New and Noteworthy Texts in Translation

Dakini Teachings, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, Transmission of the Light, Discourse on the Fruits of Recluseship, and The Practice of the KalachakraEliot Tokar

DAKINI TEACHINGS: Padmasambhava's Oral Instructions to Lady Tsogyel
Translated by Erik Pema Kusang.
Shambhala: Boston, 1990. 200 pp.
$14.95.

 Padmasambhava  brought Buddhism to Tibet and is considered the founder of the Nyingmapa school. According to legend, his oral teachings to his main disciple, Yeshe Tsogyel, were recorded in a coded language and then hidden in secret places so that they could be rediscovered by future generations. In Dakini Teachings Padmasambhava emphasizes that spiritual knowledge must be personalized and not remain as theory.

 

LIBERATION IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND:A Concise Discourse on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment
By Pabongka Rinpoche. Translated by Michael Richards.
Wisdom Publications: Boston, 1991. 978 pp. $37.50.

The Lamrim, the foundation of the Mahayana teachings of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism, is comprehensively presen ted here by Pa bongka Rinpoche. This text was originally edited from a twenty-four-day seminar on the subject given seventy years ago. In addition to an accessible literary style, the teachings are illustrated with stories, examples, and scriptural quotations. Used by virtually all Gelugpa lamas, this text is a straightforward guide on how to meditate on each step of the path.

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TRANSMISSION OF THE LIGHT: Zen and the Art of Enlightenment
By Keizan Jokin. Translation by Thomas Cleary.
North Point Press: San Francisco, 1990. 256 pp. $14.95.
Farrar, Straus,
& Giroux, Inc., distributor.

As a major text in the Japanese Soto tradition, this work is an important illustration of one of the main genres of Zen writing. Specifically, this is a Transmission of the Lamp text intended to transmit the actual enlightenment experience.

 

DISCOURSE ON THE FRUITS OF RECLUSESHIP:The Samannaphala Sutta and Its Commentaries
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Buddhist Publication Society: Kandi, Sri Lanka, 1990.
190 pp. $10.00.

In reply to a question on the benefits of a monk's life, the Buddha traces the process from discipleship to nirvana. Translated from the Pali, the sutra and its commentaries include instructions on the monks' moral precepts, contentment, and mindfulness.

 

THE PRACTICE OF THE KALACHAKRA
By
Glenn Mullen.
Snow Lion Publications: Ithaca,
N. Y., 1991.
350
pp. $14.95.

In this detailed and practical overview of a profound tantric system, Glenn Mullen presents original material explaining theory and practice. This is followed by seven essential texts in translation on the practice of Kalachakra.

 

—Eliot Tokar

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