Synopses & Reviews
Tibetan Buddhism increasingly rivals Zen in its popularity as a path of Buddhist wisdom and practice. This eminently readable introduction to the tradition's
vibrant literature, presented by a true insider, now makes authentic Tibetan Buddhism accessible to contemporary Western audiences as never before.
Robert Thurman expertly and lucidly surveys the basic teachings and varieties of Tibetan Buddhism. A concise summary of Buddhism's development across Asia, with particular emphasis on its evolution in Tibet, provides a vital orientation, but the core of this much-needed volume is the first-ever collection of key Tibetan teachings on Buddhism and attaining enlightenment. Here are all the essential texts, freshly translated: the hymns to Tara, the liberator goddess; the riddle-like songs of Milarepa, the wandering poet-saint of the Himalayas; instructions for living the compassionate Bodhisattva Way of Life; selections
from The Tibetan Book of the Dead; and more.
Excerpts from rarely published tantric practice texts complement Geshe Chaykawa's Seven Point Mind Training and selections from Nagarjuna's Five Stages. Master teachers from all the major schools Longchempa, Nagarjuna, Shantideva, Atisha, and Tsong Khapa speak to the modern reader, providing advice on how to integrate Tibetan Buddhism into daily life.
Further enhanced by explanatory notes and a bibliography designed to serve as an introductory course, Essential Tibetan Buddhism is a unique guide to this rich spiritual tradition, invaluable to newcomers and seasoned students alike.
"The literature of Tibetan Buddhism is vast and confounding, but Thurman...paves the way with this accessible, 'essential' collection." Booklist
About the Author
Robert A. F. Thurman is the first American Tibetan Buddhist monk and the author of several books on Tibet, including Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, The Central Philosophy of Tibet, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and Inside Tibetan Buddhism. Currently the Jey Tsong Khapa professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies and the chair of the religion department at Columbia University, Thurman lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
The quintessence: the mentor worship -- Seeing the Buddha -- Meeting the Buddha in the mentor -- Practicing transcendent renunciation -- Practicing the loving spirit of enlightenment -- Practicing the liberating wisdom -- Practicing the creation stage -- Practicing the perfection and the great perfection stages -- Various treasures of Tibetan spiritual culture.