Tibetan Buddhism Guides

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche: A Guide for Readers

About Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche Dzigar Kongtrul was born in the Northern Indian province of Himachal to his parents Neten Chokling Rinpoche and Mayum Tsewang Palden. During his monastic education, he was trained in the Nyingma school's Longchen Nyingtik lineage under his root guru, the renowned Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Additionally, he studied extensively under Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. In 1989, he moved to the United States with his family where he began a five-year tenure as professor of...
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A Reader’s Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva

The great nineteenth-century master Patrul Rinpoche, author of The Words of My Perfect Teacher  and  revered by all Tibetan Buddhists, was known for his wandering ascetic lifestyle, eschewing fame, generous offerings, and all but the most meager possessions. However, wherever he went throughout his peripatetic life, he carried with him a copy of Shantideva's Bodhicharyavatara, which we know now as  The Way of the Bodhisattva or A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life.  Renowned for his encyclopedic knowledge and ability to transmit the wisdom of  Prajnaparamita and...
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The Treasury of Precious Instructions Video Series

In 2016, the Tsadra Foundation sponsored a series of talks on the Treasury of Precious Instructions focusing on Kongtrul and the specifics of the Eight Chariots.  Translator and teacher Sarah Harding who has been immersed in this work for decades and has completed several volumes of this work leads it.  Also included are Elizabeth Callahan and Acharya Tenpa Gyaltsen.  You can watch or download the full series here. Explore the Treasury of Precious Instructions Home Page of the Treasury History...
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The Treasury of Precious Instructions Audio Series

In 2016, the Tsadra Foundation sponsored a series of talks on the Treasury of Precious Instructions focusing on Kongtrul and the specifics of the Eight Chariots.  Translator and teacher Sarah Harding who has been immersed in this work for decades and has completed several volumes of this work leads it.  Also included are Elizabeth Callahan and Acharya Tenpa Gyaltsen.  You can listen or download the full series here. Explore the Treasury of Precious Instructions Home Page of the Treasury History...
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The Books of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

An overview of the existing and forthcoming books of the Treasury of Precious Instructions.  These brief descriptions are adapted from the Catalog where you will find much more detail on each volume and the Treasury as a whole. Explore the Treasury of Precious Instructions Home Page of the Treasury History of the Collection > The Books: Overviews of Each Volume Jamgön Kongtrul's Descriptive Catalog (Karchag) Video Series Audio Streaming and Podcast Matthew Kapstein's Paper on Dam Ngak based on the Treasury...
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Matthew Kapstein on Dam Ngak in the Treasury of Precious Instructions

The following is Matthew Kapstein's paper from Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre, one of the great collections of scholarly works on Tibetan literature.  This paper focuses on Dam Ngak (gDams ngag) or special instructions.  He uses the Jonang volume from Jamgon Kongtrul's Treasury of Precious Instructions as the basis. There is a more complete version on Academia.edu as well for those wish to learn more, and we thank Matthew Kapstein for his permission to post it. Explore the Treasury of...
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A Guide to the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Shambhala Publications, with generous sponsorship from the Tsadra Foundation, are publishing all the volumes in this extraordinary collection. Explore the Treasury of Precious Instructions > Home Page of the Treasury History of the Collection The Books: Overviews of Each Volume Jamgön Kongtrul's Descriptive Catalog (Karchag) Video Series Audio Streaming and Podcast Matthew Kapstein's Paper on Dam Ngak based on the Treasury Tibetan Resources on the Treasury from the Tsadra Foundation Readers Guide to Jamgōn Kongtrul The Treasury of Precious Instructions...
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Elio Guarisco (1954-2020)

We are very sad to share the news that we have lost an important translator Elio Guarisco, who passed away from covid on November 27, 2020. Elio was born in Como, Italy in 1954. In the early 1970s he met and studied with major exponents of the Theravada tradition in India. He then studied Buddhist philosophy at a monastery of the Tibetan tradition for ten years, following which he was invited by Kalu Rinpoche to Sonada, India to work as...
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Remembering Diane di Prima

“the only war that matters is the war against the imagination.” —Diane di Prima Onehandclapping, CC BY-SA 3.0 We just learned that Diane di Prima passed away on October 25th, 2020.  While we did not publish any of her extraordinary stand-alone works, she and her work appear in many Shambhala Publications books.  Though I had not been in touch in years, I knew Diane, especially after sitting next to her in some longer retreats with Lama Tharchin Rinpoche.  She had...
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Steven D. Goodman

We learned yesterday, August 3rd, 2020, that our author and friend Steven Goodman passed away after a long illness. I first met Steven in the 1990s when Kyabje Thinley Norbu Rinpoche introduced us and said to me, "Steven is not an ordinary scholar, he is very special" and went on to extoll his genuine connection with the tradition and practice. Our paths often crossed in subsequent decades, as a lot of my friends studied with him at the California Institute...
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Chanting the Names of Manjushri: A Reader’s Guide

The Litany of the Names of Manjushri or Chanting the Names of Manjusri (’jam dpal mtshan brjod; Skt. Manjushrinamasamghiti) and also referred to as The King of All Tantras and Net of Magical Manifestation of Manjushri, is an extremely important tantric text, relied on by all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. In particular it is connected with the Hevajra, Guhyagarbha, and Kalachakra tantras. It was first translated into Tibetan by Rinchen Zangpo, but soon thereafter was revised and commented on....
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Patrul Rinpoche: A Reader’s Guide

Praise to Patrul Rinpoche Outwardly, you are the Son of the Victorious Ones, Shantideva. Inwardly, you are the saint, the conqueror Shavaripa. Secretly, you are the supreme sublime being Dug-ngal Rangdröl, actual self-liberator of the suffering of beings. Jigme Chökyi Wangpo, I pray to you. — by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, from Thinley Norbu Rinpoche's Sunlight Speech That Dispels the Darkness of Doubt Jump To: His Life | Foundations | Propitious Speech | Mahayana | Tantra | Dzogchen | More Paperback |  eBook...
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An Explanation of Om Mani Padme Hung

