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Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings Paperback – December 20, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1St Edition edition (December 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590306694
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590306697
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“At last, a comprehensive study of Mipam, the Nyingma Lion, whose magisterial works bridged the scholastic and yogic traditions of Tibet. Beautifully written, Duckworth’s book lucidly surveys Mipam’s Buddhist philosophy and provides translated excerpts from Mipam’s voluminous body of work that illustrate his erudite views. This is an exciting, accessible book we have been waiting for!”—Judith Simmer-Brown, Professor of Religious Studies, Naropa University, author of Dakini’s Warm Breath       

“Like the sun shining in the sky, the writings of our kind protector, Lama Mipam, sparkle with the light of wisdom. I congratulate my student, Prof. Douglas Duckworth, for publishing this important book on the life and works of the great scholar-practitioner, and I believe the book will be of interest, not only to students of Tibetan Buddhism, but to anyone with a sincere interest in discovering the depths of Buddhist insight.”—Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, author of Present Fresh Wakefulness: A Meditation Manual on Nonconceptual Wisdom

“Douglas Duckworth gives historical background to important Buddhist discussions in India and Tibet that concerned Mipam, a survey of the philosophical themes that he addressed and a selection of translations from his impressive array of writings. Though the translations are excerpts from longer works, they are valuable reading for practitioners. As a condensed anthology on Mipam, this book strikes an important balance, explaining the thought of one of Tibet’s great intellectuals while giving readers handpicked gems from Mipam’s forest of wisdom.”—Buddhadharma

About the Author

Jamgon Mipam (1846-1912) was one of the great luminaries of Tibetan Buddhism in modern times. He had a dominant and vitalizing influence on the Nyingma school and beyond. A scholar of outstanding brilliance and versatility, his translated works are eagerly anticipated by English-language readers. 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ann Helm on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a tremendous book; I can't recommend it highly enough. Duckworth's writing is very accessible and interesting, and he makes Mipam's special contribution to Tibetan Buddhism very clear. He lays out an in-depth discussion of the major issues among the Buddhist philosophical schools, and how Mipam fits them together in a coherent system that culminates in the Dzogchen view. Just like Mipam, Duckworth is a practitioner as well as a scholar, and his experiential understanding is evident. He discusses Mipam's entire collected works, and includes over thirty excerpted translations that show Mipam's unique way of clarifying emptiness, nonconceptual wisdom, and immanent wisdom. If you want to know about Mipam and develop certainty in your understanding of his thought, read this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pacific9 on January 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is not an ordinary book. This gives a really nice overview of Mipam (Mipham) Rinpoche's work and brilliance. One of the greatest practitioner/scholar masters of the last several centuries, Mipam Rinpoche's impact cannot be understated. The presentation here is great - a nice overview of the general ideas and philosophical context, the author then takes the reader deeper into the subtleties in a very lucid manner. A must have.
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By applewood on January 16, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent survey of the various philosophical traditions imported into Tibet from India which became the framework for both the sutric monastic/scholastic and tantric practice lineages in the major schools/sects there. The 19th century yogi/scholar Mipham not only masterfully synthesized these various and sometimes conflicting philosophies and approaches but did so in a gentle and inclusive way (makes me think he must have been a Libra...lol). And Duckworth does a great job of summarizing and synthesizing him for us.

Duckworth divides his book into three parts with the actual biography taking up a very small portion (p. 3-15), and being remarkably free of the pious hagiography usually found in Tibetan literature. These are;
1) Mipham's Life and Context - a general introduction to the buddhism imported from India and studied in Tibet (p. 3-64)
2) Overview of Mipham's Buddhist Works - the meat of the book for me since Duckworth gives such a clear and thorough summary of Mipham's ideas and approach. (p. 67-137),
3) Select Translations - like little snack tastes of Mipham's writings via 32 short excerpts covering the various topics which Duckworth comments detail in the 2nd section. (p. 141-208).

Mipham's main characteristic (besides being a prolific polymath) is his consistently unifying and synthetic approach (makes me think he must have been a Sagittarius....lol). Everything he encounters, from doctrinal and sectarian conflicts to diametrically opposed perspectives - such as the gradualist approach of the reason-based analysis of conceptual conventional mind (sems) and the instantaneous approach of primordial awareness in nonconceptual direct perception (rigpa) - he brings together to form a greater whole.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wong Wah Sang on September 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A text for us to know more about Nyingmapa at the days of Mipham. Recommended for enthusiastic readers to know Tibetan Buddhism !!
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More About the Author

Douglas Duckworth earned his Ph.D. in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism from the University of Virginia in 2005. He is Assistant Professor of Religion at Temple University, where he teaches courses on the philosophies and religions of India and Tibet. He writes on topics of Buddhist philosophy and cross-cultural philosophy.

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