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1. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism,
2. Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics:
3. The World of Tibetan Buddhism:
4. A Concise Introduction To Tibetan
5. The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism
6. Tibetan Buddhism from the Ground
7. Translating Buddhism from Tibetan
8. Symbols of Tibetan Buddhism (Beliefs
9. Mind in Tibetan Buddhism
10. Essential Tibetan Buddhism
12. Buddhism with an Attitude: The
13. Fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism
14. A Beginner's Guide to Tibetan
15. Meditative States in Tibetan Buddhism
16. The Tibetan Book of Living and
17. Master of Wisdom: Six Text by
18. Foundations of Tibetan Buddhism:
19. The Way to Freedom: Core Teachings
20. Practice and Theory of Tibetan

1. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, Revised Edition
by John Powers
Paperback: 512 Pages (2007-12-25)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$14.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559392827
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The expanded edition of the classic reference, one of Snow Lion's top ten bestsellers. Thorough coverage of Tibetan Buddhism from its Indian origins to the present day; includes new information on the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, religious practices and festivals, and the current political situation. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars Needed an editor
I had a bit of a conundrum when decided what to rate this book. It is a very good introduction and covers a great deal of information. I chose to read it after a trip to the Spiti Valley in India where Tibetan Buddhism is almost exclusively practiced, and I felt this book gave me a greater understanding of those things that I experienced while I was there. The problem in this book is that it is in great need of a good editor. At many areas in the book, I found myself reading the same information for 3 or more long paragraphs in a row worded just slightly differently. This book could have been edited down to two-thirds of its current length without any loss of information. Until the book gets a proper editing to make it more concise and better worded, I'm afraid I cannot give the book a higher rating.

5-0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal resource & very detailed reference
Truly, this is among The Great Books to buy and keep near you when you are earnestly seeking to understand Tibetan Buddhism and will benefit from a wealth of references to everything you might want or need to investigate in greater detail. No single book could provide in depth information about every aspect of Tibetan Buddhism, why and how it is unique; John Powers has done a brilliant job of anticipating the questions that would likely arise in the mind of someone who wishes to pursue the path of Enlightenment and has been drawn to Tibetan culture and the intense devotion of the Tibetan people to "be as they are and as they were" regardless of many decades and cycles of suffering, destruction and death.

We are first given a history of the evolution of Buddhism and tremendous insight into the formation and embracing of Buddhism as a spiritual 'system' of learning within Tibet. While other countries and cultures have embraced Buddhism prior to Tibet, there is an inexplicable power about the people and the place which made Buddhism almost synonymous with the Tibetan culture. Having been drawn to the Tibetan expression of these spiritual teachings, these book informs me that I did not choose an 'easy' path: for a Westerner to honestly comprehend and do all that is necessary to accomplish the appreciation of emptiness, let alone the ability to contemplate emptiness and know all else is bliss.. this requires Refuge which can be very difficult for most of us to attain. I first sought the Teachings of Buddha in a moment of anger, when I could have used information to bring harm to a person who had behaved very badly. It was then that I learned that if I could not remain compassionate and kind, instead giving in to the feelings of greed, anger and foolishness, I must stay away from these people -- they are, for me at least, evil. John Powers' book has aided me tremendously in refining what I'd learned and informing me "Ah, it is not so easy as all that...!" Even when I am able to maintain kindness and compassion no matter who is tormenting me, this is an important aspect, but only an aspect, of so very much work that must be accomplished. I'm spending as much time researching even more of what John Powers has already written of in painstaking detail.

Even for HH the Dalai Lama with lifetimes of accumulated experience as a perfect being, Kundun has been and still must seek to maintain equilibrium. He's had to make some terribly difficult decisions in the name of keeping peace ~ and for this, he is criticized by some ~ truly, there's been enough bloodshed and he wishes everyone to get along and for persecution of all people to cease. Praying for the persecutors is not the same as the Christian who 'turns the other cheek' in response to insult: parallels can and will be drawn, but the enormous difference is the belief in perfecting one's own nature and achieving Buddhahood versus asking an unseeable and unknowable deity to forgive the ignorance of the persecutor. Each Buddhist feels the connection to all other sentient life, yet there is the knowledge of the illusion and the responsibility to find the clear, unencumbered knowing an action (or inaction) is correct. The Buddhist has no one who died for their absolution and no church is necessary. In Tibetan Buddhism, there is an amplification of these almost indescribable qualities of compassion and connectedness and simultaneous acceptance and contemplation of emptiness. John Powers describes what may seem like an impossible paradox beautifully... well enough that I can grasp what I cannot quite express.

Tantra in various manifestations is explained with great precision. Many Westerners will be disappointed to learn that the bliss is accomplished via sexual union in one end of the spectrum, yet to achieve the necessary courage and resilience to approach an Enlightened and Clear Mind via this path requires an ability to identify with certain Gods and Goddesses in such a way that one either befriends or (more powerfully) becomes them. And the same is true for the consort of partner. Tantra is explained as being dangerous, because this is true. Westerners I've met have bought books of yoga poses which promoted 'better sex' which missed the point entirely and some have gotten themselves into serious psychological crises.

In Tibetan Buddhism, you work and practice ~ rarely will anything be attained easily. And when one chants, it is most often to send a prayer of good out into the world and send prayers almost as often as one breathes and until it becomes something like an autonomic process. Put good thoughts and feelings out for all to benefit. Rarely does one pray for themselves and when they do it is to achieve a greater understanding or strength within themselves with a goal of separating the spiritual from the physical and material realms. Simply put, one wishes not only to be "a better person" but to become much more than this in order that the world will benefit. This is not the 'ego loss' so feared by Westerners (and it is the clinging to same which is much more frightening). And to identify oneself with a deity in order to walk with or become one with that deity is not madness or megalomania; it is asking a great deal of bravery of oneself and then shrugging off the asking as "no big deal." As of this moment in time, this is my best understanding ~ and I've come even this small distance quickly, relying on and trusting the information in this excellent book as a catalyst to more expansive horizons.

As for the person who wrote the review complaining about the 'Feminist approach' in Powers' writing being in some way upsetting, I believe there is quite a lot more literature that assumes a masculine voice and find it refreshing to hear reference to 'she' and 'herself'. It is also wonderful that in Tibetan Buddhism, women are taken quite seriously as monks, Dakinis (Goddesses in benevolence and in wrathful aspect, as warriors and terrifying forces) and, as much as their male counterparts, "people to be reckoned with." It is this way in life ~ why would there be an imbalance in spirituality?

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
Awesome and nicely put together. Great for all levels on the path to Buddhism. A must have!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Looking for an easy readable yet factual correct and unbiased presentation of Tibetan Buddhism, I came across this excellent text. Its now one of my favourite books about Tibetan Buddhism written by an academic and I can highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism
I would highly recommend this seller!Book arrived in Australia quicker than expected in better condition than expected!!Can't get better than that! ... Read more

2. Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics: Toward a Union of Love and Knowledge
by Vic Mansfield
Paperback: 192 Pages (2008-03-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159947137X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A truly rewarding book
Many surprises and intriguing conclusions await any reader willing to follow this book's discussions attentively and carefully.
No previous training in physics or Buddhism is assumed. Indeed, this text could serve as a first introduction to either discipline. The author, a professor of physic and astronomy, tells us that a major impetus for writing the book was a call by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for works that would introduce Tibetan monks to issues in modern science.
Although the author makes his points with great care and precision, his general tone is light and often quite personal, with frequent anecdotes, occasional humor, photographs, and poetry. The author's warmth shines through. Nevertheless, the discussion is layered, so that deeper meanings are available to more knowledgeable readers.
I've enjoyed a few other books that compare modern physics to Asian philosophies. This one stands out because it focuses in detail on some very specific issues without hand-waving or short-cuts. Among the problems discussed are: can an entity be truly independent? is there invariably a direction to time? can an event be "uncaused"? do physical laws support the possibility of "compassion" as understood in Buddhism? Don't assume you already know what conclusions are reached.
This book comes across as written with feeling and honesty. For all its intellectual concentration, I believe it was primarily a labor of love.

5-0 out of 5 stars For more information and sample chapters
For those wanting to read entire chapters or the introduction by the Dalai Lama, go to the author's website at www.lightlink.com/vic.That site has much more information about the book.It may help you decide if it is for you.

