in 2002 created the Ka-Ter Translation Project. As Rinpoche said, 

If you want an understanding of Dzogchen, you need the original books. That is essentialThe Ka-Ter Translation Project is an important step in that direction. 

The central management of this new endeavor he entrusted to the Shang Shung Institute Austria, giving Director Oliver Leick its financial and administrative responsibilities and designating Tibetologists Adriano Clemente, Elio Guarisco, and Jim Valby as the main translators from Tibetan, with the appointment of Elio also as instructor of a yearly training course for translators. Already in summer 2003 Elio conducted the first Training for Translators from Tibetan, held in Merigar West. Later, Professor Fabian Sanders, appointed in 2010 as the fourth crucial member of that scholarly team, assumed the primary responsibility for courses in the Tibetan language in what remains a yearly event under his guidance.

The fundamental resolution of the dilemma of finding sufficient funds to provide adequate living for the translators from the Tibetan was sought in a donation system developed to support all our activities of translation and publication. Since the very beginning, the Ka-Ter Translation Project has been made possible by the unstinting donations of members of the Community.

In one such example, fulfilling the wish of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, the Shang Shung Institute Austria and its related Ka-Ter Project, thanks to the generosity of the Community, was able to underwrite the digitalization of all the teachings revealed by Changchub Dorje. Some 260,000 pages of Tibetan text were digitalized, verified, and catalogued, the bulk of the work occurring in Tibet at Changchub Dorje’s residence in Galingteng, Tibet and in the Shang Shung Institute at Merigar in Italy. 

Elio Guarisco summarized as follows the mode of financing adopted by the Ka-Ter Translation Project: 

All this has been made possible through the constant, untiring, conscientious, and dedicated fund-raising of Oliver Leick and the Shang Shung Institute Austria in many years of devoted service to the Master and the Dzogchen Community.” 

Already Translated and Published Books 

Thanks to the marvelous collaboration and support of members of the Dzogchen Community, so many translations have been published by Shang Shung Publications.

Longsal Teachings of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

All books related to the Longsal Teachings by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu were translated by Adriano Clemente. This work will continue for several years, as many texts are still untranslated and unpublished.

Longsal Teachings, Volume 1 – 10

Longsal Commentaries, Volume 1 – 5

  • The Root Upadesha of the Vajra Bridge of Longde
  • The Upadesha of the Self-Perfected Thögal
  • The Crucial Preliminaries of the Path of Ati
  • The Upadesha of the King of Space
  • The Upadesha on the Primordially Pure Tregchöd

  • Chögyal Namkhai Norbu: The Longsal Rushen 

Books of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu 

These books were translated by several translators, mainly Adriano Clemente and Elio Guarisco:

  • A Necklace of Jewels
  • An Oral Commentary on Dorje Sempa Namkha Che
  • Birth, Life and Death
  • Dzogchen, Our Real Condition
  • Healing with Fire
  • Healing with Yantra Yoga
  • Khorwa Yedal
  • Mandarava Tsalung Practices
  • Message from Tibet through Songs and Dances
  • Namkha, Harmonizing the Energy of the Elements
  • The Longlife Practice of Amitayus
  • Bardo: The Bardo Instructions Sealed with the HUM
  • The Dance of the Vajra 
  • The Dance of the Vajra: Mandala, Diagrams 
  • The Changchog Rite
  • The Divination of Dorje Yudronma
  • The Four Methods of Development
  • The Practice and Action Mantras of Dark Garuda
  • The Yoga of Prana for Clarity and Emptiness
  • The Stairway to Liberation
  • The Vajra Armor: the Dorje Kotrab Terma
  • Teachings on the Thun and Ganapuja

Books by other authors

These books were translated by several translators, mainly Adriano Clemente and Elio Guarisco:

  • Dorje Sempa Namkha Che, the Total Space of Vajrasattva
  • Gyalwa Yangönpa: Secret Map of the Body
  • Kongtrul Lodro Taye: Creative Vision and Inner Reality
  • Kungjed Gyalpo: the Supreme Source 
  • Longchenpa: Longchenpa’s Advice from the Heart
  • The Marvelous Primordial State: the Mejung Tantra
  • Abhayadatta: The Tantric Mystics of Ancient India, the Miraculous Deeds of the Eighty-Four Mahasiddhas
  • Awakening Upon Dying, the Tibetan Book of the Dead 
  • Kathog  Situ Chökyi Gyatso: Togden Shakya Shri, the Life and Liberation of a Tibetan Yogin
  • Paltrul Rinpoche: The Vision of Clear Light

Forthcoming Books of the Ka-Ter Translation Project

The complete version of teachings on Tregchod transmitted by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu will be one of the next books offered by Shang Shung Publications. The complex preparation of the various sections of this book has taken more than thirteen years and now the readying of the text for publication is in its final steps. Generous sponsorship makes a high-quality printing possible, and in this way, we pay homage to these extraordinary Dzogchen teachings. 

