Essential Practice is an accessible and authoritative portrait of a bodhisattva's view, meditation, and conduct by one of the foremost masters of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and the tutor of H.H. the Seventeenth Karmapa. Teaching on Kamalashila's treatises outlining the stages of meditation, Thrangu Rinpoche explains the need for compassion and the way to develop it, the necessity for a bodhisattva's vast and durable altruism, as well as the means to generate, stabilize, and fortify it and the elements key to the meditative practices of calm abiding and insight. An engaging element of Essential Practice is the lively interaction of Thrangu Rinpoche with students and members of the faculty of Naropa University as he unfolds the text for them.
With exceptional generosity, Thrangu Rinpoche took delight in fielding basic and knotty questions that were put to him by relative newcomers and relatively seasoned practitioner/scholars. This record of a masterful teacher's instructions will help students old and new to determine what is essential to the practice of Buddhism and thereby bring the Buddha's teachings into their own experience. Essential Practice presents an incomparable wisdom on the methodology and means of meditation, as well as the ways in which to bring oneself to the transcendence of selfless behavior.
"Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche has a unique ability to bring forth the central issues of a text and make them available to a contemporary audience. . . . This text will certainly bring great benefit to all those who encounter it."—The Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje
"In presenting the very first meditation instruction crafted for Tibetans by the master Kamalashila, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche distills the wisdom of India in an intimate personal instruction as true for the contemporary western practitioner as it was in eighth-century Tibet. This text is a must for every serious Buddhist meditator."—Judith Simmer-Brown, Professor of Buddhist Studies, Naropa University
"A remarkably clear, accessible, and informative explanation of one of Tibet's most valued meditation texts. Thrangu Rinpoche reveals here his faultless integration of masterful scholarship and profound practice mind, leading us gracefully and surely through the terrain of these Middle Way practice instructions. A delight to scholar and practitioner alike."—Reggie Ray, author
"Centuries ago the Indian master Kamalashila taught Tibetans the essential points of Mahayana practice in a clear, step-by-step, easy-to-follow way. Now the great scholar and meditation master Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche makes these profound teachings readily accessible to Western students. I encourage all those interested in beginning or deepening their practice of the Mahayana path of wisdom and compassion, which leads to the highest enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, to read this book."—Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
"Essential Practice is confidently recommended as a welcome and invaluable addition to Tibetan Buddhist Studies reading lists and reference shelves."—Library Bookwatch