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Vivid Awareness: The Mind Instructions of Khenpo Gangshar [Paperback]

Khenchen Thrangu

Price: £13.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Jan 2011
In the summer of 1957, the revered Buddhist teacher and scholar Khenpo Gangshar foresaw the difficulties that would soon fall upon Tibet and began teaching in a startling new way that enabled all those who heard him to use the coming difficulties as the path of Dharma practice. The teaching consisted of the essential points of mahamudra and dzogchen, both view and practice, presented in a way that made them easy for anyone to use, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche was one of the grateful recipients of these teachings, which he regards as among the most important he has ever been given. He transmits them here, for the benefit of all of us who strive to practice in challenging times. They include contemplations on the ephemeral nature of both joy and suffering, meditations for resting the mind, and guidance for cultivating equanimity in any situation.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; 1 edition (11 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590308166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590308165
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 472,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
92 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, Clear, and Profound 22 Jan 2011
By Edward c. Utacht - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Vivid Awareness" presents Khenchen Thrangu's commentary on the famous Dzogchen/Mahamudra Master Khenpo Gangshar's texts "The Concise Mind Instructions Called Naturally Liberating Whatever You Meet", and "Naturally Liberating Whatever You Meet: Instructions to Guide You on the Profound Path". The book also includes translations of both root texts. It is probably worth pointing out that the only previous source for English translations of these texts was "The Crystal Cave" published by Rangjung Yeshe Publications. "The Crystal Cave" is restricted and requires prior completion of the tantric preliminaries and a signed letter from one's Mahamudra/Dzogchen guru. The commentary is a compilation of teachings given by Khenchen on 4 occasions during 2007.
This is among the very finest texts I have read on Mahamudra and Dzogchen. Both the commentary and root text present a progressive path of meditation on the Nature of Mind. There are short teachings on the common and uncommon preliminary practices, followed by a teaching on the special preliminary of the "Analytical Meditation of the Pandita". This essentially consists of looking into the mind and attempting to locate its dwelling place, an exercise that will allow one to directly encounter the emptiness of one's mind.
Following the preliminary teachings is a lengthy teaching on "The Resting Meditation of a Kusulu". This is the real heart of the book, and contains the oral instructions on Treckcho found in Dzogchen upadesha texts like Patrul Rinpoche's "Clear Elucidation of the True Nature", and "The Special Feature of the Wise and Glorious King". For example, on p.122 "Don't pursue the past and don't invite the future. Simply rest naturally in the naked ordinary mind of the immediate present without trying to correct it or "re-place" it.", and on p. 125 " If you rest like that, your mind-essence is clear and expansive, vivid and naked, without any concerns about thought or recollection, joy, or pain. That is awareness (Rigpa)." These and other similar statements are clearly explained.
My favorite part of the book is the discussion of " Taking our Life Situations as the Path". This part of the book contains clear instructions on self-liberation of the emotions, taking sleep as the path, and even an interesting condensation of the instructions of "Dark Practice" found in the Dzogchen Togal teachings. All the instructions are exceptionally clear, and one leaves the book with one's understanding of the nature of one's mind greatly clarified. Excellent!
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book is a gem 11 May 2011
By Massachusetts - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this book provides a useful and interesting description of Buddhist meditation practice at its highest levels. no doubt, the book is written first and foremost for the serious meditator, providing wise and useful instructions for looking into and resting in the mind essence. (there are other, significant parts of the book, but I believe the most important contribution lies in the author's extensive discussion of how to make the mind the object of one's awareness.) this is another example of the profound offerings coming from the meditation masters in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. clear and accessible, this book is highly recommended.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Among Books 28 Nov 2011
By Michael Erlewine - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a most remarkable book, a book among books. Thrangu Rinpoche is a very direct and pragmatic teacher but in this book he reaches new levels. Not sure how to get your attention on this. Perhaps this will make it clear:

In the 1950s, Khenpo Gangshar was invited by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to head up teaching at Trungpa's monastery Dutsi-Til, part of the Surmang monasteries in Kham, Tibet. During his stay there, Khenpo Gangshar became ill and died. Trungpa Rinpoche himself stood vigil over the corpse to determine when Khenpo Ganshar came out of Samadhi and his body could be prepared for burial.

During that vigil by Trungpa Rinpoche, Khenpo Ganshar suddenly came back to life and reported that two very great lamas, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye and Jaying Khentse Wangpo, appeared to him in the bardo and said he was to return to life and complete the liberation of certain beings that they (the two lamas) had been unable to finish.

Khenpo Gangshar, who was ablaze with devotion and insight, then proceeded to give authentic pointing out instructions to everyone he met, monks and lay persons alike. He travelled to many monasteries in Kham and according to two great teachers I know personally, in every case those who heard these teachings were deeply changed.

Those teachers (Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche) met Khenpo Gangshar and personally received these teachings and they both attest to their veracity and profound nature. This book presents those teachings just as they were received from Khenpo Gangshar himself.

I have been studying this material (Mahamudra meditation) for many years and have taken many teachings and empowerments from both Thrangu Rinpoche and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, so I have heard this directly.

This book is an incredible opportunity to receive a ultra-concise teaching that you can use both on the cushion and throughout your day-to-day life.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively powerful 25 Oct 2011
By Bryan Lee - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At first glance, Vivid Awareness feels a little bit simplistic and repetitive, but by book's end you find that you have been given a full outline of philosophy and practice in the entire Buddhist canon--from lesser vehicle Hinayana to tantric Dogchen. I've been studying various schools of Buddhism for thirty years as a serious amateur, but rarely have I seen a presentation that so clearly differentiates the various types of Buddhism and makes them understandable. Dogchen, one version of Tibetan tantric philosophy, is no easy thing to comprehend and practice, but this book is brilliant in its elegant simplicity. It is perhaps the only book I know that gives a genuine overview of exactly what Dogchen practice looks like, from its philosophical underpinnings to practical techniques.

This should not be viewed as a practical how-to manual exactly--this is powerful practice that really requires a relationship to a skilled teacher--but for those seriously interested in the extreme edges of Buddhist practice, there is no better down-to-earth description. Highly recommended.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practice guide of the very highest caliber 26 Oct 2011
By platypus - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book clearly explains what the nature of mind is and how to rest in it. Arguably a summation of the highest Tibetan Buddhist teachings in one text. This may be the single most useful Tibetan Buddhist book I have ever read.
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