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Deity, Mantra, and Wisdom contains four of the most cherished Tibetan Buddhist commentaries on the practices of visualization, mantra recitation, and meditative absorption. These three elements form the core of development stage meditation, one of the most important practices of Buddhist Tantra. The authors of these timeless classics—Jigme Lingpa, Patrul Rinpoche, and Getse Mahapandita—have all profoundly shaped Tibetan Buddhism with their vast scholarship and deep spiritual realization. In these eloquent and inspiring writings, they explain the fundamental philosophy of the development stage, showing not only its profound insights into the nature of reality, but also how to make this view a living experience through the practice of meditation. The four works here translated for the first time are: "Ladder to Akanistha" by Jigme Lingpa, "Clarifying the Difficult Points in the Development Stage" by Patrul Rinpoche, "The Four Stakes That Bind the Life-Force" by Patrul Rinpoche, and "Husks of Unity" by Getse Mahapandita Tsewang Chokdrub.
The mind-training practices contained in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism have never before been presented in the English language. The main text translated here, The Steps to Liberation, will be of great interest to Western practitioners, since its instructions are pithy and direct, and experiential rather than scholarly. The contemplations on core Buddhist principles like impermanence and karma, intended for beginning meditators, unfold as dramatic stories in which the meditator is to vividly imagine himself or herself as the main character who undergoes a sequence of experiences that result in transformative realizations. They distill the most essential teachings of the Buddha into a practical system that can be easily implemented in a daily meditation practice. At the same time, they bring together the most foundational Buddhist teachings with the profound methods of the Vajrayana (the esoteric teachings of Buddhist tantra). This is the hallmark of Dzogchen mind training and what sets it apart from other mind-training lineages.
Vajra Wisdom presents the commentaries of two great nineteenth-century Nyingma masters that guide practitioners engaged in development stage practice through a series of straightforward instructions. The rarity of this kind of material in English makes it indispensable for practitioners and scholars alike. The goal of development stage meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition is to directly realize the inseparability of phenomena and emptiness. Preceded by initiation and oral instructions, the practitioner arrives at this view through the profound methods of deity visualization, mantra recitation, and meditative absorption.
In Power Objects in Tibetan Buddhism: The Life, Writings, and Legacy of Sokdokpa Lodrö Gyeltsen, James Duncan Gentry explores how objects of power figure in Tibetan Buddhist societies through a study of the life of Sokdokpa Lodrö Gyeltsen (1552–1624).
In the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, the Great Perfection is considered the most profound and direct path to enlightenment. The instructions of this tradition present a spiritual shortcut—a radically direct approach that cuts through confusion and lays bare the mind's true nature of luminous purity. For centuries, these teachings have been taught and practiced in secret by some of the greatest adepts of the Buddhist tradition. Great Perfection: Outer and Inner Preliminaries contains detailed instructions on the foundational practices of this tradition, from "The Excellent Chariot," a practice manual compiled by the Third Dzogchen Rinpoche. Distilling the teachings of the Heart Essence of the Dakinis into an accessible, easy-to-practice format, The Excellent Chariot leads the reader through the entire Buddhist path, starting with basic Buddhist contemplations that work to dislodge deeply ingrained patterns of thinking and behaving, and continuing on to the most advanced and secret meditative practices of the Great Perfection. The teachings in this volume are drawn largely from the writings of the great Nyingma master Longchenpa and the root texts of the Heart Essence of the Dakinis itself. The Third Dzogchen Rinpoche begins by discussing the correct way to study and practice the Great Perfection teachings before presenting an overview of the Great Perfection lineage and an explanation on the meaning and importance of empowerment. In the chapters that follow, he presents practical instructions on the outer and inner preliminaries, the so-called "ngöndro" practices. These practices enable the practitioner to transform and purify the mind, preparing it for the advanced Great Perfection meditation of Trekchö and Tögal, the breakthrough and direct leap. In addition to the translation mentioned above, Great Perfection: Outer and Inner Preliminaries contains a beautiful introduction by the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, a contemporary Great Perfection master, and an extensive glossary of key Great Perfection terminology.
Deity Yoga describes the profound process of meditation in Action and Performance Tantras. It is composed of three parts: Heart of Mantra by the Dalai Lama is a lucid exposition of the meditative rites of deity yoga—the distinctly tantric process in which yogis visualize themselves in the form of a Buddha's divine body as a manifestation of compassionate wisdom. The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra, parts 2 and 3 by Tsong-ka-pa, details the practices of Action and Performance Tantras. Special deity yoga techniques for the development of the heart, mind, and physical form of a Buddha are presented in a coherent series of yogic exercises. The mudras (hand gestures) that accompany the meditations are clearly illustrated. A supplement by Jeffrey Hopkins outlines in detail the structure of Action Tantra practices, as well as the need for the development of special yogic powers. This work forms the basis of higher tantric practices and explains the meditative rites of deity yoga. It is the sequel to Tantra in Tibet and is part of the "Wisdom of Tibet" series published under the auspices of the Dalai Lama, each volume of which has been specially chosen by His Holiness as revealing a true oral tradition.
With characteristic humility, His Holiness the Dalai Lama begins this landmark survey of the entire Buddhist path by saying, "I think an overview of Tibetan Buddhism for the purpose of providing a comprehensive framework of the path may prove helpful in deepening your understanding and practice." In this book, the Dalai Lama delivers a presentation that is both concise and profound, accessible and engaging. As readers explore Tibetan Buddhism more fully than ever before, they will find in His Holiness a great friend and authority.

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