Dear Friends,

In a recent conversation with Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche, one of the authors discussed below, he talked about his training at Larung Gar in Tibet, the vast Buddhist complex in the remote grasslands of Golok in eastern Tibet. The way that they train and relate to texts is so different than what we do here in the West. For example, there it’s pretty rare for people to simply pick up a text or a book, read it cover to cover, and then go on to the next thing. Rather, they are introduced to a text in a teaching context that may last for weeks or months, and revisit parts of it again and again. Every year, for three months, the entire community of thousands studies a particular section of Patrul Rinpoche’s The Words of My Perfect Teacher and then of course puts them into practice. Then there are those on the path who are presented texts and topics by authors such as Asanga, Nagarjuna, Shantideva, Lonchenpa, Tsongkhapa, Mipham Rinpoche, and many more. They spend months studying and practicing, often returning to the text the following year. Consistent, repeated, in-depth attention and application allows the students to really internalize the works. 
It’s a tough act for most of us to follow. But we have to start somewhere. We feel our job here at Shambhala Publications and Snow Lion is to make the best of the best available to you, whether they are core texts of the Indian and Tibetan masters of old or new presentations by the best contemporary teachers and writers. Our priority here is to help you with resources for your practice and the study that supports it. 
In that vein, 2016 has been an amazing year thus far for Tibetan Buddhist projects from our Shambhala and Snow Lion imprints. 35 new books on Tibetan Buddhism have come out, plus a handful of reissues. These include works by Nagarjuna, Asanga, Guru Rinpoche, Mipham Rinpoche, Ronzompa, Tsongkhapa, Jigme Lingpa, Jamgön Kongtrul, the Dalai Lama, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Thubten Chodron, Pema Chodron, and lots more. Are you keeping your library up to date?
We’ll give you a full recap below but first, we wanted to update you on a few other resources we are working on for you. 

From Shambhala Publications
& Snow Lion

Our Online Education and Media team has been very busy and this is good news for those of us in the Tibetan Buddhist world for two reasons:

At our event space and studio in Boulder, we have been producing a wide array of new material. This content includes author interviews, teachings with visiting lamas, discussions on translation by some of the best Tibetan-to-English translators,  the 10+ hour Way of the Bodhisattva workshop (viewed by thousands) in collaboration with the Tsadra Foundation, and a long weekend dedicated to Jamgön Kongtrul’s massive Treasury of Precious Instructions on the Eight Practice Lineages of Tibetan Buddhism with some great lamas, teachers, and translators. We are happy to make these available to everyone for free.

The second focus of our OEM team is more in-depth, focused online courses.  With about 15,000 people having gone through our courses in the last year—such as those on the three yanas based on the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche by his long-time editor—and popular teacher in her own right—Judy Lief, lojong teachings with Pema Chödrön, and introductory meditation courses with Susan Piver and Lodro Rinzler, we are expanding our offerings further. Our certified Instructional Designers on staff have created unique, engaging experiences with these great teachers that keep people coming back for more. And this was only the beginning2017 will be packed with great courses for Tibetan Buddhists.

Online Education & Media

Padmakara's Wulstan Fletcher on the Bodhicharyavatara

Guided Meditation with Tulku Thondup

Pema Chödrön's recent online course

Upcoming course on Mahamudra based on Chögyam Trungpa's teachings

Books 2016

35 new books and reissues of some classics

Classics of Indian Masters
Nagarjuna, Asanga, Padmasambhava

Tibetan Masters
Rongzompa, Tsongkhapa, Machik Lapdron, Patrul Rinpoche...

Contemporary Teachers
The Dalai Lama, Khenchen Thrangu, Dzongsar Khyentse...

Accessible Introductions
Pema Chödrön, Thubten Chodron, Anam Thubten...


