February 18, 2010

Review: Buddhist Fasting Practice: Nyungne Method of Thousand Armed Chenrezig (Wanchen Rinpoche)

Nyungne is a method of physical, mental and spiritual purification practiced by a wide range of Buddhist practitioners, especially those who have taken the Bodhisattva Vow. Buddhist Fasting Practice: The Nyungne Method of Thousand Armed Chenrezig gives the reader a strong sense of what is expected by those undertaking Nyungne over the multi-day practice.

This step-by-step guide includes necessary prayers in original Tibetan with English translations, making this a useful text. Wangchen Rinpoche takes a traditional approach to Nyungne, though modern readers might find various parts of it challenging: one method of preparation for longer Nyungne involves bathing in purified water (and drinking) that has had a small amount of fresh cow dung added to it, which raises questions for those who might prefer the traditional approach but might not have access to specific materials…as well as for those who wish to bypass that particular part of the practice..!

The book is detailed, without being overbearing, and is clear in its approach and language. For anyone considering embarking on a Nyungne retreat, this book is recommended.

From Snow Lion Publications and available from your local, independent bookstore. (Shop local, shop independent, and tell ’em you saw it on Elephant Journal… it matters!)

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