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The Gathering of Intentions

A History of a Tibetan Tantra

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


This unique study reads a single Tibetan Buddhist ritual system through the movements of Tibetan history, revealing the social and material dimensions of a seemingly timeless tradition. By subjecting tantric practice to historical analysis, the book offers new insight into the origins of Tibetan Buddhism, the formation of its canon, the emergence of new lineages and ritual traditions, and efforts to revitalize the religion by returning to its mythic origins.

The ritual system explored in this volume is based on the Gathering of Intentions Sutra, the fundamental “root tantra” of the Anuyoga class of teachings belonging to the Nyingma (“Ancient”) school of Tibetan Buddhism. Proceeding chronologically from the ninth century to the present, each chapter features a Tibetan author negotiating a perceived gap between the original root text—the Gathering of Intentions—and the lived religious or political concerns of his day. This ongoing tension underscores the entanglement between Tibetan culture and its elaborate esoteric ritual systems, which have persisted for centuries, evolving in response to historical conditions. Rather than overlooking practice in favor of abstract philosophical concerns, this volume prioritizes Tibetan Buddhism’s ritual systems for a richer portrait of the tradition’s identity.

The Gathering of Intentions
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  • $59.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Buddhism
  • Published: Mar 29, 2016
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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