The art of writing biography, autobiography, and songs of realization (composing spontaneous songs that express spiritual understanding) is a long-standing tradition in the Buddhist world. The longing for truth, the sense of humor, vivid imagery, heartfelt devotion, the deep insight--this and more can be found in the following works on the lives of the masters.

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Songs of Realization

Life Stories of the Masters

Songs of Realization

Beautiful Song of Marpa the Translator (Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche)

In the first half of this book Khenpo gives a clear explanation of the clear light nature of mind in connection with the Buddha nature inherent in all beings. He also explains how to meditate on the clear light, how to develop compassion, the practice of tonglen and some very poignant advice on taking adverse conditions to the path. In the second half Khenpo gives teachings on four songs sung by the Lord of Yogis Jetsun Milarepa. He explains the meaning of Milarepa's own expression of the view, meditation, conduct and fruition, and gives us advice on how to apply the teachings to all aspects of our practice and life.

"Khenpo Tsultrim is one of the Principal teachers of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. As a very learned teacher and also a great meditator, he is very skilled in presenting views on emptiness and also explaining the great songs of realization of Jetsun Milarepa." From the foreword by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.


Drinking the Mountain Stream: Songs of Tibet's Beloved Saint, Milarepa (trans. Lama Kunga Rinpoche and Cutillo)

Redeemed from a life of evil, Milarepa became one of the most celebrated saints of all time. Known for his penetrating insights, wry sense of humor, and ability to render any lesson into spontaneous song, Milarepa wandered the rugged terrain of eleventh-century Tibet and Nepal guiding countless followers along the Buddhist path through his songs of liberation.

More than any other collection of his stories and songs, Drinking the Mountain Stream reveals Milarepa's actions as scathingly direct, his humor and wisdom more acutely penetrating as he cuts through the veil of illusion. Verse after verse, like Milarepa's original followers, you too will be drawn to the deepest source of inspiration.

With profound insight into the poet-saint himself, Lama Kunga Rinpoche and Brian Cutillo render a faithful and lyrical translation of this precious collection of Milarepa's songs.

"All the water and drink you've consumed / Through beginningless time until now / Has failed to slake thirst or bring you contentment. / Drink therefore this stream / Of enlightenment mind, fortunate ones." --Milarepa


Hermit of Go Cliffs: Timeless Instructions from a Tibetan Mystic (trans. Stearns)

"An inspiring collection of autobiographical songs of realization by one of the great hermit yogins of the 12th century, Godrakpa Sonam Gyaltsen. These pared-down verses reflect the refreshing, unmannered honesty and direct style characteristic of early Buddhist masters in Tibet. The lucid translation is enhanced by a learned introduction to Godrakpa's life and milieu, and a helpful set of notes to the songs' religious and historical allusions. An exceptional resource for studying the early yogic tradition of Tibetan Buddhism."--Janet Gyatso, Amherst College

Tibetan on one page with English translation on the facing page making the book useful to the student of the language and translators.


Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, Vol 1 & 2 (trans. and annotated by Garma C. C. Chang). Hardcover

Tibetans accord The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa a classic status comparable to that of the Mahabharata and the Bible, and revere its author as probably the best single exemplar of the religious life. Milarepa was an 11th-century Buddhist poet and saint, a cotton-clad yogi who avoided the scholarly institutions of his time and wandered from village to village, teaching enlightenment and the path to Buddhahood through his spontaneously composed songs. Wherever he went, crowds of people gathered to hear his sweet-sounding voice "singing the Dharma."

The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa says the book's translator, "...has been read as the biography of a saint, a guide book for devotions, a manual of a Buddhist yogi, a volume of songs and poems and even a collection of Tibetan folklore and fairy tales." However they are read, Milarepa's poems are a colorful portrayal of the living quality of Tibetan Buddhism.

With titles like "The Salvation of the Dead," "A Woman's Role in the Dharma," and "Challenge from a Wise Demoness," Milarepa's poems are filled with fascinating tales of miraculous encounters and colorful imagery, and present a valuable insight into the living quality of Tibetan Buddhism. Central as this book is to Tibetan culture, the arcane dialect and obscurity of many original passages daunted translators for centuries; this was the first complete version of the classic to appear in the West.

