This fourteenth-century Tibetan classic serves as an excellent introduction to basic Buddhism as practiced throughout India and Tibet and describes the process of entering the Buddhist path through study and reflection.
It begins with setting forth the structure of Buddhist education and the range of its subjects, and we’re treated to a rousing litany of the merits of such instruction. We’re then introduced to the buddhas of our world and eon—three of whom have already lived, taught, and passed into transcendence—before examining in detail the fourth, our own Buddha Shakyamuni. Butön tells the story of Shakyamuni’s past lives and then presents the path the Buddha followed (the same that all buddhas must follow). After the Buddha’s story, Butön recounts three compilations of Buddhist scriptures and then quotes from sacred texts that foretell the lives and contributions of great Indian Buddhist masters, which he then relates, concluding with the tale of the eventual demise and disappearance of the Buddhist doctrine. The text ends with an account of the inception and spread of Buddhism in Tibet, focused mainly on the country’s kings and early adopters of the foreign faith. An afterword by Ngawang Zangpo, one of the translators, discusses and contextualizes Butön’s exemplary life, his turbulent times, and his prolific works.
All lineages of Mahamudra meditation have their source in a verse teaching—a “song of realization”—sung by the Mahasiddha Tilopa to his disciple Naropa on the banks of the Ganges River more than a thousand years ago. Since that time, the meaning of Tilopa’s instructions has been passed directly from master to disciple in a continuous stream that exists unbroken to this day. This book offers the reader a rare glimpse into the Mahamudra oral transmission, given in a traditional Tibetan context by one of the lineage’s most learned and accomplished contemporary masters.
Mahamudra meditation, while highly advanced, is yet simple, practical, and accessible for anyone, because what is identified and meditated upon is the very nature of one’s own mind. In Sangyes Nyenpa Rinpoche’s words, “The distinction between deception and liberation lies in whether we understand the ever-present nature of our own mind or not. Knowing our own face is liberation; not knowing our own face is samsara. This is not something far distant from us.”
The Tibetan Buddhist teachings on mahamudra are known for their ability to lead to profound realization. Peaceful and infinitely adaptable, these teachings are as useful for today's busy world as they have been for centuries.
Written by the tutor to the seventeenth Karmapa, Essentials of Mahamudra is a commentary on Tashi Namgyal's famous Moonlight of Mahamudra - a text that the sixteenth Karmapa had identified as the most valuable for Westerners. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche recognized that Western meditators don't just need to know how to maintain our meditation practice - we need to know why we should do it. Unmatched in its directness, Essentials of Mahamudra addresses both these needs, rendering one of the most advanced forms of meditation more easily adaptable to our everyday lives.
Indestructible Truth is one of the most thorough introductions to the Tibetan Buddhist world view ever published; at the same time it is also one of the most accessible. The author presents complex and sophisticated teachings and practices in nontechnical language, using engaging stories and personal anecdotes to illustrate his points. Indestructible Truth presents Tibetan Buddhism in its traditional form but also shows how the Tibetan traditions are applicable to the problems and challenges of modern life in the West.
In Indestructible Truth, Tibetan Buddhism is introduced not as an exotic religion, but rather as an expression of human spirituality that is having a profound impact on the modern world. In addition, it presents the point of view of meditation and the practice of the spiritual life, paying special attention to contemplative practice and meditation as taught in the Kagyu and Nyingma schools.
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