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Our Pristine Mind

Orgyen Chowang

Finally, in this section is Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche’s Our Pristine Mind: A Practical Guide to Unconditional Happiness. Now this could really fit into either category we have grouped these books – it is an incredibly clear introduction to practice, void of lots of technical terms, but this is really unique – it’s a distillation of the heart of the teachings of Mipham Rinpoche and Guru Rinpoche. Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche was trained by Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche (see also Always Present: The Luminous Wisdom of Jigme Phuntsok) one of the great masters of the last century and whose disciples are having a profound impact on the state of Buddhism in China and Tibet. Rinpoche has been on a coast-to-coast tour of the U.S and the feedback for the book has been pretty astounding from both those new to Buddhism who find it so simple, jargon-free, and doable, and for long-time practitioners for whom it can be a splash of cool water, refreshing their practice with a practical clarity they needed

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I have lived surrounded by the ocean my entire life. My area of expertise is waterfront properties, by land, by sea and by air. I love my job, it gives me the opportunity to meet the greatest people in the world and help them make their dreams come true. It is my ultimate goal to make sure each and every client is treated as a VIP.


(+559) 9-555-5555

[email protected]

The Intelligent Heart
A Guide to the Compassionate Life

Dzigar Kongtrul

2016 has brought two new books and one interactive card deck on lojong, or mind training, that are great for everyone (and a fourth lojong book in the next section). 

The first is by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, a close disciple of Dilgo Khyentse and the current teacher of Pema Chödrön. The Intelligent Heart: A Guide to the Compassionate Life takes the famous Seven Points of Mind Training with a particular focus on tonglen, the practice of giving and taking, to weaken the grip of attachment and open our hearts to others in a powerful, transformative way. 


Good Karma
How to Create the Causes of Happiness and Avoid the Causes of Suffering 

Thubten Chodron

The second work on lojong is Thubten Chodron’s Good Karma: How to Create the Causes of Happiness and Avoid the Causes of Suffering. Here she goes to the very roots of lojong, taking the early text whose authorship is generally understood to be that of Dharmarakshita, Atisha’s own teacher. 

For a full exploration of the practice of mind training, including its history from the Buddha through Nagarjuna, Shantideva, and Atisha as well as a guide to the many resources available for all of us today to bring it in to our hearts, see our article on the subject


Our Pristine Mind
A Practical Guide to Unconditional Happiness

Orgyen Chowang

Finally, this section concludes with Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche’s Our Pristine Mind: A Practical Guide to Unconditional Happiness. Now this could really fit into either category we have grouped these books—it is an incredibly clear introduction to practice, void of lots of technical terms, but this is really unique—it’s a distillation of the heart of the teachings of Mipham Rinpoche and Guru Rinpoche. Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche was trained by Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche (see also Always Present: The Luminous Wisdom of Jigme Phuntsok) one of the great masters of the last century and whose disciples are having a profound impact on the state of Buddhism in China and Tibet. Rinpoche has just completed a coast-to-coast tour of the U.S. The feedback for the book has been pretty astounding from both those new to Buddhism who find it so simple, jargon-free, and doable, and for long-time practitioners for whom it can be a splash of cool water, refreshing their practice with the practical clarity they needed. 

Embracing Each Moment
A Guide to the Awakened Life

Anam Thubten

As those of you who have met him or read his books know, Anam Thubten is an extraordinary teacher. We first met him nearly twenty-five years ago when his English was almost non-existent, and now he has a better vocabulary than most native speakers. 

Now in Embracing Each Moment: A Guide to the Awakened Life, we find an incredibly accessible, encouraging presentation of the essential Buddhist teachings spoken from someone with real experience and with an intimate understanding of the subtleties of our minds. This is inspiring for long-term practitioners but also a great book to give to someone simply trying to figure things out. 


Buddhist Art Coloring Book 2
Buddhas, Deities, and Enlightened Masters from the Tibetan Tradition

Robert Beer

Our second Buddhist Art Coloring Book: Buddhas, Deities, and Enlightened Masters from the Tibetan Tradition focuses on figures of deities drawn by master artist Robert Beer, known for his seminal Encyclopedia of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols and Motifs as well as the Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols and, of course, the first Buddhist Art Coloring Book that came out last year. The coloring book craze is everywhere right now, but there is a difference here. By working on these, one gets a familiarity with these figures that can be very helpful when practicing visualizations, etc.


