May 22, 2002
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing to recommend David Curtis as a teacher of the Tibetan language and Tibetan Buddhism. I have known David for over two years. During this time, I have studied Tibetan with David, and co-taught a course on Tibetan Buddhism with him in the Continuing Education program of Loyola Marymount University.
David is a natural scholar. His inquisitive mind is matched by his meticulous attention to detail. David has a passion for language study, and is a philologist by nature. He has created a beautifully structured program for teaching the classical Tibetan language, which is concise and at the same time thorough, providing a strong foundation for translation of Tibetan texts. His background in classical studies, including knowledge of the structure of classical Greek, enriches his teaching of the Tibetan language. In addition to the materials he has developed, David has a natural teaching style which addresses the needs of individual students flexibly and accurately.
In the tradition of Tibetan Buddhist practice the three-year, three-month, three-day retreat is a rigorous training, completion of which entitles the practitioner to be known as “Lama.” The level of intellectual inquiry and engagement demanded by the retreat structure and content is extremely sophisticated; although western academic tradition has no comparable format, the level of scholarly engagement can only be compared to advanced graduate study in the western tradition. David has completed this demanding retreat practice, and has earned this credential which represents intensive, continuous study and application of the teachings of the 2,500 year tradition of Buddhism. As part of the retreat, retreatants study a broad array of Buddhist philosophical treatises, commentaries, and practice instructions. As a result, retreatants become well-versed in the breadth of the teachings, both intellectually and spiritually. David’s teaching manifests this integration of study and application through practice. Moreover, he is a wonderful human being.
Any academic program offering Tibetan language or Buddhist Studies courses would be fortunate to include David Curtis in the faculty.
Pamela G. Bothwell
B.A., magna cum laude, Barnard College (History of Religions)
M.A. Columbia University ( Middle East Languages and Cultures)
J.D. University of Colorado