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The Center Of The Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka In The Kagyu Tradition (Nitartha Institute) Hardcover – November 2, 2004


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The Center Of The Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka In The Kagyu Tradition (Nitartha Institute) + In Praise Of Dharmadhatu + The Heart Attack Sutra: A New Commentary On The Heart Sutra
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Product Details

  • Series: Nitartha Institute
  • Hardcover: 1000 pages
  • Publisher: Snow Lion (November 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559392185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559392181
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A valuable contribution to scholarship and one worthy of study. [Dr. Karl Brunnholzl's] approach to the text is both intellectual and experiential, showing how a clear understanding of what can appear to be a dauntingly complex text can be used to deepen practice."—The Middle Way

About the Author

Karl Brunnhölzl, MD, was trained as a physician and also studied Tibetology. He received his systematic training in Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy and practice at the Marpa Institute for Translators, founded by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. Since 1989 he has been a translator and interpreter from Tibetan and English. He is presently involved with the Nitartha Institute as a teacher and translator.

Customer Reviews

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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The first volume of the Nitartha Institute Series, and a studity text for Naropa University's Buddhist Studies program, The Center Of The Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka In The Kagyu Tradition presents the tradition of Madhyamaka Buddhism as more than a purely intellectual exercise, showing how it directly addresses daily life experience. Chapters discuss understanding of two realities, Madhyamaka meditation, the distinctions beteween Autonomists and Consequentialists, and much more. Overall, The Center Of The Sunlit Sky is a determined effort to publish a thorough understanding of the Kagyu view of Mad-hyamaka for Western readers. Though undoubtedly meant for those already familiar with Buddhism's basic tenets, The Center Of The Sunlit Sky presents complex philosophical and spiritual precepts in as clear and direct terms as possible for Western minds. A "must-have" for anyone seeking to better understand the Madhyamaka Buddhism as has been practiced in Tibet for centuries.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Conant on December 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in Madhyamaka philosophy, Brunnhölzl does an amazingly thorough job presenting it in great detail. He does not present it as an outsider describing Buddhist philosophy in a dry and academic fashion, but rather as a practitioner who has significant meditative experience. In addition to explaining the Madhyamaka point of view, Brunnhölzl gives much practical advice of how to apply it in our daily lives. The idea that all phenomena are empty of inherent nature is a core feature of Buddhism, and yet it is a concept totally foreign to our everyday way of thinking. This book has the effect of immersing the reader in an environment where the idea of emptiness becomes more and more apparent, until, finally, it is actually plain obvious common sense. The book also takes care to distinguish how the Kagyu lineage in particular views Madhyamaka philosophy, as opposed to the later Gelug tradition pioneered by Tsongkhapa.

I often read this book in preparation for analytical meditation. It really primes the pump, putting my mind in a state where the meditation comes very naturally.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By WilliamMcKay on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Primary material is translated from the Indian sources such as Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Buddhapalita, Candrakriti, Shantarakshita, Kamalashila, Atisha, PP Sutras and much more, so you don't have to buy multiple books.

The translations are excellent and free from Gelugpa bias.

Don't let the word "Kagyu" fool you. Other scholars say this book is THE standard reference on Madhyamaka.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on December 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a difficult but worthwhile text. I found it particularly difficult because it uses different terms than I am used to finding in books on Tibetan Buddhism. For "Middle Way", Karl Brunnholzl uses "Centrist". For "Prasangika", he uses "Consequentialist". For "Svatantrika", he uses "autonomists". These terms really have no meaning for me; so I have found the book a hard read. There is still a lot of great information although I do think the writer is negligent in defining his terms more clearly and even the individuals he writes about. He will mention Pawo Rinpoche, for example, without refreshing ones memory and saying this is the 2nd Pawo, Tsuglag Threngwa.(1504-1566), a contemporary of the eigth Karmapa. You will probably need to read this book many times before really absorbing the wonderful insights it has to offer.

Other great books on the subject:

The Adornment of the Middle Way: Shantarakshita's Madhyamakalankara with Commentary by Jamgon Mipham by Shantarakshita,

Introduction to the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara with Commentary by Ju Mipham by Chandrakirti, Jamgön Mipham

Journey to Certainty: The Quintessence of the Dzogchen View: An Exploration of Mipham's Beacon of Certainty by Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Graboski (May 15, 2012)

Maitreya's Distinguishing Phenomena And Pure Being: With Commentary By Mipham by Ju Mipham, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso and Jim Scott (Apr 2, 2004)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic distillation of the development of Madhyamaka in the Kagyu tradition. I used this by way of comparative work with other Tibetan Renaissance thinkers (Tsongkhapa, Gorampa Sonam Senge, Dolpopa) and it made for a great dialogue between them all.
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