... Read more

3. The World of Tibetan Buddhism: An Overview of Its Philosophy and Practice
by Dalai Lama
Paperback: 224 Pages (1995-03-25)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0861710975
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A lucid and profound yet eminently readable introduction to [Tibetan Buddhism].--Library Journal ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The World of Tibetan Buddhism
Once again, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has masterfully explained Tibetan Buddhism. His explanation is clear and concise, easy enough for anyone to read. i would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about Tibetan Buddhism or anyone who enjoys reading His Holiness writing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Exxcellent but for advanced
Marvellous book, however, the two parts are more for people that already know about Buddhism from practice, those who have their Kleisha yet cannot understand about void or Tantra, aspects that cannot be understood without the deep moral basis attained by following the Four Noble Truths. Thus the First part of the book is for everybody who wants to learn in general about Buddhism, but then the book starts to be very complicated, what a pitty for neophytes.One is not that surprised the write has gained so many doctorates, his intelligence is sparkling from the text, but this would be for a different review...

5-0 out of 5 stars A BEAUTIFUL BOOK
This book is just what the title implies, an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism.As I read through the pages of this book, what transpired was an overwhelming sense of spiritual peace and tranquility.In today's "crazy world," so many people are looking for peace of mind and "a haven from the storm"that will sustain them through the everyday trials and tribulations of life.If you are not familiar with Buddhism and are still searching for that "safe haven," I think you will, indeed, find this book on the philosophies of Tibetan Buddhism both enlightening and enjoyable.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to Buddhism
Before reading this book, I didn't know much about Buddhism, and reading it made me realize just how little I really knew.It gave me a good perspective on Buddhist practice and especially the difference between ZenBuddhism (what I knew a little about) and the rest of the Buddhist world.

5-0 out of 5 stars It may change your life...
...for the (very) better!I just wanted to do my bit to put the general rating nearer were it should be.This book will put light, wisdom and happiness in your life...how can anyone rate it below five stars isbeyond me!If you love life, you'll love this book (whether you areBuddhist or not)! ... Read more

4. A Concise Introduction To Tibetan Buddhism
by John Powers
Paperback: 160 Pages (2008-06-25)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$5.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559392967
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Lucid and economical, the Concise Introduction delivers a brisk, fast-moving survey. For many years, Powers' nearly six hundred-page Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism has served as the field's most authoritative and comprehensive introductory text on Tibet's distinctive Buddhist tradition. Now Powers has responded to requests to provide an introductory text in compact form. This slimmed-down reference explains the core Buddhist doctrines and the practices of meditation and tantra in an engaging manner. A survey of the four main sects of Tibetan Buddhism and a succinct history of the Tibetan cultural region complete this work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tibetanfor Everyone
I have not completed all of this book, but what I have read of this is a very, direct and very detailed and also a book that is more than the average book on Buddhism. This book is for the advanced Buddhist student and if you have not had any experience reading other books on the subject and are just starting out on your journey, you may want to start with something a little more toned down and little easier reading.If you are more advanced, than this is perfect for you, you will be very happy in having a book that is up to your skill level and ready to teach you at a higher grade lever, so to speak and you will not be left wanting.

5-0 out of 5 stars More than an Introduction
The book is concise, but it's densely packed. It provides far more information than you customarily get in an introductory type text. It left me wanting to learn more about this fascinating aspect of Buddhism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Distilling the most important creeds of Buddhism to their bare essentials
Indo-Tibetan philosophy and meditation theory expert John Powers presents A Concise Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, which distills his nearly six hundred-page classic "Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism" to a more accessible survey ideal for newcomers to the doctrines, practices, meditations and tantra of Tibetan Buddhism. A Concise Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism surveys the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism; walks the reader through basic Buddhist doctrines such as karma, rebirth, and dependent arising; explains the purpose and practice of tantra; and much more. A simple, solid, and highly accessible primer, distilling the most important creeds of Buddhism to their bare essentials.
... Read more

5. The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism - The Three Principal Aspects to the Path and Introduction to Tantra
by Thubten Yeshe
Paperback: Pages (2003)
-- used & new: US$1.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0013W8I6M
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"Meditation is not on the level of the object but on that of the subject - you are the business of your meditation."Bodhicitta is very practical, I tell you. It's like medicine. The self-cherishing thought is like a nail or a sword in your heart; it always feels uncomfortable. With bodhicitta, from the moment you begin to open, you feel incredibly peaceful and you get tremendous pleasure and inexhaustible energy. Forget about enlightenment - as soon as you begin to open yourself to others, you gain tremendous pleasure and satisfaction. Working for others is very interesting; it's an infinite activity. Your life becomes continuously rich and interesting."Historically, Shakyamuni Buddha taught the four noble truths. To whose culture do the four noble truths belong? The essence of religion has nothing to do with any one particular country's culture. Compassion, love, reality - to whose culture do they belong? The people of any country, any nation, can implement the three principal aspects of the path, the four noble truths or the eightfold path. There's no contradiction at all." ... Read more

6. Tibetan Buddhism from the Ground Up: A Practical Approach for Modern Life
by B. Alan Wallace
Paperback: 224 Pages (1993-10-09)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0861710754
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Here at last is an organized overview of Tibetan Buddhism's teachings, beginning with the basic themes of the sutras — the general discourses of the Buddha — and continuing through the esoteric concepts and advanced practices of Tantra. Unlike other introductions to Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism from the Ground Up doesn't stop with theory and history, but relates timeless spiritual principles to the pressing issues of modern life, both in terms of daily experience and a uniquely Western world view. This fascinating, highly readable book asks neither unquestioning faith nor blind obedience to abstract concepts or religious beliefs. Rather, it challenges the reader to question and investigate life's issues on a personal level, in the light of an ancient and effective approach to the sufferings and joys of the human condition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good elementary introduction to Buddhism--3.5 stars
This is an edited version of a lecture series in Seattle in 1988, ordered from basic to "more subtle & advanced" based on the author-monk's 18 years study in all 4 schools + Pali texts.It is intended as a "guide to practice" esp. for those w/o Buddhist background.I found it simple, straight-forward, & easy to understand.As a short book it cannot bring much breadth to its vast subject, is simplistic at times (e.g. inadequately addressing self), & explanatory/descriptive vs. analytical/critical.Thus, the scientific, skeptical, western perspective is minimal, greatly reducing the potential value of a western Buddhist insider's viewpoint.Further, the author seems naïve--e.g. p. 134: "We are born with a natural, unlearned sense of intrinsic self."Psychologists have shown that self-consciousness is developmental not inbred--only the potential is inbred (similar to Buddha nature).Similarly, he says p. 134: "The workers, acting together, manage themselves."I suggest they'd need management ability, skills & training (e.g. most startup businesses fail)--see Elliott Jaques' Executive Leadership: A Practical Guide to Managing Complexity (Developmental Management) & Human Capability: A Study of Individual Potential and Its Application.But he also makes some fine observations: p. 176: "If one were a bee, for instance, one's perception of this page would be very different than it is for a human.Similarly, it would look uniquely different to a bat, an owl, or a snake, p. 180: As the renowned physicist Werner Heisenberg said, `What we observe is not nature itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning,' & p. 181: We reify an object by removing it from its context, by ignoring the subjective influences of perception & conception."He also provides a good exercise--visualizing bubbles rising & bursting (p. 114) which was new for me.All in all it's a pretty good elementary introduction to Buddhism IMHO, but I much prefer Thubten Chodron ("Open Heart, Clear Mind" & "Buddhism for Beginners"), Pema Chodron, & Surya Das.These authors provide more depth, breadth, & practical value than this book IMO.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, a directand cogent introduction of the essence of Tibetan Buddhism
One has to appreciate the fact that many books taking on this task that was given in this short, under 200 pages are as introductions anywhere from 450 to 650 pages. If one wants more detail check out John Powers', Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism which runs, as an introduction, some 470 pages. For one who is looking for the essence of this practice without too much dedication of time, this is the book. You will come away with a very good idea of what this type of buddhism is and why it is important.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very good, but some shortcomings
B. Allan Wallace has extremely impressive credentials.He was ordained by the Dali Lama, earned an undergraduate degree in Physics and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.Therefore, he is well qualified from an exposure to the concepts point of view.

My experience reading this book, however, was mixed.While the author has impressive credentials, his material is easily accessible and he make it relevant to Western people, he often left me wanting more of an explanation or more detail.

In an attempt to make the concept of Tibetan Buddhism accessible, I found that Mr. Wallace often over simplified his explanations.He appeals to common sense, but I found this book lacked the depth I was looking for given an author with such an impressive background.

5-0 out of 5 stars Basic and informative
My teacher suggested this book for anyone new to Tibetan Buddhism.It's well-written and has basic information for some of the most popular questions a new person might have.It's a good "starting point" as well as a good text for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of various paths of life.

