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A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom: Complete Instructions on the Preliminary Practicesby Bdud-joms Jigs-bral-ye-ses-rdo-rje
Synopses & Reviews
In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the preliminary practices (ngondro) are widely recognized as being fundamentally important for both beginners and advanced meditators. The author writes, "In our tradition, we consider this practice to be the main practice." He himself used to begin each day with a meditation session on the preliminaries: aligning one's mind and heart with the Buddha's and all buddhist practioners (taking refuge); praying for the removal of obstacles and negative thoughts and actions (Vajrasattva mantra); making offerings to the Buddha (mandala); and connecting with the Buddha's and the teacher's mind through prayer (guru yoga).
In this book, Dudjom Rinpoche explains a key text (the Khandro Nyingtik) attributed to Padmasambhava, the great Indian meditation master credited with bringing the Buddha's teachings to Tibet. The instructions here are clear, direct, and personal, illuminating the heart of Vajrayana Buddhist practice and philosophy. Included is the root text by Padmasambhava and the commentary by Dudjom Rinpoche. The author offers unusual detail and includes a wealth of information not often found in other written commentaries. He begins by describing how to approach the study of Buddhism, how to identify a qualified teacher, and the requirements of the student. He then covers each section of the preliminaries in full, culminating in a memorable teaching on guru yoga, or the practice that joins the student with the teacher's heart.
The foundations of Vajrayana practice are laid out with eloquence and precision here by one of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist masters of our age. His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche’s commentary on the preliminary practices (ngöndro) is informed by his profound realization and wide-ranging scholarship, and illuminated with an array of quotations from the Vinaya, Sutra, and Tantra traditions. In addition to the commentary on the outer and inner preliminary practices, he provides other invaluable instructions on the correct view, conduct, and activity of a practitioner. Dudjom Rinpoche taught that the realization of the teachings of the Great Perfection depends entirely on the practice of these preliminary practices, thus his compassionate exposition of them here makes this book a particularly precious resource for anyone who seeks to remove the obstacles between themselves and the total freedom of enlightenment.
About the Author
Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje (1904-1987) was a highly revered Buddhist meditation master and the leader of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He also traveled and taught extensively, proving instrumental in bringing Buddhism to people in Europe, North America, and other parts of Asia. He founded a teaching and meditation center in Dordogne, France, in 1980, where he lived until his death in 1987.
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