Masters of Meditation and Miracles presents colorful biographies of thirty-five realized teachers whose lives were full of peace, enlightenment, and amazing miracles. They flourished in Tibet, the Roof of the World, in its golden days. These teachers belong to the Longchen Nyingthig lineage of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, a cycle of mystical teachings revealed by the great scholar and adept Jigme Lingpa.
From the first master, Garap Dorje, to the present, each spiritual personality has his or her own distinctive role to play in this great lineage. In retelling their stories in his own words, the author has sought to bring out their inner feelings as well as their external activities: how they faced and healed physical pain, how they dealt with emotional turmoil, how they overcame spiritual or meditative illusions, and most important, what experiences they had when they awakened their own inner Buddha Mind and Buddha qualities. These biographies not only provide great sources of teachings on meditation, but will also kindle a spiritual flame in the hearts of readers.
The Life of Shabkar has long been recognized by Tibetans as one of the masterworks of their religious heritage. Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol devoted himself to many years of meditation in solitary retreat after his inspired youth and early training in the province of Amdo under the guidance of several extraordinary Buddhist masters. With determination and courage, he mastered the highest and most esoteric practices of the Tibetan tradition of the Great Perfection. He then wandered far and wide over the Himalayan region expressing his realization. Shabkar's autobiography vividly reflects the values and visionary imagery of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the social and cultural life of early nineteenth-century Tibet.
The original text, beautifully translated and introduced by Sara Harding, is further brought to life by an in-depth commentary by the contemporary master Thrangu Rinpoche. Key Tibetan Buddhist fundamentals are quickly made clear, so that the reader may confidently enter into tantra's oft-misunderstood "creation" and "completion" stages.
In the creation stage, practitioners visualize themselves in the form of buddhas and other enlightened beings in order to break down their ordinary concepts of themselves and the world around them. This meditation practice prepares the mind for engaging in the completion stage, where one has a direct encounter with the ultimate nature of mind and reality.
Revealing a set of instructions designed to facilitate the inner liberation of the dead or dying person, the book provides a guide to navigating the bardo--the interval between death and rebirth. Originally composed by Padmasambhava, an important Indian master of the eighth century, the Tibetan Book of the Dead was concealed in Tibet until it was discovered in the fourteenth century by Karma Lingpa, a famous Tibetan tertön (discoverer of ancient texts). Describing in detail the characteristics and fantastic visions of each stage beyond death, the book includes invocations to be read aloud to the dying person, to help his or her successful journey toward the stage of liberation.
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu's introduction clarifies the texts from the Dzogchen point of view and provides a scholarly summary of the ancient material based on his oral teachings and written works. In addition, material from several of Namkhai Norbu's more recent written works and oral teachers have been added, including an essay on the four intermediate states after death entitled Birth, Life, and Death. A full-color 16-page insert of traditional Tibetan art highlights Tibet's unique aesthetic wisdom.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Dalai Lama delves deep into the teaching of the Great Perfection, or Dzogchen. His enthusiasm and admiration for this profound tradition shine through as he comments on an important work by the great Dzogchen master Longchen Rabjam, Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation on the Great Perfection.
This teaching, with its remarkable breadth and richness, was originally given to an audience of ten thousand in France in 2000, and this book perfectly captures the majesty of the occasion. As Sogyal Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama's host for the occasion, said, "All of us were moved by the depth, relevance, and accessibility of these teachings; there were those who said that they were among the most remarkable they had ever heard him give. To receive these teachings from him was the opportunity of a lifetime."
Blending the highest wisdom with the deepest compassion and humanity, Mind in Comfort and Ease offers a glimpse into the Dalai Lama's wisdom mind and a panoramic view of the Buddhist path.
What would be the practical implications of caring more about others than about yourself? This is the radical theme of this extraordinary set of instructions, a training manual composed in the fourteenth century by the Buddhist hermit Ngulchu Thogme, here explained in detail by one of the great Tibetan Buddhist masters of the twentieth century, Dilgo Khyentse.
In the Mahayana tradition, those who have the courage to undertake the profound change of attitude required to develop true compassion are called bodhisattvas. Their great resolve—to consider others’ needs as paramount, and thus to attain enlightenment for the sake of all living creatures—carries them beyond the limits imposed by the illusions of “I” and “mine,” culminating in the direct realization of reality, transcending dualistic notions of self and other.
This classic text presents ways that we can work with our own hearts and minds, starting wherever we find ourselves now, to unravel our small-minded preoccupations and discover our own potential for compassion, love, and wisdom. Many generations of Buddhist practitioners have been inspired by these teachings, and the great masters of all traditions have written numerous commentaries. Dilgo Khyentse’s commentary is probably his most extensive recorded teaching on Mahayana practice.
Renowned as a peerless teacher, practitioner, and scholar, Longchenpa thoroughly studied and mastered every one of the many Buddhist vehicles and lineages of teachings existing in Tibet at his time. Through his radiant intellect and meditative accomplishment, in both his teachings and written works, he was able to reconcile the seeming discrepancies and contradictions between the various presentations of the view and the path within the many lineages of transmission. His written works are also famous for being able to transfer true blessings just by reading or hearing his enlightened words.
Compiled from numerous Tibetan and Bhutanese sources, including Longchenpa’s autobiography, and stories of his previous lives and subsequent rebirths, The Life of Longchenpa weaves an inspiring tale of wonder and magic, of extraordinary visions and spiritual insight, set in the kingdoms of fourteenth-century Tibet and Bhutan. It also reveals for the first time fascinating details of his ten years of self-exile in Bhutan, stories that were unknown to his Tibetan biographers.
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.
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.