Om Mani Padme Hung: An Explanation of the Six-Syllable Mantra OM closes the door to the suffering of being reborn in the gods' realm. The suffering of the gods arises from foreseeing one's fall from the gods' realm. This suffering comes from pride. MA closes the door to the suffering of being reborn in the warring gods' (asuras') realm. The suffering of these asuras is constant fighting. This suffering comes from jealousy. NI closes the door to the suffering of...
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Sakya Pandita

From www.treasuryoflives.org / Public domain An excerpt from Reggie Ray's Indestructible Truth: One of the most important and influential masters of the tradition was the renowned scholar Sakya Pandita, Kunga Gyaltsen (1182–1251), born to the fourth son of Kunga Nyingpo. His birth and early life proclaim his remarkable academic capabilities and attainments. At birth, according to his biography, he began to speak Sanskrit, and as an infant he was able to write the Sanskrit letters. As a child, he could memorize...
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Shambhala Publications and the Global Health Crisis

We know your lives have been profoundly changed by the impact of the ongoing global health crisis. We know you are concerned for yourselves, for your loved ones, for your communities. We know so many people are suffering right now, and are afraid. And we want to help. We want you to know that though we may be physically isolated, we are all connected, and we’re in this together. Below you will find lots of great ideas for weathering this storm:...
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The Passing of Translator and Scholar Gyurme Dorje

I am sad to share the news that Gyurme Dorje, one of the giants of Tibetan translation and practice passed away on February 5th, 2020, the anniversary of the passing of his teacher, Kangyur Rinpoche. Gyurme spent a decade in Asia and sat at the feet at many of the greatest masters of our day: Dudjom Rinpoche, Kangyur Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.  His translation work has been inestimably important to thousands of people.  In the 1990s there...
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“Radical Compassion” Free eBook

What is compassion? Much more than just being nice, compassion is about looking deeply at ourselves and others and recognizing the fundamental goodness we all share. It’s about opening up to the vulnerable space inside every one of us and letting our barriers down. And it’s about daring to be present to ourselves and others with genuine love and kindness. Empowering personal awakening and social change, it might be the most radical and transformative thing we can do. Empowering personal...
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“His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama” Free eBook

a quick glimpse into His Holiness’s teachings from roughly two dozen published works. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama: A Reader's Guide by Shambhala Publications His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, often referred to by Tibetans as Gyalwa Rinpoche or Kundun, is widely regarded as a figurehead and ambassador of Tibetan Buddhism and culture to the world. This short eBook is offered to provide a quick glimpse at His Holiness’s teachings through the lens of his books, primarily the roughly two...
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“Beyond Anger” Free eBook

the Mahabodhi temple that marks the spot where the Buddha attained enlightenment. In July 2013, multiple bombs exploded in Bodh Gaya, India, in and around the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage site, the Mahabodhi temple that marks the spot where the Buddha attained enlightenment. In response, Shambhala Publications offers this free eBook consisting of excerpts from some of our books from a variety of Buddhist traditions that encapsulate values of love and nonviolence, which we can all practice ourselves. Beyond Anger: How...
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Lama Tharchin on Dudjom Rinpoche from Wisdom Nectar

Lama Tharchin Rinpoche's foreword to Wisdom Nectar Lord of one hundred families of enlightenment, illustrious holy spiritual master, at your feet I bow! All past, present, and future victors who live in the ten directions converge in the same glorious form: the great master from Oddiyana, Lotus-Born. With his vajra command, he enthroned, empowered, and confirmed the reincarnate great treasure revealer Lord Dudjom Jikdral Yeshé Dorjé Drodul Lingpa Tsal as his representative. Moreover, many ancient treasure texts’ scriptures fully laud...
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Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche Reader’s Guide

The importance of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche on the Karma Kagyu tradition quite simply cannot be overstated.  Since he was recognized as a Tulku of the previous Thrangu Rinpoche in 1938 by the 16th Karmapa and 11th Tai Situpa, he engaged in the rigorous traditional study, practice, and retreat training. To give a flavor of Rinpoche's qualities, here is Pema Chödrön giving a glimpse of him in her most recent book, Welcoming the Unwelcome: "Once I attended a talk at Gampo...
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Pith Instructions by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

an introduction to the wisdom and compassion of Khyentse Rinpoche   The Ebook of Pith Instructions, a small collection of commentaries and verse by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the twentieth century, contains exposition on different stages of the Buddhist path from the perspective of meditative experience and actually putting the teachings into practice. Originally given orally to Western students, the texts afford a rare glimpse into the direct transmissions of a master teacher. The commentaries...
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Jigme Lingpa: A Guide to His Works

It is hard to overstate the importance of Jigme Lingpa to the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.  This itinerant yogi, along with Rongzom Mahapandita, Longchenpa, and-later-Mipham Rinpoche, are like four pillars of the tradition. He is considered the incarnation of both the great master Vimalamitra and the Dharma king Trisong Detsen. After becoming a monk, he had a vision of Mañjuśrīmitra which caused him to change his monks robes for the white shawl and long hair of a yogi. In...
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The State of Buddhist Publishing

[Note: This article on Buddhist publishing was originally written by Nikko Odiseos, president of Shambhala Publications for the blog Vajrayanaworld.com as requested by Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo.  As the blog is no longer, we are hosting it here with a few small updates.]  My longtime friend Lama Wangmo asked if I would pen a few words on the state of Buddhist publishing, wearing my hat as the president of Shambhala Publications since 2010 and Snow Lion Publications since we acquired...
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Free Video Series with Pema Chödrön

