This lucid overview—which has come to be regarded by many as the best introductory book on Tibetan Buddhism—looks at its subject from the perspective of the three traditional “vehicles”: the Hinayana, the Mahayana, and the Vajrayana. These divisions are often presented as a historical development, but here Traleg Kyabgon equates them with the attitudes that we bring to our Buddhist practice. Basic to them all 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 most basic teaching of the Four Noble Truths, Traleg Rinpoche goes on to incorporate the expansive vision of the bodhisattva path and the transformative vision of Tantra. The final chapters present the transcendent view of Mahamudra. Along the way, the author provides vivid definitions of fundamental concepts such as compassion, emptiness, and Buddha-nature.
Includes a foreword from Sogyal Rinpoche.