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.
In this new book, Khenchen Thrangu provides an exhaustive commentary on the longest and most comprehensive of the three classic treatises on Mahamudra composed by the sixteenth-century scholar Wangchuk Dorje, the Ninth Karmapa. Khenchen Thrangu's teachings encompass the entire path of Mahamudra, including the preliminaries, the main practice, removing obstacles, and attaining the result of buddhahood—with detailed instruction in tranquility and insight meditation. This is the only available volume that presents Khenchen Thrangu's detailed commentary on this entire text.
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 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.
Enjoy six key texts on the cornerstone meditation practice of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism by some of its most celebrated forebearers.
The Mind of Mahamudra highlights mahamudra, the central meditation practice of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The six texts range in date from the twelfth to the seventeenth century and include such celebrated authors as Lama Shang and the Third Karmapa. Mahamudra is essentially a simple, direct method for looking beyond our thoughts to the very nature of conscious experience. Mahamudra literally means "the great seal" and masters of this tradition have explained it to mean that everything is sealed with buddhahood, and there is no liberation to be attained other than what is already present. Mahamudra, it is said, is not attained not because it is too difficult, but because it is too easy; not because it is too far, but because it is too close; and not because it is hidden but because it is too evident. Because of its universality and directness, mahamudra meditation is particularly suited to the modern West. Eminent scholar Peter Alan Roberts draws on his thirty-plus years of experience of translating for Tibetan lamas to illuminate these benchmark translations.
As the Dalai Lama notes in his foreword, Luminous Mind covers "the full range of Buddhist practice from the basic analysis of the nature of the mind up to its ultimate refinement in the teachings of Mahamudra." This anthology of Kalu Rinpoche's writings and oral teachings resonates with his wisdom and compassion.
Comparing Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche with Milarepa, the greatest mediation master Tibet has ever known, His Holiness the Dalai Lama extols the author of Luminous Mind as a "beacon of inspiration" for spiritual practitioners of all traditions. Noting that "there have been few like him before or since," His Holiness urges us to delve into this remarkable anthology of the late Kalu Rinpoche's essential instructions so that we may encounter "the full range of Buddhist practice from the basic analysis of the nature of the mind up to its ultimate refinement in the teachings of Mahamudra." Drawn from both his lucid writings and his eloquent oral presentations, this unprecedented book lays bare the full grandeur of Kalu Rinpoche's legacy. At the same time, the gentle words and playful stories of this master of meditation are filled with a depth of clarity and warmth that could only arise from a profound realization of both wisdom and compassion.
In this uniquely insightful overview and practice guide, Traleg Kyabgon presents a thorough introduction to the Kagyu lineage's Mahamudra tradition. The author's approach is straightforward—he presents the Mahamudra teachings as a means of seeing things in, as he says, "a positive and open light. Even things we might normally regard as bad and undesirable can be interpreted in a more uplifting way due to the expansiveness of the Mahamudra vision." Mahamudra—which means "great seal" or "great symbol," referring to the symbol or mark of ultimate reality, or emptiness—points to the true nature of mind as well as the ultimate insubstantiality of all things.
The book includes an exploration of Mahamudra fundamentals and thorough explanations of Ground, Path, and Fruition Mahamudra, including meditation techniques for investigating, experiencing, and contemplating these teachings.
From the Trade Paperback edition.