Synopses & Reviews
The First Panchen Lama's Easy Path (de lam
), written nearly four hundred years ago, is like a chest of jewels that has, until now, been locked to English speakers. This translation, with Gyumed Khensur Lobsang Jampa's commentary, unlocks that chest and holds each jewel up to the sunlight to reveal its great beauty and value.
A number of books in the past have explained how to meditate on the stages of the path, but Geshe Lobsang Jampa's volume is unique in showing the reader how to integrate visualizations from highest yoga tantra, guru yoga, and the instructions of the oral tradition within the contemplations of every single stage. From the initial meditations on the precariousness and immense value of human existence, through the contemplations of how we perpetuate the cycle of suffering, to the highest teachings on the practice of universal compassion and the empty nature of phenomena, The Easy Path leads practitioners step by step through the journey to enlightenment.
In these richly detailed, inspiring and completely practical instructions, Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa and Lorne Ladner have teamed-up to give us the First Panchen Lamas personal instructions on how to practice merging the stages of the path (lam rim
) teachings with guru yoga. Thus, into our hands is delivered a complete and easy guide to enlightenment.”Jan Willis, author of Enlightened Beings: Stories From the Ganden Oral Tradition
"In these richly detailed, inspiring, and completely practical instructions, Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa and Lorne Ladner have teamed up to give us the First Panchen Lama's personal instructions on how to practice merging the "stages of the path" (lamrim) teachings with guru yoga. At once comprehensive and 'easy' to follow, The Easy Path is a marvel of erudition and accessibility."
"How wonderful that the First Panchen Lama's timeless classic, An Easy Path, which for centuries has been regarded as one of the ten greatest Tibetan books on contemplative meditation, has finally come out in an easy-to-read English translation. All the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the three times and ten directions no doubt are rejoicing with great delight."
In these richly detailed, inspiring, and completely practical instructions, Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa and Lorne Ladner have teamed up to give us the First Panchen Lamas personal instructions on how to practice merging the stages of the path” (lamrim
) teachings with guru yoga. At once comprehensive and easy to follow, The Easy Path
is a marvel of erudition and accessibility.”Jan Willis, author of Enlightened Beings
and Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist and Buddhist
How wonderful that the First Panchen Lama's timeless classic, An Easy Path, which for centuries has been regarded as one of the ten greatest Tibetan books on contemplative meditation, has finally come out in an easy-to-read English translation. All the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the three times and ten directions no doubt are rejoicing with great delight.”Glenn Mullin, author of The Fourteen Dalai Lamas and The Practice of Kalachakra
For those wanting to practice the path to enlightenment, the First Panchen Lamas Easy Path
is like a chest of jewel treasures which has, up until now, been locked for English speakers. The translation of the root text here presents that treasure chest, and Gyumed Khensur Rinpoches commentary unlocks it, holding each jewel up to the sunlight to reveal its many facets, beauty and great value.
To gain the greatest benefit from this book, it may be useful to imagine each contemplation and meditation discussed as a precious jewel being given to you personally. You may then want to pause, holding each up to the light so slowly and happily examine each facet. I suggest this particularly because Khensur Rinpoche was extremely generous in his teaching this textcarefully and precisely revealing many points from the unique, oral tradition that has come down from Lama Tsongkhapa through Gyalwa Ensapa and the First Panchen Lama as well.
If youve read or studied some in the past on the stages of the path to enlightenment, then it may be easy to assume that you already know some of the points that will be explained here. But, if you go slowly and read carefully, you may discover facets here that you have not quite seen before.
There is one point in Easy Path when you pray, I must at all costs, quickly, quickly attain the precious state of completely perfect buddhahood for the sake of all mother sentient beings.” Khensur Rinpoche explains that one way of interpreting the phrase quickly, quickly” is that the first quickly refers to practicing the three lower classes of tantra and the second quickly refers to practicing highest yoga tantra. Of course, that is a very profound point. And then Rinpoche shares another interpretation that is unique to the oral tradition coming down through Gyalwa Ensapa. In that interpretation, the first quickly refers to practicing the stages of the path to enlightenment which is a faster way of attaining full enlightenment than the three lower classes of tantra and the second quickly” refers to taking guru yoga as the very life of your practice. By reading this book as you might slowly explore jewel gifts, you can understand how to go about taking guru yoga not just as the heart of your practice but as its life. You can also gain a practical understanding of how to integrate visualizations from highest yoga tantra, guru yoga, and the instructions of the oral tradition with your contemplations and meditations on every single step of the stages of the path. In that way, the Panchen Lamas phrase, quickly, quickly” may come to refer not just to practitioners of the past but to you as well!
About the Author
As one of the last generation of Tibetan Buddhist scholars to begin their educational careers in Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa has played an instrumental role in the reestablishment and preservation of Tibetan Buddhist traditions in exile, and in the spread of Tibetan Buddhism to the Western world. Highly regarded for his scholarship and depth of religious practice, Rinpoche teaches frequently in New York, Washington D.C., and at Do Ngak Kunphen Ling (DNKL), a Tibetan Buddhist center in Connecticut, where he hosted a visit from the Dalai Lama in 2012. He is abbot emeritus of Gyumed Tantric College, head of Mey College's Thewo regional house at Sera Monastery-one of the largest Tibetan monasteries in exile-and Spiritual Director of DNKL where he resides.Lorne Ladner, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in the suburbs of Washington DC, where he also directs and teaches at the Guhyasamaja Buddhist Center. Dr. Ladner has produced a training video on Mindful Therapy and provides workshops on the psychology of positive emotions, the integration of meditation and sychotherapy, and on Buddhist psychology. He is the author of The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology (HarperOne 2004).
Table of Contents
1. The Preliminaries
2. Relying on a Spiritual Teacher
3. Precious Human Rebirth
4. Small-Scope Mind-Training Practices
5. Medium-Scope Mind-Training Practices
6. The Seven-Point Cause-and-Effect Method for Generating Bodhichitta
7. Unique Instructions for Realizing Bodhichitta
8. The Bodhisattva Vow
9. Engaging in the Bodhisattvas Deeds
10. Calm Abiding
11. Special InsightThe Perfection of Wisdom
Appendix: An Extremely Brief Preliminary Practice to Meditation