Sacred Ground describes two journeys: a journey outward to specific pilgrimage places in eastern Tibet, and a journey inward to the sacred world of tantra, accessible through contemplation and meditation. It sheds light on Himalayan Buddhists’ concepts of sacred land, places of pilgrimage in tantric Buddhism, and how pilgrimage is undertaken. It enhances our appreciation of the world and its sacred aspect everywhere—first and foremost, where we sit now. On the basis of this judicious choice of rare Tibetan texts, translated here for the first time, correlating inner and outer pilgrimage, this book is of considerable value to the Buddhist practitioner.
Ngawang Zangpo (Hugh Leslie Thompson) completed two three-year retreats under the direction of the late Kalu Rinpoche. He is presently working on a number of translation projects that were initiated under the direction of Chadral Rinpoche and Lama Tharchin Rinpoche…. More about Ngawang Zangpo
“Sacred Ground is a revelation! Here for the first time in any Western language are several key ideas: the exact way outer sacred lands relate to points in the tantric body, and the parallel terminology between the types of sacred ground and the stages of attainment. Ngawang is precise and to the point.”—Hubert Decleer, Director of the Tibetan Studies Program of the School for International Training and author of Lightning Terror
“In his continuing investigation of the mind and world of one of the most significant figures in the development of Tibetan Buddhism, Ngawang Zangpo has again given us a well-researched and richly informative setting to another jewel from Jamgön Kongtrül’s writings. Anyone who is a pilgrim in any sense of the term will find this book fascinating.”—Richard Barron (Chökyi Nyima), translator of Buddhahood without Meditation
“Ngawang Zangpo has done a remarkable job translating and commenting upon the profound and pertinent subject of sacred ground. The reader can gain a welcome appreciation for the various levels of comprehension that accompany this important subject. For many devoted Buddhists, reading this book will be like making a pilgrimage to Do-Kham, and most especially to the sacred land of Tsadra. In addition, this book gives us a basis for further understanding many of the passages and references found in our tantric sadhanas. It is a pleasure to be led through this journey by the mind of a sublime master, the likes of Jamgön Kongtrül, with the additional authoritative clarity of Ngawang’s lively commentary, full of present-day idioms and anecdotes. Sacred Ground is like a rich mineral spring bubbling over with important information that will help Buddhists better appreciate the tremendous talent and profound spiritual realization of these great lineage holders and their lineages, which through their kindness have passed into our hands.”—Sangye Khandro, translator of Perfect Conduct and The Life of Mandarava