Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Book: Mipam on Buddha Nature

Mipam (’ju mi pham rgya mtsho, 1846-1912) is one of the most prolific figures in the history of Tibet and his works continue to be widely studied across the Tibetan cultural region and beyond. Mipam on Buddha-Nature is an overview of Mipam’s view. Drawing upon a wide range of discourses in Mipam’s works, Douglas Duckworth shows how the Great Perfection permeates his writings on the Middle Way and Buddha-nature.

Each chapter illuminates the meaning of Buddha-nature and emptiness to expose a recurrent theme throughout Mipam’s works: the ground of the Great Perfection within the dialectical unity of presence and absence. The book brings together many important topics across a wide range of Mipam’s works and offers new translations from several of his important texts.

Buddha-nature is arguably the most important doctrine in Buddhism. For Mipam, Buddha-nature is equivalent to the true meaning of emptiness; it is the ground of all and the common ground shared by sentient beings and Buddhas. The ground, which is the unity of the two truths, is the foundation of the path of the Nyingma school of Buddhism. Since the view of this ground is the basis of meditation, the correct view is of utmost importance in the Buddhist tradition. This book is thus essential to Buddhist scholars and practitioners alike.

Dr. Douglas Duckworth is an instructor at the Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute and a contributor to the curriculum development at CBS.

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