5-0 out of 5 stars 10 stars if possible....
This is by far the best explanatory book on Tibetan Buddhism I've read.It should be a Must Read for everyone interested in this fascinating philosophy and life style. Although targeted for beginners mostly, it is a thorough book for us in the western cultures. Easy to read and thought provoking.This books deserves a ten star rating and a special mantra. Buy it!Another recommended book is Open Heart, Clear Mind by Thubten Chodron. ... Read more

7. Translating Buddhism from Tibetan
by Joe Wilson
Hardcover: 816 Pages (1992-05-25)
list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$41.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0937938343
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The grammar, syntax, and technical vocabulary of classical Tibetan used in Buddhist works. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Unbalanced but necessary - there simply aren't any other options
I have very mixed feelings about this book, but feel compelled to give it 4 stars nonetheless. Why? Because what you can get here, you simply can't get anywhere else. The only other decent introduction to Classical Tibetan that exists (so far as I know) is that by Stephen Hodge, and it is much smaller and will simply not give you the depth of grammatical knowledge of vocabulary that this book can. Some reviewers have complained about the "Tenglish" approach, but I can't really think of any other way to present Tibetan grammar in a comprehensible way. Goldstein does the same thing, though less explicitly, in his "Essentials of Modern Literary Tibetan" (in all the transliterations) and it works for me.

Another reviewer commented that the book is overly pedantic in its detailed explanations and grammatical quibbling - well, what does one expect from a 700-page tome on archaic (more or less) philosophical grammar and vocabulary? You didn't think Classical Tibetan was going to be a walk in the park did you? In any case you can simply skip over the details when Wilson gets a little too in depth.

The major problem with this book as I see it is that it is fairly unbalanced. Meaning, in the first 7 chapters or so there are essentially no sentence/vocabulary exercises, leaving you to somehow (by rote, was my method) memorize some 150-200 terms that are introduced (and not easy ones - 'non-associated compositional factors' comes up, e.g.). This improves though, with quite a few exercises in the later chapters. This added context and required practice/effort really helps you to memorize the vocab and understand the grammar better. Presumably these were left out of early chapters so as not to discourage the student or to make it easier, but instead it just means you have lots to memorize without much contextual help - a big mistake, in my opinion.

Which leaves me at the final point, which is that this is a necessary book, I think, for anyone interested in Classical Tibetan. The field is simply too small. The only other 'intro' level books really are Craig Preston's "How to Read Classical Tibetan" series (two volumes so far, hopefully more to come), but these really aren't introductions. They presuppose thorough knowledge of how to read Tibetan and an understanding of its grammar, as well a fair vocabulary. He was also a student of Wilson's, so all his terminology and explanations etc. follow Wilson's style and terms.

In short: yes there are problems, sometimes it is a bore and overly pedantic, there are not nearly enough exercises for a self-learned... but you need this book if you want to learn Classical Tibetan. So get it and wade through it - it is worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely helpful for older students
This book has been a superb aid in learning Tibetan for me.I started learning Tibetan last year at age 48 with Lama David Curtis and Joe Wilson's book (especially the "Tenglish") has been a wonderful support.It really works for me.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very useful book
I began my studies of Tibetan in late Oct 2009.It was difficult to choose a place to start.The book I found most useful for learning the "alphabet" was the Tibetan Language Pre-Primer by Cathy Kielsmeier.It is a very difficult language due to the fact that you as the student are going back to the very beginning of your language learning (think Kindergarten - and at least then you had some concepts of vocabulary and speech).I soon realized that it was best to have no expectations.I've spent at least 15-30 minutes every day even if it has felt like no progress was happening.It is about exposure.Without this initial step-by-step method to learn the letters, Joe Wilson's book would have seemed impossible.

I settled on Joe Wilson's text next after buying Craig Preston's How to Read Classical Tibetan (due to reading the reviews of both).Craig Preston is quite clear in his book's introduction that you should start with Joe Wilson's text and I would agree.I've now worked through the first two sections (13 chapters) of Translating Buddhism from Tibetan.In his first section Wilson takes you through all the methods of combining the letters into words and how the rules apply for pronunciation.In the second section, you begin to work with grammar.

In every chapter there is vocabulary (Buddhist dominant) and a section discussing Buddhist concepts.As a beginner to the world of Buddhism (about 18 months of study), I've found these explanations very helpful.I personally have found learning and seeing the words in Tibetan and having the real translations of these words discussed very helpful to my knowledge of Buddhism.His text is full of references to other sources should you wish to explore that as an option.

Have I made much progress? - YES - I can speak the sounds of what I see written in Tibetan in front of me if I refer to my notes.Do I know a few words? - YES - about 75 to 100 words.Am I now reading a few prayers and poetry? - YES.Overall have I made even a dent in what I need to know to read texts or speak the language? - NO.I keep reminding myself it's about exposure and patience.

There is an improvement that could be made to this book and that is for someone to create a workbook to go with it.After each lesson, there may be only 5 sentences to translate.It is not enough to have practice and to get it to stick.

In each chapter I generally felt I was in way over my head but pressed on anyway and now looking back to the earlier chapters I find that I have actually learned something along the way.I have decided to stop at this point in this book and am waiting for Fluent Tibetan to arrive.I feel that I need to hear the words within the context of colloquial use and focus on that for a bit.We all have different learning styles and it is important to explore that option.

For those who are reading these reviews to get an idea where to start, I will also mention that I did order David Curtis's level 1 materials in the beginning.I didn't get the video and his book and tape alone were not enough to begin to move forward in the language for me.I am now reviewing it again and am finding the 150 vocabulary words that he presents as a good place to start for me with trying to build a vocabulary.

For those who wish to go to the language source of Tibetan Buddhism and explore learning the language and thought of the Tibetans, Joe Wilson's book Translating Buddhism from Tibetan is a very good addition to your library of learning Tibetan materials.

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor
Note that other reviews are from about 10 years ago.
This book is extremely dated... the fonts themselves are Pierre Roubillard's old (very crude) font set.
The grammar is accurate enough, but very ponderous. Here is not a translator, but an academic, pedantic scholar. If you merely enjoy the "fun" of intellectual scholarship and mental nit-picking, this is for you.
If you really want to read or speak Tibetan, then Tournadre and others are appropriate. Actually, it is quite shameful that they are charging $50 and the book has not been updated in 15 years. Is this laziness or arrogance?

5-0 out of 5 stars great book if you really want to lean tibetan...
Hi guys, well i've been living in Nepal for the last 4 years and i can tell you that learning tibetan (and by this i mean really know it) its really hard, but i found that wilson's book is actually great not only coz it does work but also coz it provides you with the tools to do it... its the best next thing just after learning tibetan from tibetan grammarians

so what i would suggest is...
get wilson's book, then if you are completely new go through the whole book, coz it provides basic concept on Buddhism and lots of vocab (all really useful)... if you are a bit more experience then learn by heart apendixes 4 and 5 which deals with verbs, and clases which are a primordial part of tibetan (but for some reason some "serious" books dont even mention them... oh by the way tibetans do study tibetan talking about cases)...then move on to...

Craig preston's how to read classical tibetan... which if you don't know by heart appendix 4 n 5 is rather useless... but otherwise excellent to show how to make the complex sentences (pages long at times) into short and readable clauses or sentences... besides it also completes wilsons lack of talk or not wanting to talk about transitive and intransitive verbs (which they also exist in tibetan and are of great importance when trying to get across the right meaning)

last but not least... in my experience there have been tons of mistranslations all over the place even by "famous" translators... thats why i recommend Tony Duff's excellent Illuminator dictionary...

until the day that someone explains tibetan grammar the way tibetan study it and understand it these are the tools for anyone who is serious about learning tibetan, and when the time is right go and get teachings on tibetan from a tibetan grammarian... then the whole world is open to you... once again i think these are the best for whats outer but once you see the real thing you wont go back... ... Read more

8. Symbols of Tibetan Buddhism (Beliefs Symbols)
by Claude B. Levenson
Hardcover: 128 Pages (2001-01-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$6.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 2843232007
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Philosophy or religion, way of life or way of being, Buddhism never ceases to intrigue.Its many aspects bear witness to the diversity of its paths, and its innumerable aspects can disorientthe newcomer.Its essence is simple, however, a deep root common to all those searching for knowledge: a man, anchored in a moment of history, who awakened to affirm that it's within everyone's power to attain wisdom.The renewed interest that Buddhism has enjoyed over the past years, led by its spiritual and tempral guide the Dalai Lama, has made it possible to approach the meaning and origins of his teaching. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Interesting
Beautiful & Interesting

As a student of Buddhism I've come across some items in books or stores or just along the path that I don't know what they are - specifically in Tibetan Buddhism.

This is a great book for anyone interested in what some of the symbols of Tibetan Buddhism are, what they mean or represent and in some cases how they came to be.

The descriptions are easy to understand and the pictures are absolutely beautiful and captivating.