Sign Up for 5 Free Videos and a Meditation Practice from Pema Chödrön! ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO RECEIVE A SERIES OF 5 VIDEOS AND A MEDITATION PRACTICE. In her first new book of spiritual teachings in over seven years, Pema Chödrön offers fresh wisdom, heartfelt reflections, and the signature humor and insight that have made her a beloved guide during turbulent times. Count down to the release of Welcoming the Unwelcome with five short videos from Pema on how...
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The Six Paramitas: A Reader’s Guide

The six paramitas, or transcendent perfections, are an essential concept in the practice of Mahayana Buddhism. They are so fundamental in fact that the “Vehicle of the Perfections” is a synonym for Mahayana itself. The Pali or Theravada tradition also includes perfections, referred to as paramis, but a discussion of these is out of the scope of this article. Traleg Rinpoche in his Essence of Buddhism, includes two chapters on the paramitas and introduces them: “If we want to obtain enlightenment...
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Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche & Pema Chödrön in Conversation | Free Video Offering

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and Pema Chödrön Discuss the Innate Tenderness of Our Hearts ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO ACCESS THE COMPLETE VIDEO INTERVIEW. In this interview, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche sits down with Pema Chödrön to discuss his book, Training in Tenderness, cultivating compassion, and the innate tenderness of our hearts known as tsewa. After entering your email address, you will receive access to the full 73 minute interview between Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and Pema Chödrön and 6 short clips highlighting...
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A Talk on the Importance of Sangha

The following talk is from Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo’s Course: Living the Dharma: How to Practice Buddhism and Make It Count.  We have made this final talk available here as a podcast as we think this is one of the most important, powerful, and clear presentations on the importance of Sangha, or spiritual community, we have ever heard. For many in the West, taking refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma is really easy, but the third jewel,...
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Khandro Tsering Chödrön: A Reader’s Guide

Khandro Tsering Chödrön, from The Life and Times of Jamyang Chokyi Lodro One of the most remarkable Buddhist women of the 20th century surely was Khandro Tsering Chödrön. Born in 1925, she became the spiritual consort of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, one of the most important teachers of the 20th century. As Tulku Thondup, who as a student of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö spent much time with her, relates in Masters of Meditation and Miracles, "According to his own prophecies...
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The Role of the Teacher in Tibetan Buddhism: A Reader’s Guide to the Teacher-Student Relationship

To truly understand Tibetan Buddhism, one must come to grips with the unique role of the teacher, the dynamics of the teacher-student relationship, and the possibilities that having a teacher can open up. Tibetan Buddhism is composed of the Vajrayana or Tantric teachings on top of a foundation of the Sutrayana (vehicle of the Sutras), the core teachings of what are sometimes called the Sravakayana and the Mahayana. In the context of the Sutrayana, a relationship with a teacher roughly...
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Life Stories of Dilgo Khyentse

Journey to Enlightenment: The life of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche By Matthieu Ricard   An inspiring portrait of one of the great spiritual leaders of the twentieth century, this book follows Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in his travels to Tibet, Bhutan, India, and Nepal, revisiting important places from his past. His birthplace in eastern Tibet, the monastery of Shechen that he entered at age eleven, the retreat grounds where he spent years in meditation and study—these are some of the stops along...
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Milarepa: A Reader’s Guide to Tibet’s Great Yogi

There are few figures more beloved in the Buddhist Himalayas than the 11th century yogi-hero Milarepa. His story of hardship, errant paths, disciplined training, heartbreak, devotion, and ultimate liberation have been told in many places. Stories of his life, as well as teachings on his songs, abound—dozens of Shambhala Publications and Snow Lion books feature him. His example and teachings appear across all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Milarepa's wisdom has likely reached more people through Pema Chödron's When Things Fall Apart than all these...
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Sera Khandro: A Reader’s Guide

Sera Khandro (1892 - 1940), also known as Kunzang Dekyong Wagmo,  was one of the great masters of the early 20th century and the English speaking world is fortunate now that both her story and her writings have been emerging more and more over the past few years. Her story is at once fascinating, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting. Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, in his remarkable Incarnation: The History and Mysticism of the Tulku Tradition of Tibet gives a superb overview: "This...
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Dudjom Rinpoche’s Interview about Guru Padmasambhava

The following article appeared in Volume 5 (Winter, 1976) of the Shambhala Review of Books and Ideas, a magazine that was part of Shambhala Publications (unaffiliated with Shambhala International or the Shambhala Sun), a magazine that ran a few issues in the mid 1970's. This interview with Dudjom Rinpoche was conducted by Shambhala Publications' staff with the assistance of Tulku Sogyal who was present at the time. For more information, see our Dudjom Rinpoche's author page for articles, videos, books, and more.  Additionally,...
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The Heart Sutra: A Reader Guide

This is part of a series of articles on the arc of Zen thought, practice, and history, as presented in The Circle of the Way: A Concise History of Zen from the Buddha to the Modern World.  You can start at the beginning of this series or simply explore from here.  The Heart Sutra stands among the classic Buddhist scriptures. Akin in importance to the “Shema Yisrael” for Jews or the “Lord’s Prayer” for Christians, the Heart Sutra is considered...
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A Biography of Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang (Khenpo Ngaga)

A Short Biography of Kathog Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang, also known as Khenpo Ngaga and Khenpo Ngakchung (1879–1941) Excerpted from The Guide to the Words of My Perfect Teacher Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang, also known as Osel Rinchen Nyingpo Pema Lendrel Tsel and popularly called Khenpo Ngakchung or Ngaga, is a re­markable example of a particular kind of lineage holder among the broad variety of personalities of those who held and transmitted the different tra­ditions of Buddhism in Tibet, for if they...
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Tsongkhapa: A Guide to His Life and Works

