Wisdom of the Kadam Masters is the second volume in the Tibetan Classics series, which aims to make available accessible paperback editions of key Tibetan Buddhist works drawn from Wisdom Publications' Library of Tibetan Classics. The phrase "Kadam masters" evokes for many Tibetans a sense of a spiritual golden age--the image of a community of wise yet simple monks devoted to a life of mental cultivation. These eleventh- and twelfth-century masters were particularly famed for their pithy spiritual sayings that captured essential teachings in digestible bites. In these sayings one unmistakably detects a clear understanding of what comprises a truly happy life, one that is grounded in a deep concern for the welfare of others. Like the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Lao Tzu, or Rumi, the teachings contained in Wisdom of the Kadam Masters can be approached as a part of the wisdom heritage of mankind, representative of the long history of the long human quest to understand our existence and its meaning. This volume offers some of the most beloved teachings of the Tibetan tradition.
Why do things happen the way they do in our lives? How do we create the causes for a happy life? The Buddhist practice of mind training gives us the answer to these questions: it involves overcoming our self-centered attitude and replacing it with an attitude that cherishes others. This, in turn, leads us to act in ways that naturally lead away from suffering and toward happiness—in short, to create good karma. Thubten Chodron offers a commentary on one of the great Tibetan Buddhist poems, The Wheel of Sharp Weapons, which shows, clearly and practically, how to eliminate the causes of anxiety, fear, and depression and to create the causes of joyful liberation for oneself and all others.
A leading writer and researcher on Tibet, Sam van Schaik offers an accessible and authoritative introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by examining its key texts, from its origins in the eighth century to teachings practiced across the world today. In addition to demonstrating its richness and historical importance, van Schaik’s fresh translations of and introductions to each text provide a comprehensive overview of Tibetan Buddhism’s most popular teachings and concepts—including rebirth, compassion, mindfulness, tantric deities, and the graduated path—and discusses how each is put into practice. The book unfolds chronologically, conveying a sense of this thousand-year-old tradition’s progress and evolution. Under the spiritual leadership of the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism has an estimated ten to twenty million adherents worldwide. Written for those new to the topic, but also useful to seasoned Buddhist practitioners and students, this much-needed anthological introduction provides the deepest understanding of the key writings currently available.
A welcome new translation of Gampopa's classic overview of the Buddha's teachings. Discover the heart of the Buddha’s teachings in this new and beautiful translation of Gampopa’s classic guidebook. Ornament of Precious Liberation is a spiritual and literary treasure of Tibetan Buddhism and of the Kagyü lineage in particular. Laying out step-by-step the path to buddhahood that is open to us all, to read Gampopa’s text is like receiving the teachings directly from the master himself. It is a quintessential guide to enlightenment that students will return to again and again for its insights into living an awakened life.
The Dalai Lama tells the life story of his remarkable teacher, Ling Rinpoché, who remained a powerful anchor for him from childhood and into his emergence as a global spiritual leader. The Sixth Ling Rinpoché (1903–83) was a towering figure in Tibetan Buddhism. Combining great learning with great humility, he was ordained by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and went on to serve as the the head of the Geluk tradition and as the senior tutor to the present Dalai Lama. In temperament and wisdom, he had a profound influence on the Dalai Lama’s spiritual development, and he became a steadying presence for His Holiness during the chaotic changes that defined the Tibetan experience of the twentieth century, with the invasion of their county by Communist forces and the subsequent rebuilding of their culture in India. Ling Rinpoché’s extensive travels among exiled communities abroad and across India bouyed the spirits of the Tibetan diaspora, and the training and activities of this consummate Buddhist master, here told by the Dalai Lama in the traditional Tibetan style, will inspire and amaze. Over one hundred archival photos bring the text to life.
