Blazing Splendor

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“Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was among Tibetan Buddhism’s greatest teachers of the twentieth century. His memoir, Blazing Splendor, invites us to join him as he looks back over a life that put him at the center of an unparalleled spiritual abundance. Through his unblinking eyes we meet remarkable contemplative adepts. And through the lens of his awakened awareness, we see the world from a fresh, eye-opening perspective. It is a sweeping account that shares with readers a world where miracles, mystery, and deep insight are the order of the day—a world as reflected through the open, lucid quality of Tulku Urgyen’s mind.”—from the foreword by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

“Reading Blazing Splendor, I am transported back to my childhood at Nagi Gompa, where my father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, shared these captivating stories of our family lineage and the remarkable beings that traversed his extraordinary life. The way these stories emanated from him speaks to the very essence of Dzogchen—heart wide open, ordinary and natural with a clarity unobstructed by details of place and time. As a child, I had no idea of the incredible impact and inspiration these living stories would have on my own life and the potential they could set alight in others. These profound teachings, hidden in plain sight, and offered with such warm-hearted generosity, make clear his unceasing devotion to his own teachers, and radiate the wisdom of the nine yanas.”—Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

“Devotion is the core and essence of the precious Vajrayana path. If you want to hear and feel that devotion expressed in the clearest, most inspiring, and most eloquent possible way, you can’t do better than read these wonderful memoirs of the great Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Not only did he himself embody that devotion, but his personal stories introduce us intimately to some of the past century’s greatest living masters. This is truly a must-read for Vajrayana practitioners.”—Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

“In Blazing Splendor, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, one of Tibetan Buddhism's most recent great masters, offers an intimate and in-depth history of Tibetan Buddhism through his own eyes. His firsthand accounts create a compelling narrative, spanning from the arrival of Buddhism in Tibet to the Cultural Revolution and beyond, providing rare insight into the personalities and stories of the lineage holders preceding him. This new edition also includes beautiful photos and imagery to further illustrate his story.”—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Life


The Memoirs of the Dzogchen Yogi Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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An insightful memoir illuminating the profound experiences and magical world of a Tibetan Buddhist master.

Blazing Splendor is a rare and profound gift: an intimate view into the world of one of the most celebrated and influential meditation masters of the last century. In these memoirs, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920–1996) recounts with incredible lucidity and humility his unique spiritual and familial heritage, his training in Tibetan Buddhism, and remarkable encounters with some of the most renowned masters of Tibet. This wide-reaching narrative stretches across generations to provide insight into the lived experience of contemplative adepts and into life before and after the Cultural Revolution, which left Tibet changed forever. 

Born the great-grandson of the seminal terma-revealer Chokgyur Lingpa and a holder of both Nyingma and Kagyu lineages, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche tells us of his unique family legacy, in which each generation has been saturated with spiritual accomplishments. He tells of how he, in time, became responsible for learning and then transmitting this lineage of Buddhist teachings, which continues today in the flourishing activities of his surviving sons Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and Tsoknyi Rinpoche. Blazing Splendor is a window into the life of a Mahamudra and Dzogchen master that illuminates the transmission of sacred teachings in a modern world—a world we inhabit too, where the miraculous and the mundane exist side by side. 

This special, revised edition of the modern classic includes a handsome slipcase and features new images and color illustrations.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 568 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $108
  • ISBN 9781614298434
about the author
Blazing Splendor

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920–1996) is recognized as one of the greatest twentieth-century masters of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the first to bring the essential teachings of Buddhism beyond Tibet. Born into an illustrious family, he took as the core of his own practice the indivisibility of the three great traditions: the Dzogchen view of primordial purity and perfection, the Mahamudra view of mental nondoing, and the Middle Way view of holding no mental constructs. After fleeing Tibet shortly before the Dalai Lama, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche devoted the rest of his life to trying to keep the spirit of the classical Tibetan spiritual system alive. Blazing Splendor is a translation of the name he was given by the head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism, the name referring to the qualities of a realized master. He was a teacher without peer, who transformed the lives of those who came to him from the world over, among them Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Bennett-Goleman, and Lama Surya Das.

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