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By Bruce Newman

It is a ground-level, practice-oriented presentation of Tibetan Buddhism—personal and extremely obtainable. The publication starts with the awakening of scholars' curiosity in spirituality and the preliminary stumble upon with Tibetan Buddhism, then leads us via all of the steps helpful for profitable perform within the West. incorporated is succinct advice on discovering a suitable instructor, receiving empowerments, changing into energetic in a middle, and launching and maintaining a Vajrayana perform. exact emphasis is put on the aptitude pitfalls, and the tremendous merits, of the guru-disciple relationship. 

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Extra resources for A Beginner's Guide to Tibetan Buddhism: Notes from a Practitioner's Journey

Sample text

Third, the lama is a source of blessings. Although it is impossible to dem onstrate in a laboratory the nature and existence of these blessings, I'm sure any sincere practitioner feels from the bottom of her heart that she is indeed being blessed. I feel that this blessing takes three broad forms. First, things may go smoother in the outside world. Money may be there when you need it. You may get the last room in a hotel at two in the morning. Situations that maximize your growth and learning sponta­ neously happen (unfortunately, such situations may seem quite painful and confusing at the time).

If you do not feel you will be able to keep the com­ mitment, do not take the empowerment. As well, if you do not feel you can maintain trust and respect in the vajra master and pure perception and loving kindness toward the other participants, it is also probably better not to take the empowerment. There are, in addition, other samaya vows that are implicit in the empowerment even though they will probably not be mentioned during the ceremony. Nonetheless, it is your responsibility to find out what they are and to try to keep them as well as you can.

At Tashi Choling, where I used to live, most of Gyatrul Rinpoche's stu­ dents have made many sacrifices to be with their teacher. They live in trail­ ers. They commute on muddy roads in the snow during winter. They put in a lot of hours maintaining the grounds and buildings. People content T 40 A Beginner's Guide to Tibetan Buddhism themselves with lousy jobs, little employment, no medical insurance, and very little economic security. All of this, which I greatly admire and respect, is so they can be close to their teacher, do what pleases him, and help to make his teachings more accessible to a larger public.

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