Lives of the Masters Series
Starting at $12.48
The Lives of the Masters series offers lively and reliable introductions to the lives, works, and legacies of key Buddhist teachers, philosophers, and contemplatives. Each volume in the Lives series tells the story of an innovator who embodied the highest ideals of Buddhism, crafted a dynamic living tradition during his or her lifetime, and transmitted a vibrant legacy of wisdom to future generations.
Few figures in the history of Buddhism in Tibet have had as far-reaching and profound an influence as the Indian scholar and adept Atiśa Dīpaṃkara (982–1054).
This succinct biography of Atiśa’s life, together with a collection of translations, represents for the first time the full range of Atiśa’s contribution to Buddhism. As the most comprehensive work available on this essential Buddhist figure, this book is an indispensable resource for scholars and Buddhist practitioners alike.
The founder of the Soto school of Zen in Japan, Eihei Dogen (1200–1253) is one of the most influential Buddhist teachers of all time. Although Dogen’s writings have reached wide prominence among contemporary Buddhists and philosophers, there is much that remains enigmatic about his life and writings. Here, respected Dogen scholar and translator Steven Heine offers a nuanced portrait of the master’s historical context, life, and work.
Visionary, artist, poet, iconoclast, philosopher, adventurer, master of the arts of love, tantric yogin, Buddhist saint. These are some of the terms that describe Tibet’s modern culture hero Gendun Chopel (1903–1951). The life and writings of this sage of the Himalayas mark a key turning point in Tibetan history, when twentieth-century modernity came crashing into Tibet from British India to the south and from Communist China to the east. For the first time, the astonishing breadth of his remarkable accomplishments is captured in a single, definitive volume.
Maitrīpa is considered one of the most accomplished yogis of the eleventh century. His philosophy and meditation instructions have had a profound impact on Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, and modern meditation masters continue to rely on his teachings.
Drawing on Maitrīpa's autobiographical writings and literary work, this book is the first comprehensive portrait of the life and teachings of this influential Buddhist master. Author and professor Klaus-Dieter Mathes offers the first complete English translation of his teachings on nonconceptual realization, which is the foundation of Mahāmudrā meditation.
S. N. Goenka
In a life that saw him evolve from a staunchly religious Hindu to an ecumenical master of Buddhist insight meditation, Satyanārāyaṇ (S. N.) Goenka (1924–2013) became instrumental in popularizing lay mindfulness and insight meditation practice on a global scale.
Drawing heavily on Goenka’s own autobiographical writings and Dharma talks, S. N. Goenka is the first comprehensive portrait of his life. Daniel Stuart incorporates a wide range of primary documents and newly translated material to offer readers an in-depth exploration of Goenka’s life and teachings. Stuart further details the trials and tribulations Goenka faced in building a movement in India in the 1970s, developing a global network of meditation centers, and negotiating a range of relationships with students and religious leaders worldwide. This biography reflects on Goenka’s role in the revival of Buddhism in postcolonial India and his emergence as one of the most influential meditation masters of the twentieth century.
The Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje
Known for his mastery of teachings across sectarian lines, his treatises on medicine and astrology, and his work as spiritual advisor to the last Yuan emperor of China, Rangung Dorje (1284-1339), is considered one of the most important and influential figures in Tibetan Buddhist history. First recognized as a tulku, or reincarnated Buddhist master, at the age of five, Rangjung Dorje became the Karma Kagyu lineage holder and instituted the reincarnation-based inheritance structure within Tibetan Buddhism that led to the formation of important lineages of tulkus such as the Dalai Lamas.
In this groundbreaking addition to the Lives of the Masters series, Thupten Jinpa, a scholar-practitioner and long-time translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, offers the most comprehensive portrait available of Jé Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), one of the greatest Buddhist teachers in history. A devout monastic, Tsongkhapa took on the difficult task of locating and studying all of the Indian Buddhist classics available in Tibet in his day. He went on to synthesize this knowledge into a holistic approach to the path of awakening. In an achievement of incredible magnitude, he integrated the pivotal yet disparate Mahayana teachings on emptiness while retaining the important role of critical reason and avoiding the extreme of negating the reality of the everyday world.
Included in this volume is a discussion of Tsongkhapa’s early life and training; his emergence as a precociously intelligent Buddhist mind; the composition of his Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, Great Exposition of Tantra, and many other important works; and his founding of the Lhasa Prayer Festival and Ganden Monastery. This is a necessary resource for anyone interested in Tsongkhapa’s transformative effect on the understanding and practice of Buddhism in Tibet in his time and his continued influence today.