Learn the ropes of a cultivating a resilient and warm heart, even in the face of great difficulty, from one of the most beloved of the last generation of lamas trained in pre-invasion Tibet. The aphorisms of the Seven-Point Mind Training present a powerful and counter-intuitive call to Buddhist practice—view reality as dreamlike, contemplate the kindness of your enemies, give up expectations of reward, change yourself but remain as you are! When he fled Tibet, Gomo Tulku carried in his heart this widely studied Tibetan text, which he turned to time and again when faced with difficulties in life. Having relied on this practice to transform his own hardships, he shares here an inspired commentary to help us get through ours. Mirroring the simplicity of the original, Seven Steps to Train Your Mind succinctly provides a practical description of how to train the mind and develop the mental qualities of peace, joy, and wisdom that will carry one through any circumstance.
One of Tibet’s great scholars presents the Buddha’s profound teachings on the laws of karma and dependent arising. In the Rice Seedling Sutra, the Buddha unpacks the law of cause and effect. He notes how in the natural world, a seed becomes a sprout, which produces a flower, which bears fruit. A seed has no intention to sprout; when the right conditions are assembled the fruit arises. Similarly, when our senses encounter an object, a sense consciousness arises naturally, without our intending it. This, says the Buddha, is also how karma works and how actions performed out of ignorance create suffering, whether we want it or not. And this same law of causality also governs enlightenment—when the right conditions are assembled, awakening is assured. In many sutras like this one, the Buddha explains that to understand his Dharma is to understand dependent arising. Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe explores dependent arising, and the corollary teaching of emptiness, through this sutra and others. Commenting on the works of Indian masters such as Shantaraksita, he shows how belief in a creator god is incompatible with dependent arising, and by illuminating the teachings of Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti, he shows how we do—and do not—exist. Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe was among the last generation of scholars to be trained in Tibet before the Chinese occupation. He has been teaching Westerners for decades, having worked with top scholars in the United States, and he is especially familiar with this sutra, having translated the commentary by Kamalasila into Hindi. Here his deep familiarity, combined with his extensive command of the Buddhist scriptures, allows him to present the Buddha’s words in a rich and authoritative context.
The Mind of Mahamudra is the third volume in the Tibetan Classics series, which aims to make available accessible paperback editions of key Tibetan Buddhist works drawn from Wisdom Publications' Library of Tibetan Classics. Enjoy six key texts on the cornerstone meditation practice of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism by some of its most celebrated forebearers. The Mind of Mahamudra highlights mahamudra, the central meditation practice of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The six texts range in date from the twelfth to the seventeenth century and include such celebrated authors as Lama Shang and the Third Karmapa. Mahamudra is essentially a simple, direct method for looking beyond our thoughts to the very nature of conscious experience. Mahamudra literally means "the great seal" and masters of this tradition have explained it to mean that everything is sealed with buddhahood, and there is no liberation to be attained other than what is already present. Mahamudra, it is said, is not attained not because it is too difficult, but because it is too easy; not because it is too far, but because it is too close; and not because it is hidden but because it is too evident. Because of its universality and directness, mahamudra meditation is particularly suited to the modern West. Eminent scholar Peter Alan Roberts draws on his thirty-plus years of experience of translating for Tibetan lamas to illuminate these benchmark translations.
The first-ever biography with selected writings of one of the greatest Indian Buddhist masters in history. Few figures in the history of Buddhism in Tibet have had as far-reaching and profound an influence as the Indian scholar and adept Atiśa Dīpaṃkara (982–1054). Originally from Bengal, Atiśa was a tantric Buddhist master during Vajrayana Buddhism’s flowering in India and traveled extensively, eventually spending the remaining twelve years of his life revitalizing Buddhism in Tibet. Revered by all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Atiśa and his students founded what came to be known as the Kadam school, whose teachings have influenced countless Buddhist masters. These teachings, cherished by all major traditions, are preserved by the Geluk in particular, the school of the Dalai Lamas. Although Atiśa was an influential practitioner and scholar of Tantra, he is best known for introducing many of the core Mahayana teachings that are widely practiced throughout the Tibetan Buddhist world, including the Stages of the Path to Awakening and Mind Training (lojong), as well as having contributed to highly influential commentaries on Madhyamaka that synthesize various schools of thought. This succinct biography of Atiśa’s life, together with a collection of translations, represents for the first time the full range of Atiśa’s contribution to Buddhism. As the most comprehensive work available on this essential Buddhist figure, this book is an indispensable resource for scholars and Buddhist practitioners alike.
