Longchen Nyingt'hig (klong chen snying thig) - Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse
The Longchen Nyingt'hig is a Terma cycle revealed by the master Jigme Lingpa. Since its inception in the late 18th century, it has become one of the most widespread sets of teachings in the Nyingma tradition. It is particularly known and loved for its extensive commentarial literature, which includes practice manuals such as the famed Yeshe Lama.
These teachings were originally transmitted by the master Padmasambhava to King Trisong Deutsen, the Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal and the Lotsawa Vairochana at Samye Monastery in central Tibet. As the time for these teachings to spread was not yet right, they were then written in symbolic script by Yeshe Tsogyal, entrusted to the Dakinis, and hidden to be revealed at a later time. The king later reincarnated as the Treasure Revealer Jigme Lingpa, who recalled the teachings he had received and, recognizing the time was ripe for them to be practised, put them down in writing and began to teach.
Jigme Lingpa, the Terton who revealed this cycle of teachings, was a reincarnation of two important masters, Vimalamitra and King Trisong Deutsen. As the embodiment of these two figures, Tibet's two primary Dzogchen lineages were combined in Jigme Lingpa -- the Vima Nyingthig and Khandro Nyingt'hig, both of which are contained in the Nyingt'hig Yabshi. Hence, the Longchen Nyingt'hig terma cycle is considered a condensation of these profound teachings.
The texts that were revealed by Jigme Lingpa, in their present-day form, comprise three volumes, known as the Nyingt'hig Tsapod (snying thig rtsa pod). The numerous treatises, sadhanas and prayers it contains deal primarily with tantric practice, in particular the stages of Development Stage and Dzogchen.
- The primary lineage is as follows:
- Lineage descending from Jigme Lingpa's heart son Jigme Trinle Ozer to the present Dodrupchen Rinpoche:
- Lineage descending from Jigme Lingpa's heart son Jigme Gyalwe Nyugu to the present-day master Chatral Rinpoche:
Other Lineage Masters
- Mingyur Namkhai Dorje (the fourth Dzogchen Rinpoche)
- Onpo Tendzin Norbu
- Adzom Drukpa
- Thubten Chokyi Dorje (the fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche)
- Yukhok Chatralwa
- Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro
- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
The Longchen Nyingt'hig cycle relates primarily to the teachings of Dzogchen, particularly the Innermost Essence teachings. Though there are various practices and Sadhanas found in this tradition, such practices are approached from this Dzogchen perspective. These practices include:
- Preliminary Practice (sngon 'gro)
- Peaceful Male Vidyadhara Sadhanas:
- Wrathful male Vidyadhara Sadhanas:
- Female Vidyadhara Sadhanas:
- The main Tantras and instructions of the Longchen Nyingt'hig:
- Preliminary Practice instructions:
- The Steps to Liberation (thun mong gi sngon 'gro sems sbyong rnam pa bdun gyi don khrid thar ba'i them skas thar ba'i them skas)
- Establishing Practice (rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig gi thun mong gi sngon 'gro khrid kyi lag len la 'debs lugs)
- Establishing Mindfulness (rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig gi thun mong ma yin pa'i sngon 'gro'i khrid yig dran pa nyer gzhag)
- Development Stage practice instructions:
- Completion Stage practice instructions:
- A Wish-fulfilling Jewel: A Condensation of the Oral Lineage for Completion Stage, Bliss-emptiness Energy (bde stong rlung gi rdzogs rim snyan rgyud shog dril yid bzhin nor bu)
- A Short Text on the Blazing and Dripping of Tummo (gtum mo'i 'bar 'dzag yig chung)
- Prayers and Aspirations:
Present Day Teachers of the Longchen Nyingt'hig
- Thubten Trinle Palzangpo (fourth Dodrupchen Rinpoche)
- Chatral Rinpoche
- Trulshik Rinpoche
- Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
- Sogyal Rinpoche
- Pema Wangyal Rinpoche
- Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
- Jigme Losel Wangpo (the seventh Dzogchen Rinpoche)
- The son of Adzom Druktrul (name unknown)
- Tulku Thondup
Longchen Nyingt'hig Literature in Translation
- Works on the Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro:
- Patrul Rinpoche (1994). Words of My Perfect Teacher. Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group. San Francisco: HarperCollins. ISBN?
- Ngawang Pelzang, Khenpo (2004). A Guide to the Words of My Perfect Teacher. Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group. Boston: Shambhala Publications. ISBN?
- An Elucidation of The Path To Excellent Omniscience. Translated by the Vajravairochana Translation Committee. Halifax: Vajravairochana Translation Committee, 1996.
- Thondup, Tulku (1982). Dzogchen: Innermost Essence Preliminary Practice. India: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.
- Works on Dzogchen:
- Yeshe Lama. Translated by Sangye Khandro.
- Van Schaik, Sam (2004). Approaching the Great Perfection. Boston: Wisdom Publications.
- Sadhana Practices:
- The Queen of Great Bliss of Long-Chen Nying-Thig. Translated by Tulku Thondup. Sikkim: Published by Dodrup Chen Rinpoche, 1992. A translation of the Yumkha Dechen Gyalmo sadhana.
- The Assemblage of Vidyadharas of Long-Chen Nying-Thig. Translated by Tulku Thondup. Sikkim: Published by Dodrup Chen Rinpoche, 1992. A translation of the Rigdzin Dupa sadhana.
- Thondup, Tulku (1996) Masters of Meditation and Miracles. Boston: Shambhala Publications. - The most complete reference on the lineages and practices of the Longchen Nyingthig in the English language.
- Gyatso, Janet (1998). Apparitions of the Self. Princeton: Princeton University Press. - Contains translations of two biographies of Jigme Lingpa.
Alternate Names and Spellings
- Longchen Nyingtik
- Longchen Nyingthig
- Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse
- Heart Essence of the Great Expanse
- Heart Essence of Longchenpa