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Introduction to Tantra
The Transformation of Desire
By Lama Yeshe
Lama Yeshe’s book is a straightforward, succinct, and engaging overview of the Tantric Buddhist path and its practice. The author’s view is that contemporary Westerners are no less suited to this path than the historic Tibetan Buddhist heroes and heroines of the past.
There are two main styles of presenting Dharma. One is ‘scripture’—a historical text plus commentary by a subsequent teacher or teachers; the other is a compilation of transcribed oral teachings by contemporary Lamas. This volume, like the shorter writings of Tarthang Tulku and the works of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, is a collection of the author’s teachings, edited by his students.
The presentation is exceptionally warm and clear, unfailingly cheerful and encouraging about the possibility of practice. There are however explicit warnings about the need for the guidance of a qualified Lama.
Lama Yeshé was often described by his disciples as ‘the Chögyam Trungpa of the Gélug School’ – and to whatever degree this may be accurate – many aspects of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s directness and stylistic can be found in Lama Yeshe’s explanations. Lama Yeshe once horrified the Tibetan establishment by encouraging his Western monks and nuns to dance to rock music. It was one evening of a retreat – when he felt that they had become a little too crimped by asceticism.
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