James Low: Finding Freedom

Dear Dharma friends,
We are very pleased to announce our forthcoming book, today on the full moon where in Tibet the birth, enlightenment and paranirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni is celebrated. The book consist of profound introductions and revised translations of classical and some more recent works, most of which had been first translated under the supervision of Chimed Rigdzin Rinpoche. These texts, which were very important to him, are of immense value for our practice, e.g. to deal with everyday difficulties, to recognize and include the cause-and-effect principle in our path, to recognize emotions and their cause and to cut off the illusory ego, or, in the final section, to experience and realize emptiness in its diversity through the wide all-inclusive view of Dzogchen. All texts are a deep inspiration and this collection shows the great richness of Buddhist teaching. We would be delighted if these treasures would lead to results in your practice and to real understanding.

Finding Freedom

Texts from the Theravadin, Mahayana and Dzogchen Buddhist traditions

introduced and translated by
James Low

From the book cover:
This book offers three approaches to awakening. The first section, Fighting the Good Fight, is concerned with how we can commit ourselves to the mindful activity of renouncing our familiar and often comforting limiting habits. Here the orientation is towards leaving our familiar ego-home and going on a journey to seek something which seems only to be available elsewhere.

The second section, Mistaken Identities, points to how we can develop the honesty and courage to face our lives as they manifest, resolving our limiting habits and releasing ourselves from misleading identities. Here the orientation is towards recognising how our self-centredness has harmed others and made us blind to our interdependency.

The third section, Sweet Simplicity, is concerned with how we can relax and release ourselves from all limiting habits and thus effortlessly abide in our limitless intrinsic freedom. Here the orientation is towards awakening to the actuality of our mind as it is.

These three sections are quite different in tone, yet are harmonious and compatible in their underlying message of freedom. The Buddha offered all he was to help us, and if we offer ourselves fully to the path we will awaken with the same smile he offers us.

The book contains The Dhammapada by Buddha Shakyamuni, the Sharp Weapon Wheel by Dharmarakshita, and four Dzogchen texts by Tulku Tsulo, Gonpo Wangyal, Ayu Khandro and the famous Kunzang Mönlam – The Evocation of Samantabhadra. All texts were translated from Tibetan by James Low with the guidance of C R Lama and have been revised for this book. Each section is accompanied by a comprehensive introduction that touches the depth and heart of Buddha‘s teaching and points to the end of sorrow for all beings and the attainment of lasting freedom.

292 pages, 1 colour picture, hardcover, approx. 600g, 30 €, forthcoming at 4th of August 2019, ISBN: 978-3-942380-27-0

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About the texts in the book (taken from the introduction):

The text presented in the first section, Fight the Good Fight, is The Dhammapada which sets out clearly the importance of ethics as the necessary frame of reference if we wish our experience to be fulfilling. Negative actions lead to negative consequences and positive actions lead to positive consequences. This may seem over-simplistic and even naïve but such a sense of the determinism inherent in the unfolding of cause and effect provides a perspective, a distance from enmeshment, that allows us to review our intentions in the light of both their short and long-term outcomes. Activity of body, voice, and mind generates its own outcomes and consequences. No other, no god or devil, is rewarding or punishing us. It is the logic of intention and enactment that drives the multiplicity of possible resultant experiences.

The second section, Mistaken Identities, belongs to the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism and focuses on the famous text, The Sharp Weapon Wheel. This beautiful and moving text highlights the power of karma and the terrible fact that we cannot evade the consequences of our actions except by awakening from our own dualistic delusions. We have mistaken the rich display of emptiness for endless real entities and this mistaken identification will have ever-multiplying consequences if we do not recognise what has happened. When we separate self and other and act as if we were more important than others, this self-cherishing hides our own potential and blinds us to the potential of others.

The third section, Sweet Simplicity, presents four short texts. The first, Lamp Clarifying the Essentials, by Tsultrim Zangpo, also known as Tulku Tsulo, offers an account of emptiness that opens the way to the Dzogchen tradition of Buddhism, the central focus of the other three texts. Tulku Tsulo highlights the importance of the ground or source. If you know where things come from then you have more sense of what they are. The next text is The Evocation of Samantabhadra which is believed to be the actual statement of the primordial Buddha. It shows clearly and in detail how the infinite dramas of the six realms of samsara are enacted within the theatre or sphere of the unborn mind. This sets the frame for Gonpo Wangyal’s brief introduction to the mind as it is. This Uncovering the Presence of the Mother of all the Buddhas is a practice text and each sentence can be activated by sitting with it in opening presence. The concluding text by Ayu Khandro is also a brief Dzogchen practice text: The Record of the Heart-felt Advice of the Dakini. It is an excellent reminder for those who have received many teachings and also functions well as a first taste of how to become aware as awareness. For more information see the full introduction below.

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