It's a short and enjoyable book - doesn't dive deeply into the items/symbols - it's a nice introduction and is informative and makes for nice reference material. ... Read more

9. Mind in Tibetan Buddhism
by Lati Rinbochay
Paperback: 184 Pages (1981-01-25)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$11.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0937938025
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Details the nature of mind and its functions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Specific Analysis of Mental Functioning
This is an extraordinary book.The written Introduction is detailed and specific enough to immediately expand one's own knowledge and one's own personal experience of one's own knowledge, to allow for a whole series of conceptual leaps in personal knowledge both directly and indirectly.The rest of the book follows forward from this point.I studied with Lati Rinpoche, and he was an exceptionally brilliant man.

5-0 out of 5 stars Profound Ideas of the Mind and Its Functions
This is a extraordinary book of ideas of the mind.To grasp the meanings you will find it necessary to read (even more than twice) the various parts of the book.You will no doubt find the ideas different from Western writers of the mind, which sets this book apart from the many books about the mind.

A very intriguing book.Anybody who is interested in the mind and its functions from the Tibetan Buddhism point of view is highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars A concise guide to the study of the awareness of thought.
This book reviews several buddhist thought traditions that have developed through the time.It is somewhat polemical but is remarkable in that the referenced texts predate Kant, Hegel and other western thinkers delving thesame subject.The book is tough to read but the reward is worth the effortbecause one comes to an awareness of what one goal of enlightenment is: theactual awareness of thought, origins of impressions, etc.Engrossing. ... Read more

10. Essential Tibetan Buddhism
by RobertA. F. Thurman
Paperback: 317 Pages (1996-12-13)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0062510517
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Despite its burgeoning influence, few people truly understand the core beliefs, traditions, and movements of this popular Eastern religion. Robert Thurman, professor of Indo-Tibetan studies at Columbia University, has assembled the first guide to Tibetan Buddhism that introduces the distinctive Tibetan practice through its own rich literature. He includes excerpts from The Book of the Dead as well as lesser known but comparable scriptures.Essential Tibetan Buddhism is a part of The Essential Series, beautifully packaged works that feature the core texts of major religious traditions in definitive translations, edited by leading authorities.Amazon.com Review
In this highly readable collection, Robert Thurman bringstogether the jewels of Tibetan literature that have made their owndistinctive contribution to "the great river of Buddhism."He introduces the selection with an overview of essential Buddhistthought, orienting the reader with a history of Buddhism'sdevelopment, from its origins in India, expansion across Asia, andflowering on Tibetan soil. Explaining the distinctive attainment ofTibetan Buddhist civilization as "the vivid sense of Buddhas inordinary, daily reality," Thurman guides readers throughselections that speak to the possibility of liberation for allbeings. Stressing also the importance of the teacher or mentor figurein Tibetan Buddhist practice, he presents key texts from teacherswhose words serve as inspiration to those seeking the path towardenlightenment. Excerpts culled from the vastness of the Tibetan canoninclude the hymns to the liberator goddess Tara, pieces from The Tibetan Book of theDead, writings on mentor worship from the first Panchen Lama,and selections from esoteric tantric practice texts. The volume endswith the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize lecture by Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso,illustrating the enduring relevance of this ancient wisdom for modernlife. --Uma Kukathas ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

2-0 out of 5 stars Serious problems abound in this text
Two big problems with this text.

1) The quality of the translations is often remarkably poor, as Prof. Toru Tomabechi demonstrated at length in a December 2000 article in the Journal of Indian Philosophy called "Notes on Robert Thurman's Translation of the Pañcakrama." He calls it "disastrous," among other things.

2) Like much of Thurman's work, the compilation suffers from a pronounced, unacknowledged Gelukpa bias. As Lopez demonstrated in his book "Prisoners of Shrangri-la," (pg 266), 140 pages are devoted to the work of Gelukpa authors and 30 pages are devoted to all other schools combined. A more accurate (if less marketable) name probably would have been "Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism (Gelukpa variety)."

1-0 out of 5 stars Um...
I wonder why Amazon would place a book about paganism among those about Christianity.

Buddha did not die to redeem man; Jesus Christ did.

3-0 out of 5 stars Boring
I never like to write a bad review, especially not when the author had displayed such a sincere effort to enlighten his audience. This book, however, I can't escape the inevitability of doing so; it was so very boring! I practice Zen, and admittedly am often turned off a bit by the hierarchy and dogma that seems to surround Tibetan Buddhism. This book is certainly a scholars book, not that Thurman is not a sincere practitioner-for he is. He is also a very intelligent man, at times too intelligent, for he kills any life the book could have.

Maybe it's just me. It's not that I like the Dharma simple. I was disappointed because I came wanting to find out more about Tibetan Buddhism, and realized it was much like reading the names in Genesis of the Bible. The Dalai Lama, as far as Tibetan Buddhism goes, is more clear to me. Perhaps that's because he leaves most of the scholastic approach out of his writings, and focuses on the marrow of PRACTICE. This book lacks much physical reference to that.

If you are looking to understand the Dharma, this book is for you. If you, however, are looking to UNDERSTAND the Dharma, go find a zendo and sit. That and any book by Zen master Seung Sahn, if you find Tibetan Buddhism isn't your "cup of tea"-will point you on your way. Sorry Robert, your book put me to sleep. Better writings next time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Difficult material, and cheerleading.
Thurman is a Buddhist in the Tibetan tradition (as am I), and his introduction to this volume, while very valuable and succinct, makes no claim at objectivity.He asserts that the Tantrayana (Tibetan Buddhism, to simplify) is superior to the Mahayana and Theravada traditions because it represents the culmination of Buddhism's "progression."Right off the bat, that makes me uncomfortable. Why must the pious Theravadins be consigned to an inferior, "early-stage" Buddhism?Why make such hurtful invidious comparisons?It seems beneath a genuine practitioner.To answer my own rhetorical question, perhaps it is because Mahayana Buddhists are often a bit defensive.This is the result of being accused of not having a "genuine" canon, in the sense that most admit the works were composed (not just written down) after the Death of the Buddha.Similarly, Thurman attempts to argue against those who claim Tibetan Buddhism represents an effort by early proselytizers to offer a pantheon of gods and a lurid conception of the Buddha(s) to Hindus.His response to this argument is limited to two sentences and is not convincing.He simply asks, rhetorically, If that was the aim of Mahayana Buddhists, why did they keep the Buddha at all?Why not just become Hindu?But surely it is believable to assert that Buddhists wanted to broaden the attraction of their religion while keeping what they saw as its key elements.

On the question of which miracles to believe (and Tibetan Buddhism is chock full of them), Thurman simply accepts a great number of them, while consigning other claims, such as the 500-year lifespan of one "living Buddha", to the realm of myth.How can he tell the difference between myth and religious reality?Either accept all the fantasical claims or tell us how to pick and choose among them.

A word of warning, as well. Despite the claims of other reviewers, most of the material in this book is quite difficult and will not reward those who do not have considerable background in Buddhism.If you'll note the cheap prices for used copies, above, you'll see that I'm not alone in this view.

The weirdest thing: Thurman apparently has decided to replace the word "karma" with "evolution".In the classic texts, therefore, where one would read "fruit of karma," or whatever, Thurman offers "evolutionary progress," for example.This is perhaps defensible, but he offers no justification.That seems quite a big departure for translators of the Dharma. Doing away with karma to make it a) more accessible to modern readers?; 2) more attractive to modern readers?; 3) because perhaps Thurman (as many of us are) is uncomfortable with the teachings that claim starving babies are simply reaping the fruits of miserly conduct in previous lives?Such a major change needed at least some justification and explanation.

All that said, get this book if you are a Tibetan practioner with considerable knowledge of the Dharma.It offers a nice collection of very important works.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Politics of Enlightenment
As a professor of Indo-Tibetan studies, and chair of the religion department at Columbia University, Robert Thurman has had a great career devoted to the task of making the Buddhist teaching and scriptures, particularly those of the Tibetan people, intelligible to students and interested laypersons.

`Tibetan Buddhism increasingly rivals Zen in its popularity as a path of Buddhist wisdom and practice.'

Thurman has written and translated many texts in this area, particularly the well-received `Tibetan Book of the Dead.' In this book, `The Essential Tibetan Buddhism,' Thurman does a thorough job at laying out in concise and accessible terms the history and development of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as an explication and explanation of the core beliefs and practices.

Dedicated to the Dali Lama (who I have had the honour to be near during his regular trips to Bloomington, my current home -- his brother has been on faculty at Indiana University), this book shows how Tibetan Buddhism grew out of a sense of having been personally touched by Buddhas dwelling among them. Indeed, Tibetans often take for granted the idea of a constant presence of Buddhas among them. While many varieties of Buddhism allow for the theoretical attainment of the absolute freedom required to be a Buddha, Tibetan Buddhism is rare in accepting that there are many Buddhas currently at hand.

