Translator(s): Willa Baker
Publisher: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186470379
Essence of Ambrosia is a guide to Buddhist meditation, composed by the prolific and eclectic Tibetan scholar and practitioner Taranatha (1575-1634). Following the lead of Atisha, Taranatha expounds a graduated approach (known as lam rim) to cognitive and meditative development designed to address the needs of three types of person: the person of lesser, average and greater capacity.
Taranatha’s innovative contribution to this genre is to instruct the student in contemplation sessions, that specifically guide a beginning Buddhist practitioner through the traditional practices of meditation, beginning with devotional reflection up to the apex of Buddhist meditation, insight (vipassana) meditation. The result is a remarkably accessible and concise insider’s guide to the Mahayana Buddhist path.
A valuable meditation manual vividly bringing to life the stages of path.
-Jeffrey Hopkins, University of Virginia, author of Maps of the Profound
This is an exceptionally lucid translation of a seminal work on the principal practices and ideas in Tibetan Buddhism. An excellent resource for students, scholars, and practitioners alike.
-Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor for Buddhist Studies, Harvard Divinity School
Taranatha’s Essence of Ambrosia is one of the most accessible and practical of Tibetan spiritual path manuals, as a scholar deeply knowledgeable of the ext and its genre, Baker’s voice makes a profound bridge between the world of our seventeenth century author and the twenty-first century. Her translator’s introduction, annotations and glossaries deserve close attention.
-John Makransky, Professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology, Boston College.
PART I: TRAINING IN THE COMMON STAGES FOR THE PERSON OF LESSER CAPACITY
The Freedoms and Endowments of a Precious Human Life
Impermanence and Death
The Misery of the Lower Realms
The Instructions on the Causes and Effects of Actions
PART II-TRAINING IN THE COMMON STAGES FOR THE PERSON OF AVERAGE CAPACITY
The Misery of the Higher Realms
The Suffering of Cyclic Existence in General
Aspects of Origination
The Causes and Results of Liberation
PART III-THE EXTRAORDINARY CONTEMPLATIONS FOR THE PERSON OF GREATER CAPACITY
The Preparatory Contemplation and the Causal Links
Meditations on Love and Compassion
Meditations on the Aspiration of Awakening Mind
Training in the Application of Awakening Mind
Ways to Progress in the Practice
The Ceremony of Engendering Awakening Mind
The Ceremony of the Boddhisattva Vow
GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS AND PROPER NAMES
GLOSSARY OF CLASSIFICATORY TERMS WITH TIBETAN