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Wild Awakening: The Heart of Mahamudra and Dzogchen Paperback – 16 Dec 2003

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
No Dzogchen here 13 Dec. 2009
By Ngawang - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book by a respected teacher, but don't expect Dzogchen here, nor any "wildness" :) I have no idea who decided to market it that way, but it is a shame. The Dzogchen part of the book is, well... 2 (two) pages, and the author basically says that Dzogchen is not to be discussed openly. I do agree with that, as does Longchenpa by the way, but the decision to put "Dzogchen" in the title is just a marketing deception.

This whole book is about Mahamudra. It covers pretty well the sutra Mahamudra and goes on to describe in some length the tantric and essence Mahamudra. That's it - it is a very nice book about Mahamudra.

I can see some people arguing that the discussion about Mahamudra may substitute for a Trekcho explanation but this is not the case. Dzogchen has it's own language and it is not to be found in this book.

All in all - three stars from me for title/marketing deception.
43 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Stunning 29 Feb. 2004
By Swing King - Published on
Format: Paperback
If there is any book out there that can explain the complex and profound teachings of Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra, you need not look any further; it's right here. These two paths provide all of us with the most profound and skillful means toward awakening, helping us directly savor the truth of both our minds and surroundings. But make no mistake about it though, for these two are some of the most difficult teachings in all of Buddhism to follow and understand.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche became a monk at an early age and studied under arguably the two greatest masters of modern times in Tibetan Buddhism. The 16th Karmapa and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He has traveled all over the world to spread the Buddha's wisdom for us. He is also a faculty member of Naropa University (school for Buddhist studies) in Colorado.
In this book, Ponlop explains how the Buddha taught us that outside of our own minds, there is no wisdom or enlightenment. This alone, for me, is a subtly reflective statement. From this outlook, anything we gain in the form of teaching (be that reading texts or listening to dharma talks) is actually not something separate from us. That's a very important point. The Mahamudra and Dzogchen pathways are the two most immediate routes for attaining realization of the truth of reality, and Ponlop Rinpoche does an expert job at presenting us with some of the basic fundamentals right here. Enjoy this work.
47 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Cursory, unintegrated, but Western-oriented presentation 24 April 2005
By Neal J. Pollock - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book provides an introduction, a large section on Mahamudra (MM) & a much smaller section on Dzogchen (Dz) with little comment on interrelationships between MM & Dz. The author (Karma Sungrab Ngedön Tenpay Gyaltsen) is very familiar with English and Western life, providing a book of labels, models, & analogies. Despite the title's reference to an instantaneous approach (found in both MM & Dz), the author takes a gradualist approach which is rather traditional, theoretical, light duty, descriptive, informational, mythical, & cursory. He is not very prescriptive or action-oriented. While the subject matter is of the most profound in Tibetan Buddhism, its essence is not emphasized here. The presentation on MM is more of a surface view or survey. The description of Dz has virtually no depth, spiritual knowledge (Prajna) or wisdom (Jnana). The author speaks ABOUT the subject but not TO the subject. For example, Trekchö and Tögal (the primary Dz practices) are hardly mentioned. As with other Vajrayana books, the Western cultural biases are addressed but not the author's. Thus, the Dzogchen Ponlop states: p. xv-xvi.: "Buddhism is presented as a science of mind in contrast to a religion, and as a body of wisdom that is fundamentally free of any cultural forms and that is accessible to all," but on p. 156: "Our standards are just concepts; they are cultural." It must be remembered that, p. 190: "Buddha encourages us to be inquiring and skeptical about our spiritual path."

However, despite the author's preconceptions/assumptions, he provides at least two fine, worthwhile items. The first is a nice exposition on p. 99: of "the 9 stages of resting the mind" - both a figure and commentary (I purchased a woodblock print of it in Lhasa). In his book "Luminous Mind," Kalu Rinpoche calls it "The Path of Shamatha." Secondly, the author provides a very fine description of luminosity: pp. 116-119: "Appearances are the gleam or glow of the mind...Recognize the nature of appearances as the gleam or glow of the mind...There is a constant creative energy to the mind, which is the basis for the arising of the mind's radiant appearances." Still, there isn't really much to this book. The MM section could be used as a reference, but Chetsang Rinpoche's "The Practice of Mahamudra" is far better, not to mention Thrangu Rinpoche's many works which provide analysis & depth; plus there's Traleg Kyabgon's wonderful "Mind at East." As for Dzogchen, read Namkhai Norbu, Tulku Urgyen, or Drubwang Tsoknyi Rinpoche's "Carefree Dignity." For a more integrated approach, read Chokyi Nyima's "Union of MM & Dz" or Karma Chagme's incredible "Naked Awareness" & "A Spacious Path to Freedom."
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
How to dedicate oneself for greater clarity & contemplation 6 April 2004
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
Dzogchen Ponlop, author of Wild Awakening: The Heart Of The Mahamudra And Dzogchen, is a scholar and educator of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the publisher of the internationally distributed Buddhist periodical "Bodhi" magazine. Featuring forewords by the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa, Wild Awakening is a simply excellent introduction to applying oneself to the practices of mahamudra ("great symbol") and dzogchen ("great perfection"). Presenting how to dedicate oneself for greater clarity and contemplation, and using a straightforward, informal style of narration that shines an illuminating light upon complex principles, Wild Awakening is a welcome and much appreciated and inspiring contribution to personal Buddhist Studies reading lists and academic library reference collections.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent overview and introduction 17 Sept. 2007
By Danpopa - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a contemporary introduction to many of the core teachings of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, as well as the exoteric teachings that serve as their basis. As would be expected from an excellent master of these living traditions, Ponlop Rinpoche provides a thorough overview that will inspire novices and reinspire the experienced. However, the point of this book is to expound the elements of these high teachings that may be made publicly available without disclosing their esoteric aspects that rightly remain so. As such, Wild Awakening is an excellent first taste that also contains subtler, profound undertones, thus one that respects and represents the genuine tradition that guides practitioners by stages.
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