Updates from Shang Shung Publications.

Dear Vajra Family,

We’d like to send you some updates about the current and upcoming projects by Shang Shung Publications.

  • Recently we have published The Bardo Instructions Sealed by the Hum: Rinpoche’s oral commentary to the Longsal teaching of the same name, based on the retreat given in Merigar in 2015, with some fragments from the Kyoto retreat on the same topic, edited by Nancy Simmons.

  • Rinpoche gave this teaching a number of times in the past, sometimes without mentioning He discovered it. As opposed to similar text presented within the context of Vajrayana, the root text explains the process of dying and the opportunities for realization specifically for Dzogchen practitioners. Rinpoche gives additional explanations and clarifications, including advice on the attitude in daily life increasing the chances of liberation in the bardo.

  • Teaching in the Perfect way is a huge 500-page volume containing Rinpoche’s words, especially to Dzogchen Community instructors, on how the teachings should be transmitted and continued in the future. The book, edited by Igor Legati, is the fruit of collaboration of many people who transcribed these teachings. This book is not just for instructors, but all students of Rinpoche.

  • Namkha: Harmonizing the Energy of the Elements is the translation of Rinpoche’s original text on the construction and practice of Namkha. We already published a book on Namkha several years ago, but it was based on oral teachings Rinpoche gave during some retreats, not the actual text. Therefore in the new book you can find very precise instructions and explanations, including colored diagrams and tables, as well as some indications not found in the previous book. It has been translated by Adriano Clemente whereas Dina Priymak worked on the diagrams.

 

As for the upcoming books:

We’re soon sending to print the fifth volume in the Longsal Commentaries series, that of Longsal Tregchöd which contains both the dreams through which this teaching was received and an essential commentary with deep explanations regarding the very core of the practice of Dzogchen as presented in the Upadesha series. There are several passages with clarifications of difficult points, including the way to practice different kinds of liberation, such as self-liberation, and overcoming obstacles. The specific way to achieve realization thanks to the practice of Tregchöd itself is also described. The book has been translated by Adriano Clemente and the English revised by Jamyang Oliphant of Rossie.   We sincerely hope this publication will help us all in making our practice more concrete and stable.

At the beginning the commentary to Longsal Tregchöd says “The preliminary practices as preparation, including the series of mind trainings and especially the Rushen of body, voice, and mind, which is absolutely necessary as a prerequisite for practicing the path of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo, should be applied as explained elsewhere.” Practically speaking, all these practices are contained in The Stairway to Liberation translated by Cristiana de Falco and published in Tsegyalgar in 1990. This translation has been recently revised and we will be publishing a new edition shortly. This book contains the explanations of preliminary practices as presented in Dzogchen Upadesha, with excerpts from some of the most important and essential meditation manuals that exist, such as Jigmed Lingpa’s Yeshe Lama and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s oral commentary to his Chetsün Nyingthig as written down by Tertön Sogyal, with additional advice from Changchub Dorje and other masters. These preparatory teachings, often practiced during a retreat, allow practitioners – as Rinpoche used to say – “to learn how to swim in samsara”.

Another re-edition – but with substantial additions – is the Chöd booklet. We have updated it with the teachings from the last Chöd retreat given by Rinpoche in 2012.

We’re also working on another large volume containing Rinpoche’s teaching on Changchub Dorje’s terma Nyingthig Yangti. It contains Rinpoche’s oral explanations from three different retreats as well as the translation of the root text discovered by Changchub Dorje. It’s a complete Upadesha teaching enabling one to achieve realization in a single lifetime, starting from preliminary practices and ending with the explanation of realization depending on the level of one’s capacity. The root text, translated by Elio Guarisco, is quite condensed, so Rinpoche is explaining it in great detail. Rinpoche’s commentaries are being edited by David Leskovitz.

Another book soon to be published is Rinpoche’s oral explanation of Longsal Rushen, based on the retreat He gave in 2017. The root text of this teaching together with additional explanations regarding the way to practice the our practices of the voice is contained in Longsal Teachings, Volume 10, but Rinpoche’s oral teaching contains additional instructions. The book has been edited by Will Shea and Nancy Simmons. The book will have a digital appendix in the form of the recording of the practice of the voice from the same retreat so that it’s easier to make the required sounds in a correct way.  

At the same time we’re working on an important teaching Rinpoche gave in 2009 in Barcelona, The Nectar of the Tree of Life, with the root text kindly translated by Jean-Luc Achard and the English editing by Nancy Simmons. It is a series of practices focused on the Guruyoga in its outer, inner, secret and most secret aspect, from Lama Yangthig by Longchenpa. In his retreat manual, Jamgön Kongtrül advises Thögal practitioners to perform these Guruyoga practices. Rinpoche Himself said, “If you are not satisfied by only doing Guruyoga with A and you want to do something concrete, you can do what you learned yesterday or what you learned today [i.e. the external and internal Guruyoga]. These are perfect, complete teachings.”

In the same way, we plan to publish at some point another Upadesha teaching given by Rinpoche, The Rainbow Body of Samantabhadra  discovered by tertön Düddul Dorje, translated by Oriol Aguilar. Rinpoche gave this teaching in Barcelona in 2008.

As for public books, we’re finalizing the long-awaited advice of Guru Padmasambhava from the terma of Dorje Lingpa that Rinpoche selected and taught in Tashigar Norte in 2008. This text is in the form of questions by Vairochana and other students of Padmasambhava with elaborate answers by Guru Padma. The questions selected by Rinpoche are the ones most relevant to our present situation and stress the importance of practicing the essence of Dharma and not wasting one’s existence. This book is an effect of effort by many people: the first translation of the root text was prepared by Fabian Sanders during the Translators’ Trainings in Merigar, it was then revised by Elio Guarisco and subsequently revised by Adriano Clemente. Rinpoche’s commentary was edited by Ed Matheny and David Leskovitz.

There are many, many other books with Rinpoche’s teachings waiting for publication, both translations and oral commentaries. One of the main bottlenecks in the publication process is the identification of Tibetan words and phrases often used by Rinpoche. If you know some Tibetan, don’t mind working with long texts and are willing to help, please let us know.

We would like to use this opportunity to thank all people who have collaborated with us in direct and indirect ways, transcribing the recordings of various retreats, proofreading, OCR-ing, doing layout, offering photos and illustrations, and doing all kinds of precious work. A big thank you to all of you!

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