From Images of Enlightenment: Tibetan Art in Practice 2019, marks the 600th anniversary of Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa (1357–1419), one of the most important figures in Tibet, historically and philosophically. To mark this anniversary, we published what is the most comprehensive, definitive biography of this great figure, written by Thupten Jinpa and available here. The author is best known as the main translator for the Dalai Lama, but he is an author and scholar himself, having earned a Geshe degree. In...
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Buddhist Poetry – A Reader Guide

Navigating the vast world of spiritual verse can be disorienting. With so many anthologies and translations to choose from, finding what speaks to you can be a real challenge. Shambhala Publications publishes numerous books of Buddhist poetry, and we’ve gathered some of our favorites here. Ranging from classical Tibetan songs of devotion to contemporary American reflections on navigating the path, our collection of Buddhist poetry offers a little something for everyone, Buddhist or otherwise. Chan and Zen Poetry Please also...
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Lives of the Masters Series

Kurtis Schaeffer, Lives of the Masters series editor, introduces the series with this note: "Buddhist traditions are heir to some of the most creative thinkers in world history. The Lives of the Masters series offers lively and reliable introductions to the lives, works, and legacies of key Buddhist teachers, philosophers, contemplatives, and writers. Each volume in the Lives series tells the story of an innovator who embodied the ideals of Buddhism, crafted a dynamic living tradition during his or her...
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The Life of Tsongkhapa

Tsongkhapa was born in 1357 in the Tsongkha valley of Amdo province in northeast Tibet. The miraculous events that occurred at his birth aroused the interest of the master Chöje Döndrup Rinchen (Chos rje Don grub rin chen), who had studied and lived in central Tibet and who founded two monasteries in Amdo after his return there. When Tsongkhapa was three this master gave a gift of livestock to his father and requested that he should be put in charge...
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The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche: A Reader’s Guide

The Seven-Line prayer to Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava, is one of the most ubiquitous and important prayers, performed across lineages and in particular the Nyingma tradition who commence nearly every practice with it.  What follows is a brief introduction and Reader’s Guide to this short but extremely profound verse. The Padmakra Translation Group has provided some excellent context for the Seven-Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche: The overall significance of the Seven-Line Prayer is perhaps best appreciated in relation to a practice...
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The Story of the Sadhana of Mahamudra

An excerpt from the introduction to the Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa, Volume Five.  Selections from the sadhana itself are included in this volume. The Background   Next in Volume Five are the excerpt from The Sadhana of Mahamudra and an article about the meaning of the text. The sadhana, which Trungpa Rinpoche "discovered" in Bhutan in 1968, is a particular kind of text or teaching called terma. In Tibet, Chogyam Trungpa had already been recognized as a terto¨n, a...
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Chögyam Trungpa: A Reader’s Guide

Chögyam Trungpa's legacy is nearly impossible to measure, but one gauge is his literary output. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s impact on the transmission of Buddhism to the West cannot be overstated. In the quarter century he spent in the West, he taught tens of thousands of students, in many cases introducing them to Buddhism for the first time. His legacy is nearly impossible to measure, but one gauge is his literary output. Shambhala has published about three dozen unique books by,...
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Kalu Rinpoche on “The Treasury of Knowledge” Translation

Kalu Rinpoche and the Translation of The Treasury of Knowledge Below Sarah Harding shares the story of how Kalu Rinpoche came to take on the task of translating Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye's The Treasury of Knowledge, an immense feat that took the skills and dedication of many that will be treasured by all who are able to benefit from its work for years to come.   From Sarah Harding's preface to Book 8, Part 4. Khyabjé Kalu Rinpoché visited Santa...
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A Readers Guide to the Sakya Master Chogyal Phakpa

Chogyal Phagpa Drogon Chogyal Phagpa, better known to the world as Chogyal Phagpa (or Phakpa) is one of the five great founding masters from the Sakya tradition in Tibet. This 13th century master was the nephew of Sakya Pandita. Before going into the various resources in print and online, included below is his biography of Lama Migmar Tseten's Treasures of the Sakya Lineage. "Drogon Chogyal Phagpa was born amid excellent signs to Sakya Pandita’s younger brother, Zangtsa Sonam Gyaltsen (1184‒1239),...
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The Emphasis of the Gelug Tradition in Western Scholarship on Madhyamaka

While its no longer true in many universities, the presentation of Tibetan Buddhism in western academia—and the books that came out of it—was heavily skewed towards the Gelug philosophical view and its traditions. There are various reasons for this, but the following from the Translator's Introduction of the Padmakara Translation Group's The Wisdom Chapter: Jamgön Mipham’s Commentary on the Ninth Chapter of The Way of the Bodhisattva presents an interesting explanation, tracing it to the political dominance of the Ganden...
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Book Club Discussion | Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chögyam Trungpa

by Kate White Kate, our Production Coordinator/Designer, sums up our August meeting of the new Shambhala Publications Book Club! August’s book selection was Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. We invite you to take part by sharing your comments below. There are a lot of different kinds of people who work at Shambhala Publications. We come from a wide array of backgrounds, and each of us has a unique story about how we found our way into our...
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The Nyingma Summer Seminar: Reflections on a Buddhist Retreat

By Sanje Phillips This July, I attended the Nyingma Summer Seminar at the Mangala Shri Bhuti retreat land in Ward, Colorado, with Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche, Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel (wife), and Dungse Jampal Norbu (son). Over one hundred attendees with varied demographics sat daily meditation sessions, participated in the teachings, endured periods of silence and the usual “plain but healthy” retreat food. My experience was resoundingly positive, as we had an opportunity to explore the depths of many traditional and profound Buddhist teachings. All...
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The Drikung Kagyu: A Reader’s Guide

Jigten Sumgon, from The Buddhist Art Coloring Book 2 What follows is a guide to some of our books and other resources available on Shambhala.com that relate to the Drikung Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The Drikung lineage comes from Marpa, Milarepa, and Gampopa through Phagmo Drupa and Jigten Sumgön, who is considered the root of the tradition. His most famous work, the Gongchik, or “Single Intention,” is a collection of profound statements summarizing the entirety of the Buddhist path for which...
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The Buddha’s First Teaching

