Introduction to Buddhism - An Explanation of the Buddhist Way of Lifeby Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Geshe K. Gyatso
2,500 Years after the passing of Buddha, his example and teachings continue to resonate. Contemporary Buddhist master, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, has now written a compelling introduction to Buddhism and its rich treasury of meditation practices. Beginning with the main events of Buddha's life story, Geshe Kelsang explains the central principles behind the Buddhist way of life and what it means to be a Buddhist. Meditation is explained clearly and simply, while topics such as karma and the path to enlightenment are presented in an accessible and inspiring way, as tools for developing qualities such as inner peace, love, and patience. Those developing an interest in Buddhism and meditation will find this book an ideal guide.
- Tharpa Publications
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Introduction to BuddhismAn Explanation of the Buddhist Way of Life
By Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Tharpa PublicationsCopyright © 2008 Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
All right reserved.
What is Meditation?
The heart of Dharma practice is meditation. The purpose
of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. If
our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and
mental discomfort, and so we will experience true happiness.
But if our mind is not peaceful, we will find it
very difficult to be happy, even if we are living in the very
best conditions. If we train in meditation, our mind will
gradually become more and more peaceful, and we will
experience a purer and purer form of happiness. Eventually,
we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most
Usually we find it difficult to control our mind. It seems
as if our mind is like a balloon in the wind—blown here
and there by external circumstances. If things go well, our
mind is happy, but if they go badly, it immediately becomes
unhappy. For example, if we get what we want, such as a
new possession or a new partner, we become excited and
cling to them tightly. However, since we cannot have everything
we want, and since we will inevitably be separated from the
friends and possessions we currently enjoy, this
mental stickiness, or attachment, only causes us pain. On
the other hand, if we do not get what we want, or if we lose
something we like, we become depressed or irritated. For
example, if we are forced to work with a colleague we dislike,
we will probably become irritated and feel aggrieved, with
the result that we will not be able to work with him or her
efficiently and our time at work will become stressful and
Such fluctuations of mood arise because we are too closely
involved in the external situation. We are like a child making
a sandcastle who is excited when it is first made, but who
becomes upset when it is destroyed by the incoming tide. By
training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity
that enable us to control our mind regardless of the external
circumstances. Gradually we develop mental equilibrium,
a balanced mind that is happy all the time, rather than an
unbalanced mind that oscillates between the extremes of
excitement and depression.
If we train in meditation systematically, we will eventually
be able to eradicate from our mind the delusions that
are the causes of all our problems and suffering. In this way,
we will come to experience a permanent inner peace, known
as liberation or nirvana. Then, day and night in life after life,
we will experience only peace and happiness.
Excerpted from Introduction to Buddhism by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Copyright © 2008 by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism who has pioneered the introduction of modern Buddhism into contemporary society. He is the author of 22 highly acclaimed books that transmit perfectly the ancient wisdom of Buddhism to our modern world. He has also founded over 1200 Kadampa Buddhist Centers and groups throughout the world.
In his teachings, Geshe Kelsang emphasizes the importance of meditation and how to apply it in daily life. He reveals practical methods for developing wisdom, cultivating a good heart and maintaining a peaceful mind through which we can all find true and lasting happiness. Demonstrating these qualities perfectly in his own life, Geshe Kelsang has dedicated his whole life to helping others find inner peace and happiness.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Wonderful book with clear information and concise instructions.
I wanted to learn more about Buddhism and I was very interested in becoming one myself. I picked up the book and I think it is very good. It always jumps back and forth with Karma and Dharma, so it kind of gets confusing. I recommend it.
It is a bit much for such a small book and tackles some topics that I had to reread to get a better understanding, but in general it did provide a good deal of information on its subject.
Buddhism in 100 pages! Reviewer: Trudy Jim from Florida, USA I think this book is great at giving the essence of all the main Buddhist topics - from meditation to karma to enlightenment - making it practical yet without getting bogged down in detail (though I would personally have liked more detail on Buddha's life story). I can't think of another book that explains Buddhism so well in so few pages!
This book provides a very concise introduction to Buddhism, no ground-breaking earth shattering material, but a good starting point for someone who is interested in learning more about the Buddhist way of life.