Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators
A new translation of the classic biography of the most renowned saint in Tibetan Buddhist history
The Life of Milarepa is one of the most beloved stories of the Tibetan people and a great literary example of the contemplative life. This biography, a dramatic tale from a culture now in crisis, can be read on several levels. A personal and moving introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, it is also a detailed guide to the search for liberation. It presents a quest for purification and buddhahood in a single lifetime, tracing the path of a great sinner who became a great saint. It is also a powerfully evocative narrative, full of magic, miracles, suspense, and humor, while reflecting the religious and social life of medieval Tibet.
The mahamudra realization is never "Just live naturally like an animal. Just see and hear, and
have no thoughts." That is not it at all. Furthermore, even if we are able, through the initial
mahamudra methods, to achieve the level of attainment at which we are not greatly disturbed
by the contents of our experience, we should not fool ourselves into thinking that mahamudra
practice is so simple, or that this initial level is all that there is. It is a step in the correct
direction - a very big step - but it is not yet a profound understanding of mahamudra. To go
deeper into mahamudra practice, we need to develop shamata, a serenely stilled and settled
state of mind totally absorbed with single-pointed concentration on mind itself, first
specifically on its conventional nature as mere arising and engaging. The First Panchen Lama,
in A Root Text for the Glorious Gelug-Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra, begins his
presentation of mahamudra meditation at this point.
This is the most comprehensive and authoritative introduction to Tibetan Buddhism available to date, covering a wide range of topics, including history, doctrines, meditation, practices, schools, religious festivals, and major figures. The revised edition contains expanded discussions of recent Tibetan history and tantra and incorporates important new publications in the field. Beginning with a summary of the Indian origins of Tibetan Buddhism and how it eventually was brought to Tibet, it explores Tibetan Mahayana philosophy and tantric methods for personal transformation. The four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as Bön, are explored in depth from a nonsectarian point of view. This new and expanded edition is a systematic and wonderfully clear presentation of Tibetan Buddhist views and practices.