The translator, Garma C. C. Chang, traveled extensively in Tibet and studies Buddhism in several monasteries there for more than eight years. His translation of The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa is the fruit of many years of extensive study.


Milarepa: Songs from the Spot (trans. Riggs)

Nicole Riggs, translator or Like an Illusion: Lives of the Shangpa Kagyu Masters (see above), brings her skillful, clear and vivid style to this daring new translation that most beloved of Tibetan Classics, The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa (see above).

"What a great joy to read Nicole Rigg's new translation of Tibet's most revered poet-saint, Milarepa. By means of the most sublime language, these songs show us not only how we can free ourselves from anxiety, but also progress toward ultimate liberation and help others to free themselves from suffering. Milarepa traverses ten centuries to speak directly to us in these inspired translations that resonate deep in the heart." --David Curtis, founder and executive director of the Tibetan Language Institute


Natural Great Perfection: Dzogchen Teachings and Vajra Songs (by Nyoshul Khenpo, trans. and ed. by Lama Surya Das)

"Khenpo shows how to understand and how to practice the Dzogchen path. Following his autobiography, he explores with radiant clarity the key points of Buddhism, the inseparability of perfect compassion and the practice of Dzogchen, and the ultimate nature of the mind." Snow Lion

"This book is wonderful--a treasure house of liberating Dharma. Nyoshul Khenpo's heart-songs of wisdom illuminate our minds and inspire our practice."--Joseph Goldstein


Rain of Wisdom: Vajra Songs of the Great Kagyu Masters (Chogyam Trungpa, trans. Nalanda Translation Committee)

With over a hundred profound poems, this is a very inspirational book of "Songs of Realization" of the great Tibetan masters of the Kagyu lineage, known as the Practice Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Many readers are already familiar with the colorful life of the yogin Milarepa, an early figure in the Kagyu lineage, some of whose songs are included here. Songs by over thirty other Buddhist teachers are also presented, from those of Tilopa, the father of the lineage, to those of the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, as well as several songs by Chogyam Trungpa, the noted teacher of Buddhism in America who directed the translation of the Rain of Wisdom.

A very inspirational book of the realization of great Tibetan masters. Contains a 35 page glossary of Buddhist terminology which includes the Tibetan (Wylie) for many of the most important terms encountered in reading Vajrayana texts.


Sky Dancer: The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyal (Keith Dowman)

Yeshe Tsogyal, consort of Guru Padmasambhava, is one of the most famous of the enlightened women of Tibet. Few works deal with the spiritual practices and evolution of female aspirants, and for this reason, Sky Dancer is virtually unique in the biographical literature of Tibet. Women are shown in an eminent position, and a path of practice is presented for initiates to emulate. Tsogyal's experiences and her detailed instructions to her disciples are inspirational for today's practitioners.

Includes two main sections: "The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyal" and "Commentary." In the later one finds chapters on the path of the inner tantra, women and the dakini, the Nyingma lineages, and useful historical background. Also included are an index of Tibetan words (Wylie transliteration), an index of texts, an index to place names, and an index to men, buddhas, gods, and demons.


Songs of Naropa: Commentary on Songs of Realization (Thrangu Rinpoche)

This translation contains subtle and penetrating wisdom expressed through the age-old tradition of spiritual songs. Two songs by the great Indian master Naropa -- "The View, Concisely Put" and "A Summary of Mahamudra" -- are explained in detail by Thrangu Rinpoche, a realized Tibetan Buddhist teacher of the present time.

"The basic nature is in itself the state of realization of all buddhas. To fully awaken to this natural state, it is not necessary to go to some other place to reach enlightenment. The state of enlightenment is not extrinsic to us. Buddhahood is not something that will appear suddenly in the future, but exists inherently within ourselves right now." -- Thrangu Rinpoche


Timeless Rapture: Inspired Verse of the Shangpa Masters (Jamgon Kongtrul, trans. and introduced by Ngawang Zangpo)

Boundless awe and rapture are experiences reported again and again by accomplished masters. These qualities of mind are characteristic of the shift from busy, limited consciousness to effortless, panoramic awareness--a shift said to endure after realization on the Buddhist path to awakening. Throughout Buddhist history, awakened ones have celebrated this innate and timeless rapture with inspired verse, sung extemporaneously.

