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.”
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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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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Introduction to Tantra is the best available clarification of a subject that is often misunderstood. This new edition of this classic text includes a new foreword by Philip Glass and a new cover design, but leaves untouched Lama Yeshe's excellent original text, edited by Jonathan Landaw.
Tantra recognizes that the powerful energy aroused by our desire is an indispensable resource for the spiritual path. It is precisely because our lives are so inseparably linked with desire that we must make use of desire's tremendous energy not just for pleasure, but to transform our lives.
Lama Yeshe presents tantra as a practice leading to joy and self-discovery, with a vision of reality that is simple, clear, and extremely relevant to twenty-first century life.
Following Je Tsongkhapa's (1357-1419 C.E.) text Having the Three Convictions, Lama Yeshe introduces the renowned Six Yogas of Naropa, focusing mainly on the first of these six, the practice of inner fire (tummo). Mastery of inner fire quickly brings the mind to its most refined and penetrating state--the experience of clear light, an extra-ordinarily powerful state of mind that is unequaled in its ability to directly realize ultimate reality.
Lama Yeshe felt that twentieth-century Westerners could easily grasp the often misunderstood ideas of this esoteric tradition: "We really need tantra these days because there is a tremendous explosion of delusion and distraction.and we need the atomic energy of inner fire to blast us out of our delusion."
Lama Yeshe's aim was for his students to actually taste the experience of inner fire rather than merely gain an intellectual understanding. Lama's own realization of the transformative power of these practices comes through, inspiring his students to discover for themselves their own capacity for inexhaustible bliss.
This guide provides readers with essential background information for studying and practicing with Patrul Rinpoche's Words of My Perfect Teacher— the text that has, for more than a century, served as the reliable sourcebook to the spiritual practices common to all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. By offering chapter-by-chapter commentary on this renowned work, Khenpo Pelzang provides a fresh perspective on the role of the teacher; the stages of the path; the view of the Three Jewels; Madhyamika, the basis of transcendent wisdom; and much more.