Spectrum of Ecstasy, by Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, is one of Evolving Ground’s recommended books. It describes a way to understand and meditate with emotions. I wrote a page here about the book’s content and impact. Another page also answers some questions about engaging with the practice described in the book.
We encourage Evolving Ground apprentices and pupils to read Spectrum, because it describes a Vajrayana worldview and practice that is not reliant on Mahayana or Tantric pre-requisites. The core prerequiste for the practice is some success at shi-ne, or opening awareness, Evolving Ground’s foundational meditation.
Apprentices and other long-standing community members host a regular reading group for eG‘s recommended core texts. For their contribution project some Evolving Ground apprentices recently wrote an eight part reader’s guide to Spectrum of Ecstasy and an accompanying facilitators’ guide for reading group hosts.
I am very impressed with this guide! It’s pitched to support the reader to explore the content of the book in relation to their personal experience as well as from a theoretical perspective. The facilitators’ sections cover good hosting practice as well as a more sophisticated understanding of the text. Facilitators are likely to be reading the book for at least the second time and the guide keeps the material relevant and alive for them.
Here is an example taken from the beginning of the first part of the reader’s guide. The eight sections of the guide are roughly fifteen pages each. This short excerpt from the beginning gives a taste of the style and tone:
Here’s a sample of question prompts for the facilitator, from later on in the guide:
If you would like to join a reading group to beta test the guide, starting January 11th, see the Evolving Ground Discord #gatherings channel. Information is pinned in Spectrum of Ecstasy Series thread. (Join here.)
Once we are happy with this and other similar guides, after a few test runs, we will make it available for eG approved hosts to run virtual and local reading groups.