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Complete Session of Meditation: A Manual of the Theory and Practice of Meditation
By: Mingyur Rinpoche / Tony Duff
/ Tony Duff
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About the author
This is a book of teachings on how to do a complete session of meditation. The book is a compilation made by Lama Tony to help those who would like to practise meditation in the Kagyu or Nyingma way. It emphasizes the practical style of instruction found in the Kagyu tradition for those who actually want to do something with the mind. It deliberately avoids the scholarly style taught in some other Tibetan Buddhist traditions and focusses directly on working directly with one's own mind. Nonetheless, the book is very precise and clear about all of the key points involved in meditation practice.
The book emphasizes the Kagyu approach in particular. Lama Tony has received teachings from many Kagyu masters and used his knowledge of the tradition as a basis for making the book for his own students. Tony selected important texts from Gampopa and other early masters to set explain the basis for meditation. Tony was Mingyur Rinpoche's first translator and translated many of his teachings so a number of them were used for the actual instructions on meditation contained in the book. Lama Tony added other, necessary teachings according to the extensive teachings he has received over many years from many, different Kagyu masters, such as Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The result is a book that contains a complete teaching on how to do a complete session of meditation in the style of the Kagyu tradition.
The book begins with a length introduction by Lama Tony which is a teaching in its own right. Mingyur Rinpoche likes to teach science and learned a lot of what he does know from much time spent with Lama Tony, who has a Ph.D. in molecular biology. Lama Tony writes a lengthy piece about what can and cannot usefully be obtained from science in terms of dharma practice. This should be of real interest to Westerners, especially those who believe that science has something to offer Buddhist practice. Following the introduction, there is a long chapter on buddha nature, which is presented by using a significant portion of Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen's explanation of the ground in his famous
text. This text is often taught by Kagyu gurus in order to show the meaning of buddha nature. This is the first time that this part of Dolpopa's text has been fully translated and published. Following that, there is a chapter containing an unpublished work of Gampopa that lays out the whole Kagyu path. Following that is the seminal text written by Gampopa that sets out his teaching of the four Dharmas of Gampopa. This also has not been published to date. The next chapter is a clear teaching on the whole Kagyu path by Mingyur Rinpoche that is based on Gampopa's Four Dharmas. All the chapters so far have been for setting the stage for the actual teachings on meditation.
The remainder of the book is taken up with actual teachings on how to do a complete session of meditation. This part of the book is structured around the teaching on what is called "The Three Excellences". Any complete set of meditation will begin with the preliminary practices of taking refuge and arousing enlightenment mind. Lama Tony has written a chapter on this. Following that, there is the main practice, which in the Kagyu system of meditation, will be shamatha-vipashyana practice that ultimately leads to Mahamudra realization. There are several, substantial chapters that cover all the topics involved. These chapters rely for the most part on Mingyur Rinpoche's teaching. A complete session of meditation will end with the third excellence, which is dedication. For this, there is a short chapter written by Lama Tony based on teachings received from many Kagyu gurus.
The book is quite different from most of the books on meditation that are available to date. Lama Tony has used his extensive knowledge of the Kagyu tradition and of Tibetan literature to compile a book that presents the tradition accurately by including seminal works of early masters and combining them with modern-day teachings. Anyone who practises meditation will find this book useful in many different ways and Kagyu practitioners in particular will find it most useful. Moreover, the whole book corresponds to what Mingyur Rinpoche has set out as his first level of teaching for his own students; it will be a "must read" for them.
Paperback, 148 Pages
The author, well-known translator and teacher Tony Duff has practised extensively with Gelug, Kagyu, and Nyingma traditions. He has been translating, teaching, and practising in these schools for thirty-five years. He is well known for his teaching, contributions to the translation of Tibetan Buddhism, and major works in preserving and re-publishing Tibetan Buddhist texts.
A Complete Session of Meditation:
A Manual of the Theory and Practice of Meditation
Your Enlightened Core
Great Beings Talk About the Enlightened Core
Overview of the Path of Meditation
A COMPLETE SESSION OF MEDITATION
Taking Refuge and Arousing the Mind of Enlightenment
Development of Insight into Reality Through the Practices of Shamatha and Vipashyana
The Key Points of the Body: Posture
The Key Points of Mind: Shamatha
The Key Points of Mind: Vipashyana: The Two Truths and Emptiness
The Key Points of Mind: Vipashyana: Emptiness Progressively Understood Through the Four Schools of Buddhist Philosophy
The Key Points of Mind: Vajra Vehicle Meditations on Reality
Dedication, The Seal
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Padma Karpo Translation Committee
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