Seminar on Reading & Translating Buddhist Texts

 Back to the 2018 Seminar

Faculty Profiles


Bhikshuni Heng Chih became a fully-ordained monastic disciple of Master Hsuan Hua in 1969. In 1970, she became a founding member of the Buddhist Text Translation Society (BTTS), has since served on all four committees, and is currently still an active member. She earned a PhD in Translation from Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU) in the 1980’s, and recently taught six years as an adjunct assistant professor of Buddhist philosophy at Bond University in Australia. She returned to California in 2014 to join the faculty of DRBU and is currently an active emeritus professor. She currently resides at CTTB and continues her work for BTTS.


Bhikshuni Heng Yin grew up in Austin, Texas. She was ordained in 1992 under the guidance of the late Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. She holds an MA in Translation of Buddhist Texts and an MA in Buddhist Classics from Dharma Realm Buddhist University, as well as an MA in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley. In addition to working on various translation projects for the Buddhist Text Translation Society, she served for twelve years as Girls’ Division Principal of the Instilling Goodness Elementary School and Developing Virtue Secondary School at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. She teaches Classical Chinese at Dharma Realm Buddhist University.

Joscelyne Kravitz, Esq. is an immigration attorney who has attended retreats at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas since 2003. She has been participating on various translation projects,including the Avatamsaka Sutra and the Lotus Sutra for BTTS for over a year as an English editor and copy editor. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Oregon State University and her Juris Doctor from Roger Williams University School of Law. Her undergraduate and legal studies focused on ethics and public interest law. Her current interests include Buddhist practice, immigration law and policy, and nonviolent dispute resolution.

José M.G. Vega, Ph.D., was formerly a researcher working for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA), the University of Nagoya (Japan) and the Council of Scientific Research in Oviedo (Spain). Later he was a novice in DRBA (2004-2008). He has co-authored dozens of scientific papers and patents, written about the origin of civilization (Sailors of Stonehenge, Voyage Zero), and received several literary awards in Spain. He has translated the Surangama Sutra and the Sixth Patriarch Sutra into Spanish (Sutra Surangama, Sutra del Sexto Gran Maestro). His latest work is a novel, The Crown of the Zodiac.

Justin Howe is entering his second year as a Master’s student at DRBU, where he is co-editor of the student magazine Mirror Flower Water Moon. He is also helping to edit the Avatamsaka Sutra and the revised translation of the Lotus Sutra for the Buddhist Test Translation Society (BTTS). He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Studies from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He made theatre for several years in Philadelphia with No Face Performance Group, and he has written two plays. Justin is an avid reader of literature and philosophy and is grateful for the opportunity to work with and for the profound Buddhadharma.

Lan Huang has been an active volunteer for Buddhist Test Translation Society (BTTS) since 2012. She holds a BA in Psychology from Central China Normal University and a PhD in Educational Psychology with a focus on research methodology and Statistics from University of Minnesota. She has participated in various translation projects for BTTS and has been volunteering for BTTS Outreach for a few years. She is now a second-year MA student at Dharma Realm Buddhist University. Her current areas of interest include the Surangama Sutra, the Yogacara school (the consciousness-only school), and the Buddhist teachings on emptiness. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, meditation, vegan cooking, and taking walk​s​ in nature. 

Miguel Gracia-Zhang is a graduate from the Developing Virtue Boys’ School of 2018. He moved to CTTB 14 years ago with his parents and older brother and has attended the schools since kindergarten. Under the guidance of Dharma Master Jin Yan, he has helped translate the Venerable Master’s commentary of the Sixth Patriarch Sūtra for evening lectures during the last 3 years. Prior to that, he also worked on the “Pure Conduct Chapter” of the Avataṃsaka Sūtra. He attended the Translation Seminar in 2014 and 2015. He will begin attending Princeton University in 2018.

Yi-Huan Shih holds a MA in Performance Studies from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts with a focus on Avant Garde theatre. Her fields of study include the intercultural and
inter-disciplinary performing arts studies. She also holds a BA in Mass Communication with a focus on radio and TV production and newspaper and magazine publishing. An active volunteer in the Buddhist Text Translation Society since 2009, she has been participating in the weekly translation events of the Avatamsaka Sutra since 2011. An instructor of the Dharma Realm Buddhist University since 2014.

Special Lecturers

Dr. Chris Wen-Chao Li received his masters and doctoral degrees in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology from Oxford University, where his research focused on Mandarin sound change and Chinese phonology. He is the author of A Diachronically-Motivated Segmental Phonology of Mandarin Chinese (New York: Peter Lang, 1999), The Routledge Course in Chinese Media Literacy (London: Routledge, 2016) and numerous scholarly treatises on language and translation. His translations of Chinese prose and poetry have appeared in Renditions (Hong Kong) and The Chinese Pen (Taipei), and Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies (London). His current research interests include sound change, language contact, diglossia, standardization, phonological translation, and domesticating translation strategies.

Program Coordinator

Bhikshuni Heng Yi was ordained in 1995 under the guidance of the late Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. She holds an MA in Asian Studies from California State University - Long Beach, and a PhD in Buddhist Studies from UCLA. Since 2011, she has been an Assistant Professor at Dharma Realm Buddhist University, teaching courses on Mahayana sutras and shastras. She has been a translator, reviewer, and translation team leader for the Buddhist Text Translation Society. She aspires to help develop a Buddhist Text Translation Institute as a space for those with talent in languages to be trained and to translate Buddhist texts as a form of spiritual practice.