From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Beginner's Guide to Meditation: Practical Advice and Inspiration from Contemporary Buddhist Teachers
As countless meditators have learned firsthand, meditation practice can positively transform the way we see and experience our lives. This practical, accessible guide to the fundamentals of Buddhist meditation introduces you to the practice, explains how it is approached in the main schools of Buddhism, and offers advice and inspiration from Buddhism’s most renowned and effective meditation teachers, including Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Sharon Salzberg, Norman Fischer, Ajahn Chah, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Sylvia Boorstein, Noah Levine, Judy Lief, and many others.
Topics include how to build excitement and energy to start a meditation routine and keep it going, setting up a meditation space, working with and through boredom, what to look for when seeking others to meditate with, how to know when it’s time to try doing a formal meditation retreat, how to bring the practice “off the cushion” with walking meditation and other practices, and much more.
The book highlights the teachings of the practice lineages, the branch of Tibetan Buddhism that emphasizes meditation practice, personal experience, and spiritual realization. Selections are thematically organized, including topics such as the major approaches to the spiritual path, meditation and other practices, Buddhist ethics, tantric practice, and the role of the teacher.
Includes the following teachers:
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche • Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche • Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche • Deshung Rinpoche • Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche • Drubwang Tsoknyi Rinpoche • Dudjom Rinpoche • Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche • The Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche • Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche • Gen Lamrimpa • The Third Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche • Kalu Rinpoche • Venerable Khandro Rinpoche • Khenpo Könchog Gyaltsen • Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche • Lama Lodö • Lama Thubten Yeshe Rinpoche • Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche • Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche • Ringu Tulku Rinpoche • Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche • Sogyal Rinpoche • Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche • Thinley Norbu Rinpoche • Thrangu Rinpoche • Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche • Tulku Thondup Rinpoche • Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche • Lama Zopa Rinpoche
The preliminary practices of Tantra aren't a hurdle to be gotten through in order to get somewhere else; they're an extraordinarily rich collection of practices which have much to offer as a means of cultivating and maturing the practitioner's psychological ground. They can enable experiences to unfold, and they can clear the way when there seem to be problems or hindrances practitioners are struggling with. In Preparing for Tantra, Preece draws on his experience as a Tantric Buddhist practitioner, meditation teacher, and psychotherapist to explain how to make the preliminary practices psychologically meaningful and spiritually transformative. He examines each of the practices with an eye to revealing how they may be used to heal and transform psychological trauma and offers practical suggestions for integrating them into daily life—as well as ensuring that practitioners are prepared psychologically, emotionally, and energetically to start out safely on the tantric path. Preparing for Tantra is an accessible guidebook for engaging in ngondro, the preliminary practices that are done before engaging in a long tantric retreat. These practices are also powerful tools for purifying negativities and alleviating guilt, healing difficult experiences, and enriching our minds with goodness so that we will be able to progress in our Dharma practice and gain realizations of the path.
The Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice known as Dzogchen (pronounced ZOG-chen) is a practical method for accessing the pristine, clear awareness that lies beneath the chatter and confusion of our daily thoughts. The Dzogchen Primer provides the keys for understanding Dzogchen and putting it into practice.
Marcia Schmidt, a long-time Buddhist practitioner, has gathered here the most accessible, down-to-earth writings published on this subject and has organized them into a study guide for the serious beginner on the Buddhist path. The collection includes writings from such well-known and venerable masters as Milarepa, Padmasambhava, Shantideva, Chögyam Trungpa, and Tulku Urgyen.
The concept of Dzogchen is said to lie beyond the confines of our beliefs, our intellectual constructs, our ordinary understanding. A Dzogchen master writes, "We need to dismantle our fixation on the permanence of what we experience. A normal person clings to his experiences as being 'real,' concrete, and permanent. But if we look closely at what happens, experience is simply experience, and it is not made out of anything. It has no form, no sound, no color, no taste, no texture; it is simply empty cognizance."
The Dzogchen Primer includes an informative editor's preface as well as two forewords by prominent Tibetan masters that provide fundamental background information that will be helpful to readers new to this subject. The book also includes short, descriptive guiding notes intended to assist both independent students and teachers leading workshops.