Pema Chödrön's Compassion Cards
Teachings for Awakening the Heart in Everyday Life

Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön returns once again to one of her core topics on teaching, lojong. If you loved her Start Where You Are, you will also love her latest, Pema Chödrön's Compassion Cards: Teachings for Awakening the Heart in Everyday Life—a great way to really ingrain the lojong slogans by interacting with them and testing yourself. This deck includes Pema's introduction to the practice, fifty-nine cards representing the full set of lojong teachings for daily inspiration and contemplation, a practical commentary from Pema on the reverse of each card, a card stand for easy display, and an audio download of Pema’s teachings on the related practice of tonglen.


Indian Masters of the Past

While there is the kangyur and the tengyur, there is not really an official Tibetan Buddhist canon—or at least one that could ever be agreed on. However, beyond the sutras, vinaya, and abidharma texts, the works of some of the important Indian masters who the Tibetans are heirs to are generally considered canonical. 

The Bodhisattva Path to Unsurpassed Enlightenment
A Complete Translation of the

Arya Asanga

As part of the Tsadra series of essential texts from the Tibetan tradition, we are very pleased to finally have a superb translation of Asanga’s Bodhisattvabbhumi, The Bodhisattva Path to Unsurpassed Enlightenment. This is surely one of the most important and quoted texts of Mahayana Buddhism, but only by really studying it can its full impact be appreciated. Robert Thurman says of this translation,

Anyone who aspires to follow the way of the bodhisattva, the wholehearted altruist who undertakes the evolutionary path through countless lives toward the perfectly blissful enlightenment of buddhahood, is well-advised to study this work in all its sparkling detail. I strongly recommend this wonderful jewel of a work.

Coming Home to Tibet
A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Belonging

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

The second is the poet Tsering Wangmo Dhompa’s Coming Home to Tibet. This was a hard one for us to figure out how to present, as it is not a dharma book per se so it might not obviously interest practitioners, while the Tibet-focus might have pigeon-holed it for non-Buddhists. But I think we figured it out, and I think Zen teacher Norman Fisher articulated it very well with these considered words he shared after reading this incredibly moving book:

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa is a poet who straddles several worlds and languages. In Coming Home to Tibet, she writes beautifully of her life, her family, Tibet’s astonishing landscape, and the tragedy of its contemporary political situation. As a Tibetan, Dhompa sees the traditional culture of her homeland lovingly. As a Westerner, she sees its shortcomings. So this book is a blessing for those of us interested in Tibet: it paints a sensitive and detailed portrait, from the inside, that is both critical and sympathetic.

As a Buddhist concerned about transmission of the tradition to the West, Coming Home to Tibet gave me a lot to think about. To what extent is Buddhism, as Western adherents generally see it, a psychology and philosophy divorced from its cultural moorings—and to what extent do we fundamentally misunderstand Buddhism when we look at it that way? And in that misunderstanding, do we lose a great deal of the goodness Buddhism might offer us? Dhompa does not engage such questions abstractly: her personal reflections, as an educated Tibetan Westerner, provide more powerful food for thought about this question than any theoretical discussion could."

Also of Interest

Two more books in this section are likely of interest, though they are not explicitly Buddhist. 

Tibetan Buddhist Books for Practitioners and General Readers

The books in this category are appropriate for anyone, from Buddhist practitioners to people of any background interested in opening their hearts and minds to the infinite possibilities of this life.  

Tibetan Masters of the Past

Spanning the eighth through nineteenth centuries.

Visionary Encounters
The Dzogchen Teachings of B
önpo Teasure-Revealer Shense Lhaje

Compiled, Introduced, and Translated by Adriano Clemente

While there are not many Bön texts in English, we were delighted to have the opportunity to publish Visionary Encounters: The Dzogchen Teachings of Bönpo Treasure-Revealer Shense Lhaje. Shense Lhaje (thirteenth century) was a Dzogchen terton from Kham, considered an emanation of Trenpa Namkha, one of Guru Rinpoche’s 25 main disciples, and it is the latter’s teachings that are presented here. Geshe Tenzin Wangyal said, “This book is a treasure that fills a critical need for translation of ancient Bön texts. Through it, we are very blessed to have access to the deep personal experiences and discoveries of Shense Lhaje, whose understanding of the teachings of the important Bön master Trenpa Namkha, one of Guru Rinpoche's 25 disciples, is connected with the source. In translating these texts from The Golden Teaching, Adriano Clemente has been supervised by great living masters of our tradition and is very qualified both as an academic and as a practitioner. I highly recommend that students of Dzogchen delve deeply, both intellectually and experientially, into the knowledge this book conveys.”

Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo

And speaking of Rongzongpa! The great eleventh-century master Rongzom Mahapandita is a towering figure in Tibetan Buddhism and in the Nyingma tradition in particular, considered alongside Longchenpa and Mipham Rinpoche as one of the three pillars of the Nyingma doctrine. Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle: Dzogchen as the Culmination of the Mahāyanā is long overdue in English. (The only other work in English is his Establishing Appearances as Divine)

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche—who, in our opinion, is as good as it gets—said that this work is an “outstanding study and translation of a renowned treatise by one of the greatest luminaries of Tibetan literature, the great Rongzompa. Starting with the Mahāyāna corpus, this volume illuminates how all the vehicles relate with, and culminate in, the Great Perfection. It is an invaluable addition to Buddhist literature in the West.”

Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle
Dzogchen as the Culmination of the Mahāyanā

The Nature of Mind
The Dzogchen Instructions of Aro Yeshe Jungne

Patrul Rinpoche and the Khenpo Brothers

Patrul Rinpoche’s works are quite extensive, eight volumes in Tibetan, but there is not too much in English outside of Words of My Perfect Teacher, Groundless Paths: The Prajnaparamita Sutras, The Ornament of Clear Realization, and Deity, Mantra, and Wisdom.

The Khenpo brothers—the late Khenpo Palden Sherab and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal— have put together this wonderful volume, The Nature of Mind: The Dzogchen Instructions of Aro Yeshe Jungne featuring Patrul Rinpoche’s Clear Elucidation of True Nature. The Dzogchen meditation instructions of Aro Yeshe Jungne (tenth century), which Patrul Rinpoche reinvigorated, are divided into nine sets, or nine levels, with specific instructions for each on how to identify the nature of the mind, how to abide in it as a way of life, and how to liberate turbulent thoughts and emotions when they arise. The commentary enfolds this instruction into a broad general teaching suitable for beginners that serves as an introduction to Dzogchen meditation, to the Nyingma tradition, and to basic Buddhism. 

The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra
Books 15 to 17, The Essential Tantras of Mahayoga

Chöying Tobden Dorje

The Complete Nyingma Tradition, which will end up being about seven to eight books, is an astounding work. Written by the Ngagkpa Chöying Tobden Dorje in Repkong in the nineteenth century, this is the most comprehensive work on any Tibetan tradition ever published—by a long shot. The feedback for this has been amazing—it truly is essential reading for anyone practicing in the Nyingma tradition. 

This second release, the Mahayoga section, is actually two volumes wrapped together. Forming books 15–17 of the original work, this release presents the entire text of the Guhyagarbha Tantra, in Tibetan and English, together with the interlinear sections of one of its most important commentaries, Dispelling the Darkness of the Ten Directions, by the outstanding fourteenth-century master Longchen Rabjam. Also included is Chöying Tobden Dorje’s rewriting of Candragomin’s inspirational Extensive Commentary on the Sublime Litany of the Names of Manjushri.

Steps to the Great Perfection
The Mind-Training Tradition of the Dzogchen Masters

Jigme Lingpa

The next in our list is Jigme Lingpa’s Steps to the Great Perfection: The Mind-Training Tradition of the Dzogchen Masters. This is actually an expansion (by Jigme Lingpa) of a short text by Longchenpa, which refers to a text by Garab Dorje—itself a commentary on a tantra brought to Tibet by Vimalamitra. 

