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“Were we to take these verses to heart, our relationships would be transformed, our minds would be at ease, and we would no longer be afraid of death; our lives would be seamlessly devoted to our own freedom and to the well-being of others.”—Sharon Salzberg

This commentary on Padampa Sangye’s classic verses of advise to Tibetan villagers of Tingri—by renowned and beloved meditation master Dilgo Khyentse—offers guidance for people trying to lead a dharmic life in the workaday world. These hundred verses, studied for centuries by Tibetans and students of Buddhism, contain a complete survey of the Tibetan Buddhist path. Dilgo Khyentse’s lively explication of each stanza brings to light subtleties and amplifies the richness of the words and their pertinence to our lives. These two venerable teachers advise us in relating to everyday difficulties such as loneliness, craving, family squabbles, competition in business, disagreements with neighbors, and betrayal by friends—as challenging to us as they have been to meditators for centuries.

These are the farewell teachings of Padampa Sangye [master of Machik Labdron, founder of the Chod of Mahamudra], explained by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

The Indian yogi and spiritual master Padampa Sangye was a great traveler. Chronicles say that he crossed the Nepal-Tibet border in 1091. Having remained ten years in Tibet, he traveled for twelve years in China, and returned to the Land of Snow until his death. Before passing away at Tingri in 1117, as a last teaching, he gave these Hundred Verses of Spiritual Advice to the People of Tingri. Soon after, he said” “My mind has blended with the phenomenal world,” thus showing that all dual perceptions had disappeared from his mind. He then fixed his gaze on the sky and passed away.

Each of these verses is generously commented by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991) in a most lucid and direct way, showing that the “people of Tingri” are none other than all seekers of truth. With great love, but without any concession, Khyentse Rinpoche gives us a magnificent teaching on how to turn our thoughts to what truly matters in life, practice with our whole being, and discover the ultimate nature of mind.

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