Gates to Buddhist Practice by Chagdud Tulku

Chagdud Tulku. Gates to Buddhist Practice: Essential Teachings of a Tibetan Master. Junction City, Cal.: Padma Publishing, rev. ed. 2001. Paperback, 285 pages.

His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche is a widely respected Vajrayana Buddhist master, healer, artist, and physician, who is the abbot of the Chagdud Gonpa established in 1131 A.D. He has also authored Life in Relation to Death and the autobiography Lord of the Dance. He left Tibet in 1959 and started to teach in the US twenty years later. In 1983, he established Chagdud Gonpa Foundation, which has centers throughout the United States, South America, and Europe.

The present book is based on his numerous talks and responses to students’ questions over the past decade. It can serve as an excellent primer on Vajrayana Buddhist Yoga. Rinpoche’s language is straightforward and filled with memorable similes, practical examples, and anecdotes. His answers to students are so simple in their truth that we might be tempted to think we would have given the same answers ourselves. Wisdom, in the final analysis, is always simple, and this book brims with wisdom.

It is very helpful in this revised edition to also see the questions posed by students, as many of them crowd our own mind at one time or another. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche is obviously a highly skillful teacher whose words are charged with a power to transform others. We can readily believe him when he states: “The lama is like a mold that shapes the student’s mind. A student won’t develop good qualities from a poor teacher, but will benefit without fail by following a good teacher’s instructions” (p. 57).

Rinpoche addresses all the important issue a beginning student might want to know, and his answers certainly also provide food for thought for more seasoned practitioners.

Originally reviewed © Copyright 2001. All rights reserved

Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in any form requires prior permission from Traditional Yoga Studies.

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