Steps on the Path to Enlightenment: A Commentary on the Lamrim Chenmo, the Foundational Practices

Overview

Steps on the Path to Englightenment: The Foundation Practices marks the first volume of a much-anticipated, comprehensive commentary on the Lamrim Chenmo by the renowned Buddhist scholar, Geshe Sopa.

This landmark commentary on what is perhaps the most elegant Tibetan presentation of the Buddhist path offers a detailed overview of Buddhist philosophy, especially invaluable to those wanting to enact the wisdom of the Buddha in their lives.

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Steps on the Path to Enlightenment: A Commentary on Tsongkhapa's Lamrim Chenmo, Volume 1: The Foundation Practices

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Overview

Steps on the Path to Englightenment: The Foundation Practices marks the first volume of a much-anticipated, comprehensive commentary on the Lamrim Chenmo by the renowned Buddhist scholar, Geshe Sopa.

This landmark commentary on what is perhaps the most elegant Tibetan presentation of the Buddhist path offers a detailed overview of Buddhist philosophy, especially invaluable to those wanting to enact the wisdom of the Buddha in their lives.

In the Lamrim Chenmo, Tsongkhapa explains the path in terms of the three levels of practitioners: those of small capacity who seek happiness in future lives, those of medium capacity who seek liberation from the cycle of suffering, and those of great capacity who seek full enlightenment in order to benefit all beings. This volume covers the topics common to the first level: Tsongkhapa's explanations of the role of the teacher, his exhortation to take the essence of human existence, the contemplation of death and future lives, and going for the refuge.

Given his vast knowledge and his experience in both Tibetan and Western contexts, Geshe Sopa is the ideal commentator of this work for the modern student of Tibetan Buddhism.

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Editorial Reviews

Professor Jeffrey Hopkins
"From my first encounter with Professor Geshe Lhundub Sopa in 1962, I have been impressed with his kindness, patience, and thorough-going scholarship, qualities so strong that they obviously are based on profound realization. When he received his Geshe degree, he graduated first among the first rank, emerging as his year's national hero; he truly embodies what being a well-versed Tibetan scholar requires-the ability to think and react within many different systems. His good-humored, compassionate persistence and forbearance over the course of his long and often difficult life shine throughout the heartfelt, practical explanations in these books."
Lama Surya Das
"Geshe Sopa is one of the great living lamas we have today."
William S. Waldron
"Those of us fortunate to have studied directly with Geshe Sopa well know what an inexhaustible fount of Buddhist learning and wisdom he is. With the publication of Volume II of his comprehensive commentary on Tsong Khapa's classic Lamrim Chemmo, a much wider audience will further benefit from these unending riches. This text presents the mature development of Indian and Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism—the shortcomings of cyclic existence, the three trainings of mind, the importance of renunciation and generating the thought of awakening, etc.—not just by skillfully explicating what the teachings have to say but even more importantly by illustrating how they should be practiced. As Geshela himself says, 'This is not just a theoretical understanding we are talking about, but a realization that leads to direct transformation of your daily life and the behavior of your body, speech, and mind.' In particular, this volume clarifies the complex but crucial relations between the obscuring afflictions (klesha) and the accumulation and fruition of karmic actions—explanations supported, as throughout this rich text, by copious citations from the great classics of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist literature and enlivened by traditional figures whose lives illustrate the wonderous workings of karma. This text will appeal to practitioners and teachers alike for its comprehensive and crystal-clear presentation, in a direct and down-to-earth style, of one of the great encyclopedic texts of Tibetan Buddhism."
Jose Ignacio Cabezon
"My first real exposure to the great textual tradition of Tibetan Buddhism was through Geshe Sopa's lectures on the Lamrim. It is no overstatement when I say that studying Tsongkhapa through the teachings of one of the greatest living scholars of the tradition indelibly changed my life. And now 'here we are,' as Geshela says in the opening line to this great work. Here we are indeed, more than a quarter century later, in the presence of this vibrant text, a superbly edited compilation of Geshela's lectures. Read it and you will see that his words still sparkle, and that his wit, insight and erudition come through on every page. But read these volumes slowly, savoring them. Make them last, so that they become for you what they have become for so many of Geshela's students throughout the years: a source of tremendous intellectual excitement, and untold spiritual nourishment."
in a joint review of Wisdom's two recent books on Buddhadharma: The Practitioners' Quarterly
"Western students will welcome Geshe Sopa's Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, and [also] Yangsi Rinpoche's Practicing the Path. They will serve their readers as indispensable companions to Tsongkhapa's elegant and elaborate Great Exposition on the Stages of the Path, without which the entry into a text of such rigorous thoroughness may seem overwhelming. Students newer to the endeavor will receive a wonderful education from reliable guides. All of us will find our attention focused upon matters of importance."
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Born in the Tsang region of Tibet in 1923, Geshe Lhundub Sopa is both a spiritual master and a respected academic. He rose from a humble background to complete his geshe studies at Sera Je Monastic University in Lhasa with highest honors and was privileged to serve as a debate opponent for the Dalai Lama's own geshe examination in 1959. He moved to New Jersey in the United States in 1963 and in 1967 began teaching in the Buddhist Studies Program at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is now professor emeritus. In 1975, he founded the Deer Park Buddhist Center in Oregon, Wisconsin, site of the Dalai Lama's first Kalachakra initiation granted in the West. He is the author of several books in English, including the five-volume comprehensive teaching, Steps on the Path to Englightenment.

David Patt received his PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author of A Strange Liberation: Tibetan Lives in Chinese Hands. He recently served as executive director of the Dzogchen Foundation.

Beth Newman received her PhD in South Asian Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches at Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, and is the translator of The Tale of the Incomparable Prince.

Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. He passed his scholastic examinations with honors at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1959, the same year Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives.

His Holiness frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of interreligious harmony, and securing the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture, and religion. As a superior scholar trained in the classical texts of the Nalanda tradition of Indian Buddhism, he is able to distill the central tenets of Buddhist philosophy in clear and inspiring language, his gift for pedagogy imbued with his infectious joy. Connecting scientists with Buddhist scholars, he helps unite contemplative and modern modes of investigation, bringing ancient tools and insights to bear on the acute problems facing the contemporary world. His efforts to foster dialogue among leaders of the world's faiths envision a future where people of different beliefs can share the planet in harmony. Wisdom Publications is proud to be the premier publisher of the Dalai Lama's more serious and in-depth works.

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Table of Contents

Foreword VII
Editor's Preface XI
Technical Notes XXI
Editor's Homage XXIII
Introduction 1
Prologue 7
1 Atisa: The Source of the Lamrim Tradition 21
2 The Greatness of the Teaching 43
3 How to Listen to and Explain the Teachings 63
4 Relying on the Spiritual Teacher 103
5 The Meditation Session 163
6 Refuting Misconceptions about Practice 231
7 A Human Life of Leisure and Opportunity 245
8 The Three Types of Persons 275
9 Mindfulness of Death 307
10 Reflecting on Your Future Life 361
11 Going to the Three Jewels for Refuge 397
12 The Precepts of Refuge 439
Appendix I Outline of the Text 509
Appendix II The Refuge Field 520
Glossary 529
Endnotes 539
Bibliography 555
Index 573
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Type Missing

    Some phonetic symbol characters do not appear in the nook color. Needed to review on nook for PC to see correct type. Other than this distraction while reading this text is must have, read, and understand for any one interested in Lama Tsongkhapa's Lamrim Chenmo

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