Advice for Solitary Retreat

Gathering of Brilliant MoonsPithy works of advice on meditation practice can often be difficult to find in translation. Just published by Wisdom, A Gathering of Brilliant Moons: Practice Advice from the Rimé Masters of Tibet contains nearly twenty such works by favorite authors including Patrul Rinpoche, Ju Mipham, Jamgön Kongrul, Dudjom Lingpa, Do Khyentsé and other Buddhist masters from nineteenth-century Kham in eastern Tibet. Lively, poignant, and practical, these are gems of wisdom to guide and inspire an ecumenical approach to Buddhist practice.

You can view a sample translation on the Wisdom Publications blog, a letter that the Third Dodrupche, Jigmé Tenpai Nyima wrote to a disciple about solitary retreat.

I worked with my colleague, Joshua Schapiro, on editing this anthology, contributing three of my own translations, and co-authoring an introduction. In introductory essays  by master translators and scholars alike, we explore the genre of shaldam or “personal advice,” the art of translation, and the ecumenical bent of this nineteenth-century circle of luminaries.

Experiences, happy or sad, good or bad–whatever may arise,
not fabricating or changing them, just let them be;
to recognize but not cling to them, that is the crucial point;
this is the very pinnacle of all instruction. – Dudjom Lingpa

The anthology came about as a result of a conference in April 2013 at the University of Colorado Boulder, “Translating Buddhist Luminaries: A Conference on Ecumenism and Tibetan Translation.” Some highlights include:

  • Forward by Ringu Tulku
  • “Facing Your Mind” by Jamgön Kongtrul & Dudjom Lingpa (trans. John Canti)
  • “Playful Primers on the Path” by Patrul Rinpoché (trans. Joshua Schapiro)
  • “A Letter to the Queen” by Jikmé Lingpa (trans. Jann Ronis)
  • “Advice for Solitary Retreat” by Do Khyentse and Disciples (trans. Holly Gayley)
  • “How to Practice While Ill” by Jikmé Lingpa (trans. Wulstan Fletcher)
  • “A Meditation Instructor’s Manual” by Patrul Rinpoché (trans. Sarah Harding)
  • “Pointing Out the Nature of Awareness” by Ju Mipham (trans. Douglas Duckworth)

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