The primary emblem of the feminine in Tibetan Buddhism is the dakini, or "sky-dancer," a semi-wrathful spirit-woman who manifests in visions, dreams, and meditation experiences. Western scholars and interpreters of the dakini, influenced by Jungian psychology and feminist goddess theology, have shaped a contemporary critique of Tibetan Buddhism in which the dakini is seen as a psychological "shadow," a feminine savior, or an objectified product of patriarchal fantasy. According to Judith Simmer-Brown—who writes from the point of view of an experienced practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism—such interpretations are inadequate.
There is without a doubt no shortage of books - in Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and several Western languages - on Nāgārjuna’s classical Madhyamaka texts as well as his Ratnāvalī and Suhṛllekha. However, so far, there exists no comprehensive discussion of the texts that the Tibetan tradition refers to as his “collection of praises”1 in general and the Dharmadhātustava in particular. To begin to address this lack, the present book explores the scope, contents, and significance of Nāgārjuna’s scriptural legacy in India and Tibet, especially his collection of praises.
Madhyamaka is a potent and universally accessible means of calming our suffering and awakening to our innate wisdom. The Center of the Sunlit Sky artfully rescues this brilliant teaching from its unwarranted reputation for intellectual opacity and reinstates it as a supremely practical tool kit for everyday living. The aim of this book is to take Madhyamaka out of the purely intellectual corner into which it unjustly gets boxed. It is an attempt to show how Madhayamaka actually addresses and works with all of our experiences in life.
This book traces the journey and teachings of Drukpa Kunley through Bhutan in the 15th century. Kunley was a Buddhist lama who remains, even today, the most popular folk figure in much of the Tibetan cultural area. Drukpa Kunley used his raucous humor and bold independence to teach Buddhist principles. His life was grounded on courage, compassion, lack of pretension, and an irrepressible sense of humor.
Most of the teachings presented here were given orally by Kalu Rinpoche in 1982 at Kagyu Thubten Choling, his retreat center in upstate New York. They provide an authentic introduction to the foundations of Buddhism as taught in its three Vehicles-the Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana-and offer groundings in Buddhist analysis, conduct, and practice for beginning and advanced students.
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.
This book provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to Tibet, its culture and history.
This book explores the Buddhist role in the formation of Tibetan religious thought and identity. In three major sections, the author examines Tibet's eighth-century conversion, sources of dispute within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and the continuing revelation of the teaching in both doctrine and myth.
The present work is an investigation of the Indo-Tibetan ritual for consecrating images, "stupas," books and temples. It is based on a thorough examination of the relevant Tibetan textual material contained in Tantras, commentaries, ritual manuals and explanatory works on consecration. As rituals are meant to be performed, this textual study is combined with observations of performances and interviews with performers. The book opens with a general discussion of certain principles of tantric rituals and the foundations of Indo-Tibetan consecration.
The major Indian treatise on Buddha nature is the Ratnagotravibhaga, also known as the Uttaratantra, and it is this core text that Klaus-Dieter Mathes focuses on in this book. Mathes demonstrates how its author, Gö Lotsawa, ties the teachings on Buddha nature in with mainstream Mahayana thought while avoiding the pitfalls of the zhentong approach favored by the Jonang tradition. He also evaluates Gö Lotsawa’s position on Buddha nature against the background of interpretations by masters of the Kagyü, Nyingma, and Jonang schools.
What distinguishes this Buddhist text from so many others is the timelessness of its ideas. It constitutes a radical attempt toward deconstructing Buddhist philosophy, and presents a feminist perspective on Buddhist spirituality. The text holds that being is the center and depth of existence, and is therefore accessible in everyday experience. The fleeting existence (samsara) is in its depth being, i.e. a state of complete integration (nirvana) which may well be described as divine reality of a feminine dimension.
A favorite of Tibetans and recommended by the Dalai Lama and other senior Buddhist teachers, this practical guide to inner transformation introduces the fundamental spiritual practices common to all Tibetan Buddhist traditions.The Words of My Perfect Teacher is the classic commentary on the preliminary practices of the Longchen Nyingtig—one of the best-known cycles of teachings and a spiritual treasure of the Nyingmapa school—the oldest Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Straight from the Heart brings together an inspiring collection of Buddhist teachings, songs of realization, meditation instructions, and enlightened poetry all chosen for their power to speak directly to the student. Drawn from Indian Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism as well as from all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, some will impress with their beautiful poetry and powerful imagery; others with their profound power of instruction.
The Abhisamayalamkara summarizes all the topics in the vast body of the Prajnaparamita Sutras. Resembling a zip-file, it comes to life only through its Indian and Tibetan commentaries. Together, these texts not only discuss the "hidden meaning" of the Prajnaparamita Sutras—the paths and bhumis of sravakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas—but also serve as contemplative manuals for the explicit topic of these sutras—emptiness—and how it is to be understood on the progressive levels of realization of bodhisattvas. Thus these texts describe what happens in the mind of a bodhisattva who meditates on emptiness, making it a living experience from the beginner's stage up through buddhahood.
Red mda' ba gZhon nu blo gros (1348 - 1412) played a pivotal role in the history of Tibetan Buddhists' engagement with Indian Madhyamaka philosophy, especially with regard to Candrakirti's interpretation of Nagarjuna. The lasting impact of this historical figure on the shape of Buddhist philosophy in Tibet - and particularly that of Madhyamaka has been highly underestimated to date.
Although all Tibetan Buddhist schools accepted, together with the three vehicles of auditors (STtiVakaS), bodhisattvas, and Tantric adepts, the existence of three systems of vows, the question about whether these three vows coexist, and if so, how they coexist, often became the subject of intense scholastic discussion and even of sharp controversy.
In this skillful translation, Herbert Guenther offers English-speaking readers sGam.po.pa's comprehensive and authoritative exposition of the stages of the Buddhist path. A masterly survey of Tibetan Buddhism, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation explains how an enlightened attitude is strengthened by practicing the six perfections (generosity, discipline, patience, exertion, meditation, and knowledge) and offers a concise presentation of Buddhism as a living experience.
The third volume of Longchenpa's Trilogy shows the practitioner how to transcend ordinary limited perspectives using eight classic and evocative images that reveal the open nature of reality. Can be read independently of Parts One and Two.
For artists, designers, and all with an interest in Buddhist and Tibetan art, this is the first exhaustive reference to the seemingly infinite variety of symbols found throughout Tibetan art in line drawings, paintings, and ritual objects. Hundreds of the author's line drawings depict all the major Tibetan symbols and motifs—landscapes, deities, animals, plants, gurus, mudras (ritual hand gestures), dragons, and other mythic creatures—ranging from complex mythological scenes to small, simple ornaments.
The relationship between a teacher and student can be a most rewarding and life-enhancing experience, yet it can also be fraught with problems and misunderstandings. For Westerners working with Eastern teachers, the difficulties can be compounded by cultural differences, language barriers, and divergent expectations. Wise Teacher, Wise Student examines the teacher-student relationship as it is understood in the Tibetan Buddhist context. The author surveys a wide spectrum of situations, exploring the causes of potential pitfalls.