Publications by Rob Preece

The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra 

 

Foreword by Stephen Batchelor

 

This book masterfully suceeds in clarifying the nature of Tantric practice. In contrast to the approaches of conventional religion, tantra does not attempt to soothe the turmoil of existence with consoling promises of heaven and salvation. The tantric practitioner chooses to confront the bewildering and chaotic forces of fear, aggression, desire and pride, and work with them in such a way that they are channeled into creative expression, loving relationships, and wisely engaged forms of life.

 

In order to make the process of tantra psychologically intelligible for a contemporary reader, Rob Preece makes judicious use of the work of modern psychotherapy, forging a compelling link between a Western tradition that hearks back to the alchemical traditions of our own past and the comparably "alchemical" strategies of Tibetan Buddhist practices. In keeping with the pragmatic and therapeutic aims of both psychotherapy and Buddhist meditation, The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra never loses sight of the central importance of applying these ideas to the concrete realities of daily life."Rob Preece has given us one of the most illuminating unpackings of Tibetan tantra yet to emerge in the English language." -Mark Epstein, author of Thoughts without a Thinker. "The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra succeeds in clarifying the nature of tantric practice. He does not seek to explain away the undeniably evocative and darkly potent language of tantra, but to recognise them as transformative symbols of the rich complexity of our own inner lives." -Stephen Batchelor. 

 

For a brief extract go to Introduction

Published in the US by Shambala Publications 

ISBN -10 1-55939-263-0

The Wisdom of Imperfection

The challenge of individuation in Buddhist life

 

 

Compassion grows from an understanding of our fallibility not from ideals of perfection. Wisdom does not always come as a flash of inspiration but from the slow often painful working of experience. We grow from our errors, they are the manure of transformation. The Wisdom of Imperfection explores the journey of individuation in Buddhist life, looking at the psychological process beneath the traditional Buddhist path of the Bodhisattva. Rob Preece draws on his work as a psychotherapist and meditation teacher to explore the psychological influences on our struggle to awaken.

 

"The Wisdom of Imperfection strikes an illuminating balance between commitment to a Buddhist practice and recognition of deep-seated psychological realities. This is the book for all those who wonder why they can't stop undermining and contradicting what they cherish most deeply."--Stephen Batchelor, author of Living with the Devil

 

"The Wisdom of Imperfection is a wonderfully thorough and engaging look at the unfolding of the spiritual/psychological journey. Drawing on a depth of personal experience, Rob Preece offers an insightful and important perspective."--Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience

 

"In The Wisdom of Imperfection, Rob Preece takes us on a remarkable journey of self-discovery. The book offers a powerful vision of wholeness, based on profound insight into the principles of Buddhism as well as a sophisticated understanding of modern Western psychology. This lucid and well written work is further enriched and brought to life by compelling anecdotes and case histories drawn from Rob Preece's practical experience as a skilled psychotherapist and Buddhist practitioner. The Wisdom of Imperfection is an important contribution to the growing dialogue between Western psychology and Eastern spirituality."--Howard C. Cutler, M.D., co-author, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, of The Art of Happiness and The Art of Happiness at Work.

 

"Preece generously offers Jungian insight to the common pitfalls encountered by westerners on the Buddhist path. His depth of understanding yields gems for anyone struggling to hold the tension of opposites the spiritual life demands. The Wisdom of Imperfection is a perfect read!"--Deborah Bowman, Ph.D., Associate Professor and founder of the Transpersonal Counseling Psychology program at Naropa University.

 

For extracts go to Articles and Introduction

Published in the US by Shambala Publications 

ISBN 1-55939-252-5

 

The Courage to feel

Buddhist practices for opening to others 

 

When circumstances are challenging, how do we react? This book offers methods to help us develop greater inner strength and openness to life by changing the habit of "self-preoccupation" - the tendency to act from a narrow perspective dominated by insecurity and isolation. When we learn to look outside this mentality and truly cherish others as well as ourselves, we create a happier, relaxed mind and more fulfilling relationships, as well as realising our life's purpose in a menaingful way. 

A long time Buddhist practitioner and psychotherapist, Rob shares traditional meditations and practices for awakening the mind and heart including tonglen, but he also offers a Jungian persepctive on these and his own sense - cultivated during many years experience - of ways in which Westerners may need to re-see these practices to benefit most from them. Rob's insightful fusion of East and West will help readers tap inner resources of compassion and integrity in order to realise the awakened mind for the benefit of all living beings. Rob offers meditation practices at the end of many chapters to help the reader digest and integrate the book's information.

"Rob Preece has brought traditional Buddhist practices alive by translating them into these times and the personal and collective psyche into which we are born. This is a true engagement of the particularness of the conditioned mind and its developmental causes and the ancient wisdom practices from Tibetan Buddhism.

Rob shares his lifelong journey to embody his learning through his Tibetan teachers and his Transpersonal Psychotherapeutic client experience. He has allowed us to see his struggles and realizations. In this way he reveals the qualities he so well communicates in the book. The qualities of courage, perseverance, humility; ordinariness; compassion and wisdom. Rob shares with us his own journey in “Awakening Mind”, embodied Bodhichitta. He uncovers our natural, inherent motivation towards kindness and our shared humanity.

