Effortless Spontaneity: The Dzogchen Commentaries by Nubchen Sangye Yeshe


The notion of effortlessness is central to the self-understanding of the Tibetan contemplative tradition known as Dzogchen. This book explores this key notion from a variety of perspectives, highlighting the distinctive role it plays in the Dzogchen approach’s doctrinal architecture and meditative programme.
The book’s focus is on the early development of the Dzogchen tradition, especially as codified in a set of hitherto unstudied commentaries by the 10th-century scholar and meditation master Nubchen Sangye Yeshe. A full annotated translation of the commentaries is provided, along with an edition of the Tibetan texts on facing pages.
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Dylan Esler, PhD (2018), University of Louvain, MA (2005) SOAS, London, currently works as a researcher at the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) of the Ruhr-University Bochum. He has published numerous articles and translations relating to Tibetan Dzogchen and Tantra, including The Lamp for the Eye of Contemplation (Oxford University Press, 2023).
9789004534223 Acknowledgements
Conventions Used


Part 1 An Essay in Approaching Effortlessness

1 Evoking Effortlessness

2 Effortlessness as a Trope of Demarcation

3 Looking Back: A Precedent in Nyak Jñānakumāra

4 An Internal Contradiction?

5 Coalescence of the Transcendence-Immanence Relational Polarity

6 Effortlessness as Path

7 Inwardness and Spaciousness

8 The Question of Method

9 Effortlessness and Conduct

10 Encounter and Transmission


Part 2 The Texts

Introductory Remarks
 1 A Note on the Editions of the Orally Transmitted Injunctions of the Nyingma
 2 Overview of the Root Texts in Their Various Versions
 3 Categories of Variants

1 rJe btsan dam pa’i ’grel pa / Commentary on the Holy Revered One (JDG)

2 Byang chub sems bde ba ’phra bkod kyi don ’grel / Meaning Commentary on the Inlaid Jewel of Bliss, the Enlightened Mind (DPG)

3 rDo rje gzong phugs kyi ’grel pa / Commentary on the Adamantine Piercing Awl (DZG)

4 rTse mo byung rgyal ’grel pa / Commentary on the Victorious Peak (TBG)

scholars and students of Tibetan religion, as well as the wider community of Buddhist practitioners.
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