Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Mipam on Buddha-Nature: The Ground of the Nyingma Tradition - Douglas S. Duckworth
A comprehensive overview of Tibetan Buddhist thinker Mipam's work on emptiness and Buddha-nature.
Mipam ('ju mi pham rgya mtsho, 1846-1912) is one of the most prolific thinkers in the history of Tibet and is a key figure in the Nyingma tradition of Buddhism. His works continue to be widely studied in the Tibetan cultural region and beyond. This book provides an in-depth account of Mipam's view, drawing on a wide range of his works and offering several new translations. Douglas S. Duckworth shows how a dialectic of presence and absence permeates Mipam's writings on the Middle Way and Buddha-nature.
Arguably the most important doctrine in Buddhism, Buddha-nature is, for Mipam, equivalent to the true meaning of emptiness; it is the ground of all and the common ground shared by sentient beings and Buddhas. This ground is the foundation of the path and inseparable from the goal of Buddhahood. Duckworth probes deeply into Mipam's writings on Buddha-nature to illuminate its central place in a dynamic Buddhist philosophy.
"The author brings impressive detail and erudition to bear on this topic; he is clearly well read in the relevant Tibetan materials, the Indian background, and relevant contemporary scholarship. This book represents a significant contribution to the fields of Tibetan and Buddhist studies, and it fills a gap in our knowledge of Nyingma philosophy."