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Wild Awakening: The Heart of Mahamudra and Dzogchen Paperback – December 16, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I know of no more complete, practical, and accessible guide to the paths of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. One of the most brilliant Tibetan Buddhist teachers of his generation, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche explains with striking clarity and richness the heart of the 'practice lineage,' as, step by step, he leads us through the Sutra, Mantra, and Essence Mahamudra, and the nine vehicles that culminate in the Great Perfection: Dzogpachenpo."—Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

"Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is an amazing human being. For seven lifetimes he has been a recognized master of Mahamudra and Dzogchen meditation. In this lifetime, he was first in his class at the Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Philosophy. He has studied modern psychology and has an intimate understanding of the Western mind, having lived and taught in Europe and North America for many years. This book he has written is like a shining lamp that illuminates the path to realizing your own basic nature. Read it and let it open you up to the wish-fulfilling jewel of your own true nature of mind."—Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, author of The Sun of Wisdom

"A fascinating and daring description of the tantric journey by one of the very finest contemporary Tibetan teachers. Deeply informed by impeccable scholarship, this book is a profound and subtle evocation of the experience of Mahamudra and Dzogchen that modern people will find clear, inspiring, and compelling."—Reginald A. Ray, author of Indestructible Truth and Secret of the Vajra World

From the Inside Flap

Mahamudra and Dzogchen are perhaps the most profound teachings within all of Tibetan Buddhism. The experience of Mahamudra, or ?great symbol,? is an overwhelming sense of extraordinary clarity, totally open and nondualistic. Dzogchen, or ?great perfection,? is the ultimate teaching according to the Nyingma tradition and also represents the pinnacle of spiritual development. These are the two paths that provide practitioners with the most skillful means to experience the fully awakened state and directly taste the reality of our mind and environment. And yet these concepts are notoriously difficult to grasp and challenging to explain. In Wild Awakening, Tibetan Buddhist master Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche presents these esoteric teachings in a style that reveals their surprising simplicity and great practical value, emphasizing that we can all experience our world more directly, with responsibility, freedom, and confidence. With a straightforward approach and informal style, he presents these essential teachings in a way that even those very new to Tibetan Buddhism can understand.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; Second Impression edition (December 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8174721215
  • ISBN-13: 978-8174721211
  • ASIN: 1590300963
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Ngawang on December 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book by a respected teacher, but don't expect Dzogchen here, nor any "wildness" :) I have no idea who decided to market it that way, but it is a shame. The Dzogchen part of the book is, well... 2 (two) pages, and the author basically says that Dzogchen is not to be discussed openly. I do agree with that, as does Longchenpa by the way, but the decision to put "Dzogchen" in the title is just a marketing deception.

This whole book is about Mahamudra. It covers pretty well the sutra Mahamudra and goes on to describe in some length the tantric and essence Mahamudra. That's it - it is a very nice book about Mahamudra.

I can see some people arguing that the discussion about Mahamudra may substitute for a Trekcho explanation but this is not the case. Dzogchen has it's own language and it is not to be found in this book.

All in all - three stars from me for title/marketing deception.
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43 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Swing King on February 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
If there is any book out there that can explain the complex and profound teachings of Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra, you need not look any further; it's right here. These two paths provide all of us with the most profound and skillful means toward awakening, helping us directly savor the truth of both our minds and surroundings. But make no mistake about it though, for these two are some of the most difficult teachings in all of Buddhism to follow and understand.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche became a monk at an early age and studied under arguably the two greatest masters of modern times in Tibetan Buddhism. The 16th Karmapa and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He has traveled all over the world to spread the Buddha's wisdom for us. He is also a faculty member of Naropa University (school for Buddhist studies) in Colorado.
In this book, Ponlop explains how the Buddha taught us that outside of our own minds, there is no wisdom or enlightenment. This alone, for me, is a subtly reflective statement. From this outlook, anything we gain in the form of teaching (be that reading texts or listening to dharma talks) is actually not something separate from us. That's a very important point. The Mahamudra and Dzogchen pathways are the two most immediate routes for attaining realization of the truth of reality, and Ponlop Rinpoche does an expert job at presenting us with some of the basic fundamentals right here. Enjoy this work.
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47 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Neal J. Pollock VINE VOICE on April 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book provides an introduction, a large section on Mahamudra (MM) & a much smaller section on Dzogchen (Dz) with little comment on interrelationships between MM & Dz. The author (Karma Sungrab Ngedön Tenpay Gyaltsen) is very familiar with English and Western life, providing a book of labels, models, & analogies. Despite the title's reference to an instantaneous approach (found in both MM & Dz), the author takes a gradualist approach which is rather traditional, theoretical, light duty, descriptive, informational, mythical, & cursory. He is not very prescriptive or action-oriented. While the subject matter is of the most profound in Tibetan Buddhism, its essence is not emphasized here. The presentation on MM is more of a surface view or survey. The description of Dz has virtually no depth, spiritual knowledge (Prajna) or wisdom (Jnana). The author speaks ABOUT the subject but not TO the subject. For example, Trekchö and Tögal (the primary Dz practices) are hardly mentioned. As with other Vajrayana books, the Western cultural biases are addressed but not the author's. Thus, the Dzogchen Ponlop states: p. xv-xvi.: "Buddhism is presented as a science of mind in contrast to a religion, and as a body of wisdom that is fundamentally free of any cultural forms and that is accessible to all," but on p. 156: "Our standards are just concepts; they are cultural." It must be remembered that, p. 190: "Buddha encourages us to be inquiring and skeptical about our spiritual path."

However, despite the author's preconceptions/assumptions, he provides at least two fine, worthwhile items. The first is a nice exposition on p. 99: of "the 9 stages of resting the mind" - both a figure and commentary (I purchased a woodblock print of it in Lhasa).
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Dzogchen Ponlop, author of Wild Awakening: The Heart Of The Mahamudra And Dzogchen, is a scholar and educator of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the publisher of the internationally distributed Buddhist periodical "Bodhi" magazine. Featuring forewords by the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa, Wild Awakening is a simply excellent introduction to applying oneself to the practices of mahamudra ("great symbol") and dzogchen ("great perfection"). Presenting how to dedicate oneself for greater clarity and contemplation, and using a straightforward, informal style of narration that shines an illuminating light upon complex principles, Wild Awakening is a welcome and much appreciated and inspiring contribution to personal Buddhist Studies reading lists and academic library reference collections.
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