Essential Practice is an accessible and authoritative portrait of a bodhisattva's view, meditation, and conduct by one of the foremost masters of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and the tutor of H.H. the Seventeenth Karmapa. Teaching on Kamalashila's treatises outlining the stages of meditation, Thrangu Rinpoche explains the need for compassion and the way to develop it, the necessity for a bodhisattva's vast and durable altruism, as well as the means to generate, stabilize, and fortify it and the elements key to the meditative practices of calm abiding and insight. An engaging element of Essential Practice is the lively interaction of Thrangu Rinpoche with students and members of the faculty of Naropa University as he unfolds the text for them. With exceptional generosity, Thrangu Rinpoche took delight in fielding basic and knotty questions that were put to him by relative newcomers and relatively seasoned practitioner/scholars. This record of a masterful teacher's instructions will help students old and new to determine what is essential to the practice of Buddhism and thereby bring the Buddha's teachings into their own experience. Essential Practice presents an incomparable wisdom on the methodology and means of meditation, as well as the ways in which to bring oneself to the transcendence of selfless behavior.