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Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection: Dzogchen Teachings Given in the West

by Dalai Lama, Geshe Thupten Jinpa, Richard Barron, etc.

Buy the book: Dalai Lama. Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection: Dzogchen Teachings Given in the West

Release Date: June, 2001

Edition: Hardcover

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Buy the book: Dalai Lama. Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection: Dzogchen Teachings Given in the West


Hard To Understand

This book is not for the beginner, in fact you wonder whom it's aimed towards. His Holiness The Dalai Lama did a wonderful job with this book and many of the things are well thought and well explained, but it's hard to understand. The book does not have a beginner's touch at all. I wouldn't recommend this one unless you have had some basic Dzogchen education. Again, who is this book aimed towards? beginner? or expert?

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Useful record of Dzogchen Empowerments

Recently His Holiness the Dalai Lama published highly edited transcripts of four empowerments he gave into the traditional Nyingma teaching of Dzogchen or Great Perfection. Both Dzogchen and Mahamudra represent important indigenous developments of Tantric teachings in Tibet. Like all wisdom traditions, Buddhism rests upon the transmission of heart-essence realization and dharma from one generation to the next. Dzogchen, literally "great perfection," is the primary teaching of the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism, having been carried to Tibet in the eighth century by Padmasambhava, who is recognized as a "second Buddha." This actualization of what Dzogchen is is sent out through this collection of empowerments given from 1982-1989 by the 14th Dalai Lama. Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying) requested these teachings, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama obliged with emphasis on the 5th Dalai Lama's visionary receipt of Dzogchen teaching, which is summarized simply by the verse: "Ema! Phenomena are, without exception, Perfect within the continuum of self-arising rigpa." Ema is an expression of wonder and astonishment. Whereas rigpa is a technical term for root single awareness that illuminates all; whereas ordinary awareness is that but as refracted into various experiences of subject and object, so that the unity becomes a secret, except for those who are aware of the nature of the root awareness then everything is the root awareness. To attempt to understand enough so that one can cut through the veils of separations that is usually the habit mind. Of course the development of habitual indwelling in non-divisive bliss might be more fun than reading hundreds of books. But as the verse say there is no difference at the root or in the stem and branch or such preferences seeming important. Empowerments are a principle way the Tibetans are bringing Buddha dharma to the west. An empowerment is the oral recitation of the teaching with impromptu commentary for the audience. It is done with a ritual format so that there can be prayers, chants and other meditation aids going on but the most important aspect of the empowerment is that the teacher and his assistants as well as the whole audience is speaking at the time from within the nondual realization of what is being taught. In other words the Dalai Lama and his retinue are all within a state of actualization of the reality to which the teaching refers. As the audience is also so attuned the psychic contagion can be intense and experiences can quickly and deeply cut through the fog of our surface consciousness. Now this volume is likely to be popular among students of Buddhism, but, except for the Appendix: Compassion, the Heart of Enlightenment; the texts would confuse the novice. Because of this I recommend several other texts that provide more systematic accounts of the Dzogchen traditions and how they fit in with the wider traditions of Buddhist practice. The Golden Letters: The Three Statements of Garab Dorje, the First Teacher of Dzogchen, Together With a Commentary by Garab Dorje, edited and translated with a commentary by John Myrdhin Reynolds (Snow Lion Press) In many ways the best guide to Dzogchen teachings. Includes explanations that were previously thought too secret to publish. Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection by Mi-Pham-Rgya-Mtsho Nes Ses Rin Po Chei Sgron Me edited and translated with commentary by John W. Pettit (Wisdom Publications) offers the necessary links between Madhyamika and Dzogchen. And as a relatively easy introduction the The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, edited by John Shane (Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy: Snow Lion Press) provides a useful introduction.

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