Timeless Rapture offers us a rare glimpse into the mysticism of the Shangpa Kagyu lineage, a tradition based mainly on profound teachings of two Indian women: Niguma and Sukasiddhi. A compendium of spontaneous verse sung by Indian and Tibetan tantric Buddhist masters from the tenth century to the present day, Timeless Rapture includes the translations as well as short descriptions of each poet's life, plus an overview of the history of the lineage in Tibet.

"Our lineage's past spiritual masters used songs to express their manifest experience and realization of the spiritual paths vital subjects, such as the trio of basis, path, and result; or view, meditation, and conduct; as well as dispelling hindrances and enriching meditative experience....The blessings of the lineage enter our heart, the very best technique to realize our mind's abiding nature, Great Seal [Mahamudra]." -- Bokar Rinpoche

Timeless Rapture is part of The Tsadra Foundation Series.


Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea: Verses in Praise of Bodhicitta (Khunu Rinpoche, foreword by H.H. the Dalai Lama)

Revered by many as the very embodiment of altruism, the late Khunu Rinpoche devoted his life to the development of bodhicitta--the aspiration to achieve enlightenment for the sake of all living beings. Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sky is a collection o Khunu Rinpoche's inspirational verse -- presented here in both English and the original Tibetan.

"Whenever I think of [Khunu Rinpoche], I always say to myself, 'This is what St. Francis of Assisi must have been like." -- Sogyal Rinpoche

"Khunu Rinpoche, through his loving presence and great kindness, was one of the most profound influences on me. This book is a wonderful, inspiring evocation of him and of the path of loving kindness." -- Sharon Salzberg

Born in the Indo-Tibetan borderlands at the end of the 19th century, Khunu Rinpoche Tenzin Gyaltsen was revered by Tibetan Buddhists of all spiritual traditions because his life embodied the spiritual practice of compassion. Among his many students was H.H. the Dalai Lama. 


Wisdom Nectar: Dudjom's Rinpoche's Heart Advice (Trans. and introduced by Ron Garry)

Dudjom Rinpoche was one of the seminal figures in Tibetan Buddhism in the twentieth century, yet very few of his religious writings have been translated into English. This volume contains a generous selection of his inspiring teachings and writings, the core of which is a lengthy discussion of the entire path of Dzogchen, including key instructions on view, meditation, and conduct, along with direct advice on how to bring one's experiences onto the path.

Also included in this book in their entirety are the oral instructions, tantric songs, and songs of realization from His Holiness's Collected Works, along with a generous selection of the aspiration and supplication prayers. The "Word List" is a glossary of terms, listing the English, the Wylie transliteration, and the words in the Tibetan script.

"As the representative of the great vajra master Padmasambhava, Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche was himself a great scholar and realized meditation master. In general all of his writings and rediscovered treasures are completely authentic and sublime. In particular his direct spiritual advice from the heart, such as the teachings found in the pages of this book, serve as profound reminders to awaken and seriously pursue the path to fully enlightened Buddhahood."--Lama Chonam and Sangye Khandro, members of the Light of Berotsana Translation Group

"This book reveals the timeless essence of holy Dharma. Every word rings true. This masterpiece will certainly inspire many generations to come."--Tulku Thubten Rinpoche, Spiritual Advisor, Dharmata Foundation

Wisdom Nectar is part of The Tsadra Foundation Series.


Life Stories Of The Masters

Autobiography of Jamgon Kongtrul: A Gem of Many Colors (Jamgon Kongtrul, trans. and ed. by Richard Barron/Chokyi Nyima)

This much-awaited first English translation of Jamgon Kongtrul's autobiography is refreshingly real. In addition to its inspirational value, Kongtrul's story is a rich source of information on the religion, culture, and political climate of Tibet during his times.

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye (1813-99) was one of most influential figures and prolific writers in the Tibetan Buddhist world. He was a founder and the single most important proponent of the nonsectarian movement that flourished in eastern Tibet and remains popular today.

Also included with the autobiography are two additional texts: one, authored by Kongtrul himself, discusses the past masters of whom he was considered to be an emanation; the second was written by one of Kongtrul' s close personal students and recounts Kongtrul' s final days, his funeral, and the commemorative rites following his death. Taken together, these three texts place Kongtrul firmly within a historical context as one of the most important figures in the history of Tibetan Buddhism.