One of the commonalities of the many traditions within Buddhism is the centrality of the messages in the Buddha’s very first teaching in Sarnath, shortly after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. He held back from actually teaching the first people he met including the Burmese traders (who tradition tells us brought back some of his hair, which is encased in the incredible Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon) and the naked ascetic Upaka, all of whom were overwhelmed by his presence. The Tibetan...
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A Lecture Series on Asanga’s Bodhisattvabhumi with Translator Artemus Engle

In conjunction with the Tsadra Foundation, premier translator and scholar Artemus Engle brings Asanga's masterpiece, the Bodhisattvabhumi, to life, unlocking what can be an intimidating text and making its important and power to light. Part 1:   Part 2: See also an excerpt from the introduction Art Engle has a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies from the University of Wisconsin; adjunct professor, interpreter, and translator; active in the development of a program for teaching Buddhist classics that integrates a study of the...
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Padmakara Translation Group Receives the 2017 Shantarakshita Award

Wulstan and Helena at the Asura Cave in Nepal At the June, 2017 Tsadra Translation and Transmission conference which Shambhala Publications was a sponsor of, we were delighted that Wulstan Fletcher and Helena Blankleder were honored with the Shantarakshita award for excellence in translation. Wulstan receiving the award from the Tsadra Foundation's Eric Colombel To listen to Wulstan discuss he and Helena's translation process, watch the wonderful video about translating Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisattva—the whole talk is wonderful but...
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Sakyasribhadra: A Reader’s Guide to the 12th Century Kashmiri Pandita

Image from HAR Sakyasribhadra, also known as Sakyasri or Khache Panchen, was an important Kashmiri pandita in the 12th and early 13th centuries who came to Tibet. His full biography is on the Treasury of Lives site. He has a connection with many of the lineages in Tibet extant during his visit. He is well known in the Sakya tradtion for being one of Sakya Pandita's teachers. Together they translated Dharmakirti's Pramanavarttika which Saypan then taught extensively. As described in...
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An Excerpt from Coming Home from Tibet

On 14 April 2010, my aunt was wrapping up her prayers and enjoying her morning tea when she felt the windows in her room rattle and the bed beneath her shift. She ran out of her room to join the rest of the family in the yard. “Tsering Wangmo, Kyegu is gone. Everything is gone and I am still here,” she said when I managed to get through to her by phone, hours after an earthquake hit the town of...
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Jamgön Kongtrul Reader’s Guide

Jamgön Kongtrul Lodro Thaye was one of the greatest masters of Tibetan history, who the Tibetologist Gene Smith referred to as Tibet’s Leonardo. It’s difficult to imagine a master who was so learned, spent much of his time in retreat, gave countless initiations and teachings, and yet still managed to write 100 volumes inclusive of all the traditions of Buddhism. Tsadra Rinchen Drak, the hermiate for Jamgon Kongtrul The Books Shambhala has published thirty-one titles Kongtrul, wrote, compiled, or is...
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Tibetan Language Reader’s Guide

Interested in learning Tibetan or deepening your existing Tibetan language skills? Below is a guide to help you choose the right resources for your needs. We offer two tracks: one for those who plan on traveling or spending a longer period of time in India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Tibet; and another for those who are focused on classical written Tibetan for academic or practice purposes. Reading or Translating Classical Tibetan The following materials are geared for those wanting in-depth...
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The Thirteen Core Indian Buddhist Texts: A Reader’s Guide

Khenpo Shenga (1871–1927) There are thirteen classics of Indian Mahayana philosophy, still used in Tibetan centers of education throughout Asia and beyond, particularly the Nyngma tradition, with overlap with the others.  They cover the subjects of vinaya, abhidharma, Yogacara, Madhyamika, and the path of the Bodhisattva.  They are some of the most frequently quoted texts found in works written from centuries ago to today. Below is a reader's guide to these works. Khenpo Shenga, who penned influential commentaries on all...
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Kalachakra Tantra Reader’s Guide

What Is Kalachakra Tantra? The Kalachakra, or “Wheel of Time,” tantra and cycles of teachings and practices are, on the surface, well known among practitioners and those interested in Tibetan Buddhism. Yet it is considered one of the highest teachings of tantra—a highly complex one where initiates take many years accomplishing the practice. The visualization for an advanced practitioner involves 722 figures in the mandala. One of the reasons for its notoriety is that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has bestowed the...
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Mandarava Reader’s Guide

This series of blog posts are meant to be resources guides to complement the biographies of the great masters and scholars on the Treasury of Lives site. Mandarava Mandarava Mandarava was one of the great 8th century adepts and was one of the main consorts of Guru Rinpoche. As such a central figure at the time of Guru Rinpoche, she is a focus of many works. A wonderful complete biography was published by our friends at Wisdom Publications as The...
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Kharchen Pelgyi Wangchuk

This series of blog posts are meant to be resources guides to complement the biographies of the great masters and scholars on the Treasury of Lives site. Kharchen Pelgyi Wangchuk, from the Shechen Archives The biography in the Treasury of Lives site (http://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Pelgyi-Wangchuk/490), like several other sources, alludes to Kharchen Pelgyi Wangchuk possibly being Yeshe Tsogyal's brother. However, in Yeshe Tsogyal's biography by Gyalwa Changchub and Namkhai Nyingpo which was discovered by the Terton Samten Lingpa and published in English...
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Dream Yourself Awake

This recent piece from CBS considers that lucid dreaming might actually be possible. But for those for whom understanding the mind on an experiential level is a way of life, lucid dreaming is not only possible, but can serve as a genuine practice on the path of realization. Our book by B. Alan Wallace, Dreaming Yourself Awake, is an instruction manual for lucid dreaming and Tibetan dream yoga. Wallace lays out techniques that trigger awareness in the dream state to...
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The Dalai Lama’s Teaching on Stages of Meditation

