A meditator's meditator, Rigdzin Shikpo (ne Michael Hookham) began the practice in the mid 1950s and eventually became a prominent student of several renowned Tibetan Buddhist teachers, including Chogyam Trungpa and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Over the years he has developed his own utterly unique style made of straight talk and sparkling, inspiring insights.
The title of this, his long-awaited new book, comes from the teachings Rigdzin Shikpo received from Trungpa Rinpoche, who said that we should always turn toward those things that scare us, open to them completely, and never turn away from them. This path of openness, clarity, and sensitivity is a hallmark of the Dzogchen tradition of Buddhist practice. Rigdzin Shikpo has lived its truth so deeply that his words shine with authenticity and freshness.
"One of the finest, most compelling books on Buddhism I have ever read. In its simplicity and clarity, in its depth and extraordinary subtlety, it surpasses most of what has been written on the subjtect. Expressing the profound essence of Tibetan Dzogchen in contemporary, highly experiential language, the author not only opens the innermost mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism, but shows us how we ourselves may follow the path to complete human realization. This book expresses the remarkable, unique, life-transforming dharma of his own teacher, Chogyam Trungpa, who taught meditation as a way to open up the full, liberating depth of our human experience as modern people. In his study and devoted practice, Rigdzin Shikpo has been working on this book for forty years and the result is brilliant and joyful, and truly stunning."
– Reginald A. Ray, author of Indestructible Truth
"'Never turn away'--a simple suggestion, encouraging us to enter into direct communion with all aspects of our lives. Why? The answer is delivered here with brilliant, clear teaching that is inspiring, practical, and valuable for all meditators."
– Larry Rosenberg, author of Breath by Breath
"Rigdzin Shikpo, a student of Shambhala-founder Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, has been practicing Buddhism since the mid-1980s. An heir to Trungpa's lineage but independent of the Shambhala community, his book Never Turn Away: The Buddhist Path Beyond Hope and Fear is an inspired look at the relationship between meditation and everyday life. Rigdzin Shikpo encourages the reader to turn toward experience rather than shirk from life's possibilities, admitting in the opening chapter that such an approach might well be called 'the path of embarrassment.' His clear, practical writing makes this book the perfect guide to the compassionate practice of bodhicitta, which allows us to discover 'our awe-inspiring nature, which is hidden beneath the surface, like precious ore concealed in mountains."
– Tricycle Editor's Blog
"These teachings are brought vividly to life in Rigdzin Shikpo's characteristic style, which is very clear, direct, simple and down to earth. Making inspired connections across the boundaries of Buddhist thought, the techniques described here are linked to the four noble truths, the traditional basis of the Buddha's teaching. For readers new to meditation or to Buddhism, this book will guide them straight to its heart, while it will bring fresh perspectives and illuminating insights even to experienced practitioners."
– from the foreword by Francesca Fremantle
"A wonderful guide to putting the Buddhist teachings into practice, unique in its clarity, profundity, and heart."
– Douglas J. Penick, author of The Warrior Song of King Gesar and of The Asia Society's production of The Tibetan Book of the Dead (music by Philip Glass)
"This is a timely book, one simultaneously simple and profound. It is for those beginning the Buddha's path or wondering whether to embark on it; and for others who have been involved for some time, it provides inspiration and confirmation that their endeavour is worthwhile."
– Caroline Seymour, Middle Way: Journal of the Buddhist Society in London