Mahamudra: The Moonlight -- Quintessence of Mind and Meditation

Overview

Mahamudra meditation is simultaneously the most profound of meditative disciplines and the most accessible for modern practitioners. Traditionally passed orally from teacher to disciple, mahamudra instructions point the meditator to the innate perfection of every experience.

When it first appeared in 1986, Mahamudra: The Moonlight - Quintessence of Mind and Meditation was the first presentation in English of a major Tibetan Buddhist work on meditation. This classic guide was ...

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Mahamudra: The Moonlight -- Quintessence of Mind and Meditation

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Overview

Mahamudra meditation is simultaneously the most profound of meditative disciplines and the most accessible for modern practitioners. Traditionally passed orally from teacher to disciple, mahamudra instructions point the meditator to the innate perfection of every experience.

When it first appeared in 1986, Mahamudra: The Moonlight - Quintessence of Mind and Meditation was the first presentation in English of a major Tibetan Buddhist work on meditation. This classic guide was composed in the sixteenth century by an eminent lama of the Kagyu school and is so comprehensive and practical that it is still widely used today as a manual. Divided into two major sections, it presents first the common approach and then the mahamudra approach to tranquility (shamatha) and insight (vipashyana) meditation.

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Editorial Reviews

Mandala
"This updated edition of an English translation of a great classic for mastering mind and meditation comes recommended by the Dalai Lama. Mahamudra is a profound meditative discipline that is most accessible for modern practitioners, and this book presents first the common approach, and then the Mahamudra approach to tranquility and insight. A fundamentally valuable addition to one's Dharma library."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861712991
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 3/10/2006
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 532
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dakpo Tashi Namgyal (1511-87), a lineage holder of the Drukpa Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism who also trained in the Sakya school, was renowned as both a scholar and meditator. During his later years he served as chief abbot of Daklha Gampo in southern Tibet.

Lobsang P. Lhalungpa was born in Lhasa, Tibet. From 1940 until 1952, he was a monk-official in the service of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and of the Tibetan government. He established the first Tibetan-language program of All India Radio and dedicated his life to the promotion and preservation of Tibet's rich spiritual and cultural tradition. Lhalungpa translated The Life of Milarepa, and was chosen by His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa to translate Mahamudra: The Moonlight. He authored Tibet: The Sacred Realm. He lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for many years before his death in 2008.

Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. He passed his scholastic examinations with honors at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1959, the same year Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives.

His Holiness frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of interreligious harmony, and securing the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture, and religion. As a superior scholar trained in the classical texts of the Nalanda tradition of Indian Buddhism, he is able to distill the central tenets of Buddhist philosophy in clear and inspiring language, his gift for pedagogy imbued with his infectious joy. Connecting scientists with Buddhist scholars, he helps unite contemplative and modern modes of investigation, bringing ancient tools and insights to bear on the acute problems facing the contemporary world. His efforts to foster dialogue among leaders of the world's faiths envision a future where people of different beliefs can share the planet in harmony. Wisdom Publications is proud to be the premier publisher of the Dalai Lama's more serious and in-depth works.

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Table of Contents

Mahamudra : introduction by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal 3
Bk. 1 A concise elucidation of the common system of tranquil equipoise 13
Ch. 1 The ordinary meditation of tranquility and insight 17
Ch. 2 The stages of tranquility and insight : part one, tranquility 39
Ch. 3 The stages of tranquility and insight : part two, insight 51
Ch. 4 The stages of tranquility and insight : part three, clearing doubts regarding the methods for maintaining the view of reality and meditative absorption 70
Bk. 2 An extensive elucidation of Mahamudra, the uncommon meditation 89
Ch. 1 The reasons for engendering trust 91
Ch. 2 Preparatory practices 121
Ch. 3 Guiding meditators on the path : tranquility 147
Ch. 4 Guiding meditators on the path : insight 177
Ch. 5 The stages of virtuous practice 216
Ch. 6 Consolidation of experience in meditation : how to maintain absorption and postabsorption 255
Ch. 7 Consolidation of experience in meditation : how to get rid of meditative deviation 297
Ch. 8 Consolidation of experience in meditation : how to determine the mind as nonarising [emptiness] and enhance meditation 318
Ch. 9 The resultant dawning of realization 355
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