"More than a biography, the story of the extraordinary Kongtrul is an inspiration to all serious students of Buddhist practice and scholarship. Unparalleled in benefiting beings, his life exemplifies the most noble of human endeavors--the accomplishment of receiving and practicing, codifying and transmitting the entirety of Tibet's spiritual traditions. We are fortunate that one of the most gifted translators of our times, Richard Barron, has brought forth this treasure"--Erik Pena Kunsang, translator of Kongtrul's "Light of Wisdom" series.

The Autobiography of Jamgon Kongtrul is part of The Tsadra Foundation Series.


Blazing Splendor: The Memoirs of the Dzogchen Yogi Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang and Marcia Binder Schmidt)

With unsurpassed honesty and humility, the highly influential meditation master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche offers a glimpse into the remarkable reality of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as an in-depth portrait of the lost culture of old Tibet. This grand narrative stretches across generations, providing an inspiring glimpse into a realm of remarkable human achievement quite different from our familiar mundane world. Intimate in tone, these personal memoirs recount the influences and experiences that shaped one of the great spiritual teachers of our time. Blazing Splendor is of both spiritual and historical import.

"Compassion, wisdom, devotion and the innermost nature of mind--you will read about all of these in this book. These stories and memories imply that spiritual realization is really possible...." Sogyal Rinpoche, author of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.


Born in Tibet (Chogyam Trungpa)

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche--meditation master, scholar, and artist--was identified at the age of only thirteen months as a major tulku, or reincarnation of an enlightened teacher. Trungpa Rinpoche's account of his experiences as a young monk, his duties as the abbot and spiritual head of a great monastery, and his moving relationships with his teachers offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the life of a Tibetan lama. The memoir concludes with his daring escape from Tibet to India. In an epilogue, he describes his emigration to the West, where he encountered many people eager to learn about the ancient wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism. Shambhala.


Buddha from Dolpo: A Study of the Life and Thought of the Tibetan Master Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen (Cyrus Stearns)

"This book examines the life and thought of the Tibetan Buddhist master, Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen (1292-1361). Known as 'The Buddha from Dolpo,' he was one of the most important and original thinkers in Tibetan history, and perhaps the greatest expert on the tantric teachings of the Kalachakra or 'Wheel of Time.' Based largely upon esoteric Buddhist knowledge believed to be preserved in the legendary land of Shambhala, Dolpopa's theories continue to excite controversy in Tibetan Buddhism after almost 700 years." SUNY Press.


Buddha's Lions: The Lives of the Eighty-Four Siddhas/Abhayadatta (by Abhayadatta, trans. by James Robinson)

"From farmers and wood-gatherers to royal ministers, scholars, and kings, the great siddhas-- bearers of enlightened knowledge-- came from widely divergent backgrounds. Yet each found within his way of life the keys to realization. Abhayadatta's account of eighty-four great siddhas offers insights into the Vajrayana, the path that transforms ordinary experiences into opportunities for awakening. These stories reveal that the doorway to enlightenment is close at hand, and that the freedom found by the siddhas is as available now as in ages past." Dharma Publishers.


Chariot for Traveling the Path to Freedom: The Life Story of Kalu Rinpoche (Kalu Rinpoche, trans. Kenneth I. McLeod)

A glowing, inspiring biography of Kalu Rinpoche, twentieth-century teacher who was widely acknowledged as a master by high lamas of all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.

This book is a treasure! Many, many line drawings, unique black and white photos of famous masters, and color plates of Chenrezig/ Avalokiteshvara and the Dharma protector Six-Armed Mahakala.

Part One includes "A Shower of Blessing" (a prayer to one's lama); "The Song of the Spontaneous Activity of Enlightenment" (a prayer based on the life of Kalu Rinpoche); "The Chariot for Traveling the Path to Freedom" (Kalu rinpoche's life story); "Advice to My Students"; and "The Ship Which Sets Beings Free" (a prayer of aspiration based on the practices of the Shangpa-Kagyu tradition). Part Two includes a map of Kalu Rinpoche's homeland, and four appendices: the three vehicles and the three ordinations; the Shangpa Kagyu tradition; a biography of Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye (Kalu Rinpoche was considered an emanation of this great 19th-century teacher); and traditions of Buddhism in Tibet. Includes glossary and short bibliography.


