From a review in BuddhaDharma magazine: The Heart of the Path is a lengthy teaching on guru yoga by a contemporary exemplar of the practice, Lama Thubten Zopa. A close disciple of Lama Thubten Yeshe for more than three decades, Lama Zopa has taught by word and example the importance and power of properly following a guru. The book is based on several decades of dharma talks organized by editor Ailsa Cameron into twenty-four chapters, beginning with the question of why one needs a teacher to progress along the path. The remaining chapters discuss in considerable detail how to cultivate and practice devotion, and generate the view of one’s own teacher as the Buddha. It concludes with several short guru yoga visualization practices. Throughout the book Lama Zopa offers personal reflections and stories to illustrate his message that guru yoga truly is the heart of the path to liberation.
From a review in Tricycle magazine: For those interested in stepping beyond the realm of ideas into the world of practice, the latest book from Tibetan master Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a helpful guide to one important aspect of the spiritual path. The Heart of the Path explains the importance of guru devotion and Zopa's view of the proper way to develop a student-teacher bond. Lama Zopa has had many teachers, but his unwavering devotion to Lama Thubten Yeshe shines through on every page. Drawing on this experience and the Buddha's teachings, Zopa effectively conveys the value of relationships based on Buddhist ideals.
From a review in Mandala magazine: Although guru devotion is a foundational concept within Tibetan Buddhist thought, for many it remains a bewildering and impenetrable topic. Fortunately for contemporary practitioners, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has spoken extensively on guru devotion, giving teachings and advice about what it really means to have devotion to one’s spiritual friend. Drawing from nearly fifty teachings, this treasure is the result of seven years of painstaking editing by Ven. Ailsa Cameron. Not only does it include teachings on the traditional sub-topics that fall under guru devotion found in Tsongkhapa’s lam-rim, but also a useful outline to guide your reading, several supplementary prayers and teachings from other renowned Tibetan masters, and inspiring images of Lama Zopa, Lama Yeshe and other amazing teachers peppered throughout. A perusal of this masterful work by Lama Zopa Rinpoche will assuage any doubts about the utility or possibility of “seeing the guru as Buddha.”
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Full of timeless wisdom, Freeing the Heart and Mind contains, in addition to this introduction, an explanation of the teaching Matchless Compassion by the Indian saint Virupa, and a selection of commentaries on the essential teaching called Parting from the Four Attachments. Developed as the first volume in a course of study for students of the Sakya tradition, it nonetheless stands alone as an excellent entry into the teachings of the Buddha.
Freeing the Heart and Mind includes a full-color photo insert of Sakya lineage masters.
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
Tara, the feminine embodiment of enlightened activity, is a Buddhist deity whose Tibetan name means “liberator,” signaling her ability to free beings from the delusion and ignorance that keep them trapped in ever-recurring patterns of negativity. She embodies a challenge, but one that is profoundly nurturing: to transform our minds and become like her, reflecting the tranquility, compassion, and wisdom that make her so beautiful.
Thubten Chodron describes a simple meditation on Tara, explaining its benefits and its application to daily life. She also presents two well-loved praises—“Homage to the Twenty-one Taras” and “A Song of Longing for Tara, the Infallible”—together with reflections on their meanings for modern practitioners.