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Spectrum of Ecstasy
The Five Wisdom Emotions According to Vajrayana Buddhism
By Ngakpa Chögyam (Ngak’chang Rinpoche) and Khandro Déchen
Spectrum of Ecstasy describes the Dzogchen view of emotions, emotional pain and pleasure – and the liberation of emotions. It is valuable reading for anyone interested in human psychology according to Dzogchen and a must-read for everybody seriously interested in the Aro gTér. The book is suited for experienced meditators as well as for beginners on the Buddhist path.
The teaching on the psychology of the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) shows how we ourselves create unenlightenment through neurotic patterns of emotional reaction to our own spacious nature. It demonstrates in a direct and often amusing way how we are addicted to the form qualities of the five elements. We are obsessed with manipulating our experiential reality in order to prove to ourselves that we are solid, permanent, separate, continuous, and defined. However, as emptiness is always the basis of the equation, this obsession is doomed to interminably repeated failure.
Fortunately, by applying the practice of Dzogchen trčk-chöd, we can break this cycle. Our emotions become a powerful dimension of transformation in which we can discover innate enlightenment. This means that instead of acting out, suppressing or obliterating neurotic emotional patterns, we allow the energy of the emotions to expand into their enlightened qualities according to the five elements. Thus, the personality of the practitioner becomes the key to liberation.
Spectrum of Ecstasy is written in colourful contemporary language and introduces a wealth of practical examples. After each chapter, there are extensive question and answer sessions taken from teaching conversations between Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen and their students. These sections highlight the teachings from different angles and are an informative display of the style of teaching chosen by the authors.
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