The World of Tibetan Buddhism: An Overview of Its Philosophy and Practice

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Overview

With characteristic humility, His Holiness the Dalai Lama begins this landmark survey of the entire Buddhist path by saying, "I think an overview of Tibetan Buddhism for the purpose of providing a comprehensive framework of the path may prove helpful in deepening your understanding and practice." In this book, the Dalai Lama delivers a presentation that is both concise and profound, accessible and engaging. As readers explore Tibetan Buddhism more fully than ever before, they will find in His Holiness a great ...

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The World of Tibetan Buddhism: An Overview of Its Philosophy and Practice

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Overview

With characteristic humility, His Holiness the Dalai Lama begins this landmark survey of the entire Buddhist path by saying, "I think an overview of Tibetan Buddhism for the purpose of providing a comprehensive framework of the path may prove helpful in deepening your understanding and practice." In this book, the Dalai Lama delivers a presentation that is both concise and profound, accessible and engaging. As readers explore Tibetan Buddhism more fully than ever before, they will find in His Holiness a great friend and authority.

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Editorial Reviews

Religious Studies Review
"Overall, I cannot think of another work by the Dalai Lama that so thoroughly surveys Tibetan Buddhism. One of the most concise and authentic texts available."
Choice
"The value of this book is that it brings many central teachings together in a single volume, clearly and accurately translated."
Yoga Journal
"Written in the Dalai Lama's characteristically straightforward, friendly style which makes these profound teachings accessible to a wide audience."
Bookwatch
"An invaluable review of Tibetan Buddhism's spiritual foundations."
Body
"The Dalai Lama explains in brief but lucid detail every aspect of the Tibetan path to enlightenment."
The Reader's Review
"The definitive book on Tibetan Buddhism by the world's ultimate authority."
East and West Series
"A landmark survey of the entire Buddhist path."
Choice
"The value of this book is that it brings many central teachings together in a single volume, clearly and accurately translated."
Body
"The Dalai Lama explains in brief but lucid detail every aspect of the Tibetan path to enlightenment."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his foreword to The World of Tibetan Buddhism, actor Richard Gere describes the Dalai Lama as ``universally respected as one of our greatest spiritual friends.'' The implied sentiment of equality and ease is appropriate for this manual by His Holiness, who here continues his loving attack on the West through publishing. A guidebook, this fluid translation by Geshe Thupten Jinpa of talks given by the Dalai Lama in London in 1988 is suitable for beginners in, as well as more advanced practitioners of, the Buddhist way, for it discusses general Buddhism as well as the esoteric Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet. Of interest and also useful to any reader is the central section, ``An Altruistic Outlook and Way of Life,'' in which the benefits of the Dalai Lama's clear mind are in abundance. Just before the glossary and bibliography at the end of this substantive textbook, His Holiness closes his remarks on the specifics of daily practice with typical simplicity: ``This is the way: try, try, try!! Then, over time, there is hope.'' (Mar.)
Library Journal
This overview of Tibetan Buddhism is a rare and marvelous opportunity for Engish-language readers to learn more about the special viewpoints of the religion and the approach of spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The book covers an overview of general Mahayana Buddhism, the importance of an altruistic life for spiritual practice, and the tantric practices of the Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet. Originally a series of lectures, the three each chapters each end with a set of questions from the audience and the Dalai Lama's answers. The book also includes a glossary of selected Buddhist terms as well as an excellent bibliography and index. The Dalai Lama has provided a lucid and profound yet eminently readable introduction to this subject. Recommended for any library needing a good introduction to Tibetan Buddhism.-David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861711000
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.33 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Richard Gere is an internationally renowned film actor, social activist, and philanthropist. Gere was the Co-Founder and Chairman of Tibet House and joined the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Tibet to more effectively engage both national and international forums of influence. He founded the Gere Foundation in 1991. It is the mission of the Gere Foundation to alleviate suffering and advocate for the people of Tibet. As a small grant-giving organization, the Foundation supports groups which are dedicated to the cultural preservation of Tibet, to providing HIV/AIDS care, research, and treatment, and to those organizations addressing human rights violations throughout the world.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Technical Note
Introduction 3
Pt. I General Buddhism 7
The Divisions of Vehicles 9
The First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma 15
The Second Turning: The Doctrine of Emptiness 23
The Third Turning: Buddha-nature 27
Different Explanations of Selflessness 31
The Four Seals of Buddhism 37
The Mahayana Path of Emptiness and Compassion 41
Pt. II An Altruistic Outlook and Way of Life 57
The Benefits of Altruism 59
Recognizing the Enemy Within 67
Overcoming Anger and Hatred 77
Oneself and Others: Exchanging Places 85
Pt. III The Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet 91
The Distinctive Features of Tantra 93
The Divisions of Tantra 103
Initiation: Empowerment 105
Pledges and Vows 111
Tantric Practice: The First Three Classes of Tantra 115
Advanced Tantric Practice: Highest Yoga Tantra 125
Translator's Notes 157
Glossary of Terms 175
Bibliography 183
Index 199
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