This user’s guide to Buddhist basics takes the most commonly asked questions—beginning with “What is the essence of the Buddha’s teachings?”—and provides simple answers in plain English. Thubten Chodron’s responses to the questions that always seem to arise among people approaching Buddhism make this an exceptionally complete and accessible introduction—as well as a manual for living a more peaceful, mindful, and satisfying Life. Buddhism for Beginners is an ideal first book on the subject for anyone, but it’s also a wonderful resource for seasoned students, since the question-and-answer format makes it easy to find just the topic you’re looking for, such as:What is the goal of the Buddhist path? What is karma? If all phenomena are empty, does that mean nothing exists? How can we deal with fear? How do I establish a regular meditation practice? What are the qualities I should look for in a teacher? What is Buddha-nature? Why can't we remember our past lives?
Using the traditional Tibetan Buddhist framework of the Four Reminders—the preciousness of human birth, the truth of impermanence, the reality of suffering, and the inescapability of karma—Khandro Rinpoche explains why and how we could all better use this short life to pursue a spiritual path and make the world a better place. The book includes contemplative exercises that encourage us to appreciate the tremendous potential of the human body and mind.
This comprehensive guide to the Buddhist path from the Tibetan point of view is as accessible as it is complete. Traleg Kyabgon breaks the teachings down conveniently into the three traditional “vehicles,” while never letting us forget that the point of all the Dharma is nothing other than insight into the mind and heart. Along the way he provides vivid definitions of fundamental Buddhist concepts such as compassion, emptiness, and Buddha-nature and answers common questions such as:Why does Buddhism teach that there is “no self”?Are Buddhist teachings pessimistic?Does Buddhism encourage social passivity?What is the role of sex in Buddhist tantra?Why is it said that samsara is nirvana?Does it take countless lifetimes to attain enlightenment, or can it be achieved in a moment?
This is truly a book for everyone, and probably one of the most important to have among your Buddhist book collection. By pulling together some of Lama Yeshe’s introductory teachings on Buddhism, meditation, compassion and emptiness, and combining them with the definitive explanation of tantra, this one valuable volume will inspire students to go more deeply into the Yoga Method of Buddha Maitreya–a tantric practice. Lama helps us to understand all the ways we can use meditation to develop transformation and gain transcendent experiences. It’s still important to find a fully-qualified teacher like Lama or seek out a group deity yoga retreat, but this new offering from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive is a very good explanation of Universal Love. Highly recommended. - Mandala Magazine
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