This book is essential reading for those who want to engage with the deeper questions of meaning and would be a resource to meditators; counsellors and psychotherapists.

In these times, the world seems to suffer from a malaise in relationship at all levels. Rob’s book not only uncovers the cause but offers us the remedy as the mind awakens and remembers its true nature." Maura Sills (Director of training at Karuna Institute)

 

For extracts go to Articles and Introduction

Published in the US by Shambala Publications 

ISBN-10: 1-55939-333-5

 

Preparing for Tantra

Creating the Psychological Ground for Practice

 

It is now very common for people in the West to receive empowerments into extraordinary and complex tantric practices. However, to embark upon them without having first prepared the ground may have a number of negative consequences. Our psychological and energetic maturity simply may not have been developed sufficiently to bring out the real potential of the practice. 

 

In Preparing for Tantra, Rob Preece draws on his experience as a Tantric Buddhist practitioner, meditation teacher, and psychotherapist to show how to make the preliminary practices psychologically meaningful and spiritually transformative. These preliminaries are an extraordinarily rich collection of practices, and he examines them with an eye to revealing how they may be used to heal and transform psychological trauma, offering practical suggestions for integrating them into one's daily life. 

 

ENDORSEMENTS
"An accessible guidebook for engaging in ngondro, the preliminary practices that are done before engaging in a long tantric retreat. These practices are also powerful tools for purifying negativities and alleviating guilt, healing difficult experiences, and enriching our minds with goodness so that we will be able to progress in our Dharma practice and gain realizations of the path. As a Dharma practitioner and a psychotherapist with many years of experience in both fields, Rob addresses many of the psychological issues that arise for Westerners practicing the Dharma and explains how to use the preliminary practices to clear and heal these. It is a great manual to have at your side while doing the preliminary practices."--Thubten Chodron, author of Buddhism for Beginners

 

"Western Students of Buddhism--particularly those attempting to master the meditative techniques of Highest Yoga Tantra--face the daunting challenge of weaving these profound transformative practices into the fabric of their busy daily lives. In Preparing for Tantra, Rob Preece draws on his many years of experience as both a meditator and psychotherapist to demonstrate most eloquently how one's daily life and work, far from being a hindrance to one's spiritual practices, can serve as its ongoing foundation, fully integrated with the ngondro, or traditional tantric preliminaries. Inspiring and highly recommended."--Jonathan Landaw, author of Images of Enlightenment: Tibetan Art in Practice

For extracts go to Articles: Introduction; In the Shadow of Goodness; Giving Up 

Published in the US by Shambala Publications 

ISBN 9781559393775

 

Feeling Wisdom

Working with emotions using Buddhist teachings and Western psychology

 

The realm of emotion is one of those areas where Buddhism and Western psychology are often thought to be at odds: Are emotions to be valued, examined, worked with as signs leading us to deeper self-knowledge? Or are they something to be ignored and avoided as soon as we recognize them? Rob Preece feels that neither of those extremes is correct. He charts a path through the emotions as they relate to Buddhist practice, showing that though emotions are indeed “skandhas” (elements that make up the illusory self) according to the Buddhist teaching, there is a good deal to be learned from these skandhas, and paying attention to their content contributes not only to psychological health but to deep insight into the nature of reality. He draws on his own experiences with emotions and meditation, through his training in both Tibetan Buddhism and psychotherapy, to show how working with emotions can be a complement to meditation practice.

 

ENDORSEMENTS

“Our emotional life can be a prison of suffering or a portal to profound heart-wisdom. In this brilliant synthesis of Tibetan Buddhist teachings and Western psychology, Rob Preece offers a rich guide for healing and spiritual awakening.” Tara Brach, Ph.D. Author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

 

“This book shows us very clearly how feelings can be a path to enlightenment and on how wounds can turn into resources. I was especially touched by the way Rob writes directly to us as a wise, kindly, and compassionate teacher-friend.”—David Richo, author of The Five Things We Cannot Change and How To Be An Adult In Relationships 

 

"Universally, we human beings suffer from our feelings. On the path to greater freedom and wisdom, psychotherapy typically encourages us to get to know our feelings, even to follow them into stories of meaning and action. Buddhism, on the other hand, tends to encourage us to temper or ignore our feelings as a means to liberation from suffering. Psychotherapist and life-long Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, Rob Preece guides us in a tremendously useful and practical dialogue between these two disciplines. What is the skillful path to experiencing your feelings and engaging with them in a manner that enhances your vitality and reduces your suffering? Preese gives an insightful and precise answer to this important question." Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D. author of "The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Discovery"

 

Now Available 

In the UK from robpreece@mudra.co.uk

UK Price £14.95+£3.00 postage

In the US and world wide from Amazon

Tasting the Essence of Tantra 

Buddhist meditation for contemporary Western life

 

Rob Preece brings a unique blend of traditional understanding, meditation experience and Western psychology. This will be invaluable to both new and experienced practitioners to enable a deepening of the effectiveness of the tantric path.

