Ken Holmes studied Tibetan Buddhism in Dharamsala, India, before joining Samye Ling in Scotland, the first Tibetan monastery in the West, in 1970. As the center’s director of studies, Ken spends much of the year teaching at Samye Ling’s branches in Europe and Africa. Previous publications include Maitreya on Buddha Nature, Karmapa, and the novel Tibet or Not Tibet.
Books, Courses & Podcasts
Stages of the Buddha’s Teachings
Runner-up for 2017 Shantarakshita Award for Excellence in Translation from the Tsadra Foundation
The “stages of the teachings” or tenrim genre of Tibetan spiritual writing expounds the Mahayana Buddhist teachings as a systematic progression, from the practices required at the start of the bodhisattva’s career to the final perfect awakening of buddhahood. The texts in the present volume each exerted seminal influence in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The first text, The Blue Compendium, presents the instructions of the Kadam teacher Potowa (1027/31–1105) as recorded by his student Dölpa (1059–1131). This verse work is followed by Gampopa’s (1079–1153) revered Ornament of Precious Liberation, which remains the most authoritative text on the path to enlightenment within the Kagyü school with its extensive quotations from the Indian scriptures. The final selection is Clarifying the Sage’s Intent, a masterwork by the preeminent sage of the Sakya tradition, Sakya Paṇḍita (1182–1251).
Ornament of Precious Liberation
Discover the heart of the Buddha’s teachings in this new and beautiful translation of Gampopa’s classic guidebook.
Ornament of Precious Liberation is a spiritual and literary treasure of Tibetan Buddhism and of the Kagyü lineage in particular. Laying out step-by-step the path to buddhahood that is open to us all, to read Gampopa’s text is like receiving the teachings directly from the master himself.
It is a quintessential guide to enlightenment that students will return to again and again for its insights into living an awakened life.