This is a new edition. Updated in 2016 by Lama Shenpen Hookham.
Progressive stages of meditation on emptiness (Tib. stong nyid sgom rim) is a series of meditation practices on a particular aspect of the Buddha's teachings. The idea is that by beginning with one's first rather coarse common sense understanding, one progresses through increasingly subtle and more refined stages until one arrives at complete and perfect understanding. Each stage in the process prepares the mind for the next in so far as each step is fully integrated into one's understanding through the meditation process.
"The Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness is a signature teaching and systematic method of instruction taught by my amazing guru, Khenchen Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. Profound and concise, it is a transformative way for sincere students at any level of study to connect with the experience of shunyata. Lama Shenpen Hookham's skillful presentation of Rinpoche's teaching on these progressive stages so many years ago has been a great and enduring gift to the dharma world.
I am delighted by this revised edition, which will benefit all who take its pithy wisdom to heart" - Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
"Khenpo Rinpoche's text, expertly translated and arranged by Lama Shenpen Hookham, is an eminently practical tool to familiarize ourselves with the notoriously difficult Buddhist notion of emptiness through a gradual approach and make it a personal experience in all its facets" - Karl Brunnholzl
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About the Author
While he unites prodigious scholarship with great compassion, he also embodies the training and temperament of a true yogin. In fact he is often compared to the great yogin Milarepa. Like him he is known for his spontaneous songs of realization.
For decades he travelled around the world teaching wherever he was invited leaving an indelible impression on many sanghas. At the same time in conjunction with Thrangu Rinpoche he was training the next generation of Kagyu tulkus and khenpos at the Nalanda Institute for Higher Studies in Rumtek, Sikkim. He also founded and continues to support nunneries in Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. These are just a few of the things he has accomplished in his life. For more information go to his website - marpafoundation.org.
Lama Shenpen Hookham had already studied and practised in retreat in India and Nepal under the direction of Kagyu Lamas for ten years before meeting Ven. Khenpo Gyamtso Rinpoche in 1977. She first met Trungpa Rinpoche in 1967 and followed his suggestion to go to India to take meditation instruction from Karma Thinley Rinpoche. When Karma Thinley Rinpoche left for Canada, she studied with Kalu Rinpoche and Bokar Rinpoche until in 1975 HH Karmapa asked her to return to the West to teach. She acted as Gendun Rinpoche's translator in France for a number of years until Khenpo Rinpoche directed her to take her place at Oxford University where, in 1986, she completed her doctoral thesis on Tathagatagarbha doctrine according to the Shentong interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga, published under the title of 'The Buddha Within' by SUNY 1991.
She married Michael Hookham (now known as Rigdzin Shikpo) in 1972. Khenpo Rinpoche encouraged Shenpen to establish the Awakened Heart Sangha and take charge of students as their Lama. This is now a worldwide spiritual community based in the UK. She spends most of her time in semi-retreat and in training her students. For more information about Shenpen and her teaching activity see www.ahs.org.uk