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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone seriously interested in Tibetan Buddhism
This is the most detailed explanation of the seminal A Lamp on the Path by the Indian master Atisha in the English Language. Pabongka Rinpoche was a renowned master, teacher to some of the most respected masters of Tibetan Buddhism of our time - Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche (junior tutor to the Dalai Lama and Kyabje Ling Rinpoche (senior tutor of the Dalai Lama and Ribur...
Published on August 23, 1999

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT RECOMMENDED FOR NOVICES
It was not what I expected. Not very readable and mainly went thru compacted Tibetan rituals. Perhaps a person who already knew a lot about Tibetan Buddhism, or someone who wanted to intellectually pursue more information, this might be a good book. For the average person, it is not suitable.
Published 12 months ago by Sharon Stroble


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone seriously interested in Tibetan Buddhism, August 23, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics) (Paperback)
This is the most detailed explanation of the seminal A Lamp on the Path by the Indian master Atisha in the English Language. Pabongka Rinpoche was a renowned master, teacher to some of the most respected masters of Tibetan Buddhism of our time - Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche (junior tutor to the Dalai Lama and Kyabje Ling Rinpoche (senior tutor of the Dalai Lama and Ribur Rinpoche among others. One could not ask for a better teacher.
Drawing upon Lama Tsong Khapa's Great Stages of the Path (Lam Rim Chenmo), Pabongka Rinpoche elucidates all the main topics of meditation with anlaytical rigor and rich anecdotes, all the time, situating and linking his teaching to the vast corpus of the Buddha's teachings.
This is a PRACTICE text of the highest calibre and, as such, to truly derive its essence one must try out what Pabongka Rinpoche teaches for himself/herself.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Treasure Trove of Teachings, July 25, 2004
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This review is from: Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics) (Paperback)
This book intimidated me at first -- it's so large! And such a long teaching just on Lam Rim? However, the instant I started reading it, I was hooked in, and I've been at it non-stop ever since. I can safely say that no other book has provided me with as many eye-opening realizations as this one. Every few pages strikes a chord in me and helps me to understand on a deeper level the many aspects and facets of Lam Rim.

What is Lam Rim? It is "Stages of the Path" -- one of the central kinds of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism. In Buddhism, the goal is enlightenment -- to free oneself from suffering, and to help others free themselves as well. Yet the teachings of the Buddha are so voluminous and complex, that it is difficult for a beginning student to know where to start, what to study, what to practice, in what order, etc. For this reason, the great Indian master Atisha (10th-11th c.AD) composed the first Lam Rim text, which presented the entire path to Buddhahood, leaving nothing out, in a clear way, and in the correct order for practice. Since then, Lam Rim teachings have been central for most Tibetan schools of Buddhism. This systematic and clear approach is not found in most other schools of Buddhism.

In Lam Rim, one develops realizations along 3 major stages: Small Scope, Medium Scope, and Great Scope. In the first two, one develops a strong wish to free oneself from present and future sufferings, to achieve a state of total liberation and peace. In the third, one expands this through compassion to wish that all sentient beings may be in this liberated state.

Each stage involves contemplating and thinking about a number of different aspects of life and human experience. As one does so, one is almost guaranteed to start to see things more clearly. This will lead to a stronger wish for liberation, a more powerful compassion, and greater wisdom into the nature of reality. Thus, Lam Rim is really essential, especially for those who intend to practice Tantra, since it is like the base and foundation.

