"Bodhicitta is very practical, I tell you," Lama Yeshe says. "It’s like medicine. The self-cherishing thought is like a nail or a sword in your heart; it always feels uncomfortable. With bodhicitta, from the moment you begin to open, you feel incredibly peaceful and you get tremendous pleasure and inexhaustible energy. Forget about enlightenment - as soon as you begin to open yourself to others, you gain tremendous pleasure and satisfaction. Working for others is very interesting; it’s an infinite activity. Your life becomes continuously rich and interesting."
"Historically, Shakyamuni Buddha taught the four noble truths. To whose culture do the four noble truths belong? The essence of religion has nothing to do with any one particular country's culture. Compassion, love, reality - to whose culture do they belong? The people of any country, any nation, can implement the three principal aspects of the path, the four noble truths or the eightfold path. There's no contradiction at all."
"Meditation is not on the level of the object but on that of the subject - you are the business of your meditation."
The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism is the third in our series of free books by Lama Yeshe, following the extremely popular and well received Becoming Your Own Therapist and Make Your Mind an Ocean.
The first teaching in this book, “The Three Principal Aspects of the Path,” was given in France in 1982, during an FPMT-sponsored tour of Europe by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Just before His Holiness’s scheduled teachings at Institut Vajra Yogini, His Holiness manifested illness and asked Lama Yeshe to fill in for a couple of days—to “baby-sit” the audience, as Lama put it. This wonderful two-part teaching on the three principal aspects of the path is the result.
The second teaching, an “Introduction to Tantra,” also in two parts, was given at Grizzly Lodge, California, in 1980. It comprises the first two lectures of a commentary on the Chenrezig yoga method taught by Lama at the request of Vajrapani Institute, Boulder Creek.
This book is made possible by kind supporters of the Archive who, like you, appreciate how we make these Dharma teachings freely available on our website for instant reading, watching, listening or downloading, as printed, audio and e-books, as multimedia presentations, in our historic image galleries, on our YouTube channel, through our monthly e-letter and podcast and with our social media communities.
Please help us increase our efforts to spread the Dharma for the happiness and benefit of everyone everywhere. Come find out more about supporting the Archive and see all we have to offer by exploring our website at www.LamaYeshe.com.
LAMA THUBTEN YESHE was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered Sera Monastery, where he studied until 1959, when the Chinese invasion forced him into exile in India. In 1967 he and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche went to Nepal, where they established the renowned Kopan Monastery. In 1974 the Lamas began teaching in the West and created a worldwide network of Buddhist centers—the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. After an intense decade of imparting a wide variety of incredible teachings and establishing one FPMT activity after another, Lama Yeshe passed away in 1984. He was reborn in Spain in 1985.
DR. NICHOLAS RIBUSH, MB, BS, is a graduate of Melbourne University Medical School (1964) who first encountered Buddhism at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 1972. Since then he has been a student of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche and a full time worker for their international organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). He was a monk from 1974 to 1986. He established FPMT archiving and publishing activities at Kopan in 1973 and, with Lama Yeshe, founded Wisdom Publications in 1975. Between 1981 and 1996 he served variously as Wisdom’s director, editorial director and director of development. Over the years he has edited and published many teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and many other teachers and established and/or directed several other FPMT activities, including the International Mahayana Institute, Tushita Mahayana Meditation Centre, the Enlightened Experience Celebration, Mahayana Publications, Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies and now the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. He was a member of the FPMT board of directors from its inception in 1983 until 2002, and currently serves on the board of trustees of Maitripa College.