About the Nyingma tradition
The Nyingma or the Ancient School of Tibetan Buddhism is the name given to the followers of those original translations of the teachings of the Buddha in to Tibetan.
It traces its origins back to the Indian Lotus Born Master (Sanscrit: Pamasambhava, Tibetan: Guru Rinpoche) see picture to the left. Renowned as the second Buddha, Guru rinpoche transmitted Tantric Buddhism to Tibet and Bhutan in the 8th Century.
The tradition is known as the ‘Earlier Translation School ‘, Ngagyur Nyingma, distinguishing them from the ‘New Schools’, Sarma, such as the Kadam, Kagyu, Sakya, and eventually Geluk, which followed the later translations.
The Nyingma teachings are divided into the unbroken Long Transmission of Kama (oral tradition) and the Short Transmission of Terma (spiritual treasures hidden by Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal); other teachings were received by masters directly in Pure Visions from deities or gurus, in experiences or in dreams.
Within the Nyingma tradition, the full spectrum of spiritual paths is divided into nine yanas, a system of practice bringing together all the approaches of the Buddha’s teaching into a single comprehensive path to enlightenment. See outline of this path here.