This text is short but has become one of the core texts used in Tibet to teach the profound Dzogchen practice ofThorough Cut, or Threkcho. However, as with other books on innermost Dzogchen-it is strongly advised that you do not purchase the book unless you have received the necessary instructions from a qualified teacher.
Ju Mipham Namgyal is one of the best known masters and authors of the Nyingma tradition. He was a prolific writer with an extraordinary knowledge of his own and other Dharma traditions. The wording of the title, "Way of the Realized Old Dogs" is explained in the introduction. Briefly, it means that this text lays out the way of practice of those who just practice the essence of their own minds and who develop realization that way. Through this, they eventually become realized in the system and wise to it; they become "Realized Old Dogs".
The text is a favourite of tantrikas, or ngagpas (or in modern, Western terms, the urban yogi). It is a favourite for them because it is specifically for practitioners who do not live in a monastery or other dharma institution and who do not spend their lives developing a scholastic knowledge of Buddhism. As it lays out the approach of the urban yogi, it has to present the introduction (often called "pointing out") to the nature of the mind. It does this in using what are called "differentiations." This is unusual because differentiations are usually transmitted orally from teacher to the student and mostly are not written down. There are many differentiations; in this case Mipham sets out the differentiation between alaya and dharmakaya.
"Without need of vast training in hearing and contemplating, the village tantrikas in general who preserve the essence of mind, using the way of foremost instruction will go with little hardship, to the level of the vidyadharas; it has the power of a profound path."