Forty-Three Trainings for an Enlightened Mind And Other Divine Writings by Raven Cypress Wood introduces us to Kündun Sonam Lodro, the 22nd Abbot of Menri Monastery, and his poetic compositions of spiritual guidance. Born in 1784, he was the first of the Menri abbots to forego a life of complete solitary practice for long pilgrimages throughout Tibet. Along the way, he spent time in intensive meditation as well as meeting with faithful followers of Yungdrung Bön and Buddhist monk scholars. In this way, he became renowned for both his incredible intellect and his realization.
In this book, four of Kündun Sonam Lodro’s compositions have been translated into English. Forty-Three Trainings for an Enlightened Mind is a five-part composition of forty-three stanzas that provides guidance for daily living and spiritual development for practitioners of lesser knowledge or capacity, those of ordinary capacity, and for the most advanced practitioners. This epic work inspires the reader to continually follow the path of virtue and truth above all else.
“In order to practice the path of liberation at all times during the day and night, you must have the kind of diligent effort that is like trying to extinguish your hair that has caught on fire.”—Excerpt from Forty-Three Trainings for an Enlightened Mind
Sherap Gongyal’s Supplication and Experiential Song upon Perceiving the Suffering and Misery of Cyclic Existence is prose of such vivid imagery that it pierces the delusory nature of worldly things and inspires commitment to a meaningful human life and spiritual development.
“Craving for the deep mud of food and property is like covering the eyes with both hands while they are bound together by desire and attachment.
There is no freedom, and one will fall into the muddy depths and become trapped. And so, they remain within the deep mire of cyclic existence.
Lama, think of us! Hold us within your compassion! Lead us along the path of liberation and great bliss, I pray!”—Excerpt from Sherap Gongyal’s Supplication and Experiential Song upon Perceiving the Suffering and Misery of Cyclic Existence
The Spontaneous Wish-fulfillment of Removing Obstacles from the Path is a commonly recited prayer within the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition. Rather than a composition, this prayer was given to Kündun Sonam Lodro during a vision of the enlightened Khandro Sherap Lo Pélmo and therefore is considered an oral transmission. This prayer is recited either as a daily practice or when needed to remove problems or obstacles. In the colophon of the prayer, it states: “By reciting this prayer a single time, obstacles of an entire year are pacified. By reciting it 100 times, obstacles of one lifetime are pacified.” And, “If you perform this aspiration prayer and request attainments, there will be food for those who need food, clothes for those who need clothes, and so on. Whatever supreme accomplishment that you ask for will happen without a doubt!”
A Flowing River of Supplications and Blessings is a heartfelt homage to the places of ultimate refuge. The beauty of the writing naturally guides the mind of the reader to a state of inspiration and openness.
“Within the king’s palace at the center of my body is the embodiment of all spiritual masters, the root lama, surrounded by a gathering of the guardians of the teachings.
To the one who pacifies all outer and inner obstacles, I devotedly prostrate, present offerings, and supplicate! Compassionately bless me and all other migrating beings!
Without exception, having pacified all illness, obstacles, and external interferences, lead us along the path of liberation and great bliss!”—Excerpt from A Flowing River of Supplications and Blessings
The English language translation of these writings is followed by the Tibetan text. Additionally, the book contains a brief biographical introduction to Kündun Sonam Lodro, an extensive list of his compositions, a brief history of Menri Monastery together with a list of its thirty-four abbots along with their associated dates.
Forty-Three Trainings for an Enlightened Mind And Other Divine Writings by Raven Cypress Wood is available now through Lulu and can be purchased by following this link: https://www.lulu.com/shop/raven-cypress-wood/forty-three-trainings-for-an-enlightened-mind/paperback/product-wmw97z.html?q=Raven+Cypress+Wood&page=1&pageSize=4
Additionally, it will soon be available at the Ligmincha International Store here: https://ligmincha.org/?s=raven&post_type=product and also through Namse Bangdzo Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood
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