Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen (Paperback)
'Essence of Mind' outlines the author's approach to Dzogchen, the natural primordial state of human consciousness that is timeless and untouched by suffering. He describes different methods for pointing out the essence of consciousness and the techniques related to them. Then he outlines key principles of a training system suited to Western students that can lead to realisation. The final section outlines the significance of continuous exercises, and describes the way spiritual practice slowly permeates daily life.
About the Author
JES BERTELSEN (b. 1946) is a Danish spiritual teacher and author. He is the leader of the Vaekstcenter (Growth Center) in Norre Snede in Denmark. He has a PhD in the History of Ideas from Aarhus University, Denmark, where he also taught for more than a decade. He has written 20 books in Danish ranging from a thesis on Kierkegaard, through books on self-development and depth psychology, to the advanced meditation texts of later years. His teaching and his later books are based on a systematic experiential investigation of the nature of consciousness, using comparative analyses of Eastern and Western consciousness practices, as well as modern psychological, philosophical, and scientific approaches.
His latest offerings are (2008) "Bevidsthedens flydende lys: Betragtninger over begrebet apperception hos Immanuel Kant og Longchenpa" ("The Flowing Light of Consciousness: Reflections on the Concept of Apperception in Immanuel Kant and Longchenpa") and (2009) a research article published in the science magazine "NeuroReport," "Long-term meditation is associated with increased gray matter density in the brain stem" (coauthored with Peter Vestergaard-Poulsen, Martijn van Beek, Joshua Skewes, Carsten R. Bjarkam, Michael Stubberup, and Andreas Roepstorf).
“Jes Bertelsen belongs to the very, very small group of people who are true lineage-holders of Dzogchen, held by many to be the pinnacle of the Tibetan tradition of meditation. He was authorized to teach in his own way by his teacher, Tulku Urgyen, one of the most revered spiritual masters of the twentieth century. This way, as it is brilliantly presented in this book, is clear, warm, and completely modern. Bertelsen unites a breathtaking command of Western psychology and philosophy with deep meditative realization. Here is, at long last, a lineage-holder of Dzogchen, a certified great teacher and scholar, who in a down-to-earth fashion can explain, step by step, what it means to transcend the mind—and how it is done.”
—Peter Hoeg, author of The Elephant Keeper's Children and Smilla's Sense of Snow
"Jes Bertelsen guides us to a fresh perspective on perspective itself, with this engaging exploration of a perennial truth: that our ordinary consciousness gives us a limited view of reality. He points out the possibility of an unconfined capacity in awareness, and how we might take this step beyond into a fully open, naked awareness. Essence of Mind offers a practical map for those drawn to explore the far reaches of our human potential."
—Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
“Jes Bertelsen’s words set the reader’s mind streaming in the direction of transdual completeness. Simple and spellbinding, this is that rarest of books—a genuinely profound page-turner you don’t want to put down. Its simple brilliance draws attention, not to itself, but to the reader’s own essential mind.”
—Anne C. Klein (Rigzin Drolma), professor of religious studies at Rice University and founding director of Dawn Mountain