Vipashyana: The Key Texts in the Tibetan Tradition
The fourth in a series on vipashyana, this course will focus on the main source texts from the Tibetan tradition. We will read selected presentations of vipashyana from “how-to” meditation manuals, from the wisdom paramita sections of lamrim (gradual stages of the path) texts, and from the sutra mahamudra sections of major mahamudra practice manuals. These include, but are not limited to:
- Vimalamitra’s Stages of Meditation
- Tsongkhapa’s Large Gradual Stages of the Path
- Dakpo Tashi Namgyal’s Moonbeams of Mahamudra
- Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche’s Mind at Ease
- Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye’s Treasury of Knowledge
- Mipham’s Wheel of Investigative Meditation, with a commentary by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s The Sage Who Dispels the Mind’s Anguish
- Ga Rajampa’s presentation of the absolute bodhicitta slogans from his commentary on the slogans of Atisha titled Whispered Bodhisattva Teachings
The Tibetan sources draw their structure and inspiration from three main Indian sources:
- Nagarjuna’s Bodhicittavivarana (circa 2nd century CE), which seems to be the earliest text to present a systematized scheme of four main stages in the practice of vipashyana.
- "The Questions of Maitreya," the famous eighth chapter of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra, The Sutra Explaining the Intention, (recorded circa 2nd– 3rd century CE, attributed to the Buddha), which extensively presents the nature, development and fruition of shamatha and vipashyana.
- The Bhavanakramas of Kamalashila (circa late 8th century CE), which he composed as a condensation of the entire system of meditation as it had been fleshed out by the then fully developed Mahayana tradition of his day.