His kindness is without equal. He was — and now I shall give his name in view of my purpose — Jetsun Jampa Taenzin Trinlae Gyatso Paelzangpo. (Pabongka Rinpoche) Although people like me are immature, uncultured and unregenerate, there was a time when I feasted on his oral instructions into the Mahayana [the Supreme or Great Vehicle] at Chuzang Hermitage, a lonely place that was blessed by the presence of great meditators.
He started the following informal teaching on the thirtieth day of the seventh month of the Iron Bird Year , and it lasted twenty-four days. People braved great hardships to get there from the three major monasteries in Lhasa, from the Central Province, from Tsang, Amdo and Kham to taste the nectar of his oral teachings, as the thirsty yearn for water.
There were about thirty lamas and reincarnations of lamas, and many upholders of the three baskets of the teachings – in all a gathering of over seven hundred. The informal teaching he gave combined various traditions on the Lam-rim – the stages of the path to enlightenment.
There were the two oral lineages related to the Lam-rim text Manjushn’s Own Words. One of these lineages was quite detailed and had developed in the Central Province; another lineage of a briefer teaching flourished in the south of Tibet. He also included the concise teaching, the Swift Path Lam-rim; and in the part of the Great Scope section that deals with the interchange of self and others, he taught the seven-point mind training.
Each part of the teaching was enriched by instructions taken from the confidential oral lineages. Each section was illustrated by analogies, conclusive formal logic, amazing stories, and trustworthy quotations. The teaching could easily be understood by beginners, and yet was tailored for all levels of intelligence. It was beneficial for the mind because it was so inspiring. Sometimes we were moved to laughter, becoming wide awake and alive. Sometimes we were reduced to tears and cried helplessly. At other times we became afraid or were moved to feel, ‘I would gladly give up this life and devote myself solely to my practice.’ This feeling of renunciation was overwhelming. These are some of the ways in which all of his discourses were so extraordinary.
How could I possibly convey all this on paper! Yet what a pity if all the key points contained in these inspiring instructions were lost. This thought gave me the courage to write this book. As my precious guru later advised me, ‘Some of the people present could not follow the teaching. I’m afraid I do not trust all the notes people took during the classes. I therefore ask you to publish a book. Put in it anything you feel sure of.’
In this book I have accurately recorded my lama’s teachings in the hope that this substitute for his speech will be beneficial to my friends who wish to succeed in their practice.
-Trijang Rinpoche. Introduction, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand – A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightenment By Pabongka Rinpoche Edited by Trijang Rinpoche Translated by Michael Richards Wisdom 1991. All formatting and emphasis mine…