The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism

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“A landmark in the history of English-language studies of Tibetan Buddhism.”—History of Religions


Its Fundamentals and History

Dudjom Rinpoche Gyurme Dorje Matthew Kapstein

Written by a great modern Nyingma master, Dudjom Rinpoche’s The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism covers in detail and depth both the fundamental teachings and the history of Tibetan Buddhism’s oldest school. This, the first English translation of His Holiness’ masterwork, constitutes the most complete work of its type in the West.

An absolute treasure for students of the tradition, it is also an indispensable reference for anyone with an interest in Buddhism. The book includes chronologies and glossaries that elucidate Buddhist doctrine, and it provides fascinating insights into the Buddhist history of Tibet. Two treatises form the present volume, namely the Fundamentals of the Nyingma School and the History of the Nyingma School. Among the most widely read of all His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche’s works, these treatises were composed during the years immediately following his arrival in India as a refugee. His intention in writing them was to preserve the precise structure of the Nyingma philosophical view within its own historical and cultural context.

This is the first time this text has been available in a trade edition. Beautifully presented, this single-volume edition represents a truly wonderful gift, and features illustrations in black and white and in color, plus maps, bibliographic information, and useful annotations.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 1584 pages, 6.50 x 9.75 inches
  • $95
  • ISBN 9780861711994
  • ebook
  • 1584 pages
  • $64.99
  • ISBN 9780861717347
about the author
The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism

Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-87) was appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the supreme head of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He was an enlightened yogi and meditation master, a discoverer of concealed treasure teachings (a terton) who was inseparable from Guru Rinpoche [Padmasambhava], the most prolific of contemporary Tibetan scholars, and an incarnate lama who had intentionally emanated for the sake of sentient beings for seventeen successive lives.

Other books by Dudjom Rinpoche:
Perfect Conduct

The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism

Gyurme Dorje holds a PhD in Tibetan Literature and an MA in Sanskrit with Oriental Studies. From 1991 to 1996 he held research fellowships at London University, where he worked on the Encyclopaedic Tibetan-English Dictionary. He has written, edited, translated and contributed to numerous books on Tibetan culture.

Other books by Gyurme Dorje:
A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency

The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism

Matthew T. Kapstein was introduced to Buddhist studies through the courses of Richard H. Robinson (1926–1970) at the University of Wisconsin and subsequently earned his A.B. in Sanskrit at the University of California (Berkeley) and PhD in philosophy at Brown University. During periods of travel and residence in India, Nepal, and Tibet, he studied with leading contemporary Buddhist teachers, including S. N. Goenka, H. H. Dudjom Rinpoche, and H. H. the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, among many others. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, where he is currently professor emeritus of Tibetan studies. In 2018 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Kapstein has published over a dozen books and numerous articles, among which are a general introduction to Tibetan cultural history, The Tibetans (Oxford 2006); a translation of an eleventh-century philosophical allegory in the acclaimed Clay Sanskrit Library, The Rise of Wisdom Moon (NYU Press, 2009); and, most recently, The Many Faces of King Gesar (Brill, 2022), with anthropologist Charles Ramble. With Kurtis Schaeffer and Gray Tuttle, he has authored and edited Sources of Tibetan Traditions, published in 2013 in the Columbia University Press Sources of Asian Traditions series. Kapstein collaborated with the late Gyurme Dorje on the translation of H. H. Dudjom Rinpoche’s renowned Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History, a milestone published by Wisdom Publications in 1991. His other Wisdom publications are Reason’s Traces: Identity and Interpretation in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist Thought (2001) and an edited volume, Buddhism between Tibet and China (2009).

Other books by Matthew Kapstein:
Buddhism Between Tibet and China
Reason’s Traces

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