Fear, anger, and negativity are states that each of us have to contend with. Machik's Complete Explanation, the most famous book of the teachings of Machik Lapdrön, the great female saint and yogini of eleventh- to twelfth-century Tibet, addresses these issues in a practical, direct way.
Machik developed a system, the Mahamudra Chöd, that takes the Buddha's teachings as a basis and applies them to the immediate experiences of negative mind states and malignant forces. Her unique feminine approach is to invoke and nurture the very "demons" that we fear and hate, transforming those reactive emotions into love. It is the tantric version of developing compassion and fearlessness, a radical method of cutting through ego-fixation.
This expanded edition includes Machik Lapdrön's earliest known teaching, the original source text for the tradition, The Great Bundle of Precepts on Severance (Chöd). This pithy set of instructions reveals that the teachings of the perfection of wisdom are the true inspiration for Chöd. It is beautifully clarified in a short commentary by Rangjung Dorje, the Third Karmapa.
"Sarah Harding's masterful translation is a real gift to students of Chöd and this extraordinary woman teacher. It provides much new material, including intimate question-and-answer sessions between Machik and her disciples. The translation has such a fresh, living quality, you almost feel you are receiving teachings directly from Machik Labdron herself."—Tsultrim Allione, author of Women of Wisdom and founder of the Tara Mandala Retreat Center
"In this remarkable work, Sarah Harding has combined her well-honed translation skills with her own practice experience to give us the most complete, detailed, lucid, and well-contextualized study to date of the meaning and practice of Machik's Chöd."—Jan Willis, author of Dreaming Me
"An important contribution to an understanding of Tibet's most innovative female saint, revealing her vast diversity of teachings that place Chöd squarely in the mainstream of tantric Buddhist meditation. Harding's translation deftly reveals new and rare biographical, anatomical, philosophic, and meditative lore essential to understanding the tradition as a whole."—Judith Simmer-Brown, professor at Naropa University and author of Dakini's Warm Breath
"Sarah Harding's magnificent translation of this key work of Machik Labkyi Dronma, Tibet's most famous yogini, opens up for Western practitioners the startling world of Chöd practice: severing the devil of ego-fixation. This meditation manual explains how the rich symbology of tantric yoga can be used in a disturbingly effective way to transform one's life."—Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism without Beliefs
"It is a very welcome addition to the literature on Tibetan Buddhism in Western languages, opening up the inner world of a fascinating and significant mode of spiritual practice in a way that is respectful, humorous, and true to the tradition it presents."—The Middle Way
"To experienced practitioners, the Tsadra Foundation Series is more precious than gold dust."—Tricycle