The translation and revision by Rinpoche of Vimalamitra’s Commentary on the Dra Thalgyur Tantra, an immense work, the realization of which was assigned to our dear Vajra Brother Elio Guarisco as his main task, has been a major goal of the Ka-Ter Translation Project. The several fully dedicated years it would have taken him were cut short by his fatal illness and Elio had time only to initiate this work. As it is of crucial importance that this translation be made available and Adriano’s responsibilities in this regard are already great leaving him no time for a further commitment, a team of excellent translators are being sought to complete the text, independent of the Ka-Ter Project.

Books to be translated by Adriano Clemente

The numerous books on which Adriano will focus his skills in the coming period are listed below, giving an idea of the great gifts of wisdom that await us if only we do our part and collaborate in whatever measure possible and continue (or begin) the wonderful, needed financial support of which the Ka-Ter Project makes such good use.

Longsal Texts
Longsal Ati lam gyi sngon ‘gro – Commentary to Preliminary Practices of Ati
– Longsal Gsal stong – Commentary on Clarity and Emptiness
– Longsal A ti dgongs pa ngo sprod – Commentary on Introduction to the State of Ati
– Longsal A ti gnad gzer – Commentary on the Most Important Points

Santi Maha Sangha Texts That Need Reviewing
– SMS second level
– SMS third level
– SMS fourth level

Other Texts of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu
– Klong sde’i dgongs don snying dril  – Essence of Longde instructions
– Sbas pa’i rgum chung – Hidden Collection of Buddhagupta
– A ti yoga bstan pa thams cad kyi snying po – Atiyoga, the Essence of All Teachings
– Nam mkha’ che’i snyam khrid – Experiential Instructions on the Namkha che
– Nyams mgur – Experiential Songs
– Thar lam sde gsum – The Three Paths of Liberation
– Zhi lhag rdzogs chen lugs – Shine and Lhagthong in Dzogchen
– Rig pa’i khu byug – The Cuckoo of Instant Presence
– The Mirror: Advice on Presence and Awareness, revised Translation and Commentary

Texts by Other Authors
– Changchub Dorje Lama Zabdon
– Changchub Dorje dag snang – Pure Vision
– Changchub Dorje zhal gdams – Advice
Pad ma bdud ‘dul gyi mgur ‘bum – Experiential Songs
– Chokyi Wangchuk Lhalung Sangdag
– Snga’ ‘gyur lnga’i nyams khrid – Experiential Instructions on the Five Early Translations

Translations Begun by Elio Guarisco To Be Completed
– Yan tra’i rtsa rlung skor – On Tsalung
– Changchub Dorje namthar – Biography of Changchub Dorje
– Nam mkha’ che sri singha’i dgongs ‘grel – Shri Singha Commentary on the Namkha che

Revision of a Translation by Namgyal Nyima
– A ‘dzoms yab sras kyi rnam thar – Biography of Adzom Drugpa and His Son Gyurmed Dorje

After translation, each text is edited and checked by mother-tongue editors before printing by Shang Shung Publications. The printing costs of most of these forthcoming books will be co-financed by the Ka-Ter Translation Project, guaranteeing that each book will appear in an elegant form that underlines the immense importance of these texts for us and future generations.

How to Make a Donation

If you would like to help this invaluable work of translation and education by the Ka-Ter Translation Project to continue, spreading benefit within the International Dzogchen Community and in the world at large, please offer your financial support of any measure to the Shang Shung Institute of Austria. Your donation will go directly to support the translation of Rinpoche’s personal texts as well as other important teachings selected by him so that their primordial wisdom can be preserved via the unlocking of the doors of language.

In the past Chögyal Namkhai Norbu with many tashi delegs counselled us in the following words, advice as pertinent today as when he first introduced the Ka-Ter Translation initiative to us in 2002: 

I really hope that all of you who are interested in the Teachings and Tibetan culture will support this project, directly or indirectly, and collaborate with its various aspects.”

