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Publisher's Summary

This lucid overview of the Buddhist path takes the perspective of the three "vehicles" of Tibetan Buddhism: the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. While these vehicles are usually presented as a historical development, they are here equated with the attitudes that individuals bring to their Buddhist practice. Basic to them all, however, is the need to understand our own immediate condition. The primary tool for achieving this is meditation, and The Essence of Buddhism serves as a handbook for the various meditative approaches of Buddhist practice.
Beginning with the Four Noble Truths, Traleg Rinpoche incorporates the expansive vision of the bodhisattva path and the transformative vision of Tantra. The final chapters present the transcendent view of Mahamudra. This view dispenses with all dualistic fixations and directly realizes the natural freedom of the mind itself. Along the way, the author provides vivid definitions of fundamental concepts such as compassion, emptiness, and Buddha-nature, and answers common questions: 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?
©2001 Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By girlie4zuz on 03-26-17

Great author!

This is the second book that I've gotten by this author. Compared to other books, by other people, he has been the most comprehensive. Subjects that I have learned about from other authors have been explained again, leaving me with a deeper understanding of the topic that I did before. I hope to find more by him.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ricardo on 07-16-16


Excellent introduction to Buddhism by a Tibetan guru. It covers and ties in the key aspects and teachings from the three main vehicles, Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vahjrayana traditions, and brings in elements from some unique and enlightening schools (i.e., Mahamudra).

Portions of the instruction may be difficult to understand for some beginners, but don't worry. Buddhism is so rich that this happens to all of us no matter at what level we consider ourselves to be at. Making notes of those sections that may be unknown helps to later do more research on.

The audio book is also great because it places the different teachings within their own context, and it stays on each subject just about the right amount of time so that it moves forward building on what was previously discussed.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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