Tibetan Buddhism also preserved the Indian Tantric traditions, as a means for the attainment of complete Buddha-hood. Indeed, some of these Tantras contradict the cosmologies which speculate that there is a cycle of Buddhas, and that another Buddha is not due for thousands of years.

`Thus at least one of the levels (the highest, most would say) of the Tibetan sense of history sees the planet as progressing positively toward a time of unprecedented fulfillment. Tibetan Buddhist society therefore is perhaps unique among Buddhist societies in that the people live within a consciously articulated myth of historical progress, carrying within itself a fascinating complexity.'

Tibetan Buddhism is far from nihilistic, as indeed most Buddhism is not nihilistic. One discovers a unity of awareness and of all creation, something at the heart of many of the great religions of the world, if not so specifically laid out as a premise or as a possible attainment. The Buddha obtains total consciousness, a kind of universal omniscience; this is not to say a Buddha is God or becomes God (in fact, the Buddha will eschew God-like powers and domination over other creatures).

Grant the vision of direct enlightenment,
Whose nature is universal voidness!
The disciple should press her palms together,
Praise the Mentor, and then entreat him:
'Great teacher, grant me the vision
Of direct enlightenment,
Free from evolution and birth,
Beyond the three luminaries...

Complete with original translations of source texts, commentaries, essays of context and interpretation, and a good source of religious studies (history, philosophy, theology, etc.), this is an excellent introduction to the contemplation, study or even practice of Tibetan Buddhism. ... Read more


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12. Buddhism with an Attitude: The Tibetan Seven-Point Mind Training
by B. Alan Wallace
Paperback: 288 Pages (2003-09-25)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.81
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Asin: 1559392002
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In this book the author explains a fundamental type of mental training called lojong, which can literally be translated as attitudinal training.Amazon.com Review
Yes, the title can be misleading. This isn't a book about hip Buddhism with some kind of bad-ass attitude. This is a training manual for learning Buddhist attitudes that will help readers find greater peace of mind and happiness in daily life. The premise here is mind control the Tibetan Buddhist way. Wallace (Boundless Heart) draws upon the traditional "root text" of the Seven-Point Mind Training and expertly translates the ancient teachings into a Western-flavored lesson. In fact, another possible title for this highly esteemed book might be, Buddhism Taught with a Western Attitude. Rather than rely solely on the traditional teaching methods of using stories and parables to ground Buddhist theory into daily living, Wallace sprinkles in large doses of intellectual and scientific analogies—definite crowd-pleasers in the West. For instance, when he delves into two Buddhist approaches for training the mind's attention—control and release—he uses the ancient metaphor of taming an elephant in the room to heel. But in the next breath he moves into a modern analogy of purifying a polluted river. This slip-sliding ease between the language and sensibilities of ancient and modern worlds is a marvel and delight for any Western student of Buddhism.

A few caveats: Wallace is not as cozy of a writer as other popular Buddhist teachers of the West, such as Pema Chodron, Jack Kornfield, or Sharon Salzburg. His is more of the Ken Wilbur and Robert Thurman variety—fascinated by the keen intelligence behind this ancient religion as well as its big heart and timeless relevance. Think of this as a mind-blowing, attitude-expanding book, rather than a comfy bedside companion. Gail Hudson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars great book, thank you
I'm on my 3rd rereading of this book, every reading, new insights, thanks for writing this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lucid, generous, compassionate, accessible
I am very grateful to B. Allan Wallace for writing this book in this style. Such profound and practical insights digested through his own experience are generously shared using language, imagery and reasoning readily understandable by a parochial Australian such as me. His explication of more traditional Tibetan metaphors and images is also very helpful. I love the kindness and humility and humanity of the book. It has already helped me in my quest to be more patient and compassionate.

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed full of deep wisdom...
I must confess I have not read the entire book, the first section called "the preliminaries" is so deep and full of wisdom that I have not gotten past them...it alone is worth the price of the book.I am not a buddhist, but this is deep stuff about how to live and approach conciousness, with the ultimate goal being full awareness.Clearly written, logical, very deep.My highest rec. if you want a spiritual but not dogmatic book, grounded in practical excercises.Contemplative, dynamic, deep.

5-0 out of 5 stars no babytalk
Having read many books about Tibetan Buddhist principles and meditation techniques, this book is by far one of the best. Wallace writes for the skeptical, intellectual Westerner. Many Buddhist books written by Westerners either use baby talk or are too sirupy. Because of this, I preferred those written by Tibetan teachers - until I came across this book by Wallace.

A. Heinz, Cape Town

5-0 out of 5 stars So you noticed Wallace wrote two books on the Mind Training . . .
Realize they are two very different books!If you are looking for something to benefit your practice then "Buddhism with an Attitude" is the way to go.Although repetitive at times, this itself is helpful, and it is written in a more instructional tone.If you feel your practice has fully matured (lucky you) and you are simply interested in a concise, more academic exposition of the seven point mind training, then "The Seven-Point Mind Training" is the one for you.Also, for being more condensed, the "The Seven-Point Mind Training", will be the book you will want to carry around once you are familiar with Lojong practice. ... Read more

13. Fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism
by Rebecca Novick
Paperback: 208 Pages (1999-03-01)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$5.82
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Asin: 0895949539
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In Tibetan, the word for Buddhist means “insider”—someone who looks not to the world but to themselves for peace and happiness. The basic premise of Buddhism is that all suffering, however real it may seem, is the product of our own minds.Rebecca Novick’s concise history of Buddhism and her explanations of the Four Noble Truths, Wheel of Life, Karma, the path of the Bodhisattva, and the four schools help us understand Tibetan Buddhism as a religion or philosophy, and more important, as a way of experiencing the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best, easy to read introduction to Tibetan Buddhism
I am a Buddhist monk (American) and I teach Buddhism. This is by far the best and easiest to understand book on a very complex subject. I use it in my classes and we use it at our Monastery in Seattle, Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. You can't miss with this for a good basic understanding of Tibetan Buddhism.

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, short introduction on a complex topic
It is very difficult to find a guide to Tibetan Buddhism that is both thorough and concise.This books definitely fits in this category and does a very good job of capturing the spirit of Tibetan Buddhism in a small volume.This is not an easy feat!

I like that the author covered some important history including the evolution of Tibetan Buddhism from its roots in Hinayana through the development of Mahayana and beyond.However, this material is not covered in so much detail that it becomes overwhelming.I have found this to be a shortcoming of some other books that are intended for general audiences.

This text also does a good job of explaining basic Buddhist concepts and the distinguishing characteristics of the various branches of Buddhism.There are also many good quotes included.

Where I see some shortcomings is in the area of accuracy.This is such an ambitious volume for its size that I think it covers some areas too superficially or perhaps oversimplifies the relationships between various concepts or schools of thought.This is why I rated it a three and not higher.

If you are just learning about Tibetan Buddhism, this is a very good place to start.You might also want to try some of the books by the Dalai Lama who is quoted liberally throughout this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars A good overview of Tibetan Buddhism
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Some of the topics are incredibly difficult to explain, although she makes a valiant attempt. I also believe that the book mostly represents only the largest lineage of Tibetan Buddhism (represented by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama as the spiritual leader), but there are also other ways of practicing, i.e. according to other lineages. Even so I think the book is basicly solid.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Simple and the Complex
The author has admirably succeeded in her goal of setting forth the basics of an intricate and powerful worldview.I don't quite know how she managed it, but the text cogently introduces concepts typically presented tobeginners--such as the Four Noble Truths, the subject of ShakyamuniBuddha's very first teaching--as well as more complex ideas and ritualpractices, for example visualizations and tantra.As a result, the bookreally is a valuable resource for those who are intrigued with the basicsof Tibetan Buddhism, those who are studying it more intensively, or thosewho seek to introduce others to the teachings.I expect to refer to thetext frequently, as one of the characteristics of dharma study/practice isthat it walks a spiral path, reintroducing basic concepts at more intricatelevels as you proceed.In addition, the Buddha was a prodigiouslist-maker--it is useful indeed to have a concise reference tool such asthis.May all beings benefit from its availability. ... Read more

14. A Beginner's Guide to Tibetan Buddhism: Notes from a Practitioner's Journey
by Bruce Newman
Paperback: 212 Pages (2004-06-25)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$5.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559392118
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This book begins with the very awakening of students' interest in spirituality and their initial encounter with Tibetan Buddhism, and then leads them through the steps necessary for successful practice in the West. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Misleading Title, not the book for me right now
I'm sure in the future I will appreciate the content of this book and the effort placed into it, but this is not a book for me as a "Beginner".It seems to be a fine book, but the title should really be change to something like "Tibetan Buddhism for Westerners" or "Vajrayana Practice for Westerners".I think the other reviewers have too much experience in Tibetan Buddhism to remember what is needed for a beginner and I would discount their reviews accordingly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!!!
i received my book in only 3 days and was quite impressed with the speed. as for the condition...... it may have been listed as used but i consider it a Brand New Book!

