Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings


Jamg?n Mipam (1846?1912) is one of the most extraordinary figures in the history of Tibet. Monk, mystic, and brilliant philosopher, he shaped the trajectory of Tibetan Buddhism?s Nyingma school.  This introduction provides a most concise entr?e to this great luminary?s life and work. The first section gives a general context for understanding this remarkable individual who, though he spent the greater part of his life in solitary retreat, became one of the greatest scholars of his age. Part Two gives an ...

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Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings

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Jamgön Mipam (1846–1912) is one of the most extraordinary figures in the history of Tibet. Monk, mystic, and brilliant philosopher, he shaped the trajectory of Tibetan Buddhism’s Nyingma school.  This introduction provides a most concise entrée to this great luminary’s life and work. The first section gives a general context for understanding this remarkable individual who, though he spent the greater part of his life in solitary retreat, became one of the greatest scholars of his age. Part Two gives an overview of Mipam’s interpretation of Buddhism, examining his major themes, and devoting particular attention to his articulation of the Buddhist conception of emptiness. Part Three presents a representative sampling of Mipam’s writings.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“At last, a comprehensive study of Mipam, the Nyingma Lion, whose magisterial works bridged the scholastic and yogic traditions of Tibet. Beautifully written, Duckworth’s book lucidly surveys Mipam’s Buddhist philosophy and provides translated excerpts from Mipam’s voluminous body of work that illustrate his erudite views. This is an exciting, accessible book we have been waiting for!”—Judith Simmer-Brown, Professor of Religious Studies, Naropa University, author of Dakini’s Warm Breath       

“Like the sun shining in the sky, the writings of our kind protector, Lama Mipam, sparkle with the light of wisdom. I congratulate my student, Prof. Douglas Duckworth, for publishing this important book on the life and works of the great scholar-practitioner, and I believe the book will be of interest, not only to students of Tibetan Buddhism, but to anyone with a sincere interest in discovering the depths of Buddhist insight.”—Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, author of Present Fresh Wakefulness: A Meditation Manual on Nonconceptual Wisdom

“Douglas Duckworth gives historical background to important Buddhist discussions in India and Tibet that concerned Mipam, a survey of the philosophical themes that he addressed and a selection of translations from his impressive array of writings. Though the translations are excerpts from longer works, they are valuable reading for practitioners. As a condensed anthology on Mipam, this book strikes an important balance, explaining the thought of one of Tibet’s great intellectuals while giving readers handpicked gems from Mipam’s forest of wisdom.”—Buddhadharma

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590306697
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/20/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamgon Mipam (1846-1912) was one of the great luminaries of Tibetan Buddhism in modern times. He had a dominant and vitalizing influence on the Nyingma school and beyond. A scholar of outstanding brilliance and versatility, his translated works are eagerly anticipated by English-language readers. 

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Part 1 Life and Context

1 Mipam's Life 3

2 Background of Buddhism in India 17

3 Buddhist Identity in Tibet 39

4 Survey of Mipam's Works 55

Part 2 Overview of Mipam's Buddhist Works

5 Unity 67

6 Mind- Only and the Middle Way 81

7 Emptiness and the Nonconceptual 99

8 Immanent Wisdom 119

Conclusion 135

Part 3 Select Translations

1 Emptiness and Analysis 141

2 Conceiving the Inconceivable 142

3 Unity and Buddha-Nature 143

4 Steps to the Middle Way 145

5 No-Self 146

6 Unmistaken Emptiness 147

7 Meditation on Emptiness 149

8 Mind-Only and the Middle Way 150

9 Mind-Only and the Middle Way II 151

10 Reflexive Awareness 155

11 Consequence and Autonomy 157

12 Consequence and Autonomy II 158

13 Two Truths 160

14 Unconditioned Buddha-Nature 163

15 Appearance and Reality 167

16 From the Two Wheels of Sutra to Tantra 169

17 Establishing Appearances as Divine 170

18 Fourfold Valid Cognition 173

19 Practical Advice for Beginners 175

20 Practical Advice for Monastics 176

21 Practical Advice on the Path of Illusion 179

22 Stages to Calm Abiding 182

23 Stillness, Movement, and Awareness in the Great Seal 187

24 Method for Sustaining the Nature of Awareness 189

25 A Quintessential Instruction on the Vital Point in Three Statements 191

26 Ground, Path, and Fruition of the Great Perfection 192

27 Bringing Afflictions onto the Path 194

28 Mind and Wisdom 196

29 Sutra and Tantra 198

30 Sword of Intelligence: Method for Meditating on Bodhicitta 201

31 Lily of Wisdom's Presence 204

32 Verse of Auspiciousness 208

Acknowledgments 209

Notes 211

Glossary 225

Bibliography 229

Index 239

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