Cover image for Dzogchen : the heart essence of the great perfection : Dzogchen teachings
Dzogchen : the heart essence of the great perfection : Dzogchen teachings
Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV, 1935-
Publication Information:
Ithaca, NY : Snow Lion Publications, [2000]

Physical Description:
271 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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BQ7662 .B783 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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For the first time, the great Dalai Lama shares his insights into Dzogchen, the core of the ancient Nyingma tradition within Tibetan Buddhism, offering readers a rare inside look at this much-revered form of meditation.

Author Notes

The exiled 14th Dalai Lama was born on July 6, 1935 to a peasant family living in a former Tibetan village. He was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous spiritual leader of his nation at the age of two and enthroned on February 22, 1940. In 1959 he and 100,000 followers fled the country following a failed revolt against the Communist Chinese forces that had occupied Tibet for almost a decade.

Since that time, the Dalai Lama has met with numerous world leaders and U. N. officials in a tireless effort to free his country and preserve the traditional Tibetan way of life. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and has been awarded honorary citizenships by many international cities and countries, as well as multiple honorary degrees and human rights awards. In 2007 the Dalai Lama received the United States Congressional Gold Medal. He has written many books and lectures around the world. His book, My Spiritual Journey, made the iBooks bestseller list in 2016. He is the author of the best seller, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, with the Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams.

(Bowker Author Biography) The Dalai Lama, spiritual & political leader of the Tibetan people & a Nobel Peace Laureate, has in the last decade become a global spiritual leader whose message of universal & individual responsibility has won worldwide acclaim.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Like all wisdom traditions, Buddhism trades on the transmission of doctrines and approaches from one generation to the next. Tibetan Buddhism also places great value on the teachings' human lineage. Dzogchen, literally "great perfection," is the primary teaching of the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism, and was brought to Tibet in the eighth century by Padmasambhava, who is venerated as the "second Buddha." His powerful gift is transmitted through this collection of addresses given from 1982-1989 by the 14th Dalai Lama. As Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying) puts it in his foreword, "To receive such teachings from His Holiness is... something quite extraordinary." For advanced students of Tibetan Buddhism this is a significant gift indeed, for it rings not only as an offering from the tradition's greatest living teacher, but also echoes with the compassionate authority of a purity kept clear by Tibet's 2,000-plus-year-old history. Beginners will be challenged, if not defeated, by the complex system here, but most readers can find joy and wisdom in the two brief addresses in the appendix. Here Nyoshul Khenpo Jamyang Dorje and the Dalai Lama speak softly yet powerfully to people of this brash, busy, chaotic world if we will but pause to listen. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

The School of the Ancients (Nyingmapa) is one of four principal schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The primary teaching of this school is known as Dzogchen, literally "Great Perfection." It expresses a view of reality based on meditative practice and a unique understanding of the nature of the mind. The Dalai Lama, supreme head of Tibetan Buddhism, is a master who speaks from within the heart of this tradition. On four separate occasions, he has taught on Dzogchen in the West--in Paris (1982), London (1984), Helsinki (1988), and San Jose (1989). This volume is essentially the edited record of his teachings on Dzogchen on these occasions. Included as an afterword is a teaching on Dzogchen given by Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche at the San Jose session. Background essays set each of the primary teachings in context. Twelve photographs complement the text. One could hardly ask for a more authentic example of contemporary Tibetan Buddhist oral teaching in the classical Nyingmapa tradition. This is not, however, a book for beginners, as it assumes familiarity with both Tibetan Buddhist thought and its technical vocabulary. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and researchers; professionals and practitioners. J. P. McDermott Canisius College

Table of Contents

Sogyal Rinpoche
Forewordp. 7
Prefacep. 13
Part 1 Ground Path and Fruition: Paris, 1982p. 19
The Backgroundp. 21
The Pure Visionsp. 26
The Ground, Path and Fruition of Dzogchenp. 30
Part 2 Hitting the Essence in Three Words: London, 1984p. 37
The Backgroundp. 39
Liberation Upon Contactp. 51
The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious Kingp. 56
Part 3 Dzogchen and the Buddhadharma: Helsinki, 1988p. 93
The Backgroundp. 95
Four Truths, Four Seals and Dzogchenp. 97
Part 4 The Pinnacle of All Yanas: San Jose, 1989p. 113
The Backgroundp. 115
The Primacy of Mindp. 126
Mind is Devoid of Mindp. 139
Questions and Answersp. 158
The Nature of Mind is Clear Lightp. 168
Afterword: A Gift to the Worldp. 201
Appendix Compassion, the Heart of Enlightenmentp. 213
Notesp. 229
Glossaryp. 243
Bibliographyp. 249
Acknowledgementsp. 257
Indexp. 261