Luminous Emptiness: Book Study of Francesca Fremantle's Commentary on The Tibetan Book of the Dead

with Samo Skerbec

April 9th—June 4th (2017)

Date details +

    It is said that study of dharma sharpens the three prajnas: hearing/listening, contemplating, meditating. What do we study?

    In this book study group we will read and discuss some basic premises of Vajrayana Buddhism which means studying the “view” of the vajrayana. The “view” means understanding and insight into the nature of the mind, which you bring to meditation. The Tibetan word for “meditation” is gom and means getting used to, or familiar with. In other words, it is a process of ”getting used to the view”. One's view translates into and inspires one’s worldview, posture and action. 

    Luminous Emptiness was the first ‘real’ translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead into English. It is an extensive commentary on The Tibetan Book of the Dead and contains all the main concepts of Vajrayana Buddhism: Ground of being, Mandala of the Five Buddha Families, Five Skandhas and how they relate to enlightened manifestation, Six Bardos, notion of Bardo, description of dissolution.

    This book is simultaneously extremely simple and broadly comprehensive. Our book study class is not a series of lectures but entails active involvement with the book’s material: reading and group discussion.

    Book cover photo

    Book Purchase

    It is recommended that participants purchase or borrow a copy of Luminous Emptiness. We were unable to secure copies in time for the start of the class but used copies of both hardcover and paperback, as well as Kindle, are available on Amazon.

    There will be a tea/coffee break with light snacks offered during the class. Classes are drop-in and stand-alone. There is no charge, but donations to the Santa Rosa Shambhala Center are deeply appreciated and make it possible for us to provide meditation space and Buddhist program study to the community.

    Remember that the study of dharma includes a sense of celebration!

    About Francesca Fremantle

    Francesca Fremantle received her doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. She is a scholar and translator of Sanskrit and Tibetan works and was a student of Chögyam Trungpa for many years. Some of her writing can be found on Buddhism Now.