The first section starts with Garab Dorje and Longchenpa’s short texts and then presents Jigme Lingpa’s Seven Points (which are not based on the Kadampa master Chekawa’s famous Seven Points of Mind Training). The first few sections read as moving and powerful mind-training teachings that will be familiar to anyone who has studied the Words of My Perfect Teacher or any lojong, lam rim, or ten rim text. The seventh point, however, departs from the mind-training techniques most are familiar with into a presentation of how to train the mind in nonconceptual clarity-emptiness. This is an astoundingly pragmatic and elucidating book. We can only hope translator Cortland Dahl keeps these kind of works coming!

The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra
Volume 1, Tantra in Tibet

Tsongkhapa, the Dalai Lama, and Jeffrey Hopkins

While Tsongkhapa’s Lam Rim is probably the most widely studied of his texts, his Vajrayana equivalent, The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra, Volume 1: Tantra in Tibet is essential for those in his tradition. This and the other two volumes that come out in the spring of 2017 comprise chapters 1–4 of the original Tibetan, which dovetails nicely with some of the later volumes that Columbia University has published. Our three volumes contain extensive commentary by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Khedrup-Je, and Jeffrey Hopkins. 

The Treasury of Precious Instructions
öd: The Sacred Teachings on Severance

Compiled by Jamgön Kongtrul

It was a major milestone in 2012 when, with the generosity of the Tsadra Foundation, we published the 10th and final volume of Jamgön Kongtrul Lodro Thaye’s Treasury of Knowledge. It's hard to imagine one human being writing such a massive work in their lifetime, yet this was one of five “treasuries,” extensive multi-volume works by this master. Now we are excited to publish the first volume—of eighteen!— in the Treasury of Precious Instructions series on the Eight Practice Lineages of Tibet. This series will be released as individual translators finish their sections. 

Chöd: The Sacred Teachings on Severance is a compilation of twenty-nine incredible texts on Severance. Many of these are, of course, by Machik Lapdrön, but other selections are from Aryadeva the Brahmin, Taranatha, the third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje, Jamgön Kongtrul himself, and many others. 

For more information on these eighteen volumes, you can download the free pdf or epub of the catalog of the eighteen volumes. 

A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom
Complete Instructions on the Preliminary Practices

Dudjom Rinpoche

As a nice bridge between this section and the next one on works by contemporary teachers, we are happy to announce that Dudjom Rinpoche’s A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom: Complete Instructions on the Preliminary Practices was recently released in paperback in December.

Contemporary Teachers

Glimpses of the Profound
Four Short Works

Chögyam Trungpa

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche saw that for dharma students to experience the wisdom he was presenting, it was best accomplished in a setting where they were fully engaged. Early on, he established annual intensive training seminars where students would listen to the teachings and absorb them through engaging in group discussion, reflection, and meditation practice.

The teachings from these seminars are now available in this single volume, Glimpses of the Profound:

  • “Glimpses of Mahayana,” on the discovery and characteristics of buddha nature
  • “Glimpses of Shunyata,” on the central mahayana teaching of emptiness
  • “Glimpses of Space,” on the inseparability of the vastness of the feminine principle and the dynamism of the masculine principle
  • “Glimpses of Realization,” on the three bodies of enlightenment (dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, nirmanakaya)

In these short, penetrating talks and lively exchanges with his early Western students, Trungpa Rinpoche presents the essential teachings of Tibetan Buddhism in a direct and experiential way. The talks resonated intensely with his audiences when they were given, and they continue to inspire those who wish to look further into the profundity of human experience.

This collection provides direct glimpses of the possibility of liberation, the opening of the human heart, and the awakening of one’s true potential.

Fluent Tibetan
A Proficiency Oriented Learning System

William Magee, Elizabeth Napper, Jeffrey Hopkins, Thubten Jinpa, and more

Learning Tibetan can seem daunting, but is so important for practice. And it is doable. By anyone. 

OK, this is not new, but it was not widely available until now. Fluent Tibetan: A Proficiency-Oriented Learning System is the culmination of years of work with some of the great translators of Tibetan, including none other than Thubten Jinpa, the Dalai Lama’s translator. This includes lessons, exercises and lots of downloadable audio to reinforce terms and phrases on your commute. 

