The Gathering of Intentions: A History of a Tibetan Tantra

Hardcover | March 29, 2016

byJacob P. Dalton

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The Gathering of Intentions reads a single Tibetan Buddhist ritual system through the movements of Tibetan history, revealing the social and material dimensions of an ostensibly timeless tradition. By subjecting tantric practice to historical analysis, the book offers new insight into the origins of Tibetan Buddhism, the formation of its canons, the emergence of new lineages and ceremonies, and modern 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. These ongoing tensions underscore the significance of Tibet's elaborate esoteric ritual systems, which have persisted for centuries, evolving in response to historical conditions. Rather than overlook practice in favor of philosophical concerns, this volume prioritizes Tibetan Buddhism's ritual systems for a richer portrait of the tradition.

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From the Publisher

The Gathering of Intentions reads a single Tibetan Buddhist ritual system through the movements of Tibetan history, revealing the social and material dimensions of an ostensibly timeless tradition. By subjecting tantric practice to historical analysis, the book offers new insight into the origins of Tibetan Buddhism, the formation of ...

Jacob P. Dalton is Khyentse Foundation Distinguished University Professor in Tibetan Buddhism in the Departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures and South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the author of Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism.

other books by Jacob P. Dalton

Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:March 29, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231176007

ISBN - 13:9780231176002

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Origins: Myth and History2. The Gathering of Intentions in Early Tibetan Tantra3. The Spoken Teachings4. The Rise of the Sutra Initiation5. Dorjé Drak and the Formation of a New Lineage6. The Mindröling Tradition7. Returns to the OriginAppendix: The Four Root Tantras of AnuyogaNotesGlossaryBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Dalton deserves great praise for his scholarship, historical research and crisp writing.