the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:17 pm

I posted similar question that what is your favourite dharma book, on the book review section but it is not active and been few days and nobody bothers to answer. my wish is to get a list of good, lucid, clarifying, enlightening, clear and helpful dharma books or texts youve read or studied.

my all time number one clear and helpful and CLEAR dharma text is by Lama Zopa Rinpoche - how to practice Dharma the teachings on the 8 worldly dharmas.

this book is amazing in its clarity and down to earth style of teaching that applies perfectly for the samsaric mind. teaching what is truly renunciation and that has been hard to figure out what true renunciation of mind is. basically its renouncing the eight worldly dharmas and this what Lama Zopa Rinpoche talks about. there are also great stories in this book. really really good book. i recommend.

i think this topic 8 worldly dharmas is a topic that most of the dharma practitioners dismiss or do not pay attention allthough the results can be achieved in other practices indirectly but if you want to get head on with the 8 worldly dharmas in your mind this is the book for it.

the book clearly defines what is Dharma practice and what is not.

please post on this thread books that youve found most helpful and your favourite books or texts and maybe tell a little bit.

i hope people due to this thread may find precious gems ( dharma books ) and find good texts and books to read and study.

thanks :smile:
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby Norwegian » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:08 pm

The Crystal and The Way of Light, by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu.
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:07 pm

The Mirror, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. A complete contemplation manual in some sixty pages. As essential and as lucid as they can get.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby KeithA » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:05 pm

Everyday Zen - Charlotte Joko Beck. :smile:
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby bryandavis » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:16 pm

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism:
Turnip
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:46 pm

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Shunryu Suzuki
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby M.G. » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:19 am

I"ll second Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's "The Crystal and the Way of Light."

Two others I really like are Kennard Lipman's "Secret Teachings of Padmasambhava: Essential Instructions on Mastering the Energies of Life" and Martin Boord's "A Bolt of Lightning from the Blue."
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby duckfiasco » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:07 am

"Mindfulness in Plain English" by Henepola Gunaratana. It saved my life.
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:08 am

I think it depends on karma. Some teachings for you are clear, profound, life changing, boring, or even insulting. The same teachings can be seen in a completely different way by someone else. But for me it is The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech: A Detailed Commentary on Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisattva .
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:13 am

i have that commentary of shantideva on my next books list to buy and i am adding the CNN books to it also :)) thanks everyone so far.
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby oushi » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:11 am

Rinzai Roku.
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby M.G. » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:38 pm

One other book I should have mentioned is "Heart Drops of Dharmakaya" by Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen with commentary by Lopon Tenzin Namdak. This is the most concise and complete English language explanation of Dzogchen practices I know of. An absolute must-read for anyone interested in Dzogchen.
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby bryandavis » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:50 pm

I will add one more as CUTTING THROUGH SPIRITUAL MATERIALISM was / is great for clarifying the reason and view of why / how to embark on the path.

Oh, and of course it is by Trungpa, not Turnip as I posted! haha.

As far as a book that clarified a lot of deeper insights or misunderstanding and led to a greater level of clarity in my practice life was being able to read:
DOLBOBA'S MOUNTAIN DOCTRINE translated by JEFFERY HOPKINS. But take in mind I practice mainly in the Kagyu system so it was helpful in regard to the views I was working with at the time.
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:40 pm

hmm, could you tell me a bit more about this mountain doctrine book ? i see it deals with other emptiness and buddha matrix but could you give a little preview or introduce the book and its content.

thanks :)
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby bryandavis » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:05 pm

Regarding the Mountain Doctrine text i would describe it as follows:

Dolboba is wrote his view / theory or what ever you want to call it on other emptiness. He goes about it in three ways ( or I am describing it that way to simplify what the huge volume of work is pointing at ).

1. It is broken down into three parts: ground, path, and fruit.
2. each of the three parts then shows the sutra/tantra connection in relation to ground,path,fruition.
3. each section is presented in the style of an opponents view and Dolbobas argument against it.

As well there is a lot of good information and reasoning from his side on the distinction of yogacara / cittamatra /and other emptiness.
Long quotes and passages from supporting sutras in regards to the above.

The tantric side of argument and reference relies mainly on the Stainless light commentary to the Kalachakra tantra.

Then there is a summary section condensing all the points made.
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby Dorje Shedrub » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:00 am

Zurchungpa's Testament, HH Dilgo Khyentse

The Supreme Source (Kunjed Gyalpo tantra), ChNNR
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby zerwe » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:03 am

How to Practice. HHDL.
Shaun :namaste:
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Re: the most helpful and lucid dharma text/book you've read?

Postby smcj » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:53 am

This was actually written as a college textbook introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, but it was for Naropa Institute and by a longtime student of Trungpa R., Dr. Reginald Ray. He was also the head meditation instructor for Shambhala before he broke off on his own. So it is a good survey course type overview, but very well written, pleasant/easy to read, and by a practitioner that knows what he is talking about, not just some academic. It is directed towards Tibetan Dharma, but it includes history & core teachings from India. Volume 1 has 80 pages covering Abhidharma, Madhyamaka, and Buddha Nature ideas. I dont see any Trungpa spin in it at all. He gets it right.

Volume 1 "Indestructible Truth"
Volume 2 "Secret of the Vajra World"

Nothing so secret in the second text. It's just the one about Vajrayana, with 30 pages or more for Mahamudra and Dzogchen each.

These are the books I would liked to have read when I started out. An overview is helpful, it would have made my life sooo much easier. Walking into a HYT empowerment, a LamRim teaching, and then a Madhyamaka teaching can be very disorienting if you don't know how they all work together. Plus even today there are gaps in my knowledge. Dr. Ray gets the things I know a good deal about exactly right, so when he talks about the things I don't know anything about I have confidence he is getting that right too.
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