A Chariot to Freedom: Guidance from the Great Masters on the Vajrayana Preliminary Practices (Hardcover)

A Chariot to Freedom: Guidance from the Great Masters on the Vajrayana Preliminary Practices By Padmakara Translation Group (Translated by), Shechen Gyaltsap, IV, Schechen Gyaltsap Gyurme Pema Namgyal Cover Image

A Chariot to Freedom: Guidance from the Great Masters on the Vajrayana Preliminary Practices (Hardcover)


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A unique commentary on the preliminary practices of Vajrayāna Buddhism, from a beloved Nyingma master.

A Chariot to Freedom is one of the most beloved presentations of the preliminary practices, or ngöndro, that form the foundation of the Vajrayāna Buddhist path. This set of practices, common to all schools of Himalayan Buddhism, is what nearly every practitioner begins with, yet it also constitutes a complete method in and of itself. Although ngöndro are considered a prerequisite for further teachings and initiations into other practices, many of even the most accomplished masters continue to engage in them every day.

Most of the other excellent works on these foundational techniques are specific to a particular tradition, but this text is widely considered to be exemplary, in part, because it is applicable to all traditions of ngöndro. Drawing from the original words of the Buddha in the sūtras and from later treatises by such masters as Nāgārjuna, Shāntideva, and Guru Padmasambhava, Shechen Gyaltsap’s commentary is a wonderfully curated anthology of Buddhist teachings on the preliminary practices of Vajrayāna Buddhism. It covers the thoughts that turn one’s mind away from ordinary pursuits and toward enlightenment, taking refuge, arousing the mind set on enlightenment (bodhichitta), purification, maṇḍala offering, and Guru Yoga.

Shechen Gyaltsap explains why each practice is beneficial and provides profound and eminently useful guidance for practitioners, while simultaneously transmitting the wisdom of generations of Buddhist masters.
SHECHEN GYALTSAP (1871–1926) was one of Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche's closest disciples and the root teacher of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He was recognized at a very young age to possess the qualities of a bodhisattva and went on to become a devoted monk, scholar, and accomplished master of the Great Perfection, known for his warmth and simplicity. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche said that Shechen Gyaltsap's teachings were "worth more than all the gold in the entire world."
Product Details ISBN: 9781611804584
ISBN-10: 1611804582
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: January 11th, 2022
Pages: 760
Language: English
“Shechen Gyaltsap was a master of exceptional experience and vast learning. . . .[T]his unique presentation of the preliminaries (ngöndro) captures the essence of the entire Buddha Dharma. Anyone, from any background, will be able to apply it to their practice and derive great benefit from it. It is my sincere wish that whoever reads this book will take it to heart and blend it with their practice of meditation.”—The Seventh Shechen Rabjam

“In Vajrayāna, the success of any practice comes down to the preliminary practices (ngöndro). In A Chariot to Freedom, Shechen Gyaltsap Rinpoche . . . provides us with a wonderful guide. It lays the foundation of genuine meditation and allows the vast and profound teachings to unfold within our experience. I pray that this book will inspire you to traverse the spiritual path.”—Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche

“One day . . . Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche received in his room in Nepal a print of A Chariot to Freedom, which had been brought from Shechen Monastery in Eastern Tibet. He held it on top of his head and told us, ‘To me, this book is more precious than all the gold in the world.’ Needless to say, to now have this text beautifully translated into English is an invaluable gift to all dharma practitioners.”—Matthieu Ricard, author of Enlightened Vagabond