Thursday, September 8, 2011

Naked Awareness: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen by Karma Chagme B. Alan Wallace

"The Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen by the 17th century adept Karma Chagme, is widely regarded as an unusually elegant synthesis of the leading Tibetan approaches to Buddhist meditation. Students and practitioners of meditation will be especially grateful to the Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche and his translator B. Alan Wallace for these ample and lucid elaborations of these instructions as they are traditionally taught."-- Matthew Kapstein, author

In this classic 17th-century presentation of the union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, Karma Chagme, one of the great teachers of both these lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, begins with an overview of the spirit of awakening and the nature of actions and their ethical consequences. Next, drawing from his enormous erudition and profound experience, Karma Chagme gives exceptionally lucid instructions on the two phases of Dzogchen practice--the "Breakthrough" and the "Leap-over"--followed by an accessible introduction to the practice of the transference of consciousness at the time of death. The concluding chapters of this treatise present a detailed analysis of Mahamudra meditation in relation to Dzogchen practice. This tour de force of scholarly erudition and contemplative insight is made all the more accessible by the lively commentary of the contemporary Nyingma Lama, Gyatrul Rinpoche. Although this book stands alone, it is the concluding section of a single body of teachings by Karma Chagme, the earlier section published under the title A Spacious Path to Freedom. Karma Chagme was a major teacher of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and his writings have also become central to the Payul Nyingma order, making him an ideal figure to integrate these two great meditation systems. Born in 1925 and recognized as a reincarnation of the great Payul contemplative Sampa Kunkyap, Gyatrul Rinpoche was educated in Payul Dhomang Monastery in Eastern Tibet. Trained by renowned adepts, he spent much of his life in Tibet in meditative retreat. Since the early 1970's, Gyatrul Rinpoche has taught thousands of students in North America, where he has established several centers for the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism. B. Alan Wallace is a student of Gyaltrul Rinpoche and a seasoned scholar and translator of Buddhist texts.

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