Although Tibetan Buddhism continues to grow in popularity, the crucial relationship between teacher and student remains largely misunderstood. Dangerous Friend offers an in-depth exploration of this mysterious and complex bond, a relationship of paramount importance in Tibetan Buddhist practice.
According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the student must have complete trust in the teacher (the "dangerous friend") if he or she is to achieve any understanding. It is the teacher's responsibility to uphold the integrity of the tradition, the basis of which is compassion for all beings, by transmitting it properly to an appropriate student. Likewise, it is the student's responsibility to meet the challenge of carrying on the lineage of teachings. By entering such a relationship, both teacher and student accept the burden of protecting those teachings by understanding them completely and correctly, by practicing them fully and faultlessly, and by transmitting them without omission.
Dangerous Friend includes discussions of the following topics:
- Meeting and recognizing an appropriate teacher.
- Understanding the gravity of entering the teacher-student relationship.
- Shifting one's approach from spiritual materialism to genuine Buddhist practice.
- Accepting the challenge of being truly kind, honest, and courageous.
Fear, anger, and negativity are states that each of us have to contend with. Machik's Complete Explanation, the most famous book of the teachings of Machik Lapdrön, the great female saint and yogini of eleventh- to twelfth-century Tibet, addresses these issues in a practical, direct way.
Machik developed a system, the Mahamudra Chöd, that takes the Buddha's teachings as a basis and applies them to the immediate experiences of negative mind states and malignant forces. Her unique feminine approach is to invoke and nurture the very "demons" that we fear and hate, transforming those reactive emotions into love. It is the tantric version of developing compassion and fearlessness, a radical method of cutting through ego-fixation.
This expanded edition includes Machik Lapdrön's earliest known teaching, the original source text for the tradition, The Great Bundle of Precepts on Severance (Chöd). This pithy set of instructions reveals that the teachings of the perfection of wisdom are the true inspiration for Chöd. It is beautifully clarified in a short commentary by Rangjung Dorje, the Third Karmapa.
Peter Alan Roberts was born in Wales and lives in Hollywood, California. He obtained a B.A. in Sanskrit and Pali and a Ph.D. in Tibetan Studies from Oxford University. For more than thirty years he has been working as an interpreter for lamas and as a translator of Tibetan texts. He specializes in the literature of the Kagyii and Nyingma traditions with a focus on tantric practices, and he is the author of The Biographies of Rechungpa.
Thupten Jinpa holds a Geshe Lharam degree from Ganden monastic university and a Ph.D. in religious studies from Cambridge University. The translator and editor of numerous books, he has been the principal English-language translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama for over two decades, and he is the author of Self Reality and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy. He lives in Montreal with his wife and two daughters.
Welcoming Flowers from across the Cleansed Threshold of Hope: An Answer to Pope John Paul II's Criticism of Buddhism
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche inspired Matthieu Ricard to create this anthology by telling him that “when we come to appreciate the depth of the view of the eight great traditions [of Tibetan Buddhism] and also see that they all lead to the same goal without contradicting each other, we think, ‘Only ignorance can lead us to adopt a sectarian view.’” Ricard has selected and translated some of the most profound and inspiring teachings from across these traditions.The selected teachings are taken from the sources of the traditions, including the Buddha himself, Nagarjuna, Guru Rinpoche, Atisha, Shantideva, and Asanga; from great masters of the past, including Thogme Zangpo, the Fifth Dalai Lama, Milarepa, Longchenpa, and Sakya Pandita; and from contemporary masters, including the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and Mingyur Rinpoche. They address such topics as the nature of the mind; the foundations of taking refuge, generating altruistic compassion, acquiring merit, and following a teacher; view, meditation, and action; and how to remove obstacles and make progress on the path.