Although Tibetan Buddhism continues to grow in popularity, the crucial relationship between teacher and student remains largely misunderstood. Dangerous Friend offers an in-depth exploration of this mysterious and complex bond, a relationship of paramount importance in Tibetan Buddhist practice.
According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the student must have complete trust in the teacher (the "dangerous friend") if he or she is to achieve any understanding. It is the teacher's responsibility to uphold the integrity of the tradition, the basis of which is compassion for all beings, by transmitting it properly to an appropriate student. Likewise, it is the student's responsibility to meet the challenge of carrying on the lineage of teachings. By entering such a relationship, both teacher and student accept the burden of protecting those teachings by understanding them completely and correctly, by practicing them fully and faultlessly, and by transmitting them without omission.
Dangerous Friend includes discussions of the following topics:
- Meeting and recognizing an appropriate teacher.
- Understanding the gravity of entering the teacher-student relationship.
- Shifting one's approach from spiritual materialism to genuine Buddhist practice.
- Accepting the challenge of being truly kind, honest, and courageous.
According to the Buddha, no one can attain basic sanity or enlightenment without practicing meditation. The teachings given here on the outlook and technique of meditation provide the foundation that every practitioner needs to awaken as the Buddha did. Trungpa teaches us to let go of the urge to make meditation serve our ambition; thus we can relax into openness. We are shown how the deliberate practice of mindfulness develops into contrived awareness, and we discover the world of insight that awareness reveals. We learn of a subtle psychological stage set that we carry with us everywhere and unwittingly use to structure all our experience—and we find that meditation gradually carries us beyond this and beyond ego altogether to the experience of unconditioned freedom.
Zen Is Right Here: Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu Suzuki, Author of <i>Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind</i>
Shunryu Suzuki’s extraordinary gift for conveying traditional Zen teachings using ordinary language is well known to the countless readers of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. In Zen Is Right Here, his teachings are brought to life powerfully and directly through stories told about him by his students. These living encounters with Zen are poignant, direct, humorous, paradoxical, and enlightening; and their setting in real-life contexts makes them wonderfully accessible.
Like the Buddha himself, Suzuki Roshi gave profound teachings that were skilfully expressed for each moment, person, and situation he encountered. He emphasized that while the ungraspable essence of Buddhism is constant, the expression of that essence is always changing. Each of the stories presented here is an example of this versatile and timeless quality, showing that the potential for attaining enlightenment exists right here, right now, in this very moment.