Enlightened Beings: Life Stories from the Ganden Oral Tradition

Overview

Here, for the first time in any Western language, are the sacred biographies of six great tantric meditators from the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. These life stories - or namtar - are actually tales of liberation. Part of a distinct tradition in Tibetan Buddhism, they are meant not only to inspire but also to instruct others on the path to enlightenment.

In Professor Willis's introduction and detailed annotations, you'll gain a wealth of information about how to read and ...

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Overview

Here, for the first time in any Western language, are the sacred biographies of six great tantric meditators from the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. These life stories - or namtar - are actually tales of liberation. Part of a distinct tradition in Tibetan Buddhism, they are meant not only to inspire but also to instruct others on the path to enlightenment.

In Professor Willis's introduction and detailed annotations, you'll gain a wealth of information about how to read and interpret namtar texts, as well as some valuable insights into the religious and political worlds in which these early Tibetan masters studied, practiced, and became enlightened beings in their lifetimes.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861710683
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 7/10/2005
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Willis is Professor Emerita of Religion at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Born in Docena, Alabama, in 1948 and profoundly affected by the Civil Rights movement, she majored in philosophy at Cornell University and met Buddhism while traveling in Asia in the 1970s. She went on to earn her PhD in Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and has studied with Tibetan Buddhists in India, Nepal, Switzerland, and the U.S. for over four decades. The author of several books and numerous articles and essays on Buddhist philosophy and history, meditation, women and Buddhism and Buddhism and race, her memoir Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist was first published in 2001. In December of 2000, Time named Willis one of six "spiritual innovators for the new millennium." In 2003, she was a recipient of Wesleyan University's Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. In September of 2005, Newsweek's "Spirituality in America" issue included a profile of her and, in its May 2007 edition, Ebony magazine named Willis one of its "Power 150" most influential African Americans.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Namtar as Literature and Liturgy 3
A General Definition 3
Chi, the Historical 7
Nang, the Inspirational 14
Sang, the Instructional 20
The Liberation Life Stories of: The Lord of Accomplishment, Jampel Gyatso 33
Baso Chokyi Gyeltsen 43
The Great Siddha, Chokyi Dorje 49
Gyelwa Ensapa 57
The Scholar-Siddha, Sanggye Yeshe 73
The First Panchen, Losang Chokyi Gyeltsen 85
Appendix I. The Gelukpa Mahamudra Lineage 99
Appendix II. Prayer to the Lineage Lamas (in English) 101
Appendix III. Prayer to the Lineage Lamas (in Tibetan) 107
Appendix IV. The Meaning and Methods of Mahamudra 111
Appendix V. The Life of Yongdzin Yeshe Gyeltsen 125
Abbreviations 132
Notes 133
Glossary 225
Sanskrit-Tibetan Glossary 247
Bibliography 253
Index 275
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