Geshe Chekhawa or Chekawa Yeshe Dorje (1102-1176) was a great Kadampa Buddhist meditation master. His celebrated root text, Training the Mind in Seven Points, is an explanation to Buddha's instructions on training the mind (or Lojong in Tibetan). These teachings reveal how committed Buddhist practitioners can transform adverse conditions into the path towards enlightenment - principally, by developing their own compassion. Prior to Geshe Chekhawa's root text, this special set of teachings given by Buddha were secret teachings only given to faithful disciples.
The Bodhicharyavatara, or Way of the Bodhisattva, composed by the 8th century C.E. Indian master Shantideva, has occupied an important place in the Himalayan Buddhist tradition throughout its history. It is a guide to cultivating the mind of enlightenment through generating qualities such as, compassion, generosity, and patience – leading ultimately to bodhicitta. This commentary of Shantideva’s great work, by Kunzang Pelden compiles the pith instructions of his teacher Patrul Rinpoche, the celebrated author of The Words of My Perfect Teacher.
“Words of My Perfect Teacher” is the classic commentary on the preliminary practices of the Longchen Nyingtig - one of the best-known cycles of teachings and a spiritual treasure of the oldest Himalayan Buddhist tradition - the Nyingmapa school. It is a favorite and recommended by the Dalai Lama and other senior Buddhist teachers. This manual to inner transformation introduces the fundamental spiritual practices common to all Himalayan Buddhist traditions.
The Master, Patrul Rinpoche makes the technicalities of his subject easy to understand through a generous use of stories, quotations, and references to everyday life. His style of mixing broad colloquialisms, stringent irony, and poetry evokes all the life and atmosphere of an oral teaching.
Around the beginning of the 2nd century C.E, the great Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna wrote his celebrated poem "Letter to a Friend" to advise a South Indian king. Nagarjuna's poem presents the fundamental teachings of the Great Vehicle of Buddhism (or Mahayana). Its remarkably concise style and memorable imagery, makes it one of the most widely-quoted sources in other commentaries on the Mahayana path and it has since become a monument in the shastra tradition. In just 123 verses, Nagarjuna's "Letter to a Friend" outlines the entire Mahayana path, combining practical wisdom for daily conduct with theoretical explanations of the stages towards enlightenment.