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The Words of My Perfect Teacher

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,887 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Featuring a preface by Dalai Lama, a classic handbook written in the nineteenth century outlines the spiritual practices common to all Tibetan Buddhist traditions and makes them accessible through examples from daily life. Original. 10,000 first printing.
Paperback, Revised, 457 pages
Published October 27th 1998 by Shambhala Publications (first published 1991)
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4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,887 ratings  ·  46 reviews


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Paul
Sep 01, 2010 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paul by: A lady at a Tibetan book shop
My favorite quote so far...

There is not a single being in samsara, this immense ocean of suffering, who in the course of time without beginning has never been our father or mother. When they were our parents, these beings' only thought was to raise us with the greatest possible kindness, protecting us with great love and giving us the very best of their own food and clothing... Tell yourself: "It is for their well-being that I am going to listen to the profound Dharma and put it into practice."
Nate
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is what they call a potential "Game changer of life". If you take it seriously and read it carefully, then it is one that can change your life. It is non sectarian (drime), funny, sad, blunt, poetic, graceful, scholarly, sacred, poignant, direct, circumspect and always wise. How many books do you know that fit this category? It has already deeply changed my friend's life who is Islamic and changing the priorities of his life for the real, practical and to become a kinder, humbler, wise ...more
Henry
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A book that all Vajrayana Buddhists should have. Consider this, I just know a couple of English-speaking Vajrayana Buddhists in person, and two of them recommended this book to me. Although written as a beginner's guide of preliminary practice Longchen Nyingthik of Nyingma school, it includes many fundamental Dharma teachings that apply to all schools and traditions. The translation "preliminary" is misguiding, my root guru Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said, because even some great achieved lamas ...more
Vanessa
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dharma
still reading. it is beautifully written.

okay...finished, well sort of. some of this is not appropriate for where i am on my path, very dense information and descriptions of very formal procedures on taking refuge, vows, following a teacher, guru yoga, etc. some of this text was incredibly humbling and inspiring and some felt quite rigid and strict, written for monks in a different cultural context. this would be a good book to have on hand to refer to and return to as one journeys on the Buddhi
...more
Suzanne Arcand
This book is 2/3 great and 1/3 interesting only for people who are fascinated by the minutes details of Tibetan Buddhism.

I need to come clean and say up front that for years I belonged to a Tibetan Buddhist church. I still consider myself Buddhist but reading Words of my Perfect Teacher helped me understand my discomfort with Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism in general.

The first three chapters are very useful for any practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. They are not however to be recommended as an in
...more
Keith
Jul 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: practitioners of Nyingma Buddhist tantra
A clear, though not concise, guide to the preliminary practices ("ngöndrö") of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Vajrayana (tantric Buddhism). While specifically focusing on the Longchen Nyingtig ("Heart Essence of Longchen Rabjampa") terma tradition in the lineage of Jigme Lingpa, the exposition is equally applicable to virtually any Dzogchen ngöndrö system (though the few details given regarding specific visualizations may need to be modified to fit the practitioner's sadhana subject to the instru ...more
Mary Overton
"In ancient times, when Sakyamuni [The Buddha of our time] in a previous life was a king called Padma, a serious epidemic broke out amongst his subjects and many of them died. The king called the doctors and asked how the disease should be treated.

"'This sickness can be cured with the flesh of the rohita fish,' they said. 'But the disease has so obscured our minds that we can think of no other remedy.'

"On the morning of an auspicious day the king bathed, donned new clothing and performed a cerem
...more
Isaac Spencer
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
Patrul's words are like pouring the juiciest, sweetest balm onto a dry, desicated heart. The result being that one knows what is important in life and all the ways one fools oneself.

Patrul doesn't mince words. There are no fluffy bunnies to be found here.

