I received the First Edition of this volume many years ago, through the Chagdud Gonpa Foundation. Please don't be discouraged by reviews admonishing you to first receive all transmissions and empowerments before attempting to understand this text. - To be fair .. it is true; it's usefulness will be limited, however, you will find a plethora of excercises outlined within to aid you in keeping your mind on bodhicitta. THAT is really the secret to all you will experience in your search for truth as outlined in the Buddhist Teachings. BODHICITTA! Use any and all available means presented to you to that end. If this should mean acquiring texts you may not fully comprehend [yet], by all means.. run with them! Take it all. Read everything. And remember.. 95% of your practice is intent. Indeed, your intent. I recommend this book to you. I know the First Edition is also still available through direct contact with the above mentioned Foundation at a substantial savings.
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This book is a holy book that was written by His Holly Dudjom Linpa. This book is pointing out the right path how we can learn the right Buddhism teaching. This book truly provide a Budi guideline to our inner mind. What I truly benefit from this book a lot. Oh Ah Hum Benjar Gu Ru Ben ma Shih Di Hum!
Somehow this text "disappeared" from my library. Certainly an "advanced" text, so can't imagine I loaned it to anyone. But obviously outstanding enough that I wanted to reread! After plowing through all my Buddhist/Spiritual texts several times & not finding it, I "had" to reorder!
This is an excellent translation. Even more so: an excellent written testament to one's own realization. However, to the uninitiated, it is not useful. If one has not yet trekked the path of Guatama, then I would recommend not yet getting this translation: it will not be appreciated for its essential value to one's own understanding. In other words, this is not a book to read like a novel, but a resource to confirm your own individual realization and/or to help clarify some blank spots in your meditation on certain aspects. If you have not yet attained this level, post this book in your toolbox in the future.
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As others have mentioned, the title "Buddhahood Without Meditation" is misleading. The full title, as the translator informs us, is "Buddhahood Without Meditation: Advice For Making Fully Evident One's True Face - Natural Great Perfection." This tells us everything we need to know about what is inside.
A number of reviewers have taken up the question of who should read this book. It would be difficult to get much out of it unless you were the student of a teacher of the Dzogchen (Great Perfection or Completion) path and were well into your Ngondro (Preliminary) Practice. However, unless you think a person should read such a work only if given a specific transmission, there is no reason not to read it if you are on the Dzogchen path.
The text gives us visions and dreams of the nineteenth century master Dudjom Lingpa. These involve former masters and deities. The book begins with one of the typical Buddhist arguments against the existence of the ego, but one which proves only that it has parts. However, it then switches to a vision of an aspect of Padmasambhava. The instruction begins, "For me to introduce you directly to the interdependence of causes and conditions coming together, consider this: the cause is the ground of being as basic space (zhi-ying), which is pristinely lucid (dang-sal) and endowed with the capacity for anything whatsoever to arise." If this means nothing to you, then you would be wasting your time reading the book.
The main teaching of the book is about the ground, or basic space of phenomena ("dharmadhatu" in Sanskrit), otherwise known as sunyata or emptiness, the unobstructed energy out of which seem to come ourselves and the rest of the world. In reality there is just the basic space of phenomena.
One of the great features of the book is the glossary of terms and personages, and the references to these terms throughout the text, as you can see from the quote above. This lets you know what Tibetan word or phrase is being translated. It thus counters the propensity of translators to tamper with the text for stylistic or other reasons. There is also a synopsis of the text by HH Dudjom Rinpoche which comes at the end.
If I have one bone to pick with the book, it is with the chapter which includes instruction from Longchenpa (in a vision) which begins on p.41. Its guiding idea is that "Life is just a dream." It is not surprising that the vision should include such a teaching, since in the third volume of Longchenpa's "Finding Comfort and Ease" (a wonderful text which has been nicely translated by Keith Dowman under the title "Maya Yoga") we find that the first of eight analogies Longchenpa uses for the seeming existence of the world is that our experience of the world is like a dream.
The comparison of the appearance of the world to a dream experience sounds good to begin with, but when you analyze things more deeply it has less force, precisely because of the differences between waking and dream experiences, which differences allow us to make the distinction in the first place. Dream experiences have no causal relationship with one another or what we call our waking experiences. But what we call our waking experiences have a causal relationship with one another. Also, there are regularities in our waking experiences which we do not find in our dream experiences. The point is that we make the distinction because we have noticed the differences. And there is something suspect about using a distinction in order to deny it exists. My takeaway from this is that we should avoid saying "the world is a dream." The world is not an hallucination; rather it is a grand illusion - that is to say, it is not what it appears to be. It is that basic space of phenomena we mentioned earlier. (It may seem that we are making the same mistake in calling everything an illusion, but this is not the case. There is nothing about ordinary waking experiences that is like an hallucination, but even a cursory knowledge of modern physics would lead one to the view that things are not what they seem to be. Let's say that there can be smaller illusions within the grand illusion.)
This book is really a jewel. My carping should not dissuade you from reading it. When a master gives a pointing out instruction he is giving a taste of the real nature of the student and the rest of the world. "Buddhahood Without Meditation" comes very close to doing this in a book. For those who are ready for it, it is a very valuable book indeed.
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