Mitra Dean Tyler Dewar
Mitra Dean Tyler Dewar was born and grew up in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. He met Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in 1997, just one year after beginning his journey of practicing the dharma. Through an auspicious coincidence, he learned the Tibetan alphabet that summer and soon after formed the conviction to serve the dharma through translating Tibetan into English. He became a formal student of Rinpoche’s in 1998 and began translating for Rinpoche’s organizations, Nalandabodhi and Nitartha Institute, in 2000.
In 2001 he became the regular translator for Acharya Sherab Gyaltsen Negi at Nalandabodhi Seattle. From that point onward, Mitra Tyler has traveled extensively with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche on Rinpoche’s teaching tours, translating for the Tibetan segments of Rinpoche’s teachings and occasionally presenting aspects of Rinpoche’s teachings himself.
In 2003 Nalandabodhi welcomed Acharya Tashi Wangchuk as a resident teacher; Mitra Tyler served as Acharya’s oral interpreter and also worked closely with Acharya on the translation of several texts from the philosophical and intuitive traditions of Indian and Tibetan Buddhadharma. Mitra Tyler has served as a secretary in the Office of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche since 2002, and has felt enriched by the opportunity to support Rinpoche’s teaching activity from many perspectives.
In terms of his formative dharma training, Mitra Tyler completed two dathuns (month-long intensive meditation retreats) in the late 90s and resided for one year, 1997-1998, at Gampo Abbey Monastery in Nova Scotia, Canada, practicing intensively, participating in several study curricula, and attending in-depth seminars by Ani Pema Chödrön on Mind Training. He has attended Nitartha Institute’s summer program since 1999 and has been a faculty member since 2000, translating for such courses as Collected Topics, Abhidharma, Mind Only, and Madhyamaka. He has attended every annual Nalandabodhi Sangha Retreat since 2001.
Mitra Tyler currently serves as Dean of the Mitra Council. He is a literary translator and oral interpreter, and serves in the Office of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.
Two books of Mitra Tyler’s translations have been published by Snow Lion Publications: Trainings in Compassion: Manuals on the Meditation of Avalokiteshvara (2004) and The Karmapa’s Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate (2008), a translation of a major philosophical work by the Ninth Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje.
The “Mitra” title: In 2005, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche empowered a group of his long-time students to be senior teachers of Nalandabodhi. He gave each of them the title Mitra, which is drawn from the Sanskrit term Kalyanamitra, “spiritual friend.” The Mitras guide Nalandabodhi’s three paths of Study, Meditation, and Mindful Activity and teach throughout the world.