I just ordered my first set of restricted books. All of them were recommended by senior Dzogchen practitioners here on the board. As I'm just getting started, these first few should be pretty solid, I think. However, I have no idea what I'm getting since, as you say, the description of the books are terribly inadequate - even the non-restricted items. I guess Amazon.com has spoiled me! It's nice to know the dimensions, page count, full description, etc. when buying a book. It's also nice to know, as you say, it's usefulness beyond a single read. [Personally, I see the restricted texts as largely another business scheme, though I imagine it can't be very profitable considering its niche market.]padma norbu wrote:I kind of wish Namkhai Norbu gave everyone a plan of action so that I would know exactly what I should do rather than being like, "it is up to me, I can do whatever I want" and then ordering a bunch of restricted books at $60 a pop on stuff which ends up being not appropriate for me since I don't have the proper teaching so it mostly collects dust on the bookshelf. There's just no way to tell what these books are from the brief descriptions to someone who doesn't already know. For example, I bought Longde Teachings because I thought it may be one of the more important books of the Longde series. It gives instruction with mantras I don't know, heruka, Upadesha teachings of Four Das, etc. Something I would never try to improvise on my own, so it is useless for me. Most of the restricted books I have bought are like this. A Dzogchen restricted-text lending library would be cool for us poor folk.
The books I reference the most of Namkhai Norbu's are all non-restricted... how about the rest of you?
As for Namkhai Norbu providing a plan of action, I feel like this about most of Buddhism, really. However, I'm used to being told what to do by a bishop or priest or by Canon Law. Chogyam Trungpa would often tell his students that there was no way he could provide a plan of action since every student's experience will and must be different. To coordinate a plan of action would be to force and manufacture what is not there. Maybe Namkhai Norbu would agree.