Nubchen Sangye Yeshe and the Early Tradition of Dzogchen

Nubchen Sangye Yeshe and the Early Tradition of Dzogchen

Event Details

This event finished on 13 March 2024

Picture: Nubchen Sangye Yeshe, mural in Mindrolling Monastery (Dehradun, India) © Photo: D. Esler

Special lectures by Dr. Dylan Esler (lectures delivered at the Centre, with possibility to follow online)

Nubchen Sangye Yeshe (ca. 844–10th century) is a unique and fascinating figure in early Tibetan history. Placed in the direct lineage of Padmasambhava, the great tantric master who helped establish Buddhism on Tibetan soil in the eighth century, Nubchen Sangye Yeshe lived through tumultuous times in the wake of the collapse of the Tibetan Empire and the period of civil unrest that ensued, playing a pivotal role in preserving and transmitting the early lineages of teachings for posterity. His works on the vehicle of Dzogchen (the ‘Great Completeness’ or ‘Great Perfection’) are particularly significant, for they are among the earliest indigenous Tibetan commentaries to present Dzogchen as a coherent vehicle with its distinct mode of practice. In these works, Nubchen delineates what distinguishes Dzogchen from the other vehicles towards enlightenment, while uncompromisingly emphasizing effortlessness and spontaneity as defining features of the Dzogchen approach.

This series of two lectures will be devoted to (I) the life of Nubchen Sangye Yeshe and his categorization of Buddhist vehicles and (II) the distinct features of the Dzogchen approach towards meditation according to Nubchen’s presentation. The lecture series offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and work of one of Tibet’s first great thinkers.

Dr. Dylan Esler is a scholar and translator of Tibetan Buddhist texts. He holds a PhD from the University of Louvain and an MA in Buddhist Studies from SOAS, University of London. He works for 84000, an organization devoted to the translation into English of the Tibetan Buddhist canon. Previously, he was a researcher at the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) of the Ruhr-University Bochum. He is affiliated with the Oriental Institute of Louvain (CIOL), where he has twice held the Satsuma Chair, and has also taught at the Inalco in Paris. Dr Esler’s research interest focuses on early Nyingma expositions of Dzogchen and Tantra. His publications include an annotated translation of Nubchen Sangye Yeshe’s Lamp for the Eye of Contemplation, a seminal 10th-century treatise on Buddhist meditation (Oxford University Press, 2022), as well as a study of Nubchen’s Dzogchen commentaries, entitled Effortless Spontaneity (Brill, 2023).

Free participation for:
  • Donating members
  • ⁠Students of the Monday and Wednesday Courses of CCT and PCL


Dates: Wednesdays, March 6 and 13,  7 pm to 9 pm

Where: Centre Culturel Tibétain, 1 Rue Charlotte Engels, 1453 Luxembourg (entrance at the back of the building, through the shared garden)
(possibility to follow online, a zoom link will be sent to you after registration)

Language: English


Full series (2 lectures):
  • €40 regular
  • €36 for sustaining members
  • €20 for students/unemployed/retired
Single lecture:
  • €20 regular
  • €18 for sustaining members
  • €10 for students/unemployed/retired
Price webinar:
  • Full series (2 lectures): €10
  • Single lecture: €5
Free participation for donating members and students of the Monday and Wednesday Courses of CCT and PCL
Please note that the price for a single lecture is half of the full series price.

Please pay by Paypal or by bank transfer to the Centre’s account:

IBAN: LU79 1111 2413 8246 0000 / BIC: CCPLLULL,
Centre Culturel Tibétain, Asbl
Reference: Special Lectures (your name)

Registration form: