Translations by Laura Swan
Laura Swan began learning Tibetan in 2005 at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, and then continued her studies at Sangye Yeshe and Shechen Shedras, and through private classes with various khenpos. Laura was based in Kathmandu until 2017, and since then she has been living in India and the UK. She has been translating for Samye Translations since 2008, and for 84000, as part of the Dharmachakra Translation Committee, since 2018. She also works for Platform Books, a new Dharma publishing house in Australia and the UK.
Texts translated into English by Laura Swan
Atiśa Dīpaṃkara Śrījñāna imparted this advice to his disciples at the request of Lha Changchub Ö as he was preparing to return to India. In it, he offers basic guidance on how to lead a spiritual life, escape "the swamp of saṃsāra" and reach "the dry shores of liberation."
Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
- A Concise and Essential Offering Ritual for the Guardians of the Doctrine from The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel Guru Heart-Practice by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
A brief offering to the treasure guardians (gter srung mchod pa) for The Guru’s Heart Practice, Wish-Fulfilling Jewel (thugs sgrub yid bzhin nor bu) revelation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa.
This prayer invoking the blessing of the buddhas, bodhisattvas and accomplished practitioners (vidyādharas) of Tibet is taken from the compilation A Shower of Precious Blessings: A Garland of Supplications to Guru Rinpoche, Embodiment of All Refuge Objects, and to the Three Roots and Lineage Masters.
- Advice on Nonsectarianism (from Radiant Sunlight of the Victorious Ones' Teachings: A Brief, First-Hand Account of the Liberating Life-Story of the Great Emanated Treasure Revealer) by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
In an address to disciples, Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa sets out a vision of nonsectarianism, in which he emphasizes the commonality of traditions and decries the divisiveness that periodically plagues Tibet and constitutes an act of forsaking the Dharma.
- Spontaneous Accomplishment of the Fourfold Activity That Bestows the Splendour of the Two Siddhis: A Sādhana of Noble Gesar, Accomplisher of All Aims by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
Chokgyur Lingpa revealed this Gesar practice on the 25th day of the Monkey month in the Fire Rabbit year (1867) following a pure vision. The Second Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche, Könchok Gyurme Tenpé Gyaltsen (1871–1939), later compiled and arranged the treasure text as a sādhana.
- The Concise Cleansing Offering from The Guru’s Heart Practice: Dispelling All Obstacles on the Path by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa revealed this concise smoke offering practice (bsang mchod) as part of the famous cycle known as The Guru's Heart Practice: Dispelling All Obstacles on the Path (bla ma'i thugs sgrub bar chad kun sel).
Chokgyur Lingpa revealed this brief Red Hayagrīva sādhana in 1856. It is part of the Magnetizing Profundity of Hayagrīva, which, in turn, belongs to The Sevenfold Profundity (zab pa skor bdun) collection within the Chokling Tersar.
- The Confession of Downfalls from the Great Compassionate One’s Lotus Uṣṇīṣa by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
This treasure text invoking the Thirty-Five Buddhas of Confession was revealed by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa as part of the cycle of The Great Compassionate One, Lotus Uṣṇīṣa (thugs rje chen po pad+ma gtsug gtor). It presents a concise version of the famous Bodhisattva’s Confession of Downfalls (byang chub sems dpa'i ltung ba bshags pa).
- The Secret Practice of Dorjé Draktsal According to the Trio of the Guru’s Heart Practices by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
Chokgyur Lingpa revealed the secret cycle of The Heart Practice of Mighty Vajra Wrath (Tukdrup Dorjé Draktsal) from Yegyal Namkha Dzö. This particular Guru Draktsal sādhana is regarded as the auxiliary practice to Chokgyur Lingpa’s The Gradual Path of Wisdom Essence (lam rim ye shes snying po).
This concise practice of Guru Dewa Chenpo (gu ru bde ba chen po), the Guru of Great Bliss, was revealed as a terma by Chokgyur Lingpa and transcribed by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye at Tsurpu Monastery.
Chokling Tersé Tulku
- Cloud-Banks of the Two Accumulations: A Feast Offering Including the Six Vajra Lines Prayer to Be Practiced with Any Guru Sādhana by Chokling Tersé Tulku
Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche
- To Nourish Faith: A Brief Account of the Wisdom Deeds of Our Root Guru, the Omnipresent Sovereign Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche by Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche
Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche (b.1951) composed this short biography of his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920–1996), following repeated requests from the khenpos, tulkus, vajra masters, and senior monks of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling, as well as from disciples at Nagi Gompa, Asura Cave retreat centre, and other Dharma centres.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- The Sage who Dispels Mind’s Anguish: Advice from the Guru, the Gentle Protector Mañjuśrī on the Means of Accomplishing the Yogas of Śamatha and Vipaśyanā by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche adapted this teaching on śamatha and vipaśyanā from The White Lotus, Mipham Rinpoche's supportive teaching (rgyab chos) for the Treasury of Blessings sādhana of Buddha Śākyamuni. The text explains how to accomplish both śamatha and vipaśyanā in the context of that practice and clarifies the relationship between Buddha Śākyamuni, the yidam deity and the guru.
A brief rite of amṛta or 'medicinal nectar' offering (sman mchod) to accompany The Guru’s Heart Practice, Wish-Fulfilling Jewel (thugs sgrub yid bzhin nor bu) revelation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa.
Guru Chökyi Wangchuk
- The Dhāraṇīs That Encapsulate the Essence of the Kangyur, the Collected Words of the Buddha revealed by Guru Chökyi Wangchuk
A collection of brief ḍhāraṇīs that are said to encapsulate the essence of the entire Kangyur (bka' 'gyur), or Collected Words of the Buddha, and serve as a powerful means of purification when recited.
Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
- Calling the Guru From Afar: A Prayer to Pierce the Heart with Devotion by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
This popular song of devotion composed by the celebrated Rimé (ecumenical) master Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé has two parts: the first an invocation of the great holders of various lineages, and the second a declaration of one's own faults and a request for the guru's aid in overcoming them and attaining realization.
- Cloud-Banks of Everything Desirable: The Wealth Deity Smoke Offering from The Guru’s Heart Practice, Dispeller of All Obstacles by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
- Liberation Through Training in the Realm of Amitābha, Boundless Light by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
This concise ritual for cultivating the pure realm of Amitābha was arranged by Jamgön Kongtrul based on Chokgyur Lingpa’s Amitābha sādhana from the Essence Manual of Oral Instructions (zhal gdams snying byang). The practice forms the sixth of eleven modes of liberation in Kongtrul's Wondrous Ocean: An Elucidation of the Application of the Eleven Modes of Liberation of the Sambhogakāya, Tamer of Beings (longs sku 'gro 'dul gyi las rim grol ba bcu gcig gi lag len gsal byed ngo mtshar rgya mtsho).
- Music to Adorn the Illusory Display: A Concise Explanation of the Nature of the Feast Offering by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
This description of gaṇacakra, preserved in The Treasury of Extensive Teachings (rgya chen bka’ mdzod), presents a clear Nyingma perspective on the practice of gaṇacakra. The text does not refer to any particular sādhana, but offers a generic explanation that is remarkable for its clarity and detail.
- Song of the Illusory Display: The Lineage Prayer for the Heart-Essence of the Deathless Lake-Born Vajra by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
- Splendid Treasure of Twofold Accomplishment: The Lineage Prayer for The Guru’s Heart Practice, Wish-Fulfilling Jewel by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
This simple practice of 'freeing lives' (tshe thar), which is included in the Rinchen Terdzö, was arranged by Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche, who drew mainly upon The Innermost Secret, Unsurpassed Longevity Practice (tshe sgrub yang gsang bla med) of Longsal Nyingpo (1625–1692).
- Wellspring of Bounty for the Fortunate: A Guru Yoga of the Three Family Lords by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
A guru yoga featuring the three great nonsectarian masters Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, and Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thayé as embodiments of the Lords of the Three Families—Avalokiteśvara, Mañjuśrī and Vajrapāṇi.
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- Net of the Illusory Display: The Root Sādhana from the Heart-Essence of the Deathless Lake-Born Vajra by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
In 1848, at the age of twenty-eight, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo had a vision in which he was blessed by Guru Rinpoche, who then dissolved into his heart. As a result, the root practice of Guru Tsokyé Nyingtik, the Heart-Essence of the Lake-Born Guru, arose in Khyentse Wangpo’s mind, and he immediately wrote down its activity manual.
- The Chariot Bound for Sukhāvatī, the Blissful Realm: The Liturgy for Cultivating Buddha Amitābha’s Pure Realm by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
According to the colophon, this elaborate ritual for cultivating the pure realm of Amitābha was compiled by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo at the passing of Chokgyur Lingpa’s mother, Tsering Yangtso. Taking Chokgyur Lingpa’s treasure Amitābha sādhana from the Essence Manual of Oral Instructions (zhal gdams snying byang) as a basis, Khyentse Wangpo added further instructions and verses, primarily from The Array of Amitābha Sūtra (Toh 49, 'od dpag med kyi bkod pa) and The King of Aspiration Prayers (bzang spyod smon lam).
- The Essence of Cintāmaṇi: A Daily Practice of the Great Compassionate One, Wish-fulfilling Wheel by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Fulfiller of All Wishes, the Ritual Manual from The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel Guru Heart-Practice by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
The longer sādhana, or ritual manual (las byang), for the The Guru’s Heart-Practice, Wish-Fulfilling Jewel (thugs sgrub yid bzhin nor bu), which was jointly revealed by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa at Drak Rinchen Barwa on November 16, 1858.
