Staff Book Picks – May 2017

Every month, each member of the Samadhi Cushions team recommends  a different meditation book of their choice.


On Buddha Essence: A Commentary on Ranjung Dorje’s Treatise
By Kenchen Thrangu

“Read this commentary on Buddha Essense: if you want to realize that all the accepting and rejecting you are doing is like accepting and rejecting in a dream; if you want to understand that the only way to realize your true nature is through giving up distraction in meditation; if you want to explore the truth and falseness of sensorial experience; if you are having trouble finding words for your own essence (hint: there are many and none); if you want to understand that the teachings of the Buddha aren’t set in stone, but are dynamic and debated; and you want to appreciate a profoundly learned and practiced teacher from the Kagyü tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and his accomplished and artful translator (Peter Allen Roberts). ”

— Michael Greenleaf

By Chögyam Trungpa

True Perception is a book that is very dear to me. The material in this book – though it was available then only in the form of copied spiral-bound transcripts – while not the first dharma book I read, was what I was reading when I was a student at Naropa University and had just begun sitting meditation. So this in a way was my gateway book. Clearly there are a lot of overlapping concerns between art and dharma, and Trungpa Rinpoche (who in addition to being a meditation master was adept in many arts such as painting, calligraphy, poetry, drama, dance, flower arranging, design) takes both ends of the equation here – art as an approach to dharma and dharma as an approach to art. This is an invaluable book on the artistic process, the perceptual process, the practice of meditation, and an approach to engaging with the world where seeing clearly and manifesting brilliantly are not separate.”

— Sumner Bradley

By Tsoknyi Rinpoche

“In Fearless Simplicity, Tsoknyi Rinpoche teaches us about Dzogchen the highest expression of Tibetan Buddhism. He explains that with grounding in basic Buddhist teachings and meditation practice, you can follow the Dzogchen path to get beyond confusion and the demands of ego to the freedom of the direct experience of rigpa the essence of mind. You learn to just be without distraction. At the same time you are not withdrawing from the world. With this freedom comes compassion and fearlessness, and you emerge as a bodhisattva, a true benefactor of all life.”

— Mark Wilhelmi

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