on 31 October 2000
Patrul Rinpoche's introduction to Tibetan Buddhist thought (written in the 19th century) is famous amongst Tibetans for its earthy style, its clarity and light humour, qualities which have transferred well into this excellent translation. As with all such translations, however, readers should be aware that, despite its clarity, nothing has been done here to 'soften' the content for a secular Western audience (I personally see this as a good thing). Whilst pulling no punches as a rigorous introduction to Tibetan Buddhist ethical thought, the lack of scholastic jargon and comprehensive glossary makes Words of My Perfect Teacher one of the deeper introductory works around, whilst also containing much in the way of new insights for the more experienced. Highly reccommended as a text to read again and again.
on 14 September 2005
Anyone practising the Tibetan ngondro should definitely own this book. In fact, anyone interested in buddhism should own this book. It is a compendium of different teachings starting with "basic" buddhism (suffering, impermanence etc) and proceeding through the preliminary contemplations to the ngondro practices. What is so powerful about this book is that it makes you practice. Reading about the importance of bodhicitta makes you sit on your cushion and raise it! It is very traditional so perhaps someone who is a complete beginner might want to turn to something more accessible. Another great thing is the translation - important terms such as "bodhicitta" are not translated into English. Also it is a great aid to contemplation - it contains very detailed contemplations on bodhicitta, for example. Did I mention that it really really really emphasises the importance of bodhicitta? Fabulous book.
on 20 March 2011
The book is a really good one and I enjoy reading it. The thing that didn't go well was the delivery. I got it with the next day delivery without knowing that you have to sign for it. I thought it would be just deposited in the mail box. As I am living alone and working during the day it took ten days in total before I was able to have the book in my hands. There were two options after the first failed delivery being a new data for delivery or collect it from the depot. As Bournemouth is not that close to Salisbury the latter was not really an option to me. My suggestion is just to ship the books without having to sign for it or maybe give this choice to the customer.
Enough of that now.
The book is really a comprehensive explanation of the Tibetan Buddhist belief. A lot of background information is provided so you are able to understand all that is said. As I am not completely unfamiliar with Buddhism a lot of the things written already made sense anyway, but I think it is also understandable by newcomers.
All in all a very good book.