This collection is drawn from teachings given by Lama Yeshe in the 1970s and 1980s, when he traveled the world and taught extensively along with Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Lama Yeshe was a pioneer in bringing the Dharma to Westerners and the teachings in this book demonstrate his understanding of the Western psyche and his ability to express profound truths in simple terms.
These teachings have been published previously on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive website and in other publications, including Mandala magazine. The purpose of this book is to gather the teachings into one central resource.
Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered the great Sera Monastic University, Lhasa, where he studied until 1959, when the Chinese invasion of Tibet forced him into exile in India. Lama Yeshe continued to study and meditate in India until 1967, when, with his chief disciple, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, he went to Nepal. Two years later he established Kopan Monastery, near Kathmandu, in order to teach Buddhism to Westerners. In 1974, the Lamas began making annual teaching tours to the West, and as a result of these travels a worldwide network of Buddhist teaching and meditation centers—the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)—began to develop. In 1984, after an intense decade of imparting a wide variety of incredible teachings and establishing one FPMT activity after another, at the age of forty-nine, Lama Yeshe passed away. He was reborn as Ösel Hita Torres in Spain in 1985 and recognized as the incarnation of Lama Yeshe by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1986. Lama’s remarkable story is told in Vicki Mackenzie’s book, Reincarnation: The Boy Lama (Wisdom Publications, 1996) and Adele Hulse’s official biography, Big Love, (forthcoming from LYWA).
"Whether or not this five-day meditation course becomes beneficial is up to you; it depends on your own mind. It's not a lama thing; I'm not going to bring you to enlightenment in this short time. Instead of having too many expectations of the lama, it's better that you generate a pure motivation for being here. Expectations cause mental problems; instead of being positive, they become negative..."
"If over the next five days you can begin to recognize the reality of your own nature, this meditation course will have been worthwhile. Therefore, dedicate your actions during this time to discovering inner freedom through recognizing the negative characteristics of your own uncontrolled mind."
In line with Lama's intentions, this book is dedicated to the awakening of inner freedom within the minds of its readers and all other sentient beings.
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