Reflections on a Mountain Lake: Teachings on Practical Buddhism


This sparkling collection of Dharma teachings by Tenzin Palmo addresses issues of common concern to Buddhist practitioners from all traditions. Personable, witty, and insightful, Tenzin Palmo presents an inspiring and no-nonsense view of Buddhist practice.
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This sparkling collection of Dharma teachings by Tenzin Palmo addresses issues of common concern to Buddhist practitioners from all traditions. Personable, witty, and insightful, Tenzin Palmo presents an inspiring and no-nonsense view of Buddhist practice.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Tenzin Palmo is one of the most genuine and accomplished of western practitioners. Her voice is simple and pure, wise and true."—Jack Kornfield, author of Path with a Heart

"Venerable Tenzin Palmo generously shares with us a life of practice. This book is clear, well-written, and a joy to read. The sincerity and motivation of Tenzin Palmo are a great example for all of us."—Martine Batchelor, author of Meditation for Life

"One of the true yoginis of our time, a woman who has dedicated her life to Buddhism, Tenzin Palmo brings her years of experience in a cave to offer us a down-to-earth, inspiring approach to the spiritual path. Tenzin Palmo is a voice we need to hear a woman who has fully experienced what she speaks about with absolute honesty, delightful humor, and real insight."—Tsultrim Allione, author of Women of Wisdom

"In this book, Ani Tenzin Palmo presents the most timely, profound, and lucid advice for all Buddhist practitioners. She has torn away the thousand veils that shroud our self-deceptions. She speaks with the humility of experience rather than charisma, her words resonating with the naked simplicity of clarity and wisdom. Her voice constantly reminds me of everything I have ever loved and perceived as truthful in this life."—Robert Beer, author of The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs

Library Journal
Excellent writing and a solid grasp of their subjects mark the efforts of these two authors. While both treat aspects of Buddhist thought, Boorstein's perspective derives from the Mahayana school, while Palmo's tradition is Tibetan. Boorstein (That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist) focuses on the ten paramitas (perfections of the heart), which include generosity, morality, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, determination, lovingkindness, and equanimity, and she devotes a chapter to each. (Of course, concepts like wisdom and equanimity are also a part of Tibetan Buddhism, but they operate differently in that tradition.) In each chapter, Boorstein follows the same format, first offering an explanation of what the particular paramita means within Buddhism, then instructing us on how to use the concept effectively in meditation, and finally illustrating the paramita with stories that grow out of her own experience and usefully show how that quality can be applied in life. By contrast, Palmo, a Buddhist nun, begins with a brief account of her life and training in Tibetan Buddhism. She then considers many of the major concepts of this school, including the six realms (e.g., hell, which she describes as a mind filled with anger; shamatha, or calm abiding; and vajrayana, or meditation that makes use of visualization). In addition, Palmo provides some wonderfully informative and useful chapters such as "Women and the Path" and "Difficult Points for Westerners." The latter includes an insightful discussion of karma and rebirth. Boorstein treats a more limited subject matter, while Palmo offers both greater breadth and depth. Both books are recommended, not only because they treat material from different schools of Buddhist thought but because both offer thorough explanations of their chosen subjects. Furthermore, the stories used to illustrate and clarify the various topics are effective and interesting, offering clear illustrations of how the teachings can be applied to life. David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559391757
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 7
1 A Western Yogini 9
2 Motivation and Practice 29
3 Ethics and the Three Trainings 41
4 The Six Realms 61
5 Women and the Path 69
6 Shamatha, or Calm Abiding 87
7 Vipashyana, or Insight 105
8 Awareness 121
9 Difficult Points for Westerners 159
10 Tonglen 179
11 Nature of Mind 185
12 The Role of the Spiritual Master 205
13 Vajrayana 223
14 Visualizing the Deity 237
Glossary of Technical Terms 247
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