- The Melody of Complete Accomplishment: A Prayer to Those Praised as Ornaments of the Practice Lineage by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
Jamyang Khyentse says that he wrote this four-verse prayer to the founders of the practice lineage, i.e., Marpa Lotsāwa, Milarepa and Gampopa, in the first month of the Wood Ox year (1865) following a dream.
Jedrung Jampa Jungné
- Concise Mahāmudrā Preliminary Practice from the New and Old Secret Mantra’s Ripening and Liberating Practices of Generation and Completion by Jedrung Jampa Jungné
Jedrung Jampa Jungné composed this guru sādhana following a vision of the ḍākinī Kadalī. It involves a self-visualisation of Cakrasaṃvara and a front-visualisation of Vajradhara surrounded by the Eighty-Four Mahāsiddhas.
Jokyab Pema Trinlé Nyingpo
This guru yoga for Lord Marpa Chökyi Lodrö (c.1012–1097), together with his four main disciples (Tsurtön Wanggi Dorje, Ngok Chöku Dorje, Metön Tsönpo and Milarepa), is part of a series of three guru yoga practices focussing on Marpa, Milarepa and Gampopa.
- Vajra Net: The Ancillary Preliminary and Concluding Practices for the Three Drops, the Guru Yogas for Venerable Marpa, Mila, and Gampopa by Jokyab Pema Trinlé Nyingpo
- Extensive Instructions on the Transference of Consciousness to the Land of Great Bliss by Karma Chakme
This famous commentary on the 'transference of consciousness' ('pho ba; Skt. saṃkrānti/utkrānti) describes the various forms of the practice in general and the specific details of the Namchö (gnam chos) transference in particular. It offers instructions on how to perform the transference both for oneself and others.
- The Swift Steed of Garuḍa, King of Birds: An Instruction for Travelling to Sukhāvatī: A Visualization and Recitation of Uṣnīṣa-Sitātapatrā by Karma Chakme
To practise this short sādhana of the deity Sitātapatrā (gdugs dkar, “White Parasol”) is, in the words of the text itself, "to hold aloft an indestructible vajra sword that can avert disease, obstacles, black magic, evil spells and all oppressing forces." The sādhana is also said to be a swift means of travelling to Sukhāvatī, akin to flying on the back of a garuḍa.
Karme Khenpo Rinchen Dargye
- Gathering the Siddhis of Fortune: A Fulfilment Practice for Lama Norlha by Karme Khenpo Rinchen Dargye
- The Heart of the Matter: A Lineage Prayer for the Excellent Vase of Jewels Wealth Practice by Karme Khenpo Rinchen Dargye
Neten Chokling Ngedön Drubpe Dorje
- Vast Clouds of Samantabhadra’s Display: A Ritual of Worship to Delight the Teacher, his Eight Heart-Sons, and their Retinue by Neten Chokling Ngedön Drubpe Dorje
A ritual for paying homage to the Buddha and eight main bodhisattvas as a means of generating bodhicitta. The text belongs to The Great Compassionate One, Lotus Uṣṇīṣa (thugs rje chen po pad+ma gtsug gtor) cycle within the Chokling Tersar.
Nyala Pema Dündul
- Eradicating Downfalls by Reciting the Names of the Buddhas: The Swift Path to Complete Awakening in a Single Instant revealed by Nyala Pema Düdul
This practice of invoking and paying homage to various buddhas is said to be a powerful means of purifying obscurations and accumulating merit, tantamount to reciting the Kangyur in its entirety. It belongs to the Profound Secret Teachings of The Natural Liberation Pervading Space (mkha' khyab rang grol) revelation.
Shechen Gyaltsab Gyurme Pema Namgyal
- A Clear, Concise and Simple Explanation of the Generation and Completion Stages for the Benefit of Beginners by Shechen Gyaltsab Gyurme Pema Namgyal
This pithy text provides beginners with a clear, comprehensible explanation of kyerim (bskyed rim), or the generation stage, including all the most important points of practice, such as the three samādhis, four aspects of recitation, and four stakes that secure the life-force (srog sdom gzer bzhi).
Situ Pema Nyinjé Wangpo
A simple feast-offering liturgy to facilitate the accumulation of tsok offerings by means of The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel Guru Heart-Practice, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Wishes (bla ma’i thugs sgrub yid bzhin nor bu bsam pa lhun grub ma).
Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche
- A Concise Guru Sādhana of My Sublime Father, Karma Urgyen Tsewang Chokdrup Pelbar by Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche
- The Concise Excellent Vase of Jewels: A Wealth Practice of Kyechok Tsülzang arranged by Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche
This practice invokes Lama Norlha as Kyechok Tsülzang (skyes mchog tshul bzang), the third of Guru Padmasambhava’s twelve emanations according to the Tukdrup Barché Kunsel (thugs sgrub bar chad kun sel) maṇḍala. Jamgön Kongtrul created a sādhana from Chokgyur Lingpa's original revelation, which Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche here abbreviates and, in places, augments.