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The Flight of the Garuda

The Dzogchen Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

by Keith Dowman

Dzogchen, a tradition of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, is considered by many to be an extremely powerful path to enlightenment. This ground-breaking book offers translations of four sacred texts of the Dzogchen tradition: Secret Instruction in a Garland of Vision, The Flight of the Garuda, Emptying the Depths of Hell, and the Wish-Granting Prayer of Kuntu Zangpo. With an informative introduction by the translator, Flight of the Garuda is an invaluable resource for both practice and scholarship.

Flight of the Garuda conveys the heart advice of one of the most beloved nonsectarian masters of Tibet. Ordained as a Gelug monk, the itinerant yogi Shabkar was renowned for his teachings on Dzogchen, the heart practice of the Nyingma lineage. He wandered the countryside of Tibet and Nepal, turning many minds toward the Dharma through his ability to communicate the essence of the teachings in a poetic and crystal-clear way. Buddhists of all stripes, including practitioners of Zen and Vipassana, will find ample sustenance within the pages of this book, and be thrilled by the lyrical insights conveyed in Shabkar's words.

Along with the song by Shabkar, translator Keith Dowman includes several other seminal Dzogchen texts. Dzogchen practice brings us into direct communion with the subtlemost nature of our experience, the unity of samsara in nirvana as experienced within our own consciousness. Within the Nyingma school, it is held higher than even the practices of tantra for bringing the meditator face to face with the nature of reality.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: BuddhismReligion & Spirituality

Reading time: 56 hours


Sam Harris
Neuroscientist, Philosopher, Author and Podcaster

There’s no book out there that is free of the superstition and religiosity you tend to get with books about Buddhism or Advaita Vedanta, the Hindu teachings of non-duality. So with that caveat in mind, I will recommend “In the Dzogchen Tradition,” which if you’ve read Waking Up, you know is the center of the bullseye as far as meditative wisdom. There’s one book called The Flight of the Garuda, which I think is especially beautiful and wise.