304 pages, 6 x 9, illustrated
Vajrayana Buddhism, Tathagatagarbha doctrine
by Master Tam Shek-wing
The teaching of Tathagatagarbha may appear simple on the surface, but in reality, it is woven into many aspects of Buddha’s teaching, making it difficult to grasp.
Elucidating Tathagatagarbha is divided into three parts.
Part I is on the “profoundly secret Tathagatagarbha.” It is written for lay readers. Beginners and non-Buddhists can make use of it as a guide to understand worldly affairs from the Vajrayana perspective.
In Part II, Tam discusses Buddhism against a backdrop of Western philosophy. Philosophy offers a number of examples illustrating practical applications of the Tathagatagarbha teaching. Many consider Buddhism as a way to retreat from the world, when in fact, there is an interplay of our everyday affairs and their transcendence, making them inseparable. In this way, Tathagatagarbha is like a “great philosophy.” Through its application, one cultivates the practical (worldly) and wisdom ( transcendent) merits.
Part III is The White Conch Pearl, a poem of praise following the Buddhist scriptural tradition Tam wrote years ago, together with an in-depth commentary by the author.
In praise of fourfold dependent origination, it is the author’s hope that this book will create new awareness of the Tathagatagarbha teachings and dispel any misunderstandings about their true meaning.
Tam Shek-wing (1935-) is a Buddhist scholar, painter, poet, writer and social critic. He is the founder of the Vajrayana Buddhism Association and Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Studies Association in North America.
Born in Guangzhou, China, Tam was exposed in his youth to subjects ranging from the arts to philosophy to science, laying the foundation for a long, multi-faceted career. As a young man, he received systematic training in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche and was ordained a Vajra Archarya at the age of 38. As early as the late 1970s, Tam has been publishing writings on Buddhism, with an emphasis on the teachings and meditative practice in Vajrayana Buddhism.
Tam helped organized the publication of the Monograph Series in Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Studies. The published works sparked interest in establishing new curricula in Buddhist Studies in a number of universities in China, including Renmin University and Tsinghua University in Beijing, among others. He is a visiting professor at these universities.
Master Tam lives in Toronto, Canada with his family.