3-0 out of 5 stars Misleading Title
I haven't yet picked up a book on Buddhism that I found anything other than helpful, as it seems that anyone who writes a book on the subject has their heart in the right place, if that makes sense.The same goes for this book, but the title is woefully misleading, which is problematic for the unaware reader.

Bruce Newman writes in the introduction that he wrote this book to help bridge the gap between Buddhist ideas and Western practitioners, as Westerners sometimes have problems assimiliating Buddhist concepts due to the culture and language gap.This is an admirable idea for a book, but not a book for beginners.

When I picked the book off the shelf and skimmed it, I saw some charts on lineages, and I thought it would be a primer on the different sects and an introduction, in as much as that is possible, to the basics of Tibetan Buddhism.However, Newman assumes a shared, deep knowledge of the subject and so he cherry picks his ideas, frequently writing something along the lines of: "I know you're all familiar with these ideas, so I am going to talk about the specific points that I want to focus on."Again, that would be fine in a book that wasn't labelled "For Beginners," as the beginners (like me) will have no idea of the context in which the material fits.

Additionally, be prepared to read about the author's very specific point of view.There are multiple lineages in Buddhism, and Newman talks almost exclusively about the one in which he practices.Also, he takes for granted that the reader is about to get, or already has, a teacher or guru.Again, if you're a beginner, you are probably nowhere near that point.

Lastly, and this may be considered a petty point when compared to the depth of the subject (as well as being the fault of the publisher, not the writer) but this book is riddled with a ludicrous amount of obvious, almost laughable, printing mistakes.It's kind of hard to take the information seriously when it's clear that no one at the publishing office even bothered to read through the manuscript before approving theprinting run.At one point, the author writes something and then, in parentheses, questions his own writing, and answers his question.Basically, the author's notes made it into the final printing of the book!Another obvious mistake occurs at the beginning of a chapter.You know how the first letter of a chapter is sometimes enlarged, or embellished?In one of the chapters, the first, enlarged letter is a "W," but the first word of the sentence is "By."No one bothered to update the first letter so the sentence reads: "Wy this time, we should have..."Because the "W" is so large, it made me laugh out loud.Other than those two, there are countless dropped words, doubled words, plurality mistakes, etc.Again, it might be considered snobbish or petty, but I find it really hard to take the writing seriously in the midst of all these mistakes.

I get the feeling that I will come back to some of the ideas in this book once I have a lot more grounding in the subject, but for now, it is simply too advanced for me.And there's a good chance that I'm a bit further along in reading on the subject than some other people who might pick up a book by this title.

If it had been named something more accurate, like "Explaining Vajrayana Practice: An Integration Guide for Western Buddhists,"I would have known that it wasn't the right book for me at this time, but would have kept it in mind for later.And it would stand out to Vajrayanists, which is who it should appeal to, really: those who are interested in immersing themselves further in that particular lineage with the help of a Westerner who wants them to have greater access to, and benefits from, the Eastern texts and gurus.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beginner's Guide makes it seem easy
I have been interested in Tibetan Buddhism for many years, but felt intimidated by its seeming complexity. A Beginner's Guide to Tibetan Buddhism puts it all in order. Bruce Newman writes about the beginnings of his study, the people who inspired him, and his own development through study and practice. He has been practicing and teaching Tibetan Buddhism for many years. He describes his journey from student to teacher simply and logically. I highly recommend this book to anyone else curious about or interested in learning about Tibetan Buddhism

3-0 out of 5 stars Not easy sledding for the beginner...
The earlier reviews of the book are written by people who have been practicing Tibetan Buddhism for several years.I read this book after studying Zen for several years.I read it to prepare for a journey to Dharamsala, India, to attend a teaching by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.

Much of the difficulty in understanding all of Buddhism is its interlocking structure, and this book reflects it.To a newcomer to Tibetan Buddhism, this book does not offer a straightforward explanation of what to expect or to know.Admittedly, it would be difficult to provide one.However, the book was difficult to understand, and only after visiting Dharamsala and immersing myself in the Tibetan environment could I start to make sense of it.

If you're approaching Buddhism for the first time, Zen can be more attractive because it's much more stripped down, while there is much more complexity (and in the long run, I believe, more richness) to Tibetan Buddhism.The best western analogy I can think of is comparing Presbyterianism (probably the most straightforward Christian sect) vs. Roman Catholicism (with its saints and rituals and intensive symbolism).If you were new to Christianity, Presbyterianism would be probably easier to start with, but the volume of information available to a practitioner (regardless of the philosophy behind it) is greater in Catholicism. Now imagine trying to explain hundreds of years of Catholicism in a single 200-page book, including all of the mystic traditions, history, artwork, differences in monastic traditions, etc.!In this book, that's what Newman is trying to do with Tibetan Buddhism, and it's a difficult task at best.

If you're just starting to learn about Buddhism, I can't say I'd recommend this book; it's rather technical to start with.But if you've stuck your big toe in the water for a while and need some clarification, it's worth reading. ... Read more

15. Meditative States in Tibetan Buddhism
by Denma Locho Rinpoche, Leah Zabler
Paperback: 208 Pages (1983-06-15)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$11.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 086171119X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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From two great masters comes a detailed description of meditative practices for developing a mind that is alert, powerful, and capable of gaining great insight. Discussing step-by-step the practice of meditation itself, they provide us with practical antidotes to the various obstacles that may arise in meditation. At the same time, they intersperse their presentations with captivating descriptions of the sometimes fantastic and astonishing cosmology that provides the background and context for Buddhist practice. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great guide to meditation for practicing Buddhists
I am glad to write a review on this extraordinary guide to meditation for practicing Buddhists.According to the sutras and the texts written by sages such as Nagarjuna and Asanga, it is impossible to attain enlightenment without the stablization in meditative states.Getting familiar with this book can prevent Buddhists from mistakenly treat faults in meditative states as signs of enlightenment.However, I must admit that this book is not for those who have no knowledge of Buddhism, or for those Buddhists who do not wish to attain a high state of meditation.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fairly good text on Tibetan meditation training
This is a fairly nice and helpful book. It is divided into two parts. The first part is a fairly clear explanation of the basics of Mahayana Buddhist meditation training as taught in Tibetan traditions. The book is at itsbest here in the first half, presenting practical advice that one caneasily put into practice in one's own meditative training. The second halfis more academic, less practical, being a rather difficult to followtranslation from the Tibetan of a commentary on a commentary on Maitreya's"Ornament for Clear Realization", dealing with the higher states ofconsciousness attained through meditative absorption. Those far enoughalong to understand what is being talked about are probably not going toneed to read about it, but even if they do, a clearer explanation wouldprobably be helpful. But still, the first half of the book justifies thepurchase and reading of this book. ... Read more

16. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: The Spiritual Classic & International Bestseller; Revised and Updated Edition
by Sogyal Rinpoche
Paperback: 425 Pages (1994-04-22)
list price: US$18.99 -- used & new: US$10.90
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Asin: 0062508342
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This acclaimed spiritual masterpiece is widely regarded as one of the most complete and authoritative presentations of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings ever written. A manual for life and death and a magnificent source of sacred inspiration from the heart of the Tibetan tradition, The Tibetan Book Of Living and Dying provides a lucid and inspiring introduction to the practice of meditation, to the nature of mind, to karma and rebirth, to compassionate love and care for the dying, and to the trials and rewards of the spiritual path.

Amazon.com Review
In 1927, Walter Evans-Wentz published his translation of anobscure Tibetan Nyingma text and called it the Tibetan Book of theDead. Popular Tibetan teacher Sogyal Rinpoche has transformedthat ancient text, conveying a perennial philosophy that is at oncereligious, scientific, and practical. Through extraordinary anecdotesand stories from religious traditions East and West, Rinpocheintroduces the reader to the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism, movinggradually to the topics of death and dying. Death turns out to be lessof a crisis and more of an opportunity. Concepts such asreincarnation, karma, and bardo and practices such as meditation,tonglen, and phowa teach us how to face death constructively. As aresult, life becomes much richer. Like ElisabethKubler-Ross, Sogyal Rinpoche opens the door to a full experienceof death. It is up to the reader to walk through. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

Customer Reviews (119)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting information told through the story.
I enjoyed this book. THe characters are colorful and the story is very good. Lots of information.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rigpa
I read where the "skeptic" said that while the concepts in this book are interesting, this book is about faith but rigpa (direct experience or perception).