Chöying Tobden Dorje's magnum opus presented in English for the first time, in an authoritative translation prepared under the auspices of well-known and highly respected Tibetan teachers and translators. In 1838, Choying Tobden Dorje, a yogin and scholar of northeastern Tibet, completed a multivolume masterwork that traces the entire path of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism from beginning to end. Written by a mantra practitioner for the benefit of mantra practitioners living among the lay community, it was intended to be informative, inspirational, and above all, practical. Its twenty-five books, or topical divisions, offer a comprehensive and detailed view of the Buddhist path according to the early translation school of Tibetan Buddhism, spanning the vast range of Buddhist teachings from the initial steps to the highest esoteric teachings of great perfection. Choying Tobden Dorje’s magnum opus appears in English here for the first time. Book 13 presents the philosophical systems of India and Tibet, according to the writings of Longchen Rabjam and the revelations of Orgyan Lingpa. First, it discusses the views attributed to classical Hinduism, Jainism, materialism, and nihilism. Second, it describes the standpoints of the Vaibhashika and Sautrantika exponents of the lesser vehicle, exemplified by pious attendants and hermit buddhas, and the Cittamatra (“mind only”) and Madhyamaka (“middle way”) commentators of the great vehicle, exemplified by great bodhisattva beings. Third, it analyzes the inner and outer vehicles of the Buddhist tantras, with an emphasis on the three classes of the great perfection. Fourth, it documents the lines of philosophical transmission within Tibet, including Bon, Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, Kadampa, and Geluk. It concludes with an extract from a well-known treatise of the Fifth Dalai Lama, applying the techniques of consequential reasoning to the first chapter of Vasubandhu’s Treasury of Phenomenology.
Through the eventful life of a Himalayan Buddhist teacher, Khunu Lama, this study reimagines cultural continuity beyond the binary of traditional and modern. In the early twentieth century, Khunu Lama journeyed across Tibet and India, meeting Buddhist masters while sometimes living, so his students say, on cold porridge and water. Yet this elusive wandering renunciant became a revered teacher of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. At Khunu Lama’s death in 1977, he was mourned by Himalayan nuns, Tibetan lamas, and American meditators alike. The many surviving stories about him reveal significant dimensions of Tibetan Buddhism, shedding new light on questions of religious affect and memory that reimagines cultural continuity beyond the binary of traditional and modern. In Renunciation and Longing, Annabella Pitkin explores devotion, renunciation, and the teacher-student lineage relationship as resources for understanding Tibetan Buddhist approaches to modernity. By examining narrative accounts of the life of a remarkable twentieth-century Himalayan Buddhist and focusing on his remembered identity as a renunciant bodhisattva, Pitkin illuminates Tibetan and Himalayan practices of memory, affective connection, and mourning. Refuting long-standing caricatures of Tibetan Buddhist communities as unable to be modern because of their religious commitments, Pitkin shows instead how twentieth- and twenty-first-century Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhist narrators have used themes of renunciation, devotion, and lineage as touchstones for negotiating loss and vitalizing continuity.
Essential Mind Training is the first volume in the Tibetan Classics series, which aims to make available accessible paperback editions of key Tibetan Buddhist works drawn from Wisdom Publications' Library of Tibetan Classics. The key to happiness is not the eradication of all problems but rather the development of a mind capable of transforming any problem into a cause of happiness. Essential Mind Training is full of guidance for cultivating new mental habits for mastering our thoughts and emotions. This volume contains eighteen individual works selected from Mind Training: The Great Collection, the earliest compilation of mind-training (lojong) literature. The first volume of the historic Tibetan Classics series, Essential Mind Training includes both lesser-known and renowned classics such as Eight Verses on Mind Training and The Seven-Point Mind Training. These texts offer methods for practicing the golden rule of learning to love your neighbor as yourself and are full of practical and down-to-earth advice. The techniques explained here, by enhancing our capacity for compassion, love, and perseverance, can give us the freedom to embrace the world.