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Drawn from the teachings, travels, and spontaneous interactions of Namgyal Rinpoche, a now-deceased Canadian Buddhist monk and teacher of meditation, this skillfully-curated collection of first-hand recollections conveys the deep level of relationship, rarely experienced outside the monastic life, between a living meditation master and his students.
Originally ordained Ananda Bodhi in the hinayana Buddhist tradition, Namgyal Rinpoche later became the first westerner to be recognised and ordained by His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa as an incarnate Lama of the Tibetan Kaygu mahayana tantric lineage.
Expounding on eastern and western religions as well as the western scientific world view, Namgyal Rinpoche declared that his purpose was to encourage “compassionate, non-clinging awareness” in all his students. He vigorously supported his students’s attempts to break free of stagnation and trance, moving them towards the transcendent experience of awakening innate in all living beings.
Namgyal Rinpoche’s teaching embraced many religious and philosophic traditions. Whatever the religious tradition or scientific metaphor, it was used to reveal his students’ conditioning as well as to offer a glimpse of the vast dharma of Compassion and Wisdom embodied in their living Teacher.
The insights Namgyal Rinpoche invoked were directly relevant to those present at the time. Some insights were realized immediately; some only years after the direct personal teaching; while others were understood even as these recollections were being written.
A glimpse of the myriad gems of spiritual insight shared by Namgyal Rinpoche can be gleaned from the over one hundred and eighty stories and the one hundred and ten direct quotes from his teaching included in this collection. Twenty full-colour and black-and-white images dramatically illustrate his evolving appearance over the more than forty active years of his ministry.
At times obvious, yet always subtle and intuitive, the essence of Namgyal Rinpoche’s teaching begins to emerge from these reminiscences, which invite you to notice, then transcend any trance, habit, or conditioning in your own thoughts and behaviours, shifting attention to pathways that point towards awakening.
This book will be useful both for people familiar with an exploration of the deeper aspects of mind, as well as for people with no experience of meditation or spiritual practice.