Counsels from My Heart

Counsels from My Heart

by Padmakara Translation Group, Dudjom Rinpoche

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from My Heart

is one of the few volumes of teachings by Dudjom Rinpoche, a legendary
meditation master of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, to become
available in English. It features talks to students presented in Dudjom
Rinpoche's characteristically incisive and direct style, bringing the timeless
heart-counsels of


from My Heart

is one of the few volumes of teachings by Dudjom Rinpoche, a legendary
meditation master of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, to become
available in English. It features talks to students presented in Dudjom
Rinpoche's characteristically incisive and direct style, bringing the timeless
heart-counsels of this great teacher vividly to life.

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Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
Shambhala Publications
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Barnes & Noble
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main part of this book consists of a series of discourses given by Kyabje
Dudjom Rinpoche. One of them dates from as early as 1962, but on the whole,
they were delivered during the 1970s, some in the East and some in the West.
The talks were recorded, and were later transcribed and published in a small
volume, probably in Kathmandu. A copy of this book was given to Padmakara with
a request from Dudjom Rinpoche's consort, Sangyum Rigdzin Wangmo, for it to be
translated. Thus it is thanks to her, and with her gracious permission, that
these wonderful teachings are being made available to Western readers.

the other three schools of Tibetan Buddhism, which sprang up in the period
following the persecution of King Langdarma and which are organized, in the
main, around a particular leader or hierarch, the Nyingmapas, whose tradition
goes back to the foundation of Buddhism in Tibet, did not form a single
monolithic body. Elaborate institutions and complicated administration are
somewhat foreign to the Nyingma spirit. The tradition evolved in a loose,
uncentralized manner, producing a wide spectrum of teaching and practice,
principally associated, as Dudjom Rinpoche says, with six great monasteries and
their innumerable branch monasteries. This at least was the situation before
the Chinese invasion. But then disaster struck; the monasteries were destroyed
and those who were able escaped to India. As a means of preserving the
integrity of the tradition, it was thought necessary to nominate a single
leader around whom the scattered remnants could rally. This was a new departure
for the Nyingmapas, and yet it posed no problem. As a master of immense
learning and realization, as a
an unquestioned authority on the Nyingma teachings and especially the Great
Perfèction, and as the acknowledged representative of Guru Padmasambhava
himself, Dudjom Rinpoche was the unanimous choice. He was the object of
spontaneous and universal veneration, and was duly recognized by the Dalai Lama
as the leader of the Nyingmapas.

was only indirectly, of course, that we Westerners, beginners in the practice,
could vaguely glimpse the extent of his spiritual authority and his
accomplishment as a master of the Great Perfection—the revered guru of many
disciples who were themselves accomplished masters. But despite the humility
and relaxed lightheartedness of Rinpoche's bearing, no one, when with him,
could be unaware of being in the presence of a very great master, an embodiment
of the teachings. As we often heard from the mouths of lamas and khenpos alike,
"He simply

the more amazing then, that in addition to laboring tirelessly for the
preservation and practice of the teachings among Tibetans in India, Nepal, and
Bhutan, Dudjom Rinpoche took such a lively and compassionate interest in
"foreign" disciples, both Eastern and Western. As the years passed,
he traveled not only to the countries of South Asia and the Far East, but also
to Europe and America. Like Guru Padmasambhava in Tibet, he established the
Dharma in "distant barbarous regions," and according to the exacting
standards of an authentic tradition. Finally, it was in Dordogne, France, that
he chose to reside on a permanent basis. There, in January 1987, he passed away
amid many marvelous signs, letting fall a stream of blessings that is still

us Westerners, he was indeed a loving father. And although, as occasion
required, he did not mince his words, and could speak sternly and to the point
in appropriately colorful and graphic language, he was the personification of
gentle kindness. His presence was a source of endless inspiration; his
writings, the pattern of clarity and elegance. His oral teachings, as we hope
this book will show, had the simple, uncluttered directness of true mastery, so
accessible and clear. He was nevertheless, and as his brief autobiography
indicates, a person of great modesty. Matter-of-fact about his training and
work, he concealed his personal attainments beneath a veil of playful humor.

Rinpoche holds a very special place for the members of the Padmakara
Translation Group. Not only did he found his own teaching center at Laugeral,
Dordogne, in 1980,

in the same year he gave his blessing to the first three-year retreat at
Chanteloube, which he personally inaugurated and guided, giving many
empowerments and essential teachings.

on this translation has been a great privilege and it is offered as a humble
gesture of deep gratitude, however clumsy and imperfect. To the oral teachings
contained in the original collection of transcripts, we have added a number of
items that will perhaps be of interest to Western readers. These are a short
autobiography, two poems, and a brief introduction to the Great Perfection. We
are especially pleased to include this last item, which was translated in
consultation with Kyabje Truishik Rinpoche. It is included with his gracious

in Dordogne,

on the anniversary of Guru Rinpoche's birth,


Meet the Author

The Padmakara Translation Group is a team of translators and editors of various nationalities specializing in the translation of Tibetan texts and teachings, mainly into English, French, German, and Spanish.

Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje (1904-1987) was a highly revered Buddhist meditation master and the leader of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He also traveled and taught extensively, proving instrumental in bringing Buddhism to people in Europe, North America, and other parts of Asia. He founded a teaching and meditation center in Dordogne, France, in 1980, where he lived until his death in 1987.

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