Fluent Tibetan is based upon the courses developed by the U.S. State Department's Foreign Services Institute (FSI) specifically for diplomats needing to learn a language quickly. The FSI model used for this course is unsurpassed in its proven effectiveness. The method acquaints students with the sounds and patterns of Tibetan speech through repetitive, interactive drills enabling them to learn increasingly complex structures quickly and, in this way, promotes rapid progress in speaking the Tibetan language. 

If you are interested in the Tibetan language, see our guide to the resources we recommend

The Guru Drinks Bourbon?

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse

Several of us here at Shambhala think The Guru Drinks Bourbon? is Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s most important book to date. I do not think we are going out on a limb by saying that anyone involved in Vajrayana practice should read this book. It will challenge you, inspire you, and surprise you.

A lot of people have seen Rinpoche’s recent social media post about the Tulku system, encouraging a hard look at it. This is one of many dimensions of the role of the teacher—and the student—explored in this book.

Several of us read this in a single sitting; it is simply gripping. 

Strand of Jewels
My Teachers' Essential Guidance on Dzogchen


Khetsun Sangpo

Khetsun Sangpo was a lamas’ lama. While he kept a very low profile, he was revered among Nyingmapas the world over. His other books, Tantric Practice in Nyingma and Fundamental Mind, a commentary on Mipham Rinpoche’s famous Dzogchen text, are treasured gems for many of us.

It was in Fundamental Mind where we first heard of Rinpoche’s autobiography, which Strand of Jewels: My Teachers’ Essential Guidance on Dzogchen, is a translation of. This is an exceptional work of one of the last of the great generation of masters. The stories are at once inspiring and instructive, and this is a book many of us will turn to again and again. 

Natural Bravery
Fear and Fearlessness as a Direct Path of Awakening

Gaylon Ferguson

Natural Bravery: Fear and Fearlessness as a Direct Path of Awakening is by Gaylon Ferguson, Naropa University professor and teacher in the community of Shambhala Buddhism (not affiliated with Shambhala Publications). Here he shows how we can transform our perception of the world and our response to fear into a powerful asset for living here and now fearlessly. Gaylon dropped in to our office recently and is a wonderful presence and teacher. We like him a lot and think you will too.


When Things Fall Apart (20th Anniversary Edition)
Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Pema Chödrön

We also have a new 20th Anniversary edition of one of the best-selling and most popular English-language Buddhist books, Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart. You can find this in both hardback and paperback.

The Root Stanzas of the Middle Way
The Mulamadhyamakakarika


We released this new translation of Nagarjuna’s The Root Stanzas of the Middle Way: The Mulamadhyamakakarika. Why does the world need another one? This particular volume was done in preparation for a visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama who taught the text. And this was done by the Padmakara Translation Group, whose translations are widely considered to be of the very finest. The translators used Mipham Rinpoche’s commentary on the text when translating it. The preface by the translators is extremely helpful in orienting the reader to this challenging but essential text.  The Tibetan text is included as well.

Gypsy Gossip
and Other Advice

Thinley Norbu

A stream of really incredible books have come out by Thinley Norbu Rinpoche since he passed away in 2011. Thinley Norbu Rinpoche kept a very low-profile but was one of the most important lamas and considered by Nyingmapas to be at the very pinnacle of the path. He was a lama’s lama, with people coming from all over the globe to seek his wisdom and blessing. 

Gypsy Gossip and Other Advice contains four sections. The first is an edited version of a teaching Rinpoche gave in Nepal in 1980 across a wide variety of topics, from karma to faith, to arrogance, and more. The second—and longest—section is a response to a question from the Shambhala Sun (now the Lion's Roar) asking how Buddhism is doing in the West. For anyone who cares about this question, this is essential reading. The third section, a response to a request for a teaching by a young woman in Bhutan, looks at the other side of the coin, how Buddhism is doing in Bhutan. The final section is on dharma dance offerings, which Rinpoche had mastered and taught extensively. 

