Hidden Teachings of Tibet: An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

Overview

In all religions, sacred texts and objects have appeared miraculously. Among the most remarkable of these revelatory traditions is the terma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Termas herald a fresh opportunity for the renewal of spiritual practice. Here Tulku Thondup tells the story of the terma treasure tradition initiated by Padmasambhava, the ninth-century saint who established Buddhism in Tibet.

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Overview

In all religions, sacred texts and objects have appeared miraculously. Among the most remarkable of these revelatory traditions is the terma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Termas herald a fresh opportunity for the renewal of spiritual practice. Here Tulku Thondup tells the story of the terma treasure tradition initiated by Padmasambhava, the ninth-century saint who established Buddhism in Tibet.

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Editorial Reviews

Yoga World
"A marvelously lucid work on... this little understood tradition of Buddhist yoga."
Media Resources
"[A] superb outline of the secret Terma tradition... [It is] erudite, comprehensive, and full of scholarship and insight, yet at the same time is approachable and offers a good overview of Vajrayana as well as specific information on the Termas. It is well-presented and illustrated, and is a title you will read more than once. This is a lot of wisdom packed within its 300 pages..."
Professor Matthew Kapstein
"The tradition of terma should be of more than passing interest to Western students of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions: a great many of us practice at least some such teachings, and sometimes our practice is entirely based upon them. Despite the proliferation of teachings derived from termas, however, there has been an almost total lack of information concerning the genre of terma itself. This book helps to fill that void."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861711222
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 7/10/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 630,641
  • Product dimensions: 5.41 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche was born in Golok, Eastern Tibet, and recognized as a reincarnate lama at age five. He left Tibet as a political refugee in 1958 and taught at Lucknow University and Visva Bharati University in India before coming to the United States as a visiting scholar at Harvard University in 1980. Since then, he has lived and worked in Cambridge, Massachusetts, engaged in translation and writing projects on Tibetan Buddhism, focused particularly on the teachings of the Nyingma school. He is the author of numerous books on history, literature, mind, and meditation.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7
Some Key Terms 8
Note on Transliteration 9
Pt. 1 Buddhism and the Terma Tradition
1 Termas 13
2 Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana 15
3 Basic Philosophy of Sutra 19
4 Basic Philosophy of Tantra 32
5 Nyingma School 37
6 Sangha 40
Pt. 2 Transmission of Esoteric Teachings
1 Transmission 45
2 Guru Padmasambhava 50
Pt. 3 Termas: Purpose, Concealment and Discovery
1 Termas: Purpose and Transmission 57
2 Concealment of Termas 67
3 Discovery of Termas 71
Pt. 4 The Text of Wonder Ocean
1 Authenticity and Transmission 101
2 Script, Concealment and Protection 111
3 Terma Texts and Scripts 115
4 Classification and Transcription of Terma Scripts 126
5 Discovery and Reconcealment of Termas 137
6 Purpose and Greatness of Concealment 145
7 False Termas 154
8 Tertons and Doctrine-holders 157
9 Mind and Earth Termas 164
10 Terma System in the New Tantric Tradition 167
11 Purpose of this Text, and Colophon 168
App. 1 Bon Rituals in Ter Teachings 173
App. 2 Description of Empowerment of Rig dzin Du pa 177
App. 3 Categories of Texts in The Collection of Ancient Tantras 182
App. 4 Categories of Texts in The Collection of Canonical Literature 184
App. 5 Categories of Texts in The Precious Treasury of Discovered Termas 186
App. 6 Names of Earth, Mind and Pure Vision Tertons 189
Key to Abbreviations 205
Bibliography of Works Cited 209
Notes 219
Glossary 265
Index 281
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