Patrul Rinpoche

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Longchen Nyingthig (klong chen snying thig) - Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse

The Longchen Nyingthig 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 Nyingthig, both of which are contained in the Nyingthig Yabshi. Hence, the Longchen Nyingthig 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 Nyingthig 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.


Other Lineage Masters

Primary Sadhanas

The Longchen Nyingthig 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:

Primary Texts

Present Day Teachers of the Longchen Nyingthig

Longchen Nyingthig 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.

Other References

  • 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
  • Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse
  • Heart Essence of the Great Expanse
  • Heart Essence of Lonchenpa

External Links

TBRC page on the Longchen Nyingthig
TBRC listing of the treatises contained in the Longchen Nyingthig root texts