A Garland of Views
A Guide to View, Meditation, and Result in the Nine Vehicles

Padmasambhava and Jamgön Mipham

A work by Guru Rinpoche (so it could have been in the previous section), an extensive commentary by Mipham Rinpoche, all translated by the Padmakara Translation Group? It is difficult to imagine anything more appealing. A Garland of Views: A Guide to View, Meditation, and Result in the Nine Vehicles is a concise explanation of the section of the Guhyagarbha tantra that relates to the various views of Buddhists and non-Buddhists. This is an essential study guide for those developing the view in the traditions this represents. It was this text alone that Guru Rinpoche taught publicly at Samye. The book Jamgön Mipham describes how Mipham Rinpoche said that his commentary “accords with the way that both Rongzom and Longchenpa explain the tantra. He termed this manner of commentary the 'Rong-Long' tradition (Rongzom and Longchenpa) in contrast to the Zur tradition that explains it as strictly a Mahāyoga text. As we have seen, Rongzom and Longchenpa were Mipham’s primary Nyingma sources.”

The Boudhanath Teachings

Thinley Norbu

The second book is Echoes: The Boudhanath Teachings. In colorful, bustling Boudhanath—Buddhism's great pilgrimage site in Nepal—a small group of students gathered to speak with Rinpoche in an informal, relaxed atmosphere. This is the record of their lively dialogue, which the author described as “using the traditional method of question and answer to connect ordinary experience with sublime Dharma in a flexible way.” The contents cover a wide range of inquiry: How should Westerners understand the Tibetan Buddhist teachings on karma and rebirth, monastic discipline, the importance of keeping vows, and devotion to the Guru? What is the Buddhist stand on male supremacy? Must Vajrayana practitioners have a consort? What is the antidote to self-hatred? How do we put into practice the “same taste” of suffering and pleasure?

Luminous Clarity
A Commentary on Karma Chagme's 
Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen

Khenchen Thrangu

Luminous Clarity: A Commentary on Karma Chagme's Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen grows out of an oral teaching that Khenchen Thrangu gave in Crestone, Colorado, on Karma Chagme’s text Meaningful to Behold: The Essential Instructions of the Compassionate One on the Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. Thrangu Rinpoche explains in lucid detail the advanced meditation practices of Mahamudra and Dzogchen and also their similarities and differences, including advice on how to safely perform some of the more advanced Dzogchen practices.

This work by Karma Chagme’s is not to be confused with his 36-verse, similarly-named text, The Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, which was the basis for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s wonderful commentary under the same title

Tai Situ Rinpoche had this to say about it: “The lucid clarity of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s commentary illuminates Karma Chagme’s precious text on the union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen for today’s Dharma practitioners. It is simple, practical, and profound—it instructs, inspires, and encourages meditators in the work of realizing the true nature of mind.” 

The Heart of Meditation
Discovering Innermost Awareness

The Dalai Lama

The line of Dalai Lamas has a long history and connection with the Dzogchen tradition, most famously the Fifth Dalai Lama and the present Fourteenth. His Holiness was profoundly impacted by both Kunu Lama and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. 

Now he presents a beautifully clear explanation of Patrul Rinpoche’s famous text, Three Keys Penetrating the Core in The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness.

This is an excellent introduction to Dzogchen, and His Holiness gives a clear and simple overview, emphasizing the importance of a proper foundation. 

Pure Appearence
Development and Completion Stages in Vajrayana Practice

Dilgo Khyentse

In June of 1987, on his final visit to North America, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche came to Boulder, CO, and Halifax, NS where large communities of Buddhists—many raw from the very recent passing of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche—listened to this great master and teacher of teachers expound on the profound path of the Vajrayana. These compact volumes present two incredible sets of teachings from one of the twentieth century’s greatest lamas.

In Pure Appearance: Development and Completion Stages in Vajrayana Practice, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche gives essential instructions on Vajrayana practice. Covering what deity practice actually is, from the empowerments to the three samadhis, Rinpoche then explains how the bardos relate to the completion stage of practice. Continuing, using the example of Vajrasattva practice, Rinpoche details the process of visualization including “vajra pride.” He concludes with a brief explanation of the “four forces that bind,” essential instructions to apply in the development stage.


