Middle Beyond Extremes


By Maitreya བྱམས་པ།

Snow Lion, An Imprint by Shambhala Publications, Dharmachakra Translation Committee, Boulder, Colorado, 2006

Middle Beyond Extremes contains a translation of the Buddhist masterpiece Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes. This famed text, often referred to by its Sanskrit title, Madhyantavibhaga, is part of a collection known as the Five Maitreya Teachings བྱམས་ཆོས་སྡེ་ལྔ་།. Maitreya, the Buddha’s regent, is held to have entrusted these profound and vast instructions to the master Asanga ཐོགས་མེད། in the heavenly realm of Tushita.

In pithy verses, Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes employs the principle of the three natures to explain the way things seem to be, as well as the way they actually are. Unraveling the subtle processes that condition our thinking and experience, Maitreya’s teaching reveals a powerful path of compassionate vision and spiritual transformation. Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes is here presented alongside commentaries by two outstanding masters of Tibet’s nonsectarian Rimé movement: Khenpo Shenga མཁན་པོ་གཞན་དགའ། and Ju Mipham འཇུ་མི་ཕམ།. Maitreya and Asanga, who lived during the fourth century C.E., are the progenitors of the Approach of Vast Activity, one of two great currents of Mahayana view and practice. Their works have achieved the status of unique spiritual classics.

Maitreya describes the multifaceted interdependent processes whereby consciousness manifests and expresses itself. When on this path of experience we equally acknowledge the expressions of mind and their intrinsic nature, we will, he promises, discover a flawless and bountiful perspective—a discovery of unlimited resources. Maitreya’s terse instructions are accompanied here by two commentaries.

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Middle Beyond Extremes


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