Stilling the Mind: Shamatha Teachings from Dudjom Lingpa's Vajra Essence Paperback – 1 Aug 2011
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About the Author
B. Alan Wallace is president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. He trained for many years as a monk in Buddhist monasteries in India and Switzerland. He has taught Buddhist theory and practice in Europe and America since 1976 and has served as interpreter for numerous Tibetan scholars and contemplatives, including H. H. the Dalai Lama. After graduating "summa cum laude" from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science, he earned his MA and PhD in religious studies at Stanford University. He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than thirty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and religion.
Brian Hodel is a freelance journalist and book editor. He has collaborated with B. Alan Wallace on many books including "Stilling the Mind, Embracing Mind, Dreaming Yourself Awake," and "Contemplative Science."
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Top customer reviews
Helpful guidelines for knowing what to expect in terms of hinderances and obstacles when progressing with the meditation.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book ends with Wallace elucidating the pitfalls one may encounter along the path, and how to overcome them. Wallace's clear-cut explanations and down to earth prose is refreshing for this kind of book which one would expect to be somewhat academic. The often cryptic and mystical/mysterious imagery of the Vajra Essence is explained by a meditation teacher and dharma practitioner with over 40 years of experience and it shows.
This is a great introduction to shamatha, the Vajra Essence, and the "lower tantras" or more mundane practices of Tibetan Buddhism in general. This is definitely a book for the intermediate practitioner, and can be seen as a good starting point in a series of similar books that Wallace has written on the subject. A rudimentary knowledge of Buddhism, it's precepts, and terms are assumed by the author. If you're a total beginner, you should probably start with The Attention Revolution. After reading Stilling the Mind one should move to such other titles as Minding Closely: The Four Applications of Mindfulness and Genuine Happiness: Meditation as the Path to Fulfillment.