• About This Booklist

    People often ask me for guidance about books to read, particularly those that would enhance the curriculum outlined in Wake Up To Your Life.

    I will post new titles each week, along with brief comments outlining the main topic, level of practice for which it is appropriate, and how you might use the book. Each entry is also categorized according to the chapter of Wake Up To Your Life it might relate to.

    If you are familiar with a given title and have something to say about it, please add your comments as they will help other viewers find books that will be helpful to them.
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As It Is (Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche)

As It IsFull Title: As It Is: Volumes 1 and 2
Major Topic: Using traditional practices and methods to know mind nature directly.
Level: all levels
Click here to order this book from Amazon.com

Urgyen Tulku, even among Tibetans, had a special gift for leading people into the experience of mind and explaining in simple language how to practice deeply. In these two volumes, he describes traditional vajrayana teachings in terms of mind and mind nature. Read a chapter or a few pages carefully and then do some meditation. Experiment with the methods and find the ones that work for you. (Note: It can be hard to find without the ISBN: for Volume 1 is 9627341355; for Volume 2 it is 9627341398)

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Wake Up To Your Life (Ken McLeod)

Wake Up To Your LifeFull Title: Wake Up To Your Life: Discovering the Buddhist Path of Attention
Major Topic: how to practice Buddhism
Level: all levels

A comprehensive manual, almost an encyclopedia, of practice methods, starting with basic meditation and ending with the experience of no separation. The methods are derived principally from the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism. The commentary is likely useful to practitioners in all traditions. The content is presented free of the cultural influences of Asian traditions and is eminently accessible to Western practitioners.

See Unfettered Mind website for suggestions on how to use it.

Natural Great Perfection (Nyoshul Khenpo)

Natural Great PerfectionFull Title: Natural Great Perfection
Major Topic: dzogchen, direct awareness
Level: all levels

Compilation of talks by contemporary Dzogchen master; clear, simple, and profound. Read and savor each of the chapters, sit with them, and let them guide your practice.

Clarifying the Natural State (Dakpo Tashi Namgyal)

Clarifying the Natural StateFull Title: Clarifying the Natural State: A Principal Guidance Manual for Mahamudra
Major Topic: Mahamudra, direct awareness practice
Level: experienced and advanced

Very accessible, succinct, and precise meditation manual for the practice of Mahamudra meditation. Best studied thoroughly with a qualified teacher. If you’ve had instruction in mahamudra, this book will clarify many practice points.

Golden Letters (John Myrdhin Reynolds)

Golden LettersFull Title: Golden Letters
Major Topic: dzogchen, direct awareness
Level: experienced and advanced

Detailed commentary on the three instructions of Garob Dorje, the basis of all Dzogchen practice. Best studied thoroughly with a qualified teacher. If you’ve had instruction in dzogchen or mahamudra, this book will clarify many practice points.

Spectrum of Ecstasy (Nygakpa Chogyam)

Rainbow of Liberated EnergyFull Title: Spectrum of Ecstasy: Embracing the Five Wisdom Emotions of Vajrayana Buddhism (formerly Rainbow of Liberated Energy: Working with Emotions through the Colour and Element Symbolism of Tibetan Tantra (the Tibetan Mystic Path))
Major Topic: the five elements
Level: middle and experienced

Detailed explanation of the five basic emotional reactions and how to step out of them. Learn the elements thoroughly. It will give you a different way of relating to your life.

Words of My Perfect Teacher (Patrul Rinpoche)

Words of My Perfect TeacherFull Title: Words of My Perfect Teacher
Major Topic: the path of awakening
Level: all levels

Beautiful compilation and commentary of the basic teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. A good companion to WUTYL, providing classical presentations of many of the same practices. Best studied with a teacher.