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White Sail: Crossing the Waves of Ocean Mind to the Serene Continent of the Triple Gems Paperback – April 10, 2001
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"An inspiration for anyone interested in the Tibetan expression of the Dharma."—The Middle Way
"A powerful guide and antidote to Nihilist-mind; I'll keep this book close at hand for the rest of my life."—Michael Herr, Tricycle
About the Author
Thinley Norbu Rinpoche is a preeminent teacher in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. The eldest son of His Holiness Düdjom Rinpoche, he is a primary holder of the Düdjom Tersar lineage and is considered to be an emanation of Longchenpa, the great fourteenth-century Nyingma master.
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His "Magic Dance" is delightfully poetic in style but here, in "White Sail," Rinpoche is almost stridently attempting to introduce we Westerners to that point of view which is the authentic Middle Way. Particularly he is steering us away from the extremes of both eternalism and nihilism, the latter most especially. Given that to understand the philosophical position of Buddhism fully one has to be a fully enlightened buddha, then those who aspire to follow the Buddhist path really should not take exception to being schooled in what that is and is not.
Some may stress that Buddhism transcends all points of view. This may be true but there is a path to be followed to attain that transcendence and for that journey a guide is required. Such a guide is Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, who does not fail to communicate the authentic (yes, again I say authentic) Buddhadharma.
Thankyou, Rinpoche, for this inspiring and instructive book.
"Those who intend to benefit others through holy teachings
Do not use elaborate terms and poetry.
The pure path is shown with the simple words of the laity.
That is the sublime method of the Bodhisattvas."
The book absolutely remains true to these words of advice. It can be picked up and read a bit at a time over days, months or years, as each chapter covers a different topic. It can be read sequentially or randomly and enjoyed. In some ways it reminds me a bit of the classic, "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" in that it is a book to be read again and again at intervals in ones life and I think it will remain fresh with each reading.
On a personal note, my copy lives in a zip-lock bag in my rucksack. I like having it around me to pick up and read a few lines whenever I have a free moment. It is like breathing fresh air and clarity.