A key Dzogchen text—available together with its Tibetan commentaries, including from the fifteenth Karmapa—from a preeminent translator.
The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra, one of the most famous and often-recited Dzogchen texts, is at once an entreaty by the primordial buddha, Samantabhadra, that all sentient beings recognize the nature of their minds and thus become buddhas, and also a wake-up call by our own buddha nature itself. This monumental text outlines the profound view of Dzogchen in a nutshell and, at the same time, provides clear instructions on how to discover the wisdom of a buddha in the very midst of afflictions.
In this volume, Karl Brunnhölzl offers translations of three versions of the Aspiration Prayer and accompanies them with translations of the commentaries by Jigmé Lingpa, the Fifteenth Karmapa, and Tsültrim Sangpo. He offers further contextualization with his rich annotation and appendices, which include additional translation from Jigmé Lingpa, Longchenpa, and Patrul Rinpoche. This comprehensive, comprehensible book illuminates this profound text and greatly furthers our understanding of Dzogchen—and of our own nature.
Karl Brunnhölzl, MD, PhD, was originally trained as a physician. He received his systematic training in Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy and practice at the Marpa Institute for Translators, founded by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, as well as the Nitartha Institute, founded by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Since 1989 he has been a translator and interpreter from Tibetan and English. He is a senior teacher and translator in the Nalandabodhi community of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, as well as at Nitartha Institute. He is the author and translator of numerous texts, including most recently A Lullaby to Awaken the Heart (2018) and Luminous Melodies: Essential Dohas of Indian Mahamudra (2019).
"Among translators, Brunnhölzl is unsurpassed in his knowledge of Tibetan and Sanskrit Buddhist literature. His deep practice experience brings the meaning and intent of texts to life. In A Lullaby to Awaken the Heart he brilliantly presents the teachings in The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra, a gateway into the profundity of the Dzogchen teachings. Through pointing out our originally pure nature again and again, this book will make practitioners smile. Through its detailed explanations and meticulous documentation, it will make scholars rejoice."
– Andy Karr, author of Contemplating Reality: A Practitioner's Guide to the View in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism
“Karl Brunnhölzl’s A Lullaby to Awaken the Heart is a rich and inspiring resource for the study and practice of The Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra, containing translations of commentaries by Jigmé Lingpa and the Fifteenth Karmapa as well as a multifaceted introduction. This masterfully translated, well-researched, and comprehensive volume on the most famous of Dzogchen aspiration prayers opens up for us the world of Samantabhadra: our primordial basic awareness.”
– Elizabeth M. Callahan, translator of The Profound Inner Principles