Great Kagyu Masters: The Golden Lineage Treasury (trans. Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche)

"The lives of the great Kagyupa teachers represent a living enactment of their personal trials and triumphs while vividly depicting the transformation of their existential shortcomings into transcendent perfection. With their concern for universal well-being and freedom as the motivating force, these teachers have shown the way to the all-around transformation of one's self-centeredness into universal concern and compassion and of self-delusion into wisdom." Lobsang Lhalungpa


Guru Rinpoché: His Life and Times (Ngawang Zangpo)

To the Tibetan Buddhists, Guru Rinpoche is a Buddha. This book recounts Guru Rinpoche's historic visit to Tibet and explains his continuing significance to Buddhists. In doing so, it illustrates how a country whose powerful armies overran the capital of China and installed a puppet emperor came to abandon its aggressive military campaigns: this transformation was due to Guru Rinpoche, who tamed and converted Tibet to Buddhism and thereby changed the course of Asian history.

Four very different accounts of his story are presented: two Buddhist (one by Jamgon Kontrul and one by Dorje Tso); one according to the pre-Buddhist religion, Bon; and one based on Indian sources and early Tibetan historical documents. Also included are a set of supplications to Guru Rinpoche, as well as Jamgon Kongtrul's visualizations written to accompany these supplications. The result is the most extensive set of materials on Guru Rinpoche ever to appear in a Western language.

"An important contribution to our understanding of Guru Rinpoche which situates him firmly in Tibet's secular and spiritual history." Ven. Tsoknyi rinpoche, author of Carefree Dignity.

Guru Rinpoché: His Life and Times is part of The Tsadra Foundation Series.


Homage to Khyab Je Kalu Rinpoche (Kalu Rinpoche and his students)

Khyab Je Kalu Rinpoche was one of the greatest Buddhist saints of this age, known and highly respected by the heads of all major and minor tantric schools in Tibet. His Holiness Karmapa once said that Kalu Rinpoche was an incarnation of Milarepa, a 12th century yogin who is perhaps the most famous and most admired of all Tibetan saints. Everyone who met Kalu Rinpoche, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, were profoundly impressed. His respect for all religious traditions and his love for all living things was expressed in every action, word and gesture. Here was a being who radiated concern and compassion without judgment, and impartial love for everyone, while having transcended all worldly concerns.

This book, through the words of Kalu Rinpoche himself and the testaments of his students, pays homage to the life of this great master. Many, many amazing color photos and a section entitled "Ultimate Advice of Khyab Je Kalu Rinpoche" quoted from the end of his biography.


Legend of the Great Stupa & The Life Story of the Lotus Born Guru: Two Termas from the Nyingma Tradition (Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal)


Life and Revelations of Pema Lingpa (foreward by Gangteng Tulku, trans. by Sarah Harding)

A pithy collection from the discoveries of Pema Lingpa (1450-1521), the greatest master and treasure-revealer of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Also included is the life story of Pema Lingpa and his prior incarnations. These revealed treasures provide us with a window into the court of Tibet's great king, Trisong Detsen, and his sublime master, Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). Princess Pemasel and the ladies of the court persistently query the great master and receive from him quintessential instructions on meditation and the mind. Their doubts, hesitations, and issues of gender are masterfully resolved in this impassioned exchange.

"This is an amazing and precious gift for those who seek enlightenment, a masterpiece on the Dzogchen teachings. There is no doubt this book will bring many people to the profound and authentic path."--Tulku Thubten Rinpoche, Spiritual Advisor, Buddha Mandala Foundation


Life of Gampopa: The Incomparable Dharma Lord of Tibet (Jampa Mackenzie Stewart)

"The first complete life story of Gampopa, the foremost disciple of Milarepa and the author of The Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Compiled from numerous Tibetan Biographies, this comprehensive and inspiring rendition highlights the extraordinary details of Gampopa's advanced meditative experiences, and presents direct insights in to the practice and realization of Mahamudra. Beautiful drawings by Dutch artist Eva van Dam illustrate this compelling and moving tale.

A history of the Kagyu lineage by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa supplements the story of Gampopa's life, and provides the fullest possible picture of the development of the Kagyu lineages of Tibetan Buddhism." Snow Lion


Like an Illusion: Lives of the Shangpa Kagyu Masters (Foreward by Bokar Rinpoche, trans. Nicole Riggs)

Like an Illusion is the first translation in any Western language of the biographies of a rare Tibetan Buddhist lineage, the Shangpa Kagyu lineage. First recorded by the masters themselves between five hundred and one thousand years ago in West-Central Tibet, these colorful and poignant tales have retained their power to inspire and even emancipate.

