This is a ground-level, practice-oriented presentation of Tibetan Buddhism—personal and very accessible. The book begins with the awakening of students' interest in spirituality and the initial encounter with Tibetan Buddhism, then leads us through all the steps necessary for successful practice in the West. Included is succinct counsel on finding an appropriate teacher, receiving empowerments, becoming active in a center, and launching and sustaining a Vajrayana practice. Special emphasis is placed on the potential pitfalls, and the marvelous benefits, of the guru-disciple relationship.
"As Tibetan Buddhism extends its reach in the West, many practitioners are making strong commitments to this path. The Vajrayana tradition still being new to our culture, however, there remains significant gaps in Western students' education and understanding. These can lead to practical difficulties for new or intermediate students. This book begins with the very awakening of students' interest in spirituality and their initial encounter with Tibetan Buddhism and then leads them through the steps necessary for successful practice in the West. A Beginner's Guide to Tibetan Buddhism speaks powerfully and directly to the Western student who is working to integrate this incredibly vast tradition into the realities of daily life. Drawing on his many years of practice and teaching, the author skillfully addresses obstacles, doubts, and confusions that every reader will recognize. Bruce Newman has been my close student for almost thirty years. I am confident that he will be able to share his insights with others and help them on the Buddhist Path."—Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist teacher and meditation master
"Lama Bruce Newman, my old dharma friend, writes openly and honestly about his love for Buddhism and what the path of dharma has brought to his life as a Westerner. This book is an enjoyable, practical read that will inspire interested seekers and encourage them to bring out their best."—Sangye Khandro, Light of Berotsana Translation Group
"Bruce your friendly Dharma Pal takes the beginner by the hand to walk through the intricacies of the path, making complex ideas and terminology plain and simple. A solid, down-to-earth book."—Erik Schmidt, Rangjung Yeshe Publications
"This is a book that every new student of Tibetan Buddhism should read."—Thar Lam, author of The Path of Liberation
"Bruce Newman, a longtime student of Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, relays his own experiences with finding a teacher and establishing a practice front and center in A Beginner's Guide to Tibetan Buddhism: Notes from a Practitioner's Journey. Written by a Westerner for Westerners, this how-to overview contains everything from charts explaining the different schools and lineages of Tibetan Buddhism to explicit advice on discipline, guru devotion, and pitfalls like 'emotional enthrallment' (detailed in an absorbing chapter called 'Getting it Wrong').'"—Tricycle: The Buddhist Review