Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Library of Tibetan Classics

These days I'm starting my mornings with ten pages or so of Mind Training: The Great Collection, published by Wisdom Publications 2006 ISBN 0-86171-440-7. This book is an excellent example of the new wave of English translations of classical Tibetan Buddhist literature, spurred on by recent and unfortunately grim developments in Tibet. The Mind Training literature, first anthologized in the fifteenth century, is homely advice in the form of traditional Buddhist enlightenment stories of wealth and renunciation. A central idea is the practise of total altruism: all my assets unto all other beings, all of the woes of all other beings unto myself. This mental exercise is both a recipe for peace and tolerance (and thus calmness of mind) and also a technique for cultivating mindfullness (awareness of the state of one's own consciousness), something that cannot be done from an ego-centered standpoint. It is an early volume of the Library of Tibetan Classics, a project of the Institute of Tibetal Classics. A real joy and "jewel," in the traditional Tibetan sense of jewels as symbols of wish-fulfillment.

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