Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Hidden Teachings of Tibet: An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism
In all religions, sacred texts and objects have appeared miraculously. Among the most remarkable of these revelatory traditions is the terma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Termas herald a fresh opportunity for the renewal of spiritual practice. Here Tulku Thondup Rinpoche tells the story of the terma tradition initiated by Padmasambhava, the ninth-century saint who established Buddhism in Tibet.
The Hidden Teachings of Tibet serves as the core reference work for anyone interested in the terma, or hidden treasure, tradition of Tibet. Tulku Thondup, who has lived in the U.S. since 1980, provides a solid overview of the various types of treasures, how they are concealed and discovered, details on the so-called dakini script in which they are written, and insights into the tertons, or treasure discoverers, themselves. It is all organized in a format that makes for easy reference. Originally published in 1986, the book was issued in paperback in 1997. Tulku Thondup was also a key resource for another valuable book on the terma traditions, Apparitions of the Self by Prof. Janet Gyatso. Reviewer: Lawrence Pintak is a journalist and author who writes frequently on Buddhism and spirituality.