What would you see if you looked directly at your mind?
The Tibetan Buddhist teachings on mahamudra are known for their ability to lead to profound realization. Peaceful and infinitely adaptable, these teachings are as useful for today's busy world as they have been for centuries.
Written by the tutor to the seventeenth Karmapa, Essentials of Mahamudra is a commentary on Tashi Namgyal's famous Moonlight of Mahamudra - a text that the sixteenth Karmapa had identified as the most valuable for Westerners. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche recognized that Western meditators don't just need to know how to maintain our meditation practice - we need to know why we should do it. Unmatched in its directness, Essentials of Mahamudra addresses both these needs, rendering one of the most advanced forms of meditation more easily adaptable to our everyday lives.
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche is a senior scholar within the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and the author of many books and commentaries. He was born in Kham, Tibet, in 1933 and entered Thrangu Monastery at age seven. He serves as the main tutor to His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa and travels worldwide giving teachings and leading retreats. Based in Nepal and India, he is also abbot of Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia and founder of Vajra Vidya Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado.
"Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche [is] one of the foremost mahamudra teachers. 'It [mahamudra meditation] is peaceful and gentle,' he writes in Essentials of Mahamudra. The book is based on Tashi Namgyal's 'Moonlight of Mahamudra,' a sixteenth-century text that lays out the rationale behind the mahamudra practices, along with detailed instructions, including how to continue practicing off the cushion. Essentials contains answers to students' questions--helpful to practitioners at any level."
"What makes Rinpoche's work distinctive is the clarity and vividness of his religious thought."
– Library Journal
"Makes the practice of mahamudra, one of the most advanced forms of meditation, easily acessible to Westerners' everyday lives. A wonderful way of bringing us to the path."
"Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche is one of the few remaining living Tibetan Buddhist teachers who was born in a free Tibet. Between 1990 and 1995, he conducted five retreats at Big Bear Lake, California. His talks there have been edited into Essentials of Mahamudra. During these talks, Rinpoche presented a comprehensive introduction to the mahamudra path. Similar to the practice of Dzogchen, mahamudra is a direct and powerful practice. There are two central meditative practices: peaceful abiding, shamatha, and insight, vipashyana. This work discusses these two corrollary meditative approaches in great detail, moving back and forth between the two. As always, Rinpoche's instructions are beautifully [clear]."