This is complete malarkey.If you wish to experience the bardo you only need to do one of 2 things.

First is the traditional Buddhist way known as dark room.You have to go to a retreat ( like the Chamma Ling Retreat Center in Colorado) in complete light isolation for a period of a few weeks.In this light isolation your brain chemistry radically changes allowing the consciousness to exit and enter different states of consciousness much easier.

It is believed that in light isolation for a number of days (around 12-14) the brain chemistry begins to rapidly change and produce endogenous DMT.DMT is known as one of the world's most powerful entheogens.DMT is the chemical key that is supposedly responsible for allowing the astral body to enter and exit the physical body, it's also what allows for dreams (dreams are hallucinogenic projections of the mind).This process of creating DMT inside is internal alchemy while the shamanistic elixir of ayahuasca is considered external alchemy.In Buddhism DMT is called Amrit.In Buddhism Amrit is an alchemical elixir that gets rid of the fear of death, ayahuasca is an external alchemical elixir from the shamans of South America does this EXACTLY.It's known as the vine of the dead.

Ayahuasca is a shamanistic alchemical elixir that creates bio-available DMT to cross the blood brain barrier.In this state you can utilizethis book while you are tripping.I have been to all 6 bardos while spirit walking under ayahuasca, they are very real, but you could only know that through rigpa.

For more information on how to do this check out Timothy Leary's book on using this book in combination with psychedelics.Or you can do a dark room retreat, either way produces results, it's just that many of us in western society do not have the money or time to take a month away from work for a dark room retreat so ayahuasca is a second best choice.

Be warned, you will face your demons (wrathful deities) in the dark room or on ayahuasca.But you can use this book as a way to gain transcendence through listening, as it was intended.In truth, you have to die while living to understand this book.Without the experience of death this book remains as pure conjecture, that is not the Buddhist way.

5-0 out of 5 stars We Don't Die
Anyone who has an interest in living forever should read this book.It's not just living but also the quality of living as our Creator intended - read about it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Marvellous, but might be discouraging and perplexing
In my view, some parts of this book are just marvellous. I was particularly caught by Chapter 4 "The Nature of Mind". It points to the "deathless and unending nature of (absolute) mind" (p. 41). Rinpoche reassures us that death does not concern our true identity. Once we realize that "the very nature of mind, its innermost essence, is absolutely and always untouched by change and death" (47), we are liberated. Death can no longer terrify us. "Whatever our lives are like, our buddha nature is always there. And it is always perfect. It is the sky-like nature of mind. Utterly open, free, and limitless, it is fundamentally so simple and so natural that it can never be complicated" (50). But the problem is: "though we have the same inner nature as Buddha, we have not realized it because it is so enclosed and wrapped up in our individual ordinary minds." (49)

How can we solve this problem of life and death? How can we recognize our true nature? "All the teachings and training in Buddhism are aimed at one single point: to look into the nature of the mind, the ground from which all expressions arise. ... It is very simple. ... Let us now look in. ... But we are terrified to look inward, because our culture has given us no idea of what we will find." (52/53) What we will find is "not something extraordinary. Being a buddha is not being some omnipotent spiritual superman, but becoming at last a true human being." (54)

The crucial question now is: "what is the best, quickest, and most efficient way to set about it?" (56) The author's answer is: "practical training of the Dzogchen Path" which is "traditionally and most simply described in terms of View, Meditation, and Action." "To see directly the absolute state, the ground of our being, is the View; the way of stabilizing that View and making it an unbroken experience is Meditation; and integrating the View into our entire reality, and life, is what is meant by Action." (156)

Rinpoche makes very clear that we have to face huge obstacles on this Dzogchen Path: we need to find a Master who has realized truth; before the Master can introduce us to the View, we have to engage in "deep practices of purification"; "all these practices build up to and center around the Guru Yoga, which is indispensable for opening the heart and mind to the realization of the state of Dzogchen"; it can easily be the case that we have to follow our Master for 18 years before even being introduced to the View (see 159) let alone beginning to stabilize the View. This stabilization is even more difficult: "Don't assume, whatever you do, that this is, or could possibly be, easy. It is extremely hard to rest undistracted in the nature of mind, even for a moment." (168) "The extraordinary, unique method of Dzogchen requires enormous discipline and is generally practiced in a retreat environment. It cannot be stressed too often that the path of Dzogchen can only be followed under the direct guidance of a qualified master." (171) And as if all this was not enough: "A teaching as high and powerful as Dzogchen entails an extreme risk." (168)

Reading this I asked myself how many people would be willing to follow this risky and burdensome Dzogchen path. My impression is: if this were the "quickest and most efficient way to come to know our true nature", realizing truth would be reserved to very few people. And here lies the great contradiction of the book and its approach: the complexity of the proposed path stands in sharp contrast to Rinpoche's statement "Enlightenment is real; and each of us can realize the nature of mind. This is the promise of all the mystical traditions of the world. The wonder of this promise is that it is something not exotic, not fantastic, not for an elite, but for all of humanity" (54). Whoops! For all of humanity, following this path? With direct guidance of a realized master in a retreat environment?? Patiently waiting, if necessary, many many years or even decades for the first glimpse??? To then face, with enormous discipline, the real challenges???? Sorry, but this path falls way short of the stated promise. And all other paths are, according to Rinpoche, not "best, quickest and most efficient", making it even more difficult to realize our true nature. The situation seems to be rather hopeless.

But on the other hand, Rinpoche points out over and over again how simple, natural and ordinary the truth is. "Sometimes, because we are so unnecessarily complicated, when the nature of mind is introduced by a master, it is just too simple for us to believe." (55) For me this means that there must be other, less complex ways to establish the View, to stabilize it (Meditation) and to integrate it into our daily life (Action). The moment of realization "is like taking a hood off your head. What boundless spaciousness and relief! This is the supreme seeing." (161) Interested readers might want to refer to Douglas Harding, the man without a head, and his seeing experiments to quickly get a glimpse of what this could possibly mean. Stabilisation of "seeing" is not easy on Harding's path, the headless way, either, but it is simple, almost "too simple for us to believe".

To put the other parts of the book in perspective, I recall what Rinpoche says: "All the teachings and training in Buddhism are aimed at one single point: to look into the nature of the mind, the ground from which all expressions arise."

Why, then, are all those intricacies, rituals and beliefs explained in other parts of the book so important? I do not know, and, to be honest, I am not interested. So, I am silent on these more "Tibetan" aspects.

5-0 out of 5 stars must read for all spiritual quests
Amazing look into ones self.
A new way to see the world awaits you and a peace and calm when you internalize the concepts.
A book for anyone of any religion, as he calls upon experiences with the Dali Lama, Hospice workers, and many others.He is constantly referring to other masters and modern authors to help explain some of the aspects of the older version of this book (Tibetan Book of the Dead), in a modern more easily digestible fashion.Modern science, religions, philosophies all intertwine here to paint a picture how this book can help anyone understand the fact of our coming end, and its importance in part of a process we must all venture through. It not only helps ones self come to this realization, to live a fuller life, but also to understand what others are going through. To understand what they think, and fear, and how to help others through a most difficult time.
It would be nice to consider it an instant classic, and mandatory reading for all colleges.It gives us more value to every day to understand these concepts and can enrich-en lives and love ones around each of us.
The book combines old verse, well translated, and then applied to more current situations. How to balance a job and still grow spiritually.The old and new seem combined here seamlesslyin poetic prose at some moments.
I found myself thinking often, that I wish I had read this book earlier in life, to start the processes to understand more about life, and enjoyment of everyday.
Read this book, then share it with others, it can and will change many many lives. ... Read more

17. Master of Wisdom: Six Text by Nargajuna (Tibetan Translation Series)
by Christian Lindtner
Paperback: 413 Pages (1997-05-25)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$17.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0898002869
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Writings of the Buddhist Master N?g?rjuna. An excellent introduction to Madhyamika, Master of Wisdom contains two hymns of praise to the Buddha, two treatises on Shunyata, and two works that clarify the connection of analysis, meditation, and moral conduct. Includes Tibetan verses in transliteration and critical editions of extant Sanskrit. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Preciousness!
Dr. Lindtner is a scholar and his book is a preciousness for all readers. A reference title of Nagarjuna's thought. ... Read more

18. Foundations of Tibetan Buddhism: The Gem Ornament of Manifold Oral Instructions Which Benefits Each and Everyone Appropriately
by Kalu Rinpoche
Paperback: 205 Pages (1999-05-25)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$19.99
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Asin: 1559391170
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Foundations of Tibetan Buddhism contains the fundamentsl practices of Tibetan Buddhism. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource for practitioners
Many books about Buddhism are written from the academic point of view.For practitioners (particularly of the Kagyu lineage) who want wonderful advice about specific practice issues, this is one of the best booksavailable.The translation is excellent; clear and illuminating, thetranslator has also captured some of the author's intelligence and sense ofhumor.As someone who practices Shamata (Zhinay) and Ngondro, I have foundthis an indispensible resource.