On behalf of the Ka-Ter Translation team, I thank you, Donors and Supporters for your whole-hearted participation and understanding of the importance of the work we are doing jointly. Together we have succeeded in completing so much because of your collaboration and generous donations. Please keep up your fruitful efforts to make these unique wisdom texts accessible to our and future generations!

Here are the bank details for your donation: 

Account holder:  Shang Shung Institute Austria
IBAN: AT19 3815 1000 0003 0387

Your donation can also be sent via PayPal using the link: PAYPAL.

You can also send donations via REVOLUT  using 0043 664 88662660

Thank you very much!!!

Oliver Leick, May 2022

Time line


On January 1, 2000, the first day of the new millennium, the Shang Shung Institute Austria was founded and in 2001 launched a first simple but functional website.
In this period two translators of the Dzogchen Community began work on Tibetan texts of two different projects, Adriano Clemente on the Complete Works of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and Jim Valby on the Vairocana Translation Project.
Both of these wonderful activities were compensated only with irregular donations and the translators never knew if they would receive payment in the coming month or have to find another way to pay the bills of daily life. It was not easy at all for them and this uncertainty hindered their work. Jim Valby obtained his own funding and Igor Legati assisted in the collection of funds for Adriano.


Shang Shung Institute Austria received €100,000 donated anonymously in our bank account. Surprised and overwhelmed by this donation, Oliver Leick asked Rinpoche how we should use this sum. Rinpoche advised:
You take care of it. We will find a good use for it, but do your best so that this amount will not become less.”
Adriano Clemente, Elio Guarisco, and Oliver Leick had a meeting with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in Tashigar Norte during which how to use this donation for translation work was discussed. Each of us three had a different idea about how to name this new project, but Rinpoche was not happy with our ideas. He said to us,
“Come back tomorrow, and I will give you a name.
On the next day, meeting Rinpoche again, he said,
This new project will be called Ka-Ter Translation Project. Ka-Ter comes from Kama, the Words of Buddha, and Terma are the hidden treasure texts. Now all of you do your best to make it fruitful.”
This was the moment of birth of this new translation project. From then on the translators were freed of their worries about how to cover their simple needs, as from that point on I was able to offer them modest donations for their precious work on a regular monthly basis.


In summer the first Training for Translators from Tibetan, one of the important activities of the Ka-Ter Project, was held in Merigar West under the guidance of Elio Guarisco. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu’s On Birth, Living and Dying was chosen as the text to be translated from Tibetan and fourteen translators from all over the world worked intensively on it for six weeks. As result of the first training, that book was published soon after.


In summer the second Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Isla Margarita (Venezuela). A Dzogchen tantra of the Mind Series was indicated by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu as the text to be studied, offering a marvelous opportunity for twelve translators from ten nations to come in contact with one of the most ancient Dzogchen tantras, the Mejung, the title of which can be translated as the Wonderful Primordial State. The training lasted for forty-four days and the participants showed considerable progress over that period in their knowledge of the Tibetan language.
During this training the translators experienced how difficult it is to translate an ancient Dzogchen tantra in all its arcane complexity. Rinpoche suggested that it would be more fruitful if a small team of qualified translators took over the responsibility for these special translations and asked Elio, Jim, and Adriano to be in charge of that project. Rinpoche himself was the first sponsor of the Ka-Ter Project, as during the retreat in July 2004 Rinpoche himself offered a beautifully carved stone for auction and said: “I want to give this for the translation project.”


The third Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Elio Guarisco.


The fourth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Elio Guarisco.
Oliver Leick established a pension and life insurance fund for Adriano Clemente and Elio Guarisco, payable at the age of sixty-eight. Thanks to this fund the family of Elio received his life insurance in 2020 when Elio passed away. The insurance company did not accept Jim Valby due to his age, but when Jim became sixty-eight, he also received a donation for all the work done until then. Still now, Jim receives every now and again donations from the Ka-Ter Translation Project.


The fifth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders. The Shang Shung Institute Austria held the first fund-raising campaign for Ka-Ter in the form of a raffle with thirty wonderful prizes.


The sixth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders. The Shang Shung Institute Austria started a new endeavor, The Public Books Project within Shang Shung Publications. Today, books for the general public are an important activity of Shang Shung Publications. The publication of this category of books is still co-financed by the Ka-Ter Project.


The seventh Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders. The Shang Shung Institute Austria held the second fund-raising campaign for Ka-Ter in the form of a raffle with ten wonderful prizes.


The eighth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders. Fabian Sanders started a first course on the precise pronunciation of Tibetan with many such courses following in subsequent years.