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to Boston His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave an excellent teaching on Kamalashila's Stages of Meditation at MIT. Below are the texts mentioned by His Holiness in his talk. For those interested in going deeper, you will find them complementary to the teaching: Stages of Meditation - A commentary on Kamalashila's work by the Dalai Lama Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisattva Aryadeva's 400 Stanzas of the Middle Way Nagarjuna's Letter to a Friend You...
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Langdro Konchok Jungne Reader’s Guide

This series of blog posts are meant to be resources guides to complement the biographies of the great masters and scholars on the Treasury of Lives site. Langdro Konchok Jungne, from the Shechen Archives Langdro Konchok Jungne, also known as Langdro Lotsawa, was another of the twenty-five main disciples of Guru Rinpoche and was minister in the court of King Trisong Deutsen. In Lady of the Lotus-Born, we hear how Guru Rinpoche "gave the Chinlap Lamai Druplung and the sadhanas...
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Sokpo Pelgyi Yeshe

This series of blog posts are meant to be resources guides to complement the biographies of the great masters and scholars on the Treasury of Lives site. Sokpo Pelgyi Yeshe Sokpo Pelgyi Yeshe, from the Shechen Archives Sokpo Pelgyi Yeshe, also known as Sokpo Lhapal, was a direct disciple of both Guru Rinpoche and Nyak Jnanakumara and then later became the teacher of Nupchen Sangye Yeshe. In Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Tulku Thondup Rinpoche relateshow Sokpo Pelgyi Yeshe was...
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Nyak Jñānakumara Reader’s Guide

This series of blog posts are meant to be resources guides to complement the biographies of the great masters and scholars on the Treasury of Lives site. Nyak Jñ?nakumara, from the Shechen Archives Nyak Jñānakumara, also known as Yeshe Zhonnu was ordained by Santarakshita and was a student of Guru Rinpoche, Vairotsana, and Yudra Nyingpo but is better known for his Vajrakilaya practiced he received through Vimalamitra. He worked alongside Vimalamitra translating the mahyoga and atiyoga tantras, including The Guhyagarbha...
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Denma Tsemang the Translator and Calligrapher

This series of blog posts are meant to be resources guides to complement the biographies of the great masters and scholars on the Treasury of Lives site. Denma Tsemang Image from the ToL Site Denma Tsemang was another of Guru Rinpoche's 25 chief disciples, famed for his calligraphy and, later, his translation skills and of course his practice. Gyalwa Changchub and Namkhai Nyingpo in their terma, later revealed by Terton Taksham Samten Lingpa and translated into English as Lady of...
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Ken Wilber: Remembering Traleg Rinpoche

"At 12:10 am on July 24, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche passed into parinirvana. His death was not only a deep shock, but a truly tragic loss to the world of spirituality in general and Buddhism in particular-well, actually a tragic loss to the world, period. Traleg was one of what can truly be called a genuine Kosmopolitan-a truly universal human who had a deep understanding not only of Eastern culture and practices, but a genuinely profound grasp of the West and...
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Kawa Peltsek – The Fully Accomplished Translator of Shantideva

Kawa Peltsek was one of the twenty five disciples of Guru Rinpoche. For the full biography, visit his page on the Treasury of Lives site. He is mentioned in many books in English as he was one of the great translators during this formative period. He was responsible for translating key texts including Shantideva's Bodhicharyavatara. Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang relates this in The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech, and quotes Ngok Loden Sherab who said "Kawa, Chokro, Zhang are like the sun...
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Odren Pelgyi Wangchuk Reader’s Guide

Image courtesy of Treasury of Lives. Odren Pelgyi Wangchuk is another of Guru Rinpoche's twenty-five disciples, though not that much material on him is available in English. A short bio is available on the Treasury of Lives site. There is also a limited amount of resources on the TBRC site. He is mentioned in some key texts, including Gyalwa Jangchup's Lady of the Lotus Born where Guru Rinpoche bestowed the outer, inner and secret root sadhanas of the Mamos and...
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Nanam Dorje Dudjom

Nanam Dorje Dudjom is another of Guru Rinpoche's twenty-five disciples and his full biography can be read on the Treasury of Lives site. From the Shechen Archives via Treasury of Lives There are also several references to him in books in English. An exchange between he and Guru Rinpoche is included in Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times. The full translation includes Nanam Dorje Dudjom requesting a prayer for the benefit of future generations and the 120 line prayer. The...
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Lang Pelgyi Senge Reader’s Guide

This series of blog posts are meant to be resources guides to complement the biographies of the great masters and scholars on the Treasury of Lives site. Lang Pelgyi Senge Lang Pelgyi Senge, from the Shechen Archives Lang Pelgyi Senge, also known as Lhalung Pelgyi Senge, should not be confused with another Pelgyi Senge who was his contemporary. There is a wonderful passage in Yeshe Tsogyal’s biography, Lady of the Lotus-Born, where Lang Pelgyi Senge is brought together with Yeshe Tsogyal:...
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Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche: A Reader’s Guide

This edition of the Great Masters Series focuses on Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991).   This, like the other posts in this series, is not meant to be an exhaustive biography, but rather a look at the life and teachings of this great master through the lens of his works published in English. New and Forthcoming We are pleased to announce Lion of Speech: The Life of Mipham Rinpoche, a translation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's extraordinary biography of the great Mipham...
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The Seventeen Panditas of Indian Buddhism

Image from http://www.rigpashedra.org/   His Holiness the Dalai Lama has often said that Tibetan Buddhism is none other than the Buddhism of India in the tradition of Nalanda, the great center of Buddhist learning that was located in present-day Bihar, India. Many of the greatest masters and scholars in Indian Buddhism resided-and often presided-at this monastic center of learning which in its heyday included thousands of monks, dozens of temples and an enormous library. While we do not know with...
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The Discovery and Recognition of Ogyen Trinley Dorje

