The Buddhism of Tibet consists of four texts, the first two written by the fourteenth Dalai Lama himself and the remaining two chosen by him for Western readers: The Buddhism of Tibet explains the principal topics and central practices of Buddhism. The Key to the Middle Way leads the student to the discovery of the true meaning of emptiness. The Precious Garland by Nagarjuna is famous for its descriptions of the Bodhisattva path of compassion and for its clear, concise analysis of the Buddha`s teaching on emptiness. The Song of the Four Mindfulnesses contains all the essentials of sutra and tantra. It is to be used as a basis for meditations on mindfulness of the guru, altruism, deity yoga and emptiness.
This book provides an entrée into the Tantric (or Vajrayana) Buddhism of Tibet, as conveyed by Tibetan masters teaching in the West, and as received by their Western students. The Tantric tradition is a unique collection of lesser-known texts, concepts, and meditation practices that are usually made available only to experienced and specially initiated practitioners. The "Vajra World" (vajradhatu in Sanskrit) is a realm of indestructibility, the level of reality beyond all thought and imagination, all impermanence and change, which a fully realized person knows and inhabits. Used metaphorically, "Vajra World" refers to the traditional culture of Tibet and the unique spirituality that is its secret strength. Topics include: The tantric view of human nature and the external world The special role of the guru, or tantric mentor The preliminary practices that prepare the student for full initiation The major dimensions of Vajrayana practice, including visualizations, liturgies, and inner yogas The tradition of the tulku, or incarnate lama The lore surrounding the death of ordinary people and of saints The practice of solitary retreat, the epitome of traditional Tibetan Buddhism Secret of the Vajra World is the companion volume to the author's earlier book, Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism. While that book focuses on the history, cosmology, philosophy, and practice of the more public, exoteric side of Tibetan Buddhism, this work treats its more hidden and esoteric aspects as they take shape in Vajrayana. Together, the two volumes provide a broad introduction to the major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
This fourteenth-century Tibetan classic serves as an excellent introduction to basic Buddhism as practiced throughout India and Tibet and describes the process of entering the Buddhist path through study and reflection. It begins with setting forth the structure of Buddhist education and the range of its subjects, and we’re treated to a rousing litany of the merits of such instruction. We’re then introduced to the buddhas of our world and eon—three of whom have already lived, taught, and passed into transcendence—before examining in detail the fourth, our own Buddha Shakyamuni. Butön tells the story of Shakyamuni’s past lives and then presents the path the Buddha followed (the same that all buddhas must follow). After the Buddha’s story, Butön recounts three compilations of Buddhist scriptures and then quotes from sacred texts that foretell the lives and contributions of great Indian Buddhist masters, which he then relates, concluding with the tale of the eventual demise and disappearance of the Buddhist doctrine. The text ends with an account of the inception and spread of Buddhism in Tibet, focused mainly on the country’s kings and early adopters of the foreign faith. An afterword by Ngawang Zangpo, one of the translators, discusses and contextualizes Butön’s exemplary life, his turbulent times, and his prolific works.
Following the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution, the People's Republic of China gradually permitted the renewal of religious activity. Tibetans, whose traditional religious and cultural institutions had been decimated during the preceding two decades, took advantage of the decisions of 1978 to begin a Buddhist renewal that is one of the most extensive and dramatic examples of religious revitalization in contemporary China. The nature of that revival is the focus of this book.
In most Asian countries esoteric buddhism (Tantrayana) declined in the past, while the Tibetans alone preserved the full richness of tantric traditions to our times. Thus this study is based on several Tibetan sources never presented in any modern language-some of them were translated, some were given as a summary.
Laurence Austine Waddell (1854-1938) served in the Indian Medical Service, which took him to Darjeeling, Burma and Tibet. He carried out original field research at Buddhist temples and among the lay population. Highly illustrated, this landmark study of Tibetan Buddhism, its history, doctrine, temples and rituals, first appeared in 1895.
This book explores the Buddhist role in the formation of Tibetan religious thought and identity. In three major sections, the author examines Tibet's eighth-century conversion, sources of dispute within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and the continuing revelation of the teaching in both doctrine and myth.