Master Dolpopa’s Mountain Doctrine

Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen

Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen

This has been on my wish list for a while now. Published in 2006, this is the first English translation of Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen’s masterpiece titled Mountain Doctrine wherein he gives precise teachings on the rangtong (self-emptiness) and zhentong (other-emptiness) views. I am currently re-reading The Buddha from Dolpo by Cyrus Stearns, which is excellent–both in offering a basic biography of Dolpopa as well as providing many of his arguments regarding Buddhanature and other teachings. Dolpopa was also a master of Kalachakra tantra, and is recognized as such even to this day by many of the Vajrayana lineages (not just the Jonang).

For those who are interested in Buddhadharma but have never heard about Dolpopa, I recommend checking him out (probably starting with The Buddha from Dolpo). Hopefully we will see more from Dolpopa in English, as his collected works are gaining attention in academia.

Other related books of interest:

The Buddha from Dolpo (by Cyrus Stearns)

The Essence of Other-Emptiness (by Jetsun Taranatha. Translated by Jeffrey Hopkins)

The Kalachakra Tantra: The Chapter on Sadhana Together with the Vimalaprabha Commentary (translated by Vesna A. Wallace)

Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation (by Alexander Berzin)

Ornament of Stainless Light (translated by Gavin Kilty)

Resuming Posting…

After about a year of not posting to this blog I am now back and intend on posting semi-regularly again. My blogging (here, at least) was diminished, yet my Dharma practice has continued (which is the important part, I think).

After the teachings on Taranatha’s Lamrim, I also received teachings on Kalachakra. I won’t repeat the details of the latter since they are tantra level teachings, but I will say that they have really opened up the preliminary practices for me. I have also attended teachings (one session of a 4 part session) on Guru Yoga. My gratitude to Khenpo Choejor Gyamtso for his wisdom and kindness in sharing the Dharma to his students.

I have also recently been invited to attend a practice group that has formed at another center. There was one session already, which I missed, yet one friend shared her notes, and another friend called me to fill me in as best he could. I will be attending my first session in two days.

I plan on continuing the Lamrim series of posts on Vajra Vehicle. The next article in that series will be on “Contemplation 2 – The Difficulty of Obtaining a Precious Human Life with its Freedoms and Endowments”. I will also be making additional posts now and again, not specifically related to any series. These are all assigned the “Miscellaneous” Category (for those who use the Category links to order posts when reading content on Vajra Vehicle).

Cleaning – Externally and Internally

Spring Cleaning

It’s time to thoroughly clean my living space! There is a lot of inertia preventing me from doing this right now, so I have decided to transform the experience into an active form of meditation. As I wipe away the dust and grime I imagine I am cleaning the obscurations that cover the radiant clear light mind. As I rearrange the furniture I imagine I am ordering all the parts of my life that are in disarray. As I sweep, vacuum, and mop the floor I imagine I am preparing a sure foundation to stabilize my practice. As I wash the dishes I imagine I am ridding myself of the three poisons (ignorance, attachment, and aversion). At the end of the day I will have a clean and ordered space, and others who come to visit might feel more at peace here. I dedicate any merit accumulated through this practice to the benefit of all beings. #DharmaInEverydayLife

Three Poisons

Three Poisons

Three Poisons

What are the three poisons? Attachment, aversion, and ignorance (represented by the bird, the snake and the pig respectively). All forms of suffering can be traced back to one or more of these three. In very simplistic terms, attachment means clinging, desiring, wanting. If we are attached to something we want to hold on to it and not let go. We want to keep it for ourselves. We are sad or angry if it goes away. Aversion means we do not want something, we want it to go away, we want it removed from our presence. We are sad or angry if it remains. Ignorance means not knowing, a lack of clarity, not seeing things as they really are.

Dharma is full of antidotes for these poisons. Find a dharma-gate that works for you, and enter in. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas stand before us all, encouraging us to become a fully awakened being, a Buddha.

Introduction to the Pledged Bodhicitta Actions for Training and the Root Bodhisattva Vows




This is a series of Dharma teachings on ‘Introduction to the Pledged Bodhicitta Actions for Training and the Root Bodhisattva Vows’ by Dr. Alexander Berzin. It is worth a listen if you are interested in the topics of Bodhicitta and the Bodhisattva way of life.