Primordial Purity
Oral Instructions on the
Three Words That Strike the Vital Point

Dilgo Khyentse

In Primordial Purity: Oral Instructions on the Three Words That Strike the Vital Point, Khyentse Rinpoche explains how a student, having practiced the development and completion stages, can engage in the formless practice of trekcho, or “cutting through,” one of the two aspects of Dzogchen. Using Patrul Rinpoche’s famous text on Garab Dorje’s Three Words That Strike the Vital Point, Rinpoche explains how to approach Dzogchen through the lenses of view, meditation, and action. 

Stars at Dawn
Forgotten Stories of Women in the Buddha's Life

Wendy Garling

Stars at Dawn: Forgotten Stories of Women in the Buddha's Life came to us via a fortuitous meeting with one of our book designers and Wendy Garling, an independent scholar and teacher. 

What she has done here is pretty amazing: she has managed to pull stories of the women in the Buddha's life from many sources, both canonical and outside the Pali sutras. While this is not an account from the Tbetan Buddhist tradition, we are including it here as many have found it of great interest.

Karma Lekshe Tsomo, founder of Sakyadhita and profiled in Dakini Power, described this recently as an “epic tale about the luminous constellation of women who from conception to death surrounded the Buddha. Straddling dream and reality, this fresh and original rendering of these remarkable women’s stories weaves together strands of legend with verses from original texts. The colorful accounts express in contemporary language and colloquial style the deepest spiritual longings of an awakening cast of characters, at once humorous, heartwarming, and familiar.”

A Guided Tour of Hell
A Graphic Memoir

Samuel Bercholz

Everyone reading this is almost certainly aware of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Now, in A Guided Tour of Hell, Sam Bercholz, a teacher and—ahem—founder of Shambhala Publications, shares his near-death experience, which closely resembles the traditional Tibetan delok experience of beings who technically die but then return to tell about their experience. And what an account it is. 

This book is not just an incredible story. The accompanying art by Tibetan artist Pema Namdol Thaye is unforgettably vivid. Together, this graphic memoir tells us all how to avoid living in our own self-created hells.  

A Study of Svātantrika

Donald Lopez

For many Mahāyāna and Vajrayana practitioners, Madhyamika seems intimidating, full of complexities, and perhaps hard to see how to put into practice. However, many great teachers from all traditions emphasize how important Madhyamika is in establishing the right view, which is essential to accomplishment and liberation. 

In his accessible explanation, A Study of Svātantrika, Lopez shines a light on Svātantrika, which for historical reasons has had less attention but is in fact crucial to Madhyamika philosophy. Despite the elevation of Candrakīrti’s Prasaṅgika in the Tibetan Gelug curriculum, Svātantrika has in fact been highly influential in both India and, later, in Tibet, as it is predominant in Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla’s presentations of the nature of reality. 

In preparing this study, Lopez consulted figures central to the development of Buddhist thought in India, such as Bhāvaviveka, Jñānagarbha, Śāntarakṣita, and Kamalaśīla and analyzed a number of Tibetan expositions of Svātantrika. The result is the one of the clearest presentations of Madhyamika available.

[Note, this is a reissue]

A Plea for the Animals
The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion

Matthieu Ricard

The first is the monk Matthieu Ricard’s A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion. While most know Matthieu’s incredible work as a writer, photographer, and superb articulator of Buddhism, the work here barely mentions Buddhism. What it is, in fact, an incredible, haunting, and impassioned case for better treatment of animals across a whole range of areas. 

We actually licensed this from the French publisher and our good friend, author, and polylingual translator Sherab Chödzin Kohn was struck well beyond his expectations:

"I am an unreconstructed omnivore. I shun food trips and diets. My guide to right eating is the Buddha, whose policy was to eat whatever was put in his begging bowl. Therefore, even though I had translated works of Matthieu Ricard's before, I was not a natural for translating his Plea for the Animals. I knew it leaned toward vegetarianism, and I feared it would entangle me in unwanted idealisms as well as cast a bad light on my dinner. But trusting my author, I jumped in anyhow and began to experience the book up close and personal on a level of intensity that perhaps only a translator may reach

Read his full reflection on translating this work here. 

Tibetan Buddhism 2016

35 New Books

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