Straight from the Heart: Buddhist pith instructions
Straight from the Heart brings together an inspiring collection of Buddhist teachings, songs of realization, meditation instructions, and enlightened poetry all chosen for their power to speak directly to the student. Drawn from Indian Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, as well as from all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, some will impress with their beautiful poetry and powerful imagery; others with their profound power of instruction. Still others share personal advice for life that seems to come directly from the mouth of the author, and some serve as immediate and profound practice instructions. Several are just delightfully unconventional, even outrageous, letting in fresh air on petrified views or musty traditions. Most of them are simply unknown precious gems which deserve a wider audience.
Each of the works is preceded by a brief introduction and a short biography of its author. Many of these are legendary accounts of supernatural feats, edifying examples for students on the same spiritual path meant to expand their limited outlook with mind-blowing stories.
Miraculous deeds, magnificent songs, and pithy instructions distinguish this collection assembled by Buddhist scholar and translator Karl Brunnholzl. Drawing on Indian mahayana and vajrayana Buddhism as well as all four lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, Brunnholzl's years of work among dharma texts and his skill as a translator yield a rich mine of teachings, all chosen for their ability to speak directly to the heart.
"Essential teachings… The deepest insights are presented here straight from the heart. I consider this a great contribution to the study of Buddhism."
"In the preface to Straight from the Heart: Buddhist Pith Instructions, translator Karl Brunnholzl aptly compares his new anthology to a box of fine chocolates. There is a tremendous variety within the collection, and, as with chocolates, these unique and rich poems, songs, and pithy treatises are best appreciated one or two at a time…. For readers who enjoy a book that may be repeatedly dipped into for inspiration, Straight from the Heart is a very deep well indeed. Brunnholzl strives for a balance of precision and clarity in his translations that make these esoteric instructions more accessible, and his commentaries contextualize the verses just enough without burying them in too much explanation."
"Straight from the Heart: Buddhist Pith Instructions is an exciting new collection of poetry, songs, meditation instructions, and philosophical works by Indian and Tibetan Buddhist masters, much of which has previously been unavailable in Western languages. The eminently capable translator, Karl Brunnholzl, has made his selections from the writings of such famous teachers as Nagarjuna, Asanga, and the Karmapas of Tibet as well as from those of lesser known teachers. Each selection is prefaced by an introduction and a biographical sketch of its author, and is copiously annotated. The result is a compendium of profound and witty writings that will delight, inform, and inspire all who are interested in the Buddhist spiritual path."
—Elizabeth Callahan, editor and translator of The Treasury of Knowledge, Book Six, Part Three: Frameworks of Buddhist Philosophy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karl Brunnhölzl was trained as a physician and presently works as a Tibetan translator and Buddhist teacher. He studied Tibetology, Buddhology, and Sanskrit at Hamburg University in Germany, and Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy and practice at the Marpa Institute for Translators in Kathmandu (under the direction of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche). In 1990 he received the traditional Tibetan title of "dharma tutor" (Tib. skyor dpon) after completing a five-year course in higher Buddhist philosophy at Kamalashila Institute. Since 2000 he has worked as a translator, interpreter, and teacher under the direction of The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche at the Nitartha Institute in Canada, Germany, and Seattle, Washington. He is the author of The Center of the Sunlit Sky (2004), the first in-depth study of the Kagyu interpretation of Madhyamaka in any western language, and is the translator of In Praise of Dharmadhatu by Nagarjuna, with commentary by the Third Karmapa.
In Praise of Prajnaparamita by Rahulabhadra with a Commentary by Rongdon Sheja Kiinrig
Three Praises by Nagarjuna
A Summary of the Stages of Meditating on the Ultimate Bodhicitta by Ashvaghosha
A Presentation of the Three Natures and Nonconceptual Wisdom by Asanga
Instruction on the Three Natures by Vasubandhu
Nine Stanzas on Prajnaparamita and Their Autocommentary by Kambala
From The Prayer Requested by Namke Nyingbo by Padmasambhava
The Great Stanzas on Prajnaparamita by Aryadeva
Two Texts by Atisa
Pith Instructions on Mahamudra by Tilopa with a Commentary by the Fifth Shamarpa, Goncho Yenla
The Entrance into the Prajna of Madhyamaka by Chandrakirti
On Maitripa and His Cycle of Twenty-five Works on Mental Nonengagement, Including Sahajavajra's Commentary on the Ten Stanzas on True Reality
Vajrayudha's Praise to Manjusri with a Commentary by Jamyang Kyentse Wangbo
Padampa Sangye's Meetings with Milarepa and the Nun Dudsi Gyi
Gampopa's Song When He Reached Enlightenment
Three Songs by Rechungba
The Song about the Few by Baromba Tarma Wangchug
The Great Elimination of Obstaclesby Kyobpa Jigden Sumgon
Two Songs by Tragba Gyaltsen
Two Texts by Sakya Pandita
A Song on Impermanence by the Omniscient Longchen Rabjam
Songs for and by the Mahasiddha Tangrong Gyalbo
Supplication to the Tagbo Kagyu by Pengar Jambel Sangbo with a Commentary by Thrangu Rinpoche
The Lamp That Illuminates the Four Dharmas by the Fourth Shamarpa, Chokyi Tragba Yeshe Balsangbo
A Song to the Guru by Sakya Chogden
Lord Milarepa's Instructions to Master Gampopa with a Commentary by the Eighth Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje
A Pronouncement of Realization: A Song on View, Meditation, Conduct, and Fruition by the Sixth Shamarpa, Chokyi Wangchug
The Song of Supplicating Machig Labdron by Karma Chagme
A Song on the View by Janggya Rolpe Dorje with a Commentary by Ju Mipham Rinpoche
A Song on the View by the Thirteenth Karmapa, Dudul Dorje
Two Poems by Patrul Rinpoche
Pointing Out Instructions by Kiinkyen Dashi Oser
Pith Instructions on Mahamudra by Ju Mipham Rinpoche
Instruction to Practice the Divine Dharma with Pith by Gendun Chopel
Appendix: The Four Great and Eight Lesser Kagyu Schools
Glossary: English-Sanskrit- Tibetan