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?
An open heart is the dwelling place of compassion that extends toward all beings; a clear mind is the source of the penetrating wisdom of deep insight. Their union leads to the enlightened way of life that is at the heart of the spiritual path as taught by the Buddha. This introduction to his teaching is thorough yet wonderfully accessible, even to those with no previous knowledge of Buddhism. Thubten Chodron writes in an easy-to-understand manner as she skillfully relates the Buddha’s wisdom to the realities of our modern lives.
Tara, the feminine embodiment of enlightened activity, is a Buddhist deity whose Tibetan name means “liberator,” signaling her ability to free beings from the delusion and ignorance that keep them trapped in ever-recurring patterns of negativity. She embodies a challenge, but one that is profoundly nurturing: to transform our minds and become like her, reflecting the tranquility, compassion, and wisdom that make her so beautiful.
Thubten Chodron describes a simple meditation on Tara, explaining its benefits and its application to daily life. She also presents two well-loved praises—“Homage to the Twenty-one Taras” and “A Song of Longing for Tara, the Infallible”—together with reflections on their meanings for modern practitioners.
Without proper motivation, it does not matter what we do. Whether reciting prayers, meditating, or enduring great hardships, if our actions are devoid of good intention they will not become Dharma practice. Proper motivation transcends our ordinary, ephemeral desires and ultimately seeks the happiness of all living beings. "In your life," says Rinpoche, "there is nothing to do other than to work for others, to cherish others. There is nothing more important in your life than this."
This powerful, simple message applies to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike--we all have the power to unlock our greatest potential. Open this book and open the door to a timeless path leading to wisdom and joy.
This is the first time that this text is made available to lay practitioners and non-monastic readers. It will nourish the practice of all practitioners. It can inspire everyone to go in the direction of living our daily lives with compassion, love, and understanding in order to protect and care for ourselves, our loved ones, the environment, and all living beings.
The Buddha's path to human transformation declares women and men equally capable of spiritual realization, yet throughout history most exemplars of this tradition have been men. Now, as Buddhism is transmitted to the West, women are playing a major role in its adaptation and development.
The conversation presented here takes place among experienced practitioners from many Buddhist traditions who share their thoughts on the Buddhist outlook, its practical application in everyday life, and the challenges of practicing Buddhism in the Western world. Thirteen women contribute a wealth of thought-provoking material on topics such as "Bringing Dharma into Relationships," "Dealing with Stress," "Buddhism and the Twelve Steps," "Mothering and Meditation," "The Monastic Experience," and "Forging a Kind Heart in an Age of Alienation."
The Madman’s Middle Way presents the first English translation of this major Tibetan Buddhist work, accompanied by an essay on Gendun Chopel’s life liberally interspersed with passages from his writings. Donald S. Lopez Jr. also provides a commentary that sheds light on the doctrinal context of the Adornment and summarizes its key arguments. Ultimately, Lopez examines the long-standing debate over whether Gendun Chopel in fact is the author of the Adornment; the heated critical response to the work by Tibetan monks of the Dalai Lama’s sect; and what the Adornment tells us about Tibetan Buddhism’s encounter with modernity. The result is an insightful glimpse into a provocative and enigmatic workthatwill be of great interest to anyone seriously interested in Buddhism or Asian religions.