The ninth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders.


The tenth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders. Igor Legati who had been the main coordinator of the translation project Complete Works of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu (CW) passed on this responsibility to Oliver Leick and from that point it has been part of the Ka-Ter Translation Project.


The eleventh Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders.


The twelfth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders.


The thirteenth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders.
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu gave the transmission of the lung of the Dra Thalgyur Tantra. Afterward Jim Valby started the first translation of the root text of this important and ancient tantra which explains all aspects of Dzogchen.
This first translation of Jim was then transferred to Elio Guarisco who was to complete it. As Elio was very busy in this period translating and compiling many texts, he planned to continue this huge work after he finished his earlier commitments. It took him four years until he could begin this work, but never finished it as he passed away in 2020. It was known that the translation of the root text and its commentaries would take several years, as it is written in an ancient style and its content is difficult to understand. 


The fourteenth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders.


The fifteenth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders. Chögyal Namkhai Norbu asked Oliver Leick to become the director of the International Shang Shung Foundation and due to this new responsibility his work for the Ka-Ter Project intensified.


The sixteenth Training for Translators from Tibetan was held at Merigar West under the guidance of Fabian Sanders. From then on the Shang Shung Institute Austria was no longer involved in the organization of the Training for Translators from Tibetan, as this activity became the responsibility of the School of Tibetan Language team with Fabian Sanders as its director.
The Shang Shung Institute Austria began a collaboration with the Shang Shung Institute USA and in particular with the School of Tibetan Medicine. As part of the Ka-Ter Translation Project, SSI Austria supports the transcription and translation work of the teachings of Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo given by her during several four-year trainings to become a qualified and certified Tibetan doctor. A large donation given this project supports the work of Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo and a small yearly donation that of her main assistant.
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu founded the International Atiyoga Foundation and soon afterward Rinpoche passed away.


Oliver Leick became the vice-director of the Atiyoga Foundation, and thus the Ka-Ter Translation Project became part of the Atiyoga Foundation. The Ka-Ter Translation Project assumed the continuing support of the work of Nancy Simmons, editor of English books published by Shang Shung Publication.


All activities of the Shang Shung Institutes and the International Dzogchen Community due to the worldwide Corona pandemic was carried out online. Tragically, this year Elio fell fatal victim of this terrible disease.


After the passing of Elio, his family received the funds accumulated in his life-insurance policy.
Shang Shung Publication became an autonomous and independent department of the Atiyoga Foundation. Oliver Leick also became a member of the new Board of Directors of Shang Shung Publications which guarantees a fruitful collaboration between the translators, the editors, the publishing team, and the Ka-Ter Project.
Made possible by its successful system of donation, the Ka-Ter Project began collaboration with Charles Jamyang Oliphant of Rossie as editor of English texts translated from the Tibetan. 


Through a fruitful collaboration with Shang Shung Publications, several new books will be published in high quality format. The collaboration with Jamyang as editor was renewed.


On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Ka-Ter Translation Project, I congratulate the Shang Shung Institute Austria on its tremendous achievement! This project has ensured that the indispensable wisdom of Tibetan culture will be passed to present and future generations!
In particular, the presentation of the unique contributions of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu to the revelation of Dzogchen teachings as well as all aspects of Tibetan history and culture are invaluable. This is a tremendous gift to students of Dzogchen and to the public at large.  Reflective of their value, the technical quality of the publications is also superb in all respects.
Best wishes for the continuation of their work!

Will Shea, Buckland, Massachusetts, USA, 
Sponsor of the Ka-Ter Translation Project

The Ka-Ter Translation Project is a radiant example of extraordinary professionalism and accountability within the International Dzogchen Community. In 2002 Chögyal Namkhai Norbu asked Oliver Leick to be responsible for finding funds for the Ka-Ter Translation Project, so that the translators could focus on their very demanding and tiring job to translate wisdom-texts from Tibetan into English.
Thanks to the funds raised by Oliver Leick, and thanks to the indispensable donations received, such a unique project founded by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu has a future, and the Shang Shung Institute Austria could not only assist the translators with monthly donations, but also pay for their life insurance every month.
From an institutional point of view, Oliver Leick’s authoritative management, his tireless commitment to Rinpoche’s view, his reliability makes Ka-Ter Project and Shang Shung Institute one of the best worldwide projects to preserve Tibetan Cultural heritage in general and in particular the unbelievable spiritual heritage of our precious Master.
With this occasion I want to thank Oliver Leick very much for his continuous support and advice to Atiyoga Foundation Department of Research and Documentation and for his friendship in a mutual open, loyal collaboration. Long life to the Ka-Ter Project!