While there are many texts of Lam Rim, Pabongka Rinpoche's teaching is so direct, so clear, and filled with so many brilliant examples and stories, that it can be ranked among the best. In the Gelukpa school especially, it has become a classic that every student should read at least once. I hope it will benefit you greatly!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Auspicious, January 16, 2004
By 
Dao Quang (Highland, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics) (Paperback)
This is an excellent book, an excellent set of instructions for a serious practicioner of the dharma. While a meditation retreat is preferrable, this book is second best as a great teaching of Je Tsongkapa's Lam Rim.
If you are an honest Buddhist practicioner, this book will not disappoint you. It will provide you with most beneficial instructions for your practice and study of the Lam Rim, including an excellent and extensive section on the Preparatory Rites. I recommend this dharma text, in fact, I would call it essential.
Your hearnest study of this book should benefit all sentient beings.
Om mani padme hum.
Be well.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, January 6, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics) (Paperback)
A stong understanding of Lam Rim is very important, it is the foundation of Tibetan buddhism. This book on Lam-Rim is essential, it is the published notes from a teaching of Pabongka Rinpoche out lining the steps to/on the Lam Rim path. Anyone interested studing buddhism will benefit from the teachings of Rinpoche.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cool Bath on a Hot Day!, December 16, 2001
This review is from: Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics) (Paperback)
This is THE work for the Gelugpa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Which is the tradition of His Holiness, the Dali Lama. It, for
all practical reasons, is our Bible. While reading it, one becomes relaxed and feels at home. It outlines the entire path of the Lam-Rim or the graduated path of enlightenment. Pabonka
Rinpoche gave a famous twenty-four day discourse on the teachings
of the Buddha. These talks were translated by Trijang Rinpoche,
the tutor of His Holiness. Finally, it was translated into English by Michael Richards. This book is a masterpiece. Each page fills the soul and heart with happiness and love. The illustrations are just marvelous. A couple caveats are in order before you buy this marvelous book. First, please understand that, despite what a few Occidental iconoclasts believe, Tibetan
Buddhism flatly espouses a belief in cyclical existence. That at death, unless we have lived a life of firm morality and generosity, the mindstream can spin out of control and just about be reborn in any lifeform. In Tibetan Buddhism, this is a given. Secondly, is the belief in sin. The belief that if we
harm others, the arrow comes back at us. And this karma is expandable. Yes. Bad things do happen to good people.
With these two understandings under your belt, buy and enjoy.
The vision which Pabonka Rinpoche gives us may seem horrible. Nevertheless, it may be true. In fact, it no doubt is true. May the dharma bless you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, March 25, 2006
This review is from: Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics) (Paperback)
A great supplement for meditators on the Buddhist Path; goes into depth and detail of all the essential topics. Many of the stories and examples given are from within the Tibetan culture during an earlier age and may be hard for westerners to believe, but the essential meaning of the teachings are as relevent today as they were then; the stories and examples from Tibetan life are nevertheless still interesting and reveal a society of immense faith and devotion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very important text, June 12, 2008
This review is from: Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics) (Paperback)
Although a bit daunting at first appearance, "Liberation" is an important book, recorded from important teachings. It is a must for anyone studying the Lam Rim Chen Mo by Je Tsong Khapa and Tibetan Buddhism. "Liberation" can be culturally sectarian and is filled parables and stories pertinent to its time and culture, but that does not lessen its importance.
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1.0 out of 5 stars NOT RECOMMENDED FOR NOVICES, February 15, 2014
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This review is from: Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics) (Paperback)
It was not what I expected. Not very readable and mainly went thru compacted Tibetan rituals. Perhaps a person who already knew a lot about Tibetan Buddhism, or someone who wanted to intellectually pursue more information, this might be a good book. For the average person, it is not suitable.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tibet's Heidegger, October 2, 2005
This review is from: Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics) (Paperback)
Pabongka's influence is still being felt today. His philosophical genius is unquestioned. (The loving reviews of his work below should be taken at face value.) As remains the case with Heidegger, there remains some controversy over Pabongka's politics relative to his teaching.

Chagdud Tulku gives some insight into Pabongka's legacy in his book Lord of the Dance (see especially page 107).
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Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics)
Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightment by Pabongka (Spiritual Classics) by Pha-boṅ-kha-pa Byams-pa-bstan-ʾdzin-ʾphrin-las-rgya-mtsho (Paperback - September 25, 1997)
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