The following is an account of the discovery and recognition of the Seventeenth Karmapa  Ogyen Trinley Dorje, excerpted from  The History of the Karmapas:  The Odyssey of the Tibetan Masters with the Black Crown The Last Testament Most of his previous reincarnations left behind a Last Testament giving  indications of their rebirth. But in 1981, when the sixteenth Karmapa  died, no one was able to find a Last Testament. For nine long years  everyone searched, hoping for a sign that...
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Steve Jobs Reading Chögyam Trungpa

Steve Jobs read Chögyam Trungpa, according to Bianca Bosker in the Huffington Post article "The Steve Jobs Reading List: The Books and Artists That Made the Man. " Bosker reports that, "during his freshman year at Reed College, Jobs befriended Daniel Kottke, who went on to work at Apple, and together they devoured books such as Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind   [and] Chögyam Trungpa's Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism €¦ " What might have been the ideas in Cutting...
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Aryadeva Reader’s Guide

Mahayana Buddhist philosophy This article for the Great Masters Series focuses on Aryadeva, the second of what His Holiness the Dalai Lama refers to as the Seventeen Pandits of Nalanda, whose works form the foundation for Mahayana Buddhist philosophy.  Birth and Training While early biographies vary in detail and timing, traditional accounts such as those by Taranatha, Butön in his History of Buddhism, and Chandrakirti identify Aryadeva as being born in Sri Lanka in a royal family in the late...
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Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s Pilgrimage to China

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, author of Into the Heart of Life , Reflections of a Mountain Lake, and Cave in the Snow, and who is profiled in the recently released Dakini Power, just returned from a pilgrimage in China, following the footsteps of Xuanzang and visiting the Four Sacred Mountains and four Buddhist rock grottoes.   Here she shares some of her experiences of the pilgrimage and observations about Buddhism in China and of nuns in particular. Jetsunma and Xuanzang Shambhala...
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Teachings to Prepare for Death

Intermediate States: Bardos and Living and Dying from Ancient India to 21st Century New York Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz (02/02/1878 – 07/17/1965): American anthropologist and writer who was a pioneer in the study of Tibetan Buddhism. The term bardo, often translated as "intermediate state" is a term that entered the popular imagination in the West with the publication of W.Y. Evans-Wentz's 1927 translation of The Great Liberation by Hearing in the Intermediate States, which he rendered as The Tibetan Book of...
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Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche: A Reader’s Guide

This article is a reader's guide to the great Rimé master Mipham Rinpoche (sometimes written Mipam), who reinvigorated the Nyingma tradition in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Jamgon Mipham (1846–1912) Mipham Rinpoche's Life Relative to his impact, and somewhat surprising given that he passed away only one hundred years ago, the details of Mipham Rinpoche's life are not that well known. But there are two works that cover his life in great detail. The first—and a must-have for...
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His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama Books: A Guide

DALAI LAMA TITLES See All Books Dalai Lama Books For this latest installment of our Great Masters series, we turn to a contemporary master, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, often referred to by Tibetans as Gyalwa Rinpoche or Kundun. As with previous posts, this is not intended to be a complete biography but rather a look at His Holiness's teachings through the lens of his books, mostly the two dozen published by us, though a few others are included...
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Lojong / Mind Training Reader’s Guide

Lojong, or mind training, is a core practice in all the lineages of the Tibetan tradition. They can perhaps best be characterized as a method for transforming our mind by turning away from self-centeredness and cultivating instead the mental habits that generate bodhicitta, the awakened mind that puts the benefit of others above all else. The teachings on it are more diverse than many people realize, so we thought we would lay out a map of its origins and development...
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Reader’s Guide: Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje

Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, who passed away in 1987, came from a long line of the some of the greatest masters of Buddhism in India and Tibet. A direct descendant of Tibet's king Trison Detsen, the pearls in his succession of rebirths include the Buddha's disciple Shariputra, the Brahmin Saraha, Rongzompa, Dudjom Lingpa, and many more in between. Known as a great terton, or treasure revealer, Rinpoche was also known for his many works preserving the wider Nyingma tradition....
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On Translation: Sarah Harding and Larry Mermelstein

In our second On Translation video series cosponsored with the Tsadra Foundation, we are pleased to share this recording of Sarah Harding (Naropa University and the Tsadra Foundation) & Larry Mermelstein (Nalanda Translation Committee).   This session is for any student, practitioner, or translator of Tibetan Buddhism and is an opportunity to enter the world of translators of the Buddhadharma with two of the most experienced Tibetan translators. Most people encounter the Buddhist teachings through translations of texts, so like...
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History of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

The following account of the history of the Treasury of Instructions is an excerpt from Ringu Tulku’s The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great. Explore the Treasury of Precious Instructions Home Page of the Treasury > History of the Collection The Books: Overviews of Each Volume Jamgön Kongtrul's Descriptive Catalog (Karchag) Video Series Audio Streaming and Podcast Matthew Kapstein's Paper on Dam Ngak based on the Treasury Tibetan Resources on the Treasury from the Tsadra Foundation Readers Guide to Jamgōn...
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Ringu Tulku Discusses the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Ringu Tulku paid a visit to Shambhala’s Prajna Studios and had some thoughts on the landmark publication of The Treasury of Precious Instructions.       Resources Guide to The Treasury of Precious Instructions Resource Guide: An Overview A History of the Collection High-Quality Recordings of the Video Workshop: A great way to really immerse yourself in this work! Download the catalog describing in great detail the 18 volumes A Reader’s Guide to the Works of Jamgön Kongtrul Ringu Tulku...
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How to Build a Caravan of Joy: a review of The Mishap Lineage

