Ornament to Beautify the Three Appearances

ORNAMENT TO BEAUTIFY THE THREE APPEARANCES

The Mahāyāna Preliminary Practices of the Sakya Lamdré Tradition

Ngorchen Könchok Lhundrup Cyrus Stearns His Holiness the Sakya Trichen

Ornament to Beautify the Three Appearances is the first book of a two-volume set of works written by Ngorchen Könchok Lhundrup (1497–1557) to explain the Lamdré teachings, the most important system of tantric theory and practice in the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This volume is translated by Cyrus Stearns with a foreword by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen.

The Lamdré, or Path with the Result, is based on the Vajra Lines of the great Indian adept Virūpa (ca. seventh–eighth centuries). The first topic is the fundamental meditative practices of Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna Buddhism. In the Lamdré teachings, these preliminary instructions are known as the Three Appearances. The guiding instructions on impure appearance are for the purpose of developing renunciation. These focus on the defects of saṃsāra; the rarity, benefit, and transience of human life; and the nature of positive and negative actions and results. The guiding instructions on the appearance of the experiences are for the purpose of producing the altruistic intent. These focus on developing love, compassion, and bodhicitta and cultivating joy now about the uncommon experiences that will arise later when practicing the Vajrayāna teachings. The guiding instructions on pure appearance are for the purpose of producing enthusiasm for the ultimate result of complete awakening. These briefly describe the inconceivable nature of a buddha’s enlightened body, speech, and mind.

Having absorbed these preliminary instructions, the practitioner may go on to the second volume of Ngorchen’s works, a restricted text that explains the main tantric practices of the Three Continua, intended for students who have at least received the great initiation of Hevajra. Volume 2 is only available in a restricted box set that includes this first volume and can only be obtained on the Wisdom Publications website. Click here to learn more about the box set.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages
  • $33.99
  • ISBN 9781614297239
  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $49.95
  • ISBN 9781614297239
about the author
Ornament to Beautify the Three Appearances

Ngorchen Könchok Lhundrup (1497–1557) was one of the greatest masters of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1534, after years of study and meditation, he became the tenth abbot of Ngor Monastery. His many writings, especially those concerning the Lamdré teachings, are famous for their clarity and eloquence, and remain indispensable for understanding Buddhist practice and theory in the Sakya tradition today, nearly five hundred years after they were composed.

Image credit:
Lama, Ngorchen Könchog Lhundrup
Tibet; 18th century
Pigments on cloth
Rubin Museum of Art
Gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin
C2006.66.320 (HAR 722) 

Other books by Ngorchen Könchok Lhundrup:
The Preliminary and Main Practices of the Sakya Lamdré Tradition

Ornament to Beautify the Three Appearances

Cyrus Stearns first began to study Buddhism with Dezhung Rinpoche (1906–87) in 1973. Since that time he has studied with and translated for many Tibetan teachers, especially Dezhung Rinpoche and Chogye Trichen Rinpoche. Cyrus has a PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of Washington and lived for about eight years in Nepal, India, and Southeast Asia. Among his other publications are The Buddha from Dolpo, Hermit of Go Cliffs, and Luminous Lives. Cyrus has three daughters and lives on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Other books by Cyrus Stearns:
The Preliminary and Main Practices of the Sakya Lamdré Tradition
Luminous Lives
Hermit of Go Cliffs
Taking the Result as the Path
Song of the Road

Ornament to Beautify the Three Appearances

His Holiness the Sakya Trichen is the revered forty-first throne holder of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, which dates back to 1073. He is a member of the Khon family, who have been important teachers of Buddhism in Tibet since the eighth century. A brilliant master, he manifests profound wisdom and compassion, and his command of English renders his teachings particularly beneficial to students in the West. He was born in 1945 in Sakya, Tibet, and in 1959 escaped with tens of thousands of Tibetan people to India, where he continues to live and work tirelessly to rebuild the Sakya tradition. He has guided the establishment of over thirty monasteries in India and Nepal and has helped found Sakya centers around the world. His seat in North America is Tsechen Kunchab Ling in Walden, New York.

Other books by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen:
The Preliminary and Main Practices of the Sakya Lamdré Tradition
The Freeing the Heart and Mind Trilogy
Freeing the Heart and Mind: Volume 3
Freeing the Heart and Mind: Volume 2
Freeing the Heart and Mind, Volumes 1 and 2
Freeing the Heart and Mind

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