onsdag 7 januari 2015

Bookreview ”solens hjärta”- ”The heart of the sun”


Lama Ngawang was an Tibetan lama who got to sweden in 1976 at the request of his holiness the 16:th Gyalwa Karmapa and honorable Kalu Rinpoche. 
He saw to it the Stupa in Fellingsbro was made, founded an Tibetan Buddhist centre in Tar, Nograd County, Hungary and he also ran the Buddhist center in Stockholm until his death in 2011.

"When we practice Dharma, our minds doesnt become discriminatory, we need no longer be one-sided when we desire to help someone. We are impartial and no longer distinguishes the good or bad practice. We walk a middle ground. If we exercise without discriminating against other religious traditions, then we find it all in our own practice. If we follow a tradition while we also believe that all the other traditions are worse, then it's pointless to be in no tradition at all. Such a view destroys everything.
All schools have been part of our tradition. "

This book consists of oral instructions that has been given at the Buddhist center Karma Shedrup Dargye Ling in Mälarhöjden, Stockholm. 
The teachings was then translated from Tibetan into Swedish by interpreters and has been edited by Elin Lagerkvist.

According to the book, and people who had met him, Lama Ngawang had favorite lyrics which he often told when he taught. 
You also see this in the book, as phrases and quotations from these keep popping up again and again in the book.

We are currently reading this book as part of the bookclub in the sangha here in skövde, and i look forward to the discussions that will arise, because they will be plenty if you go by all the things that is taken up in this book.

The book covers some of the basics of Buddhism such as Samsaras six worlds, the six paramitas and suffering. 
It also covers things like mind, meditation and chenrezig. 
This is all covered in a “thick Tibetan-Buddhism sauce” which is sometimes spread so thick that even some of my friends, who follow the tibetan Buddhist path, thought it a bit hard to swallow.

The texts in the book are edited talks done by an, what must have been, wonderful man. 
The image of an smiling man permeates through the texts presented in it. 
The texts themselves have been ordered into ”sections” ranging from the six realms of samsara to ”why do we meditate” in a very nicely edited version which the book book presents in an orderly and good fashion.

The downside is that it´s clear that it is talks that has been given, written down and edited. 
This is prominently clear when reading the texts and there is no real continuation or theme to the texts that is presented.

It is full of nonbuddhist truth, halftruths, and what must be teachings from the Tibetan Tradition, which i have not taken part in, which also gives an air of an edited talk, not really finished yet. 
Furthermore there are some things lacking, and you sometimes wonder who's opinion is displayed, Lama Ngawangs or the editor, Elin Lagerkvists. 
This gives me a bad taste, as i almost feel that his lifeteachings are tainted, which i think wasn't the purpose.

Now, don't get me wrong, the book is brilliant sometimes. 
I look forward to reading version 3 of it, the one after the next-next editorialredoing, if we ever get there. 
But i guess we will. 
Because Lama Ngawang was one of the important forefigures when Buddhism came to Sweden, and this is his written teachings.

Nevertheless, i find myself continuing reading the book with an smile on my face and an interest of whats coming next, as, all in all, it is an good book about Tibetanflavoured Buddhism, and in the end you shouldn't judge a book by its cover...

In the meantime, Thanks Elin Lagerkvist, it made an good reading in my Sangha here, and also gave birth to a lot of good discussions.

Thank you for your practice.


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