Patrul's words are a blast in the ear of those (including myself) asleep with selfishness.
Travis
Sep 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Very fundamentalist take on Vajrayana Buddhism. Prepare for lots of elaborate descriptions of hell realms. Not your typical feel-good, yuppie Buddhism.
Amie
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Five stars! Buried in here is the strangest little poem. I would tell you about it, but it ends with the line "keep this in your heart, don't go telling people about it"
Arnaud Versluys
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is the seminal primer to understand and practice the ngondro or preliminaries in the Nyingma Nyingthig tradition. I first read it 15 years ago and i find myself coming back to it over and over and discovering fresh instructions each time! 🙏🏻
Erica Jones
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism, reviews
I believe this text is best understood with its historical context and intended audience in mind, i.e., written by a Tibetan guru born in 1808, died in 1887, so rather don't skip over the several introductions to the text, which includes a historical overview of the development of Tibetan Buddhism. I very much enjoyed the vernacular language and ordinary expressions and speech used in this translation, coming to feel a close familiarity with the occasionally ornery-sounding Rinpoche, with his en ...more
Alonzo
I read this out of curiosity more than out of a desire to live this way. Tibetan Buddhism is the most ritualistic and "religious" of the forms of Buddhism that I have looked at so far. And, a lot of the information in this book is meant to be used in conjunction with the oral transmission of a qualified teacher. Much of it seems to require the learner/practitioner/student to live monastically, but apart from that, the teaching on equalizing and exchanging, and on bodhicitta are worth the time to ...more
J
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As someone who has spent a lot of time reading and being involved in Tibeten Buddhism, I rate this book. It's a solid translation of the original text and has a foreward by HH as well as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. For non Buddhists, I am not sure how much the book would appeal but it still provides an excellent summation of the Tibetan perspective. I am currently holidaying overseas with foreign language bookstores everywhere so it is a companion I am really glad that I brought for those longer ni ...more
joe
Jun 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most important books ever to be translated from Tibetan to English. It is a must read for anyone interested in Buddhism or Tibet.
tammy
Apr 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
If one feels drawn to Buddhism, Words of My Perfect Teacher provides a clarity and depth of understanding that is unmatched.
Lorilee
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book to reference rather than read like a novel. It's inspiring, interesting, even intriguing. It pushed my thought to a deeper level.
Gustavo
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
very good book, I like it
Jason
A concise, clear exposition of the preliminary practices of the Longchen Nyingtig cycle of teachings of Nyingma Vajrayana ("Tibetan") Buddhism. This book plus live teacher plus diligent practice is Buddhist alchemy.

It covers the gamut of the Vajrayana Buddhist teachings, beginning with the Mahayana "ordinary" or "outer preliminaries": cultivating the right attitude of compassion and loving-kindness, developing an appreciation for the transient nature of existence and a revulsion for the imperman
...more
Suzanne Arcand
Mar 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism
This book is 2/3 great and 1/3 interesting only for people who are fascinated by the minutes details of Tibetan Buddhism.

I need to come clean and say up front that for years I belonged to a Tibetan Buddhist church. I still consider myself Buddhist but reading Words of my Perfect Teacher helped me understand my discomfort with Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism in general.

The first three chapters are very useful for any practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. They are not however to be recommended as an in
...more
Jodelle Lai
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Words of My Perfect Teacher summarizes in a very detailed way of the things that Tibetan-Buddhist people believe in. It is marvellous and very inspirational. It opens up or allows people to be spiritually connected to the divine. This is a great book that I highly recommend to people who believe and respect Tibetan Buddhism to read. Patrol Rinpoche did a great job explaining in a very simple way of how this universe work.
Nate
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is what they call a potential "Game changer of life". If you take it seriously and read it carefully, then it is one that can change your life. It is non sectarian (drime), funny, sad, blunt, poetic, graceful, scholarly, sacred, poignant, direct, circumspect and always wise. How many books do you know that fit this category? It has already deeply changed my friend's life who is Islamic and changing the priorities of his life for the real, practical and to become a kinder, humbler, wise ...more
Dawnene
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is not just a book or even just a dharma book. This is THE book for Vajrayana Buddhist students, aspiring Bodhisattvas and all practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. I have read literally hundreds of books on Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy and Dharma. Not one has come close to the depths The Words of My Perfect Teacher reaches. I had this book on my shelf for years without reading it. I couldn't get through the table of contents without becoming overwhelmed but after many years, I finally decide ...more
Christopher
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People interested in Tibetan, or Vajrayana, Buddhism, specifically, Nyingma traditions
Recommended to Christopher by: Anyen Rinpoche
Shelves: dharma
A very good overview of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. The first 1/3 or so of the book are very good for people interested in a good introduction to Vajrayana and basic Buddhism. The story of Patrul Rinpoche's life alone is worth reading this section. This is a book that I will return to frequently and re-read chapters and sections. With each reading, new bits surface.
Julie Laporte
Nov 01, 2009 is currently reading it
I guess it's time for me to do a more formal study of Buddhism...took my kids to a Baptism today in a Lutheran church, and they are so hungry for religion...yet I don't want them to go the route of fear and self-loathing...
Nick Mather
I think I have only scratched the surface of this book. I need to re-read along with the commentary for a more full understanding. Nevertheless, there is some great insight offered here and it is a good introduction to Tibetan Buddhism.
Stephen Blache
Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dharma-study
An in-depth presentation of the meditative practices of the Nyingma Buddhist tradition. Easy to follow and profound on its ability to awaken loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. A text recommended by many Tibetan Buddhist meditation masters.
Martin Weyers
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The style may be a bit "oldfashioned", but the unfading message still comes through. Even more, somehow it's a more joyful read than that of many more entertaining (and less profound) recent books about similiar subjects.
Carole
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
For anyone who wants the traditional teaching on ngondro, both general and extraordinary preliminaries, this is the classic text. Although the cosmology is foreign to Westerners, it is worth reading.
Todd Marek
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. It will be of particular interest to those interested in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism where it serves as a foundational text to this day.
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Patrul Rinpoche (Dza Palge Tulku Rinpoche, Tib. རྫ་དཔལ་སྤྲུལ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ Wylie: rdza dpal sprul rin po che, 1808–1887) was a prominent teacher and author of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.