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Heart Advice from a Mahamudra Master (Paperback)
This book is by a Tibetan lama who spent three decades in meditation retreat in Tibet and India and then 22 years teaching Buddhism in Europe. It contains teachings that he considered vital for treading the Buddhist path to liberation, especially for westerners, and that he gave again and again to his Western students. His advice on Buddhist practice is simple and yet profound; it extends from the basics all the way up to the highest teaching of Mahamudra. His words are imbued with an authority and authenticity that comes from having tested these teachings and practices in the fire of his own extraordinary meditative experience. There is no dogma or display of rote learning in this book - everything offered here is heartfelt advice coming from personal experience and constitutes essential fare for the practitioner. The outstanding characteristic of the book is its singular power to inspire the reader to dedicate themselves seriously to Buddhist practice. It will be helpful to newcomers to Buddhism who want a practical and authoritative introduction to its key themes. It will also be of great value to experienced practitioners who will find in it countless gems of advice to help them resolve remaining uncertainties about their Dharma practice. Also included in the book is a lengthy chapter that tells the fascinating tale of Gendun Rinpoche's life and practice in the monasteries and mountains of Tibet, his escape to India, his interactions with the 16th Karmapa, and his powerful impact on his numerous Western students.
Gendun Rinpoche (1918-1997) belonged to that extraordinary group of great Tibetan Buddhist meditators trained entirely in Tibet who were driven into exile by the Chinese occupation of their homeland and who later in their lives spread the Buddhist teachings in the West. Practicing in the Karma Kagyu tradition, he spent over 30 years meditating in closed retreat in Tibet and India. His accomplishments were such that his principal teacher, the 16th Karmapa, who sent him to Europe to teach, compared him to the great 11/12th century Tibetan yogi Milarepa. In the final years of his activity in Europe he succeeded in firmly planting the Buddhist teachings in Western soil by establishing numerous teaching, practice and retreat centers. He trained more than a hundred Western disciples as teachers or lamas who are now continuing his legacy.