Friday, July 9, 2010

Timeless Rapture

Timeless Rapture: Inspired Verse from the Shangpa Masters
Throughout history awakened ones have celebrated the rapture of mystical states with inspired verse, sung extemporaneously. This book offers a rare glimpse into the mysticism of the Shangpa Kagyu lineage, a tradition based mainly on the profound teaching of 2 women. This compendium of spontaneous verse sung by tantric Buddhist masters from the 10th century to the present includes translations as well as short descriptions of each poet's life and a historical overview of the lineage.
Ngawang Zangpo's fluid translation and rich commentary truly brings us into the presence of the extra-ordinary masters of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition. As we listen to their verse, we are transported by their devotion, awakened wisdom, and blessing to the Vajra world that has become their home."- Lama Drupgyu Tenzin A selection of excerpts from Timeless Rapture follow.

In Nepal, I once translated for a Tibetan lama visited by both Westerners and Tibetans. As the private interviews were given at random, I stayed in the room while he spoke directly with Tibetans who came for his advice. On one occasion, an ordinary Tibetan woman in her 40s50s asked a question, which I hadn't listened to, and which the yogi began to answer in normal, conversational language. He then abruptly switched into song. He continued for a few minutes, singing his advice to her in verses that seemed to me both fluid and impromptu. It was stunning. There was a naked meeting of minds between them that produced the song. Yes, if one were technical about it, there was a singer and a listener, two bodies and two faces, one of which had tears streaming down it. But there were less than two minds in that encounter, or even less than one mind: there was only nondual wisdom and the song that emerged from it.



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