The Jonangpa Blog

The Quintessence of Rangtong

jf_sky2_diego_2022.jpg Sky over Tibet

A long time coming, actually a year to the day since my last January 13th posting, The Quintessence of Zhentong from the collection of 108 Quintessential Instructions , I thought to revisit these instructions with a complimentary post.

Each of these instructions was meant to act as a pith directive to the practitioner about how to cultivate a particular outlook on the nature of reality through contemplative experience. These 108 Quintessential Instructions of the Jonang continue to be...

Sutra Tantra Series

Jonang Sutra and Tantra Series

jonang culture.jpg Sutra and Tantra Series

We are glad to announce and make available for purchase the long anticipated publication, The Jonang Sutra and Tantra Series .

This 26 volume collection titled, Jo nang mdo sngags rig pa'i dpe tshogs includes select texts from major authors of the Jonang tradition. Works in the collection are written by Tāranātha (1575-1634), Bamda Thubten Gelek Gyatso (1844-1904), Dzamthang Khenpo Tsoknyi Gyatso (1880-1904), and Droge Jamyang Khenrab Gyatso (1901-1959). This collection...

Reflecting 'The Crystal Mirror'

Maybe its the dark magnetism of impending all hallows' eve, but I'm feeling a mischievous urge to rile up all the ghouls and goblins of unapologetic dogmatism and have them stare in unison — — into The Crystal Mirror . That is, The Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems by Thuken Losang Chökyi Nyima (1737-1802). Fortunately, this classical Tibetan polemical text is now available to the English reading world due to the clear translation of Geshe Lhundup Sopa and the lucid editing of Roger Jackson under the umbrella of The Library of Tibetan Classics series (Wisdom Publications, '09). [1]

Though the earliest attempt to translate...

On the Shangpa & Jonangpa

0452.jpg Dakini Niguma

Commentators on earlier posts have asked or made reference to relationships between the Shangpa lineage and the Jonangpa. [1] In response, I thought to sketch some of the overlapping threads among Shangpas and Jonangpas in order to draw a few historical connections.

The Shangpa lineage, as Tibetologist Matthew Kapstein has described, is like "some vine that adorns a whole forest without being able to stand by itself" so much so that it "may strike one who follows its twists and...

Rongton’s Praise to Dolpopa

Over the summer, I was browsing through a Tibetan book shop and I happened upon the recently reproduced collected works of Rongton Shakya Gyaltsen (1367-1449). As I opened the first volume to look at the table of contents, my eyes were drawn to the title, A Praise to the Great Omniscient Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen . [1]

Rongton was a fascinating figure whose writings have not received much attention by western scholars to date. He was the founder of Nalendra Monastery located north of Lhasa, the seat of the Nalendrapa sub-order of the Sakya tradition. Among his numerous teachers were Sonam Zangpo...

The Jonangpa Legacy

jf_stupa_diego_0459.jpg Jonang Stupa

A PDF version of the transcript from Michael Sheehy's talk on the oral history and local legacy of the Jonangpa in Tibet on July 17, 2009 is now available for download in the Essays section of the Jonang Foundation Library. This transcript is based on a partial recording and notes while at the Great Stupa of Jonang during the “Discovering the Jonang: A Pilgrimage through Central Tibet.”


Download the transcript here, The Legacy of...

At the Great Stupa of Jonang

The following is a transcript of a talk, The Legacy of the Jonangpa by Michael Sheehy at the Great Stupa of Jonang in Tibet on July 17, 2009.

Jonang stupa_0539.jpg Great Stupa at Jonang, '09

So, the actual name of this place is Jomonang, which is the name of the valley. [1] It is named "Jomonang" because the female local protector deity here is known as Jomo Ngag Gyalmo, who is said to live in the upper ridge right...

Tsoknyi Gyatso on Zhentong

Without jumping the gun (as we continue to set the text), I thought to write a post with the hope to help contextualize a forthcoming publication in the Tibetan language on the essential zhentong works by the Jonang master from Dzamthang, Ngawang Tsoknyi Gyatso (1880-1940). [1]

Zhentong — the contemplative view that the ultimate nature of reality is empty of all extraneous superficial characteristics while profusely full of the qualities that define enlightenment — has become a hallmark of the Jonang tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. From its early articulation by Tibetan forefathers of the Jonangpa in the eleventh century, up to Dolpopa Sherab...

A Ngor Kalachakra Mandala

Ngor Kalachakra Mandala Kalachakra Mandala Mandala

One of my favorite themes in tantric Buddhism is the mandala. The replicated symmetry of a perfected space and the implicit dialogue between the deity and the various facets of its environment have always fascinated me.

Recently, I had a chance to look closely at one specific mandala of the Kālachakra, one that is unlike the typical depiction. [1] This particular mandala was commissioned by Lhachok Sengé (1468-1535) from Ngor Evam Choden Monastery, and is one of...

JF Newsletter #3: Summer '09

It has been awhile since our last newsletter. So, I thought to start with a few updates about recent activities of the foundation and then mention a few projects that we foresee rising on the horizon.

To begin, we would like to formally welcome Professor Emeritus from the University of Virginia, Jeffrey Hopkins to our Board of Advisors. Professor Hopkins is a pioneer in the field of Tibetan Studies and one of the foremost translators from the Tibetan language. Over the past several years he has taken an interest in the Jonang, resulting in his ground-breaking translation of Dolpopa's masterpiece Mountain Doctrine (Snow Lion, 2006), and his translation of Taranatha's Essence of Other Emptiness (Snow Lion, 2007). We are thrilled to have him on board as an advisor!

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