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Center of the Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka in the Kagyü tradition (a Nitartha Institute series book)
Madhyamaka is a potent and universally accessible means of calming our suffering and awakening to our innate wisdom. The Center of the Sunlit Sky artfully rescues this brilliant teaching from its unwarranted reputation for intellectual opacity and reinstates it as a supremely practical toolkit for everyday living. Best of all, Dr. Brunnholzl shows us that Madhyamaka can be fun. Profoundly coherent, uniquely functional and wonderfully readable, its relevance reaches well beyond an exclusively Buddhist readership. Anyone willing to question their unexamined attachment to suffering will fi nd The Center of the Sunlit Sky a much needed and supremely enjoyable breath of fresh air.
“This book gives, for the fi rst time in a Western publication, a comprehensive presentation
of the unique Kagyü view of Madhyamaka…In sum, this is a pioneering effort
to make Kagyu scholarship on Madhyamaka philosophy known to a wider audience.”
—The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karl Brunnholzl teaches and translates at
Nitartha Institute and lives in Denmark.
PART ONE: THE GENERAL PRESENTATION OF MADHYAMAKA IN THE KAGYU TRADITION
1. The Transmission of Madhyamaka from India to Tibet and Its Relation to Vajrayana and Mahamudra
2. The Middle from Beginning to End
What Ts Reality?
No Ground for the Two Realities
The Detailed Explanation of the Two Realities
The Meaning of the Terms
Painting the Sky: A Description of Their Defining Characteristics
Are the Two Realities One or Different?
Seeming Divisions of the Seeming
Dividing Space: Divisions of the Ultimate
A Critical Analysis of Some Other Tibetan Views on the Two Realities in Centrism
The Definite Number of Two Realities and the Purpose of Understanding Them
The Emptiness of Emptiness
Freedom Is the Nature of Not Having a Nature
Elaborations on Simplicity
The Twenty Emptinesses
The Sixteen Emptinesses
The Two Types of Identitylessness
Are the Two Identitylessnesses One or Different?
The Purpose of Teaching Two Identitylessnesses
From Knowledge to Wisdom
How Can Madhyamaka Be a Personal Practice?
Reasoning and Debate in Centrism
Three Stages of Analysis by Nagarjuna and Aryadeva
Is Reasoning Reasonable?
Reasons and Negations
What Is the Object of Negation in Centrist Reasonings?
The Status of Valid Cognition in Centrism
Do Centrists Have a Thesis or Position?
Illusory Lions Killing Illusory Elephants: Empty Reasonings for Liberation
Some Essential Points of Centrist Reasoning
Disillusionment with Phenomenal Identity
The Five Great Madhyamalta Reasonings
Unmasking Personal Identity
The Result of Centrist Reasoned Analysis
Why Is Analytical Meditation Necessary?
Calm Abiding and Superior Insight
Analytical Meditation and Resting Meditation
Working with the Mind in Meditation and Daily Life
How to Practice a Session of Analytical Meditation
The Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness
Mental Nonengagement in Meditation
3. The Distinction between Autonomists and Consequentialists
Classifications of Centrism in India and Tibet
Refutation of Mistaken Assumptions about Autonomists and Consequentialists
The Actual Distinction between Autonomists and Consequentialists
How the Distinction between Autonomists and Consequentialists by Later Tibetans Is a Novelty
The Origin of the Controversy between Autonomists and Consequentialists
Do Hearers and Solitary Realizers Realize Emptiness?
4. Is There Such a Thing as Shentong-Madhyamaka?
The Yogacara System in General
The System of the Lineage of Vast Activity
The Treatment of Yogacara and the Rangtong-Shentong Controversy in Tibet
The Single Final Intention of the Two Philosophical Systems of the Great Vehicle
5. The Distinction between Expedient and Definitive Meaning
6. An Outline of Some Major Differences between Mikyo Dorje’s and Tsongkhapa’s Interpretations of
PART TWO: THE Bodhicaravatara AND PAWO TSUGLA TRENGWA
7. Some Remarks on the Bodhicaiyavatara and Pawo Rinpoche’s Commentary
8. The Ninth Chapter of Pawo Rinpoche’s Commentary on The Entrance to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
Appendix I: A Short Biography of the Second Pawo Rinpoche Tsugla Trengwa
Appendix II: Non-Buddhist Indian Schools
Appendix III: Tibetan Text of the Ninth Chapter of the Bodhicaryavatara