Paolo Roberti di Sarsina, MD, Bologna, Italy,
Director, Research and Documentation Department of the Atiyoga Foundation

Ka-Ter is a very important project that makes valuable teachings in the Tibetan language available to a wide audience. Particularly I feel it so precious because there are plans to translate the numerous and different teachings, writings and biography of our master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu.

Adriana Dal Borgo, Italy
International instructor of Vajra Dance and Khaita

A long time ago Oliver Leick approached me with a question, would I like to support the Ka-Ter Translation Project. It was written in a very elaborate way, so I was not sure, what part was true and how much marketing was in that message. But after some time, I sent my first donations and slowly I started to understand, what an impressive initiative is behind the name Ka-Ter Translation Project.
I am grateful to everybody who is working on this heroic task of translating all these deep wisdoms into currently active languages, to make it accessible even to future generations. Thank you, Oliver, to be so persistent in fundraising for this project, I would hardly find anything else more important these days to support. 

Libor Maly, Czech Republic
Sponsor of the Ka-Ter Translation Project

As practitioners and Community members we are blessed to have a project such as the Ka-Ter. We cannot express enough the importance of the translation project from Tibetan language, carried out by experts who worked closely with our teacher. Dharma text translation is a long and precise work and developing skills and knowledge to do it is a lifelong endeavor. Rinpoche has transmitted to us so many precious teachings and our ability, as a community, to bring them to fruit and preserve them depends on projects such as the Ka-Ter. Looking through the list of books that were translated and published in these 20 years, we feel touched with gratitude. We believe we should all support the translators’ work through the Ka-Ter project! 

Gakyil of the Dzogchen Community Merigar East, Romania

Over the past 20 years, Oliver Leick, one of the earliest disciples of Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, has been commissioned by our precious Master to direct the Ka-Ter project. Oliver has worked hard, and thanks to his invaluable work, the Western world now enjoys the translation of ancient texts and sacred Buddhist teachings.
Oliver did not just direct, but he also participated by engaging in the search for donors who could support Ka-Ter’s various projects. He and his family participated as donors. For this we are very grateful for his work.
An immense thanks to donors and workers who, with their great help, have contributed to the development of this fantastic project. Thank you with all my heart!

Migmar Tsering, Italy
Director of Dynamic Space of the Elements

In 2002 Chögyal Namkhai Norbu entrusted the Shang Shung Institute Austria with the financial responsibility of the work for translation of Tibetan texts.
This 2022 we celebrate the 20 years of Ka-Ter: the structure of the Shang Shung Institute Austria directed by Oliver Leick, which along these years besides the challenging financial responsibility for the translation of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche’s Teachings, dedicated also towards the teaching of the Tibetan language to Dzogchen practitioners.
In these twenty years, dozens of titles have been produced and then translated into the languages of the four quadrants of the world. In addition to Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, our texts go to the United States, UK, China, Latin America and even Australia, all headquarters of the International Dzogchen Community, wherever there is a need to deepen the teachings of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche.
It is also worth being reminded that beyond the uniqueness of such literature is the quality of its research for the highest profile and accuracy.
Rinpoche teaches that everything is impermanent and when our life comes to an end and we will no longer exist, it will be essential that the precious teachings that have been transmitted to us find life in other minds and that they are consciously guarded. In short, it is necessary to avoid that everything ends. That is why an important structure like Ka-Ter exists, both for the benefit of our nowadays Dzogchen Community and to ensure its future life, keeping in mind the importance of such precious and rare Tibetan Teachings and the necessity to preserve it.

Enrica Rispoli, Torino, Italy
An early student of Rinpoche who also studied Tibetan with him at the Oriental University, Naples

Since the birth of the Ka-Ter project in 2002 I have tried, according to my possibilities, to support it, convinced of its importance. Inspired by our Master and dedicated to the translation of fundamental Dzogchen texts by our expert translators and Tibetologists, Adriano Clemente, Elio Guarisco and Jim Valby and with the fundamental collaboration of the Master himself, the essential quality of Ka-Ter lies in trying to have an accurate and faithful translation both of the texts for practice and for those wonderful texts that the Tibetan tradition has given us over hundreds of years and, very important for the Dzogchen Community, the complete work of our beloved Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. It has now been 20 years since the day of the foundation and many things have happened both sad and happy, but I consider the project that Oliver Leick is carrying out with care and passion of the utmost importance for all those who love and are interested in the culture of Tibet, the Land of the Snows.