Excerpt reprinted with permission from Tricycle Magazine. Reviewed by Stuart Smithers I almost met Chogyam Trungpa. When I arrived at the steps of the New York Historical Society, just off Central Park, there was a notice posted on the massive wooden doors: Trungpa RinpocheÕs talk had been canceled for health reasons. I was disappointed, and didn't realize at the time that he would soon die and I would never have the chance to see him teach. I was young, studying...
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Larung Gar’s Kagyu Curriculum:: A Talk by Khenpo Karma Jamyang Gyaltsen

Shambhala Publications, the Tsadra Foundation, and the Tibet Himalaya Initiative at the University of Colorado were pleased to present this talk by Khenpo Karma Jamyang Gyaltsen on the Kagyu curriculum of Buddhist study and practice in Tibet’s largest center for monastic and lay study and practice. Khenpo Jamyang is a senior teacher at the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Serthar, Sichuan, part of the Tibetan area known as Kham. He is the director of training in the Kagyu tradition at...
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Larung Gar Resource Guide

By Chensiyuan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons About Larung Gar Larung Gar, or “The Encampment of the Larung Valley”, is a magical, incredible place.  Located in the remote high-altitude grasslands in the region of Golok in the far east of Tibet, outside of the Chinese demarcated Tibetan Autonomous Region in the province of Sichuan, it is has become home to the world’s largest Buddhist institute of study and practice. It is a striking place.  Founded in the...
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The Way of the Bodhisattva: An Immersive Workshop

Few texts are more frequently taught and quoted, have as colorful a history, and as much relevance to Buddhists today more than the eighth-century Indian Buddhist monk Shantideva’s The Way of the Bodhisattva. The Dalai Lama has said that “if I have any understanding of compassion and the bodhisattva path, it all comes from studying this text.” The living tradition of this text radiates most brightly from the Tibetan tradition where it was translated from Sanskrit in the ninth century and is central to all...
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Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and Meditation in Action

Reviewed by Charles Prebish In the spring of 2002, following a short bout with cardiac problems, I decided to move most of my books from my university office to my home study to allow me to work in a more relaxing environment. By some odd chance-probably karmically inspired-the very first books I grabbed down off the shelf were old, yellow, held-together-by-Scotch-tape copies of Chogyam Trungpa's Meditation in Action and Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. These were the first books of Trungpa...
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When Things Fall Apart: The App

New! When Things Fall Apart: The App   There is a fundamental opportunity for happiness right within our reach—yet we usually miss it, ironically, while we are caught up in attempts to escape pain and suffering. Drawn from traditional Buddhist wisdom, Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart reveals her radical and compassionate advice for what to do when things fall apart in our lives. There is only one approach to suffering that is of lasting benefit, Pema teaches, and that...
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Way of the Bodhisattva Resource Page

A Resource Guide for The Way of the Bodhisattva* We are pleased to share the following resources for the Bodhicharyavatara, or The Way of the Bodhisattva. Readers Guide - A guide to the many translations, commentaries, and deep dives into specific chapters published by Shambhala Publications and others. A Brief History - A very brief history of this text. An Immersive Workshop on The Way of the Bodhisattva - Shambhala Publications and the Tsadra Foundation are pleased to share with you this immersive four...
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A Brief History of the Way of the Bodhisattva

The Story Behind the Bodhicharyavatara The text with the Sanskrit title Bodhicharyavatara (shortened from the longer Bodhisattvacharyavatara)—usually known in English as either The Way of the Bodhisattva or A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life—is by far the best-known work attributed to the eighth-century Indian monk Shantideva. It would be impossible to adequately summarize its importance and impact in this small space, but what follows is a brief account of the origin of this classic that has come to be considered an indispensable guide for...
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Translating the Way of the Bodhisattva

This talk with Wulstan Fletcher of the Padmakara Translation Group, facilitated by CU Professor Holly Gayley, will be of great interest not just for translators—for whom it will be invaluable—fbut for any practitioners or scholars interested in the transmission of Buddhism in the west. The talk focuses on the translation of the text itself and how a master translator approaches such a daunting and challenging masterpiece. With a rich background of language expertise, deep knowledge of both Buddhist traditions and...
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Anne Klein Discusses Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche’s Life and Work

We were pleased to have Anne Klein, professor at Rice University and founder of the Dawn Mountain Buddhist center, pay us a visit and talk about her 2016 work, a translation of and introduction to the great Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche's Strand of Jewels: My Teachers Essential Guidance on Dzogchen.  Also see our interview with Khetsun Sangpo from the Snow Lion newsletter of October, 2006   ANNE KLEIN TITLES See All Books
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Kilung Rinpoche Profile

We were pleased to have Dza Kilung Rinpoche founder of Pema Kilaya and the Kilung Foundation.  Rinpoche paid a few visits to our Shambhala Publications' Prajna Studios in Boulder and we are delighted to share a series of videos where he discusses his book, The Relaxed Mind.  We will also be offering a course with him in 2017. Born in 1970, Rinpoche was officially discovered as a tulku in his youth. There had been signs that he was a reincarnated lama...
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37 Practices of a Bodhisattva Teachings | Orgyen Khamdroling Buddhist Meditation Center

New & Forthcoming in Tibetan Buddhism See All Books A calendar showing the key practice days according to the Tibetan calendar based on the Phugpa tradition, the most widely used system See Also Special practice days of the Tibetan calendar  An Overview of Tsok Upcoming Tibetan Buddhist Events Ri-me Society presents Wisdom Unleashed: Your Path as Padmasambhava10/11/2021 - 12/13/2021Mondays, October 11, 2021-Dec. 13, 2021, 7-9pm Mountain Standard Time | Online on ZoomGreen Tara Retreat | Orgyen Khamdroling Canada10/20/2021 - 10/24/2021October 20...
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