The Western Lama Richard Roth, who has been well-trained in the Dzogchen system, has said what an important and well-presented book this is. This is a book of teachings on how to do a complete session of meditation. The book is a compilation made by the author to help those who would like to practise meditation in the Kagyu or Nyingma way.
It emphasizes the practical style of instruction found in the Kagyu tradition for those who actually want to do something with the mind. It deliberately avoids the scholarly style taught in some other Tibetan Buddhist traditions and focusses directly on working directly with one's own mind. Nonetheless, the book is very precise and clear about all of the key points involved in meditation practice. The book emphasizes the Kagyu approach in particular.
The author has received teachings from many Kagyu masters and used his knowledge of the tradition as a basis for making the book for his own students. He has selected important texts from Gampopa and other early masters to set the basis for the explanations of meditation. The author has then added other, necessary teachings according to the extensive teachings he has received over many years from many different Kagyu masters, such as Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, and others. The result is a book that contains a complete teaching on how to do a complete session of meditation, especially in the style of the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions.
Soft Cover. Condition: Very Good. No Jacket.
The teaching of the Buddha hinges around the one point that sentient beings, meaning beings having a mind, have within them the potential to become a buddha. If they did not possess that potential, it would not be possible for them to become buddhas and the rest of the Buddhist teaching would be an interesting but useless philosophy.
Therefore, the topic of buddha nature is especially important. The Buddha taught buddha nature in three steps, each more profound than the previous one. The last step is regarded by most Tibetan Buddhist schools as the most profound teaching of the sutras, the very essence of what the Buddha was trying to communicate to his followers. It is the same teaching as found in Mahamudra and Dzogchen, so is important for all Buddhists to understand, but especially for those who are studying the Mahamudra or Dzogchen teachings.
The very learned Nyingma teacher Ju Mipham Namgyal gave a teaching that clearly showed this ultimate non-dual buddha nature. The text needs clarification, so a very extensive explanation has been provided by the author of the book, the well-known Western Buddhist teacher and translator Tony Duff. As with all of our books, an extensive introduction, glossary, and so on are provided to assist the reader.
Mipham's text is one of a pair of texts that go hand in hand with each other. We have also published the sister text called The Lion's Roar That Proclaims Other Emptiness and we strongly recommend our publication "The Other Emptiness, Entering Wisdom Beyond Emptiness of Self", which gives a very extensive explanation of the ultimate non-dual buddha nature.
The Prayer of Samantabhadra, also known as a prayer of excellent conduct and also as a king of prayers is one of the five great prayers of the Great Vehicle tradition and one of the most popular prayers in that tradition. For example, it is recited every day without fail by many Tibetans. While using the prayer in Tibetan and English, the author discovered that existing English translations from Tibetan sources have many mistakes, all of which give readers a wrong understanding of what the prayer actually says.
Therefore, the author undertook a major study of the sutra in order to provide practitioners with a reliable translation and a complete set of explanations that would explain correctly and in depth every facet of meaning contained of the sutra. Volume II is taken up with a single, very large Tibetan commentary. There are a number of commentaries by Tibetan masters.
The one was chosen for this second volume is by Ontrul Tenpa i Wangchuk, who was regarded as one of the greatest living scholars and Dzogchen masters in Tibet until his recent passage. His commentary goes through the verses word by word, in a level of detail not seen in any of the other Tibetan commentaries.
More than that, it is unique amongst all of the Indian and Tibetan commentaries in that it was not given as a scholarly exploration of the meaning of the verses but was given as practical advice to his lay disciples on how to follow the excellent conduct of a bodhisatva. Therefore, his commentary is particularly useful for anyone wanting to use the prayer not only for recitation but as a basis for developing himself as a bodhisatva.
The Prayer of Maitreya, found in the forty-first chapter of the Ratnakuta Great Vehicle Sutra, is one of the five great prayers of the Great Vehicle tradition and, after Samantabhadra s Prayer, one of the most popular prayers for all followers of that tradition. It is recited every day without fail by many Tibetan followers and we think would be recited more often by non-Tibetans if they had access to a reliable translation with a clear explanation.
The prayer is approximately half the size of Samantabhadra s Prayer, though the content of the two prayers is sufficiently similar that learning about one considerably enhances an understanding of the other. Thus, this text of Maitreya s Prayer will be an excellent support for those trying to understand more of Samantabhadra s prayer and vice versa. Maitreya s Prayer is a little less complicated than Samantabhadra s Prayer and hence easier to understand and also easier to use as a prayer. Essentially, it consists of the seven limbs followed by an explanation of emptiness followed by explanations of the six paramitas.
The prayer itself contains many prayers within its twenty-four verses, so a guide to it is needed. There are not many commentaries available, though a highly informative one by the great Drukpa Kagyu author Padma Karpo is very useful. Thus, the book is a very rich collection of materials, containing two previously un-translated Great Vehicle sutras, plus the prayer of Maitreya, plus a major commentary to it. A long introduction clarifying all these materials is also included.
Finally, all of the Tibetan sources are included in Tibetan script to assist translators and those studying the Tibetan language. This book presents a Great Vehicle sutra of the third turning of the wheel of dharma which has not been translated until now and which is regarded as specially important for two reasons. Firstly the sutra deals with the issue of whether a bodhisatva can live a householder's life and effectively practice dharma at a high level.
In the time when the Buddha gave this discourse it was regarded in Indian culture as a whole that it was necessary to leave the household and additionally to become ordained as a monk or nun in order to practice dharma at the highest level. The Buddha ends the sutra by saying that not only is it possible to practise whilst living as a householder but that a householder bodhisatva can be a much more capable and effective bodhisatva than a bodhisatva living the celibate life of an ordained bodhisatva.