Nicole Riggs offers an in-depth introduction which examines the major strands running through the life stories, from the appeal of solitary retreat to the realization of the clear-light nature of mind.

"If on all things, like an illusion, / One meditates, like an illusion, / True Buddhahood, like an illusion, / Will come to pass, due to devotion."--Dakini Niguma

"Simply hearing the life stories of such genuine beings blesses our mindstream. Guided by faith and devotion, our renunciation, compassion, wisdom and so on, grow and flourish."--Bokar Rinpoche


Lives and Liberation of Princess Mandarava: The Indian Consort of Padmasambhava (Lama Chonam and Sangye Khandro)

This lucid translation of a rare Tibetan treasure text makes available for the first time to Western readers the remarkable life story of Princess Mandarava. As the principal consort of the 8th-century Indian master Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) before he introduced tantric Buddhism to Tibet, Mandarava is the Indian counterpart of the Tibetan consort Yeshe Tsogyal. Lives and Liberation recounts her struggles and triumphs as a Buddhist adept throughout her many lives and is an authentic deliverance story of a female Buddhist master. Those who read this book will gain inspiration and encouragement on the path to liberation.

Includes a section "Table of Equivalents" which gives the Sanskrit name or term and the Tibetan equivalent (in Wylie).

"An extraordinary story from the heart of Tibetan religious culture ...replete with messages of encouragement...[that]presents its readers with a complex image of a woman engaged in a difficult process of self-cultivation." -- Janet Gyatso, Amherst College


Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage (by Nyoshul Khenpo, trans. by Richard Barron/Chokyi Nyima)

In this book one finds the spiritual history of the teachings of the Dzogchen tradition (natural great perfection). This is the only comprehensive history of the Nyingtik lineage, which forms the core of teachings known as Dzogchen in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It was written by the late Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche Jamyang Dorje, one of the most outstanding and knowledgeable exponents of Dzogchen. In this work, framed as a series of biographical accounts, Nyoshul Khenpo provides a wealth of information invaluable to spiritual practitioners, as well as historians studying the cultures of Central Asia.

Includes detailed lineage charts, a few line drawings. Hardback.

" 'There could come a time in the future [Nyoshul Khenpo wrote] when holders of the lineage would profess to transmit the lineage without being able to recall even the names of its masters.' This is why the author considered this history to be 'as indispensable as our eyes or our life force,' providing all the grounds and inspiration ever needed for total conviction. He compared the life stories of the vidhydhara masters in this lineage to a fine chain of gold or a garland of rare gems.... With immense attention to detail, Nyoshul Khenpo maps out the 'ultimate lineage of direct transmission,' the heart of all the lines of transmission of Dzogpachenpo from the primordial buddha to the present day, showing the connection between masters and students in an unbroken line of succession. His work stands out because of its completeness, for it includes all of the distinct lineages, along with the lives of the students of the great masters, stories from the oral tradition and the different teaching styles. Anyone who matters is represented here, every link in the chain, including masters of our time.... It is a milestone, and I do not feel that it will ever be equaled." -- Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying


Masters of Meditation and Miracles: Lives of the Great Buddhist Masters of India and Tibet (Tulku Thondup)

This book presents colorful biographies of 35 realized teachers whose lives were full of peace, enlightenment, and amazing miracles. They flourished in Tibet, the "Roof of the World," in its golden days. These teachers belong to the Longchen Nyingtig lineage of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, a cycle of mystical teachings revealed by the great scholar and adept Jigme Lingpa.

From the first master, Garab Dorje, to the present, each spiritual personality has his or her own distinctive role to play in this great lineage. In retelling their stories in his own words, the author has sought to bring out their inner feelings as well as their external activities: how they faced and healed physical pain, how they dealt with emotional turmoil, how they overcame spiritual or meditative illusions, and most important, what experiences they had when they awakened their own inner Buddha mind and Buddha qualities. These biographies not only provide great sources of teachings on meditation, but will also kindle a spiritual flame in the hearts of readers.

Tulku Thondup has published many books on Tibetan Buddhism. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University.


