Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling?: A Westerner's Introduction and Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Practice

Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling?: A Westerner's Introduction and Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Practice

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Overview

Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling?: A Westerner's Introduction and Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Practice by Lama Tsomo

If you think meditation is only for monks, think again.

Today's world seems to be growing more and more stressful by the minute—for all of us. So now, as a teacher of Tibetan Buddhist practice and a 21st-century woman, Lama Tsomo offers us time-tested tools for getting underneath our everyday worries and making our lives richer and more fulfilling with the release of Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? Reviewers deem the book “a sympathetic, personalized text” (Foreword Reviews), and recommend it “to those who want to learn more about Buddhism, meditation, or just how to live a more peaceful lifestyle” (Readers’ Favorite).

Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? is a lively, approachable guide for using the ancient traditions and practices of Tibetan Buddhism to find happiness and peace in this modern world. Well received and praised, the book was honored with several awards in 2016, including a National Indie Excellence Award and a silver medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Through step-by-step instructions, photographs, and helpful explanations, Lama Tsomo recounts her personal and spiritual journey to greater happiness, and teaches how we can experience the many benefits of meditation. She offers proven techniques for sharpening our focus, enhancing relationships, and living each day more mindfully and joyfully.

Laced with humor, compassion, and stories from Lama Tsomo's own life, Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? meets us where we are and guides us onto the path to a deeper awareness of the world and ourselves. This is a journey well worth taking. As Lama Tsomo invites in the book’s prologue, "Won't you come along?"

Featuring an introductory letter from H.H. Dalai Lama, Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? includes a set of beautifully illustrated meditation cards, "Science Tidbits," a glossary of Buddhist terms, and lessons used in Namchak Foundation eCourses and retreats. Learn more about the book and Lama Tsomo at Namchak.org.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990571100
Publisher: Namchak Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Pages: 276
Sales rank: 787,082
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Lama Tsomo (Lama Sangak Yeshe Tsomo) brings her unique perspective to
Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? Born into a Midwestern Jewish household, she followed a path of spiritual inquiry that ultimately led to her ordination as one of the few American female lamas teaching Tibetan Buddhism.

She now speaks Tibetan fluently and has done extensive spiritual retreat both in the U.S. and abroad, deepening her understanding and mastery of Tibetan Buddhism under the tutelage of Tulku Sangak (sometimes spelled "Sang-Ngag") Rinpoche, the holder of the Namchak lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and spiritual head of the Namchak Foundation. Rinpoche has asked Lama Tsomo to oversee the planning and construction of the Namchak Retreat Ranch, and she does so through her service on the board of the Namchak Foundation, an educational resource for a national learning community.

Her teaching has inspired American and international students, who appreciate her warm intelligence and her informal, often humorous style. Lama Tsomo is both the mother of three grown children and a grandmother.

She shares her mountain home with her two dogs, whom she describes as her “constant, loving companions throughout the entire, years-long journey of writing this book.”

Table of Contents

Homage ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama xvii

From Tulku Sangak Rinpoche xix

Who Is Lama Tsomo? xxi

Lama Tsomo's Background xxii

Prologue: Why is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? xxiii

Introduction 1

Why This Book 1

Using This Book 3

Are You as Happy as You Want to Be? 7

Why I Bothered 13

The Early Years: Even Then, I Was on a Path 13

No Longer a Child, Not Yet a Buddhist 22

I Meet the Buddha on the Path 26

My Root Lama: Tulku Sangak Rinpoche 27

Why Tulku Sangak Rinpoche Bothered 51

Background 51

In Prison, but Not Imprisoned 55

Coming to America 60

Why the Buddha Bothered 69

From Prince to Buddha 69

Some of What the Buddha Saw 77

The Two Truths 84

Tibetan Use of Imagery-Bunging It All onto the Path 86

What's Samsara, and How Did We Get Here, Anyway? 89

The Slippery Slope 90

A Bit More About Karma 97

How We Stay Stuck 98

The Good News 105

The Three Kay as 107

The Five Timeless Awarenesses (Yeshes) 115

The Five Dhyani Buddhas 118

The Three Yanas 120

Methods So We Can See for Ourselves 127

Checking Our Motivation 127

The Tibetan Nose Blow 133

The Theory 133

The Practice 135

The Finer Points 138

Back to the Blow by Blow 141

Connecting 149

Tranquil Abiding 153

Shamata 153

The Actual Practice of Tranquil Abiding-A Brief Introduction 156

Some Shamata Tips 158

Shamata: The Main Event 161

Now What? 164

Mind in Agitated State 164

Unrealistic Expectations (or, I Want Patience, and I Want It Now!) 171

When We Realize We've Been Following a Thought 173

Agitation, Perhaps Our Most Popular Pitfall 175

Dullness, the Other Pitfall 179

Yet Another Pitfall: Great Experiences 181

Beginning the Session 182

Ending the Session 183

In Conclusion 185

Tonglen 193

The Setup 194

The Actual Practice 196

Questions (and Answers!) 199

Additional Comments 203

Doing Daily Practice 207

Round Robin 207

Sample Daily Practice Session 209

The Practice of Doing Daily Practice 210

Working It into Tour Schedule 211

How to Do a Prostration 213

Place 215

Frame of Mind 216

In Closing: Some Words of Advice 219

A Word or Two about Drugs 220

More Support-Why Not?" 222

Empowerments 225

Refuge Ceremony 228

More about the Three Jewels 228

What Will Refuge in the Three Jewels Do for Me? 231

How Will I Know If I'm Ready to Take Refuge? 234

More Follow-Through: Some Qualified Teachers 234

The Next Step-When You're Really Ready 236

Appendix A How to Find or Start a Group 241

Practice Group Meeting 243

Dedication/Aspiration 243

Appendix B Glossary 245

Working Definitions of Buddhist (and Other) Terms 245

Appendix C Recommended Reading 253

For Practice and General Reading 253

Three Books by Thublen Chodron 256

Brain Science 256

Seven Point Mind Training Books and Media 257

On Cosmology 258

On Impermanence 258

Fun and Inspiring Reading 259

Websites 259

Appendix D Credits and Permissions 261

Photos and Images 261

Quotes 262

Index 263

Lama Sangak Yeshe Tsomo: Curriculum Vitae 271

Education and Professional Training 271

Affiliations and Memberships 273

Selected Publications 273

Selected Presentations and Teachings 273

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