Ornament of Dakpo Kagyü Thought

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“Sarah Harding clarifies the essence of mahāmudrā with characteristic humor and penetrating insight, including points of contention. These pithy texts, elegantly translated, are contemplations on lucid awareness and immeasurable compassion, sparking illumination while refreshing one’s language skills!” —Karma Lekshe Tsomo, professor of Buddhist Studies, University of San Diego

“Mendong Tsampa’s commentary on the third Karmapa’s famous Mahāmudrā Aspiration Prayer is a perfect balance of depth and concision, and Sarah Harding’s presentation—from her introduction to her translation and notes—also strikes the perfect balance of precision and readability. Ornament of Dakpo Kagyü Thought opens up the profundity and brilliance of The Mahāmudrā Aspiration Prayer in a direct and lucid way—it’s the middle-length commentary we’ve all needed! This book will be savored by all who are inspired by the path of mahāmudrā, from those starting out to seasoned Buddhist practitioners and scholars.” —Elizabeth Callahan, translator of Moonbeams of Mahāmudrā


Short Commentary on the Mahāmudrā Aspiration Prayer

Rangjung Dorjé Mendong Tsampa Rinpoché Sarah Harding

The Mahāmudrā Aspiration Prayer is one of the most brilliant and popular compositions on mahāmudrā. Written in easygoing nine-meter verse, this heartfelt prayer by Rangjung Dorjé lends itself to chanting and ritualized group prayer and is at the same time intricately organized into the most profound and thorough exposition of mahāmudrā, the pinnacle of practice in the Kagyü school of Tibetan Buddhism. The commentary on the prayer by Mendong Tsampa Rinpoché brilliantly illuminates its subtleties, making it even more accessible for the reader, and students and teachers alike will appreciate the inclusion of the Tibetan script on facing pages of the prayer and commentary.

This is a text for encouraging study, for inspiring practice, and for the awakening of the world.

book information
  • Paperback
  • 144 pages, 5 x 8 inches
  • $16.95
  • ISBN 9781614297185
  • ebook
  • 144 pages
  • $12.99
  • ISBN 9781614297314
about the author
Ornament of Dakpo Kagyü Thought

The third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorjé (1284–1339), composed on a variety of topics and is considered a preeminent figure not only in the Kagyü lineages but also those of Severance, or Chö (gcod), and Nyingma. He composed treatises that became the foundation for studies by generations of meditators and scholars in the Karma Kagyü tradition and beyond, ranging from the massive commentary on the highest yoga tantras, The Profound Inner Principles (Zab mo nang don), to condensed profound supplications such as the Aspiration Prayer of Mahāmudrā, which stands on its own as a deep contemplative practice.

Ornament of Dakpo Kagyü Thought

After taking the levels of monastic ordination and studying sutras, tantras, and classical texts with many experts, Mendong Tsampa Rinpoché (1867–1921?) received all the empowerments and instructions on the great secret mantra from Chöwang Tulku Rinpoché, and through mastery of the paths could control his own wind-mind, achieving liberation from the stains of worldly concerns. He passed the time in retreat and also spoke spontaneously, becoming a great orator. He gave empowerments, guidance, and wrote commentaries on the treatises and oral instructions, creating a vast and profound body of work, now available in the 3-volume Collected Works of Mendong Tsampa Rinpoché, Karma Ngedön Tengyé, reproduced from tracings from the collected woodblock prints impressed from the xylographs preserved at Mendong Monastery in western Tibet.

Ornament of Dakpo Kagyü Thought

Sarah Harding has been studying and practicing Buddhism since 1974, and has been teaching and translating since completing a three-year retreat in 1980 under the guidance of Kyabjé Kalu Rinpoché. She was associate professor at Naropa University for twenty-five years in Boulder, Colorado, where she currently resides, and has been a fellow of the Tsadra Foundation since 2000. She specializes in literature with a focus on tantric practice. Her publications include Creation and CompletionThe Treasury of Knowledge: Esoteric Instructions; Niguma, Lady of Illusion; and two volumes on Chö and Shijé from The Treasury of Precious Instructions.

Other books by Sarah Harding:
Four Tibetan Lineages
Creation and Completion

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