Masters of the Nyingma Lineage (Crystal Mirror Series, vol. 11)

Brief  biographical sketches of all the main Nyingma masters, authors in the Great Treasures collection, and a mine of information on the early history of the school.

Part of Tarthang Tulku`s Crystal Mirror Series of volumes from the Nyingma tradition, this inspirational work gives the life stories of all the main Nyingma gurus and Vajrayana lineage masters from Padmasambhava onwards. Additional information is included on the monasteries, sacred and historic sites and some of the early Indian authors and authors of other schools.

Illustrations, maps,  line drawings, names of masters in Tibetan. This is a beautiful and useful book.


Music in the Sky: The Life, Art & Teachings of the 17th Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje (Michele Martin)

Music in the Sky offers a series of the Karmapa's profound teachings, an extensive selection of his poetry, and a detailed account of his life and flight from his homeland. The amazing teachings and writing skills evident in this work--particularly in light of the fact that the Karmapa was only 17 years old at the time of publication (2003) -- will captivate readers.

The book concludes with brief biographies of all sixteen previous Karmapas, specially composed for this collection by the highly respected Seventh Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Here, the reader will discover the compelling histories of the first Tibetan masters to be recognized as reincarnate lamas. Music in the Sky presents a definitive portrait of the 17th Karmapa, strengthened and illuminated by an authoritative depiction of his place in one of the world's most revered lines of spiritual teachers.


Praise to the Lotus Born: A Verse Garland of Waves of Devotion (Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche, trans. and introduced by Toy-Fung Tung and Marie-Louise Friquegnon)

In 1972, a 21-year old Nyingmapa Buddhist monk was recovering from tuberculosis in a clinic in Switzerland. Turning his mind to Guru Padmasambhava, known to Tibetans as the second Buddha, he wrote these poems in a mere three days. Praise to the Lotus Born is a verse biography of Padmasambhava who, along with Khenchen Shantarakshita and King Trisong Detsen, founded Tibetan Buddhism. Scholars, kings and queens sweep through these pages against a backdrop of philosophy, ritual, myth, and magic. With the poems are notes containing Khentrul's lively commentaries which captivate and enlighten the reader. Tibetan text with facing English translation.

These poems of praise express the author's wonderment at the power, beauty, wisdom and compassion of the buddhas and other great beings. The verses bring readers closer to liberation because the poems themselves are blessings that inspire devotion and meritorious action. On a deeper level, they reveal that these enlightened beings are actually reflections of our higher, unobscured minds.

His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, Supreme Head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism from 1961 to 1987, praised the poems, saying that they would stand as a "stone monument to Orgyen Padmasambhava."


Saint in Seattle: The Life of the Tibetan Mystic Dezhung Rinpoche (by David P. Jackson)

In 1960, the Tibetan lama Dezhung Rinpoche (1906-87) arrived in Seattle after being forced into exile from his native land by the Communist Chinese. Already a revered master of the teachings of all Tibetan Buddhist schools, he would eventually become a teacher of some of Western Buddhism's most notable scholars. This is the inspiring life story of a modern buddha.

"Dezhung Rinpoche was one of the great scholar-yogis of our time."--His Holiness Sakya Trinzin.

"If I were to write my own Meetings with Remarkable Men, the late venerable Dezhung Rinpoche would surely figure high on the list of those to be included. A man of profound and wide-ranging learning, great dignity, and the highest ethical standards, he nevertheless carried these weighty attributes humbly, leavened with great personal warmth, humor, and compassion. For historians of Tibet, Dezhung Rinpoche was a living archive, and demonstrated to all by his example that the rich tree of the religious live must be watered by love. David Jackson's A Saint in Seattle gives us now a meticulously researched biography of this celebrated teacher, who in his life bridged old Tibet and the modern West. It is a gift for which I am deeply grateful."--Matthew Kapstein, Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies, The Divinity School of the University of Chicago

"David Jackson is perhaps the finest and most creative Tibetologist living today, and this biography, over a decade in the making, is a splendid cultural history. A Saint in Seattle will remain as a model of how the lives of modern saints should be approached." E. Gene Smith, founder of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center

See also the luminous translation by Dezhung Rinpoche entitled Three Levels of Spiritual Perception: A Commentary on The Three Visions (trans. by Jared Rhoton)


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