Massimo Orsi, Italy
Member of the Board of Directors of Shang Shung Publications

The first formal publishing activity of the Dzogchen Community goes back to 1983, when Shang Shung Edizioni/Publications was set up at Merigar in Italy for spreading the Dzogchen teaching that Chögyal Namkhai Norbu was already transmitting in the Western countries for a few years, from 1976. The main concern at that time was to have books containing the practices and the related explanations given by the Master, but of course the translation of original Dzogchen texts from the Tibetan has always been a primary task of our publishing house.
This task became even more compelling when Rinpoche started to transmit his own terma teachings belonging to the Longsal Cycle. The translations of Tibetan original texts, performed by practitioners that were former Rinpoche’s students at the University of Naples, was very demanding in terms of time and immersion in this specific field of ancient Tibetan language. Therefore, after a while a project called Complete Works of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu was set up, whose aim was collecting funds for the translation of Rinpoche’s writings that was mainly entrusted to Adriano Clemente.
Very soon the need of translating Tibetan texts related to the Dzogchen teachings grew even more, and other translators like Jim Valby and Elio Guarisco were involved in the ongoing publications activity of the Dzogchen Community.
Therefore in 2002 all the projects aimed at supporting the translation of Tibetan original texts were grouped in the Ka-Ter Project that Rinpoche entrusted to Oliver Leick, director of Shang Shung Institute Austria. With his tireless fundraising activity Oliver succeeded in giving our translators the possibility to work fulltime at making the ancient wisdom of the Tibetan Dzogchen masters available to Western readers, backing in a substantial way the activity of Shang Shung Publications that, without this support, could not have published all the books that are available in its amazing catalog.
Working for more than 30 years within our Shang Shung publishing house, I am really impressed by the huge work that was done on the thrust of our Master who always encouraged us in any way to persist in making the Dzogchen teaching spread also in paper and digital form all over the world. These teachings represent a unique corpus of works that cannot be found anywhere else in this globe. The hundreds of titles published by Shang Shung Publications with the support of the Ka-Ter Project have now reached the amount of 1140 versions translated into English, Italian, German, French, Spain, Polish, Rumanian, Portuguese, Greek, Czech/Slovak, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian and Chinese languages.
I thank Oliver wholeheartedly for having played and playing an important role in this meritorious and precious activity. I really hope that our readers are encouraged to sustain and support the translation and publication of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s wisdom works through their generous donations and purchases that so far made this incredible non-profit enterprise successful.

Igor Legati, Italy
Santi Maha Sangha Base Level Instructor,
Member of the Board of Directors of Shang Shung Publications

For many, many years the Ka-Ter Project has helped support skilled translators to fulfill the need of having quality translations of many important texts. Not an easy task! For that we should all be thankful!

Fabio Andrico, Italy
International Instructor of Yantra Yoga,
Santi Maha Sangha Base Level Instructor,
Director of the Ati Movement and Mind Department of the Atiyoga Foundation

The history of the transmission of Dzogchen teachings is a fascinating subject. There were challenging times for the spreading of Dzogchen when just a few words transmitted orally and in secret carried the essence of the meaning of millions of tantras, but there is now a wealth of texts available and connected to the teachings of our Master. Chögyal Namkhai Norbu himself wrote many books on different subjects, taught extensively from the most important of the Dzogchen tantras and from many other texts of great Dzogchen teachers such as Longchenpa and Jigmed Lingpa. As for the terma literature, he transmitted methods connected to his own revelations through dreams and to his teacher Changchub Dorje’s spiritual treasures. A great deal of this literature is being translated by the Ka-Ter Translation Project which took up this crucial task in 2002. By studying these extraordinary  translations, we can validate our understanding of the teachings through textual references and contribute to pass on the teachings in an authentic way.
From 2003 – 2018 the Ka-Ter Project organized Tibetan Translation Courses too through which we can acquire the skills to read and understand this complex and fascinating language. Personally, I feel a great satisfaction in being able to read the original texts written by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu for us, his students.
The two decades-long dedication of the SSI-Austria to these tasks is really praiseworthy and we should not lose the opportunity to sustain and contribute to its mission, as there are still many texts whose wisdom awaits to be unlocked by our translators.

Monica Gentile, Nepal/Italy
Santi Maha Sangha Base Level Instructor,
Director of the Scientific Committee of Meditation of the Atiyoga Foundation 







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