Perfect Clarity is an anthology of essential writings on Mahamudra and Dzogchen for the student of Tibetan Buddhism. Mahamudra, a meditation practice focusing on the nature of mind, and Dzogchen, a body of teachings aimed at realizing the “great perfection” or natural, primordial state, are central to Vajrayana practitioners today. Translator Erik Pema Kunsang has selected works by legendary masters both ancient and modern. From the distant, mythic past come teachings from Guru Rinpoche (also known as Padmasambhava), the tantric master who established Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet in the ninth century, his consort Yeshe Tsogyal, and the famous yogis Milarepa (1040-1123), and Longchenpa (1308-1363). More recent teachers included in this collection are Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991), and Khenpo Ganshar, the root guru of Chogyam Trungpa, and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. The writings are in a variety of forms reflecting the genius of each contributor: chapters of detailed meditation instructions, inspired poems, and parable-like stories. Erik Pema Kunsang, also known as Erik Hein Schmidt, is known as one of the world’s most gifted interpreters of Tibetan into English—although Danish was his first language. Traveling to Nepal from his native Denmark at twenty years old, he has studied with or translated for more than sixty Tibetan masters. He is the compiler of a voluminous 3,000-page Tibetan dictionary for spiritual terms (The Rangjung Yeshe Tibetan-English Dictionary of Buddhist Culture), used by other Tibetan translators as an authoritative reference and now available online at www.dharmadictionary.net. Erik Pema Kunsang was the main interpreter of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche for seventeen years, living in Tulku Urgyen’s monasteries—one in Kathmandu’s “Little Tibet,” near the great Boudhanath Stupa, the other his mountainside hermitage overlooking the Kathmandu Valley—and translated forty-six books of scripture and sacred writings.
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