Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings

Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAO222
Author: Lopon Tenzin Namdak
Publisher: Vajra Publications, Nepal
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9789994678860
Pages: 274 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 9.50 X 7.00 inch
Weight 430 gm

Book Description

About the Book
Nowadays there are two principal philosophical traditions followed by Tibetan Lamas. The first is found among the Sarmapas, or Newer Schools, employing the Prasangika Madhyamaka view of Chandrakirti, not only in explicating the real meaning of the Sutra system but also in interpretation of the Tantras. The second is found among the followers of the two Older Schools, the Nyingmapa and the Bonpo, who emphasize the Dzogchen point of view in clucidating their understanding of the Higher Tantras. In the Older Schools, Dzogchen, "the Great Perfection", which lies beyond the process of Tantric transformation, is regarded as the quintessential reaching of the Buddha pointing directly to the Nature of Mind and its intrinsic awareness, known as Rigpa. However, according to Lopon Tenzin Namdak Yongdzın Rinpoche, the leading Dzogchen master among the Bonpo Lamas living today: "It is necessary for us as practitioners to know what Dzogchen is, how to practice it, and the result of this practice."

Lopon Rinpoche undertakes this task in a series of nine teachings he gave some years ago to Western students interested in the view of Dzogchen and its practice in meditation. Here the Lopon compares the Dzogchen view with the views of Madhyamaka, Chittamatra, Tantra and Mahamudra, dearly indicating the similarities and the differences among them. Unlike the tradi tional educational system found in other Tibetan monasteries, at Tashi Menni Monastery and at Triten Norbutse Monastery, both now re-established in India and Nepal respectively, Dzogchen is not restricted to private meditation instruction only. Rather, it is brought out into the daylight of the marketplace of philosophical ideas and discussed in relation to the viewpoints of Sutra and Tantra. The Lopon's exceptionally clear exposition of these various views, which have consequences for one's meditation practice, will be of interest to Western students and practitioners.

Transcribed and edited by John Myrdhin Reynolds from the Lopon's original lectures, the teachings are provided her with a new introduction and annotations, as well as an appendix with a brief biography of the Lopon and a sketch of the educational system at his monastery of Triten Norbutse in Nepal.

During 1991, the Bonpo Dzogchen master, Lopon Tenzin Namdak, visited the West twice, coming first to Europe and later to America, where he taught a number of meditation retreats and gave a series of public talks on Bon and Dzogchen. In March and April, Lopon Rinpoche taught a meditation retreat focusing on the practice of Dzogchen at Bischofshofen, south of Salzburg in the Austrian Alps, and several weeks later he gave a series of talks on Dzogchen at the Drigung Kagyu Centre in Vienna. After that he went to Italy where he taught two retreats in Rome, and also briefly visited Merigar in Tuscany, the retreat center of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Coming to England next, the Lopon taught a ten-day Dzogchen retreat in Devon in the west of England, at a local near Totnes, and after that he gave several talks in London. Proceeding later to Amsterdam, he taught a five-day retreat on Dzogchen in the city at the beginning of June. With the exception of the Italian visit, I was present on all of these occasions and served as a facilitator and sometime translator for the teachings.

Then in October, Lopon Rinpoche visited New York city at the invitation of H.H. the Dalai Lama and Tibet House, to par ticipate in the Kalachakra Initiation and in other activities con nected with the Year of Tibet. In particular, the Lopon was the first speaker in the afternoon series called "Nature of the Mind Teachings." During the Devon retreat, the Lopon had prepared a brief paper on the Bonpo teachings for presentation in this series in New York. I translated this into English as "The Condensed Meaning of an Explanation of the Teachings of Yungdrung Bon" and this has been published elsewhere.

Bon is the name of the pre-Buddhist religious culture of Tibet and often in Western books in the past it has been equated with a kind of primitive North Asian shamanism. Indeed, shamanism as a traditional practice still exists among Tibetans, both in Tibet itself and in adjacent regions such as Ladakh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Yunnan. Such practitioners were known as Pawo (dpa'-bo) or Lhapa (ha-pa) in Tibetan. But this is not Bon. In terms of reli gious affiliation, these shaman practitioners are usually Buddhist, belonging to the old tradition of the Nyingmapa.

Nowadays Tibetan Bonpo Lamas are not shamans but monks and scholars with a monastic system fully comparable to the four contemporary schools of Tibetan Buddhism, that is, the Nying mapa, the Sakyapa, the Kagyudpa, and the Gelugpa. Bonpos have a learned literary and scholastic tradition extending back to the early period of the eighth century of our era, and even before. Moreover, since 1988, when H.H. the Dalai Lama visited the Dialectics School at the Bonpo monastery in Dolanji, northern India, Bon has been officially recognized by His Holiness and by the Tibetan Government in Exile as the fifth Tibetan school. The Bonpos have now been given representation on the Council of Religious Affairs at Dharamsala.

If Bonpo practitioners possess institutions, practices, and teachings similar to the four Buddhist schools, what then is the difference between them? Tibetans themselves clearly distinguish Bon from Chos, which is their name for the Buddhism of Indian origin.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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