Paperback release of Love Letters from Golok

love-letters-from-golokThe paperback is now out for Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet, which chronicles the lives and letters of Khandro Tare Lhamo (1938–2002) and Namtrul Rinpoche (1944–2011). This Buddhist tantric couple played a significant role in revitalizing Buddhist teachings, practices, and institutions in the Tibetan region of Golok during post-Mao era.

Get 30% off at Columbia University Press with discount code: GAYLEY.
Read select letters in current issue of Tricyle Magazine.

I began this research project in 2004, when I first visited Golok. On that occasion, Namtrul Rinpoche kindly gave me their published corpus of revelations and an extra volume containing his correspondence with Tare Lhamo over more than a year, beginning in 1978. Their letters are almost entirely in verse, containing prophecies about their future revelations and intimate expressions of affection. The interplay of love and destiny in their letters and lives is a central theme in the book, alongside strategies for narrating cultural trauma related to their coming of age during the Maoist period. Read more

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.

New anthology of translations! To purchase, visit: Wisdom Publications

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.” See book review on Reading Religion.

Announcing Book: Love Letters from Golok

love-letters-from-golokAnnouncing the release of Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet, which chronicles the lives and letters of Khandro Tare Lhamo (1938–2002) and Namtrul Rinpoche (1944–2011). This Buddhist tantric couple played a significant role in revitalizing Buddhist teachings, practices, and institutions in the Tibetan region of Golok during post-Mao era.

Get 30% off at Columbia University Press with discount code: GAYLEY.
Read select letters in current issue of Tricyle Magazine.

I began this research project in 2004, when I first visited Golok. On that occasion, Namtrul Rinpoche kindly gave me their published corpus of revelations and an extra volume containing his correspondence with Tare Lhamo over more than a year, beginning in 1978. Their letters are almost entirely in verse, containing prophecies about their future revelations and intimate expressions of affection. The interplay of love and destiny in their letters and lives is a central theme in the book, alongside strategies for narrating cultural trauma related to their coming of age during the Maoist period. Read more