Open Mind: View and Meditation in the Lineage of Lerab Lingpa

Open Mind: View and Meditation in the Lineage of Lerab Lingpa


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Study the Great Perfection with the celebrated Lerab Lingpa, who imparted teachings to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, and discover the common ground of Tibetan Buddhism’s many schools in essays by his disciples.

Lerab Lingpa (1856–1926), also known as Tertön Sogyal, was one of the great Dzogchen (Great Perfection) masters of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and a close confidant and guru of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. This volume contains translations by B. Alan Wallace of two works that are representative of the lineage of this great “treasure revealer,” or tertön.

The first work, composed by Lerab Lingpa himself, is The Vital Essence of Primordial Consciousness. It presents pith instructions on all the stages of the Great Perfection, which is the highest form of meditation and practice in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. In this practice, the meditator comes to see directly the ultimate nature of consciousness itself. The work guides the reader from the common preliminaries through to the highest practices of the Great Perfection—the direct crossing over and the achievement of the rainbow body.

The second work, Selected Essays on Old and New Views of the Secret Mantrayana, is a collection of seven essays by two of Lerab Lingpa’s close disciples, Dharmasara and Jé Tsultrim Zangpo. Dharmasara wrote six of the essays, providing detailed, erudite explanations of the compatibility among the theories and practices of Great Perfection, Mahamudra (a parallel practice tradition found in other schools), and the Madhyamaka view, especially as these are interpreted by the Indian pandita Candrakirti, the Nyingma master Longchen Rabjam, and Tsongkhapa, founder of the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism. The one essay by Jé Tsultrim Zangpo (a.k.a. Tulku Tsullo), “An Ornament of the Enlightened View of Samantabhadra,” contextualizes the Great Perfection within the broader framework of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism and then elucidates all the stages of practice of the Great Perfection, unifying the profound path of cutting through and the vast path of the spontaneous actualization of the direct crossing over.

This volume will be of great interest for all those interested in the theory and practice of the Great Perfection and the way it relates to the wisdom teachings of Tsongkhapa and others in the new translation schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Edited by Eva Natanya.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781614293880
Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
Publication date: 02/06/2018
Edition description: Translatio
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

B. Alan Wallace, a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970, has taught Buddhist theory and meditation worldwide since 1976. Having devoted fourteen years to training as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, ordained by the Dalai Lama, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford. Today he is a frequent public speaker and retreat leader, and the founder of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to many books, including Stilling the Mind and The Attention Revolution.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Preface xi

Translator's Introduction xxi

The Vital Essence of Primordial Consciousness

1 The Treasure Text, Its Lineage, and Empowerment 3

2 Shared Preliminaries to Meditation 23

3 Unique Preliminaries to the Main Practice 35

4 The Generation Stage of the Guru and Cutting the Basis of Delusion 51

5 Original Purity 67

6 Spontaneous Actualization 77

7 Luberation in the Intermediate Period 105

8 Closing Advice 115

Outline of The Vital Essence of Primordial Consciousness 121

Selected Essays on Old and New Views of the Secret Mantrayana

Oral Instructions of the Vidyadhara Gurus: A Presentation of the Path of the Natural Great Perfection and Its Preliminaries 127

An Ornament of the Enlightened View of Samantabhadra: Secret Guidance Nakedly Granted to Dispel All Misconceptions regarding the View of the Clear Light Great Perfection 159

Oral Instructions of the Wise: Questions and Answers regarding the Views of Mahamudra, Mahasandhi, and Madhyamaka 209

Heart Essence of the Vidyadhara Elders of the Early Translation School: A Brief Explanation of the Meaning of the Root Mantra of Vajrakilaya 225

A Blazing Sun of Brilliant Faith That Dispels the Darkness of Misconceptions: In Praise of the Greatly Secret Teachings of the Early Translation School 233

A Jeweled Mirror of Pure Appearances: Establishing the Unity of the Views of the Old and New Translation Schools of the Secret Mantrayana 241

An Offering Cloud of Ambrosia on the Path of Reasoning: A Discourse Showing, through Sound Logic, That the Innermost Intent of Scholars from Both the Old and New Translation Schools is Unified within the Prasangika System 289

Glossary 311

Bibliography 339

Index 345

About the Translator 371

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