New Book of Translations: Inseparable Across Lifetimes

inseparable across lifetimesReleased in February!

An inspiring and intimate tale set against the turmoil of recent Tibetan history, Inseparable across Lifetimes offers for the first time the translations of love letters between two modern Buddhist visionaries, Khandro Tare Lhamo and Namtrul Rinpoche. The letters are poetic, affectionate, and prophetic, articulating a hopeful vision of renewal that drew on their past lives together and led to their twenty-year partnership. This couple played a significant role in restoring Buddhism in the region of Golok once China’s revolutionary fervor gave way to reform.

Order on Amazon.com.

“An instant classic, Gayley’s translations of contemporary love letters between a Tibetan visionary couple are luminous. The couple’s spiritual courtship animates a relationship that bridges the traditional and modern, transcendent and mundane. This is an inspiring page-turner that shows mutually transformative love is really possible.”

—Judith Simmer-Brown, author of Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism

Inseparable across Lifetimes tells the amazing personal stories of two Buddhist masters in twentieth-century Tibet, and their love letters are skillfully translated here into soaring yet intimate English. Few publications record this crucial time period after the cultural devastation of Tibet, and fewer still offer such visionary hope for some kind of transformation.”

—Sarah Harding, author of Niguma, Lady of Illusion

“In a love relationship that was not just based on ordinary passions, but rather the union of incisive knowledge and skillful means, Namtrul Rinpoche and Khandro Tāre Lhamo came to know the pure essence of wisdom exaltation as the sacred union of male and female. They used this unobstructed power to work for the welfare of others through their enlightened deeds. I am grateful to Holly Gayley for bringing their exemplary life stories and songs of profound union into the English language so that readers can glimpse the best of our Tibetan Vajrayana tradition.”

—Lama Chonam, teacher and translator, Light of Berotsana Translation Group

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