The person who petitioned the Buddha for his authoritative statements on this matter was a householder bodhisatva named "Uncouth.
Delighted, he went to pay respects to his teacher and engage in dialogue about his meditative experience. I bow to you with the crowns Of bodies as numerous as all atoms. We cannot find Buddha Shakyamuni living amongst us today and so cannot receive teachings from him directly. Abbot Sapukpa has taken birth as a pandita in the east of India and benefits many. I didn't have to tell him. This hat has become the principal identifying characteristic and iconographic attribute in the depictions of the Karmapas. If the mother eats her fi ll , there is pain as if you were being squashed by a mountain.
These have become prominent issues for Western Buddhists at this time and a careful consideration of the actual meaning embodied in this sutra can be a very fruitful exercise for today's Western Buddhists. I have found that investigating the sutra carefully raises many issues of great relevance and interest to today's Western Buddhists, but more than that, the issues are raised in the environment of the Buddha giving his authoritative statements about them.
We found it to be very provocative but very rich at the same time. The Buddha himself said in a Lesser Vehicle sutra: Son of the family! You are to become expert in the skandhas. You are to become expert in the ayatanas. You are to become expert in the dhatus. You are to become expert in pratityasamutpada. You are to become expert in topics. You are to become expert in non-topics. With these words, the Buddha indicated that there are six topics which must be learned, at least to some extent, by every one of his followers.
Although the Buddha gave these teachings in the Lesser Vehicle, they are a necessary foundation for practitioners of all levels, from those studying the Lesser Vehicle to those practising Mahamudra and Great Completion. This book gives a thorough explanation of the six topics using a text written by Zhanphen Chokyi Nangwa, or Khenchen Zhan-ga as he is more commonly known, the greatest of all abbots to have presided over the famous Shri Singha monastic college at Dzogchen Monastery, Tibet.
The author of the book, the well-known teacher and translator Tony Duff, supplements the explanations in the text with many clarifications in an extensive introduction. The text is very similar to Mipham Namgyal s famous mkhas jug or Gateway to Knowledge as it has been called.
Unfortunately, Mipham s text is difficult for beginners. Zhan-ga s text is quite different; it was not written merely as a piece of scholarship, but was carefully composed so as not to exclude beginners with excessively difficult explanations and moreover to be helpful to practitioners of all levels. For these reasons, Gangteng Tulku has selected our book rather than Mipham s Gateway of Knowledge in order to teach this topic to students in the second year of his shedra.
Extensive explanations of the meaning of the six topics are provided by the author from his own knowledge gathered during forty years of studying with the Gelug, Kagyu, and Nyingma traditions, not to mention his extensive stays at Dzogchen Monastery where he learned the approach of Zhan-ga directly from Zhan-ga s successors. Ample footnotes, an extensive glossary, and a carefully corrected edition of the Tibetan text are also provided.
Longchen Nyingthig contains a text for Chod practice which Jigmey Lingpa received as mind treasure from Longchenpa. The text consists of an explanation of the practice and liturgy for it. The text is popularly known by its Tibetan name "khadro gayjang" or "Sound of Dakini Laughter. The text assumes a high level of understanding of the system and its terminology.
Therefore, the most popular commentary to the text, by Dza Patrul, has also been included. It explains the visualizations of the practice and makes some very important comments about the right and wrong way to practice Chod. Jigmey Lingpa's text contains much which is not explained in Dza Patrul's text. Therefore, the author was encouraged by several lineage holding gurus to write a long commentary that would explain the whole text in a way that would make it accessible to English speakers.
The commentary, the first true commentary to this text written by a qualified Western teacher, has also been included. The book also includes carefully edited editions of the Tibetan texts. While there, the Dakinis imparted further instructions to him. On hearing that his teacher had passed into Paranirvana, he returned to East Tibet and paid homage to the sacred remains and relics that Lha-je Gampopa manifested and that were enshrined at Daglha Gampo Monastery.
As a result, when he was 50 years old, he attained complete and perfect enlightenment. To commemorate this memorable moment in history, the Dakinis crowned him with the Black Hat as the Gyalwa Karmapa. However, according to Mongolian history, the first black hat was a gift of Mongke Khan to the 2 nd Karmapa, Karma Pakshi.
This hat has become the principal identifying characteristic and iconographic attribute in the depictions of the Karmapas. I will give a brief history of the Black Crown. The Dakinis had great faith in him and assembled before him; each Dakini pulled a strand of hair from her head and offered it to him. He accepted their present and made a crown out of their hair. They crowned the Sage and Saint with this very crown of empowerment.
It is recorded that he meditated for twenty years in the mountains of Lithang, East Tibet, and during this time founded Pangphu Monastery when he was He gave many blessings and teachings, left thirteen footprints in the rocks, and performed other miracles while there. When he was 75, he founded Karma Lhateng Gompa. His fame spread far and wide and even the abbot of the Bodhgaya Temple in India sent a conch shell as an offering to him.
His heart-son was Drogon Rechen. He passed the glorious Lineage and prediction concerning his next incarnation to his main disciple Drogon Rechen. The Gyalwa Karmapa predicted that his reincarnation would appear in the region near the Drichu River. Astrological texts prophecy that the Glorious Karmapa will manifest as the Sixth Buddha of our world cycle.
Karma Lekshey Ling Shedra. Kagyu Golden Rasary. Vajra Dhara Tilopa Naropa