plwk wrote:How would one assist someone:
a. who has great affinity with Amitabha Buddha, and has a strong Pure Land practice background but is interested in Vajrayana
b. to find which lineage within Vajrayana that has a consistent focus on this Buddha from the preliminaries right up until the Higher Yoga Tantra stage
As already mentioned, there are many sources for Amitābha practices in the Tibetan Traditions. Here are a few easily accessible ones.
The Nyingma Palyul lineage preserves the Nam Chö terma cycle of Mingyur Dorje and the teachings of Karma Chagme. An abridged version of the Nam Chö Amitābha Sādhana (omitting the self-generation as Amitābha) can be practiced in this lineage without empowerment or completion of other prerequisites (although empowerments and complete preliminaries are certainly encouraged). A copy of the Nam Chö Amitābha Sādhana with both Tibetan text and English translation can be obtained from Palyul Productions
. The same Amitābha Sādhana (slightly different arrangement) is offered on Thrangu Rinpoche's Official Website
There are also two wonderful teachings related to Amitābha and Avalokiteśvara by Karma Chagme which have been translated into English. The first one is a series of eight teaching songs which cover the entire path from preliminaries, which focus on Amitābha, to the generation stage which focuses on Avalokiteśvara self-generation, to pith instructions on the union of chagchen and dzogchen. It has been taught with commentary by Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, titled Union of Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen
, and by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, titled Quintessence of the Union of Mahāmudrā and Dzokchen
The second teaching by Karma Chagme is a much longer and more detailed presentation of the same path structure (i.e. preliminaries which focus on Amitābha, generation stage which focuses on Avalokiteśvara self-generation, including an Avalokiteśvara self-generation liturgy which doesn't require empowerment, and complete instructions on the union of chagchen and dzogchen). Most of this text has been translated with a commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche. It is sold as two separate books: A Spacious Path to Freedom: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahāmudrā and Atiyoga
(Pt. 1), and Naked Awareness: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen
(Pt. 2). There are also MP3 and DVD recordings of Thrangu Rinpoche teaching on this text by Karma Chagme: Thrangu Rinpoche MP3
and Thrangu Rinpoche DVD
And finally, there is a lovely long prayer by Karma Chagme called The Aspiration of Sukhāvatī, the Pure Realm of Great Bliss
Oṃ amideva hrīḥ.
All the best,