 

Following The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra this book takes us into the subtleties of meditation  within the tantric tradition. Tantra is rich and inspiring, but is not simple and can easily become bound up in technicalities and complexity that are hard to navigate. In this book, following the insights of his teacher Lama Thubten Yeshe, Rob Preece, guides us into a way of meditation that can free us from much of this complexity, creating space within practice and enabling us to feel the essence of tantra. He emphasises the need to make an awareness of the body and its energy central to meditation. With years of experience as a psychotherapist and mentor he introduces a way of practice that directly meets our particular Western psychological nature. He gives an invaluable insight into the underlying psychological process many of us can experience within practice.

 

ENDORSEMENTS

“Drawing on a lifetime of study and practice of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, Rob Preece gives us a clear and comprehensive overview of the complex world of tantra, and how modern practitioners can engage it in a fully embodied, personal, and experiential way…. This book will inform and delight both the serious meditator as well as those with interest in Tibet, Buddhism, and spirituality in general.  This is Preece’s most mature book yet.” Dr Reggie Ray, author of Touching Enlightenment and The Awakening Body.

 

“In this remarkable book, Rob Preece shares the fruit of his many years spent not only practicing in the Tibetan tantric tradition but also serving as a psychotherapist and mentor for other Western practitioners.  Inspired by his main teacher—the beloved Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-84)—his aim is to bring tantric meditation alive for people in such a way that helps them psychologically as well as fulfilling them spiritually. He achieves that aim brilliantly.” Jonathan Landaw, compiler and editor of Lama Yeshe’s Introduction to Tantra and author of Images of Enlightenment: Tibetan Art in Practice. 

 

For extracts go to Articles and Introduction

Published in the UK by Mudra Publications 

ISBN: 978-1-5272-1498-9

To order in the UK contact: robpreece@mudra.co.uk

£14.95 + £3.00 p&p

Lama Chopa - The Guru Puga 

Composed by Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen the first Panchen Lama

 Translated into English by Rob Preece 

Forewords by Geshe Thubten Jinpa & Zazep Tulku Rinpoche 

(An audio version of this practice is available from Rob via Dropbox.) 

 

Lama Chöpa is a practice of guru devotion special to the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In Sanskrit, lama is guru, and chöpa is offering, so Lama Chöpa translates into English as “offering to the spiritual guide.” In the Gelugpa tradition, there are many guru yoga sadhanas, but Lama Chöpa is the most popular and sacred text. A special practice of Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the founder of the Gelugpa School, Lama Chöpa was compiled by the first Panchen Lama, Panchen Lozang Chökyi Gyaltsen (1570-1662), who was the teacher of the fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682). Lama Chöpa became so popular in Tibet and Mongolia that almost every monk of the Gelugpa tradition had it memorized, and recited it on a daily basis, both in the temple as a group practice, and individually.

 

Lama Chöpa is considered to be an Anuttarayoga Tantra or Highest Yoga Tantra practice. As indicated by the opening words, “Arising within the sphere of great bliss, I manifest as a Guru Yidam,” it contains the idea of personal transformation through the practitioner merging his or her mind with the guru as the meditational deity. The essence of the practice is to see the guru as an Enlightened Being, a Buddha, and to receive his or her blessings in return.


Twenty-five percent of profits from this book go to Tashilhunpo, the Panchen Lama’s monastery-in-exile, in India.

 

About the Book
This unique edition features a complete version of the Lama Chöpa, a world heritage text, including all of the traditional music and mudras needed to perform the sadhana in its traditional form.
“It is a real delight to read the famed Lama Chöpa in Rob Preece’s new translation. In chanting the lines from this new rendering, one could almost hear echoes of the original Tibetan composed so eloquently by Panchen Lobsang Chögyen, one of Tibet’s greatest spiritual masters.”
Thupten Jinpa, PhD., principal English translator to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the author/translator of Essential Mind Training. Montreal, QC, 2012

 

Translators Note

This version of Lama Chöpa came into being while I was in retreat high above McCleod Gange in Northern India between 1980 and 1985. Having a desire to do this practice but feeling frustrated by the English versions that were available I wanted to find a way to actually chant the practice rather than simply read it. As a result I spent many enjoyable hours in breaks between meditation sessions looking out over the foothills towards Daramsala singing to myself and gradually transposing the text to music. As far as possible most of the tunes accord with the original Tibetan chants with one or two variations that I felt brought the text alive in a slightly different way. I am aware that my translation is not perfect in its rendering of the original Tibetan and in places I have tried to be true to the meaning while needing to create a more chantable meter. When it was completed Lama Yeshe would often asked it to be performed at Tushita retreat centre in Daramasala when Westerners performed Tsog. My hope is that being able to chant Lama Chöpa inEnglish in this way can bring a real heart connection to the practice.

Rob Preece 2012

 

 

Published in Canada by Sumeru Press inc. 

ISBN-978-1-896559-11-7

 

For further information on Rob's work contact: robpreece@mudra.co.uk

© 2015 Rob Preece