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Gems From The Traditions

Maha Ati
by H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

This meditation (and life) instruction, by one of the recent bright lights in the school of Dzogchen Buddihism, should be read as often as possible. It is an invaluable guide to help one to connect with the fresh and vibrant wisdom that underlies the path of Dzogchen. A must for any serious meditation practitioner (if nothing else, to cut through any heavy seriousness!).

The Summary of Mahamudra
by Naropa

This ecstatic communication was a famous "ear whispered" teaching given by Naropa to his equally famous student, Marpa the Translator. The text summarizes the freedom inherent in the View that the school of Mahamudra embodies in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, forming the basis of the Kagya School of Tibetan Buddhism

The Four Natural Abidings of Mahamudra
compiled by Thrangu Rinpoche

A common opinion is that there are very few maps that clearly lay out and describe the stages of advanced or post-realized spirituality, but investigation into Mahamudra and Dzogchen Buddhism proves this wrong. This text describes advanced stages of growth in a non linear fashion, and is a good barometer for anyone who considers himself or herself 'advanced'.

The Natural Freedom of Being
by Longchepa/Peter Fenner

Technically not a traditional piece, this text is a commentary of several verses from the great Dzogchen Master Longchepa's The Natural Freedom of Being by an 'independent' teacher, Peter Fenner. A good example of how commentary can modernize a traditional scripture without losing its essential meaning. One can see how 20th century analogies can enhance the clarity of communication.

Tilopa's Song to Naropa
compiled by Les Hixon

A favorite of mine, this is both an instructional text as well as an ecstatic communication of the realizer who founded Mahamudra Buddhism

The Heart Sutra
by Avalokitesvara/Chenrezig

Not exactly a rare text, the famous Heart Sutra is something that could be read every day of one's life and still would be inexhaustible.

Aspiration Prayers of Mahamudra
by Third Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje

The word prayer is slightly misleading, this is another brilliant and ecstatic desciption of the nature of reality, mind, realization and the means by which realization occurs.

The Eight Worldly Dharmas
A Spiritual Maturity Test

A classic but simple Buddhist teaching on eight various categories of human experience to which individuals are attached or averse, and thus may generate strong reactions. Check and see how you're doing in these areas...

The Nibbana (Nirvana) Sutra
"Unbinding" of Gautama Buddha

This wonderful sutra lays out step by step advanced stages of spirituality, and how one can get stuck at any one of these stages. Primarily Buddha that any of the subtle perceptions of advanced spirituality can be a form of bondage, and thus misses the point of the ultimate 'pleasant'-ness of Unbinding, leading to Nirvana.

The Shurangama Sutra
of Gautama Buddha (Volume Eight)

This text is similar to the Nirvana Sutra in that it lays out ways in which an individual can succumb to errors on the spiritual path. However, in this Sutra, which is primarily a conversation between He and his closest disciple Ananda, Buddha goes into much greater detail. Volume Eight of this lengthy Sutra describes 50 ways in which an advanced practitioners may fall prey to various errors.

Song of Experience
by Milarepa

The word prayer is slightly misleading, this is another brilliant and ecstatic desciption of the nature of reality, mind, realization and the means by which realization occurs.

The View, Concisely Put
by Naropa

An intense and clear exposition by one of the fathers of Mahamudra on the nature of the realized condition.

Assorted Buddhist Prayers
by many...

A collection of prayers from the Buddhist tradition that point out the basic tenet of interdepency in Buddhism, in which most of the enclosed text are intended for the benefit of others.

Ultimate View, Meditation, Conduct, and Fruition
translated by Jim Scott

A short scripture detailing the ways one may get stuck along the way.