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Buddhadharma : Summer 2015
summer 2 0 1 5 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 81 by rory lindsay booK brieFs Detail from one of the many wall paintings at Tabo, depicting Sudhana meeting Samantanetra (above) Amoghasiddhi, the “Almighty” Tathagata, at Tabo in northern India. His hand gesture signifies fearlessness, protection, peace, and benevolence (abhaya mudra). (top) The temple compound of Tabo with a ground plan of the complex (drawing courtesy of Michael Beck) ◗ Lama Migmar Tseten’s the wisdom gone beyond: teachings on the heart sutra (Mangalamkosha 2014) offers learned commentary on this Mahayana clas- sic. Founding teacher of the Sakya Center in Cam- bridge, Massachusetts, and a Buddhist chaplain at Harvard University, Lama Migmar has a gift for bal- ancing complex philosophy with practical advice and does much in this book to highlight the different ways this sutra can be read. Included are Q&As between Lama Migmar and his students, along with short practices related to the Heart Sutra drawn from traditional sources. T he monastery complex of Tabo in the Himalayas of northern India dates back a thousand years and is remark- able as one of the oldest continually operating temple complexes in the Tibetan cultural region to retain original art- work. Founded by the Buddhist King Yeshe Ö (ca 947–1024) and the influential translator Rinchen Zangpo (958–1055)—both critical fig- ures for the second dissemination of Buddhism from India to Tibet—this temple includes a walkable mandala with grand statues of bod- hisattvas and buddhas surrounding the central buddha Mahavairocana. With beautiful pho- tography and detailed analysis, Peter van Ham documents this and other areas of the complex in tabo: gods of light (Hirmer 2015), giving new perspective on a treasured institution. ◗ Taigen Dan Leighton tackles the iconic ninth- century Chan master Dongshan in Just this is it (Shambhala 2015). In uncomplicated prose, Leighton explores Dongshan’s insights into suchness as reflected in Chan Buddhist lore, such as the story of Dongshan telling his students who had finished a three-month retreat to “go where there is no grass for ten thousand miles.” Leighton explains that “the ten thousand grass-tips” is a common Chan metaphor for the world’s myriad phenomena, and that going where there is no grass suggests a kind of transcendence. But the story becomes more complicated when Dongshan then asks how one could ever really go to such a place, which Leighton suggests may imply that the grass is unavoidable. u t Dongshan (807–869)