Friday, October 10, 2008
Old Man Basking in the Sun - Longchenpa's Treasury of Natural Perfection
Dzogchen is the apotheosis of Tibetan Buddhism and Longchenpa is the pre-eminent master of Dzogchen and one of Tibet's greatest mystical poets. The verses of his Treasury of Natural Perfection (Gnas lugs mdzod) written in the fourteenth century encompass and epitomize the radical precepts of Dzogchen while his auto-commentary elaborates their meaning through a concise prose paraphrase and with illustrative quotations from the Collection of Tantras of the Ancients (Rnying ma rgyud 'bum). Transcending the Tibetan context, Longchenpa delivers a manual of wisdom for all people at all times and shows why the western world has turned to Tibet for its mystical inspiration during the last half century. This transmission of timeless wisdom of the Ancients of Tibet should take its place amongst the world's religious classics. Through the precept 'nonaction' - which is savoured like 'an old man basking in the sun' - Dzogchen teaches the natural perfection of all our experience, and all our lives, just as it is, without need of any alteration. This discipline provides the key not only to our inner enlightenment but to the health and survival of our planet.