5-0 out of 5 stars Opening the Door to the Vajrayana
During his lifetime, His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche was widely regarded as a realized master by great teachers in all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.He spent nearly fifteen years in solitary meditation in the mountains ofTibet, and achieved great realization.In this book, presenting teachingshe gave at Kagyu Droden Kunchab in San Francisco, Rinpoche demonstrates hisfamed gentleness, humor, breadth of understanding and acceptance, andability to vividly bring the dharma alive to Western students.

The textdiscusses practices central to the Vajrayana path in the Kagyu lineage ofTibetan Buddhism.Kagyu tradition stresses experience and contemplation asthe mode of integrating the teachings, and the practices discussed herereflect that emphasis.Rinpoche gives clear, detailed instructions abouteach of the practices, but never fails to remind the reader that anauthentic teacher and guide is essential to integrating them and assistingour development.

The ordinary preliminary practices are meditations onthe Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind to Dharma--precious human existence,death and impermanence, karma, and samsara (the suffering of aimlesslycycling through existence). Rinpoche lucidly explains how these meditationshelp provide the discipline necessary for consistent practice and give riseto the hunger for the transformation that the "extraordinary"practices make possible.

"Extraordinary" here means justthat--beyond the ordinary, or basic, practice of meditating on the FourThoughts.In the Kagyu lineage, these practices are refuge andprostrations, Dorje Sempa (Vajrasattva) purification, mandala offering, andguru yoga.Each of these practices plays a vital role in helping torelease our habitual clinging to self-created visions of identity thatobstruct an understanding of true reality.

The sections on the vows andcommitments explain the foundations for understanding the moralunderpinnings of daily practice--how we prepare and tend to the ground onwhich to build a dharmic home.Rinpoche also discusses modes of meditationand introduces Mahamudra, a highly advanced topic.

The book is a usefultool for anyone interested in an introductory overview of the Vajrayana,and is essential as an introduction to those choosing to undertake thejourney on this beautiful and liberating path. ... Read more

19. The Way to Freedom: Core Teachings of Tibetan Buddhism
by Bstan-Dzin-Rgya-Mtsho, Dalai Lama, Donald S. Lopez
Hardcover: 192 Pages (1994-10-20)
list price: US$19.00 -- used & new: US$20.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000GPIL5K
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teaching legacy to the world -- a beautiful and accessible presentation of the time-honored path to enlightenment -- is one of the world's great spiritual treasures.

The Way to Freedom, the inaugural volume of the landmark Library of Tibet series, is the essential primer on Tibetan Buddhism for both neophytes and advanced students. Based on a fifteenth-century text never before translated for a general audience, it is the revered heart of Tibetan practice, presented here in easy-to-understand steps by the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual and political leader.

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Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Dharma Teachings
As a dedicated student of the Dharma, this book is amazing!It is simple, logical, straightforward and very thorough.It is extremely helpful in developing the required reasoning to train the mind from the base up in spirituality versus worldly orientation.This may seem simple, but I have noticed that this basic reasoning to be lacking in many Dharma students, especially in the West.This series addresses from the ground up how one needs to think and train the mind in order to become a real practitioner of Dharma in the unique style of the Dalia Lama, which often reminds me of Indian Buddhism.I am currently reading the second book in the series and it is every bit as good as the first.Enjoy!

3-0 out of 5 stars Core Tibetan Buddhism
First off, I was disappointed when I opened the book and found every page muddled with pink marker (which I don't recall being noted in the description). I think the seller should have been a little more precise when they stated the book was "used".

Besides that I enjoyed reading the book. I learned more about this path of philosophy and some different ways to look at my life and learn from my experiences. It was a good addition to my collection of philosophical texts.

4-0 out of 5 stars Potent elixir for those seeking compassionate wisdom
Reading this short introduction to the heart of dharma, it struck me: the author uses "we" to include himself amidst his fellow humans who by definition according to the tenets of his teaching, long to become freed from our "untamed mind." You often forget, given the esteem in which the author's held by many, that he's still caught up in the same karmic whirlwind as anyone else. This down-to-earth acknowledgment of basic shortcomings of human character permeates this short treatise. He also raises insightful comparisons, based on first-hand knowledge to be sure, of how idealism and good intentions, as with Mao and Chinese Communism, can lead one awry if one's inner nature cannot find its own unselfish fulfillment. This perspective enriches the relevance today, sadly, of this 1994 edition. It's based on Tsong-kha-pa's 15 c. "Lam Rim," or "Stages of the Path to Enlightenment," itself an elaboration of Atisha's 11c. "The Lamp on the Path..."

This textual ambiguity confused me at times. The Dalai Lama includes his own comments, while at other times he paraphrases or summarizes (I suppose, as Tsong-kha-pa's never quoted verbatim) the "Lam Rim." Therefore, when reading, I was unsure who was telling me what. Also, there's no index or glossary; a newcomer like me finds it easy to forget what, for example, the "three trainings" were deep into these short but intricate chapters. (Try Thubten Chodren's "Open Heart, Clear Mind" as another primer, from an American convert who became a Tibetan Buddhist nun; it's also reviewed by me.) Perhaps this Western wish for academic clarification pales before the Eastern message. Not who said what, but what is said remains the "core teachings of Tibetan Buddhism," as the subtitle indicates.

It's an insistent, and often severe message. You close this short explanation better informed about the essence of Buddhism, but also you might be discouraged at how difficult it can be to overcome karmic imprints of bad habits, how deeply scarred we may be from past actions and indeed past lives that pull us back from bettering ourselves now and in the future, and how severely Buddhism regards unethical behavior. The path, we learn, must be taken if we are to escape our suffering, of course, yet it's a daunting labor of endless mindfulness and relentless self-scrutiny. This isn't a feel-good collection of jolly platitudes. Those expecting light inspirational encouragement will instead find stern warnings to begin immediately to practice compassion, engage in altruism, reject delusion, incorporate renunciation, and to prepare for death's separation from all we now hold so dear.

"To practice Buddhism is to wage a struggle between the negative and the positive forces in your mind. The mediator seeks to undermine the negative and increase the positive." (1) So this work begins, and the work of any who take the formidable challenge of living up to the encouragement of, and chastisement of, dharma seriously. The powerful passage on pp. 61-63 imagining our death, from the perspective of a palliative doctor's bland assurances to our self vs. the warnings to prepare for the funeral to our relatives in the next room, captures for me the impact of this catechism. It packs quite a punch behind its innocuous title and unassuming format.

Morality, to the surprise perhaps of some seekers, as the Dalai Lama conveys it, obligates sexual control, meticulous examination of conscience, and scrupulous adherence to right behavior, fulfillment of vows, and committment to the compassionate care of others before one's own satisfactions. It's more in line with ascetic practices in Islam, Judaism, or Christianity than you might expect, with the key difference that sins accrue over eons and no confessor or intermediary's there to ease our burden. There's, by the way, no ecumenical outreach in these pages. From the context and the culture, it appears this is pure Buddhism distilled as strong medicine.

The weight of one's past can prove quite an impediment, and the heroic way to liberation opens, as the author cleverly puts it, with our re-orientation of ends and means to tilt in our favor, and that of everyone else.

"I often remark that if you want to be selfish, you should do it in an intelligent way. The stupid way to be selfish is the way we have always worked, seeking happiness for ourselves alone and in the process becoming more and more miserable. The intelligent way to be selfish is to work for the welfare of others, because you become a Buddha in the process." (154) Shades of Jesus enjoining his followers to make friends with those of this world, so as to acquire treasure in the next life?

5-0 out of 5 stars Hey, it's the Dalai Lama...
Anything written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is worth reading. You don't have to be Buddhist, heck, in fact, you can be an atheist and still find guidance and solace in the words of the DL.

If I had to claim an organized religion, it would be Buddhism, but, as it is, I am a Lincolnite (When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion. --Abraham Lincoln). So, since Lincoln's theological writings are limited, I find guidance for my existance through Buddhist philosophy.

If you're a Westerner who just can't handle the liturgy and Christ-centeredness of our Country, then try anything bythe Dalai Lama.

5-0 out of 5 stars Volume One of Three
Core Teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.I can't recommend this series high enough. ... Read more

20. Practice and Theory of Tibetan Buddhism
Paperback: 192 Pages (1976-05)

Isbn: 0091256216
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