The Core Teachings of the Dalai Lama
See also our Reader's Guide to over twenty books by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The Core Teachings of the Dalai Lama series presents essential teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama that focus on the essential, practical, and proven methods taught by the Buddha and his followers over the last 2,500 years. The common thread throughout all these teachings by His Holiness is how—through contemplation and meditation—we can transform our minds, freeing us from the weight of our negative emotions and imbuing our hearts with a compassion rooted in the wisdom of how connected we really are.
Speaking to an audience of Western students, the Dalai Lama shows us how to apply basic Buddhist principles to our day-to-day lives. Starting with the very foundation of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths, he provides the framework for understanding the Buddha’s first teachings on suffering, happiness, and peace. He follows with commentary on two of Buddhism’s most profound texts: The Eight Verses on Training the Mind and Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, often referring to the former as one of his main sources of inspiration for the practice of compassion.
Clear, eloquent, simple, and profound, His Holiness’s teachings are easily accessible to beginning practitioners yet richly nourishing to those more advanced in practice. In The Complete Foundation, the Dalai Lama shows how visualization, reason, and contemplation can be systematically crafted to enhance personal development. Beginning with practices designed to create an effective mental outlook, His Holiness skillfully guides the student to more advanced techniques for developing the mind’s deepest potential and happiness. With impeccable attention to detail and a seamless balance between technical guidance and a delightful sense of playfulness, this book exemplifies the sophistication and elegance of Tibetan Buddhist methods for spiritual development.
Where Buddhism Meets Neuroscience: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on the Spiritual and Scientific Views of Our Minds
Is the mind an ephemeral side effect of the brain’s physical processes? Are there forms of consciousness so subtle that science has not yet identified them? How does consciousness happen? Organized by the Mind and Life Institute, this discussion addresses some of the most troublesome questions that have driven a wedge between Western science and religion. Edited by Zara Houshmand, Robert B. Livingston, and B. Alan Wallace, Where Buddhism Meets Neuroscience is the culmination of meetings between the Dalai Lama and a group of eminent neuroscientists and psychiatrists. The Dalai Lama’s incisive, open-minded approach both challenges and offers inspiration to Western scientists.
The Dalai Lama explains the principles of meditation in a practice-oriented format especially suited to Westerners. Based upon the middle section of the Bhavanakrama by Kamalashila—a translation of which is included—this is the most extensive commentary given by the Dalai Lama on this concise but important meditation handbook. It is a favorite text of the Dalai Lama, and he often takes the opportunity to give teachings on it to audiences throughout the world. In his words, “This text can be like a key that opens the door to all other major Buddhist scriptures.” Topics include the nature of mind, how to develop compassion and loving-kindness, calm abiding wisdom, and how to establish a union of calm abiding and special insight.
When His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a series of lectures at Harvard University, they fulfilled magnificently his intention of providing an in-depth introduction to Buddhist theory and practice. He structured the presentation according to the teachings of the Four Noble Truths and expanded their meaning to cover most of the topics of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama’s combination of superb intellect, power of exposition, and practical implementation are evident in these lectures. He covers a broad spectrum of topics, including the psychology of cyclic existence, consciousness and karma, techniques for meditation, altruism, valuing enemies, wisdom, and much more.
This extraordinarily clear exposition on the wisdom section of A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life is based on an oral teaching given in Switzerland by H.H. the Dalai Lama before an audience of thousands of Tibetans and Westerners in 1979. Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life is one of the most important texts in the Mahayana tradition of Buddhist practice. Its ninth chapter, the section on transcendent wisdom, is known among Buddhist scholars as a challenging exposition of Madhyamika philosophy and difficult to understand without a commentary. This invaluable volume with its precise elucidation of the core issues of Tibetan Buddhism stands as a key work in Buddhist literature.
All of the world’s major religions emphasize the importance of love, compassion, and tolerance. This is particularly true in the Buddhist traditions, which unanimously state that compassion and love are the foundation of all paths of practice. To cultivate the potential for compassion and love inherent within us, it is crucial to counteract their opposing forces of anger and hatred. In Perfecting Patience, the Dalai Lama shows how, through the practice of patience and tolerance, we can overcome the obstacles of anger and hatred. He bases his discussion on A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, the classic work on the activities of bodhisattvas—those who aspire to attain full enlightenment in order to benefit all beings.
In this extensive teaching, the Dalai Lama beautifully elucidates the meaning of the path to enlightenment through his own direct spiritual advice and personal reflections. Based on a very famous Tibetan text, this teaching presents in practical terms the essential instructions for the attainment of enlightenment. Its direct approach and lucid style make Refining Gold one of the most accessible introductions to Tibetan Buddhism ever published. His discourse draws out the meaning of the Third Dalai Lama’s famous Essence of Refined Gold as he speaks directly to the reader, offering advice, personal reflections, and scriptural commentary. He says in practical terms what the student must do to attain enlightenment.
Exploring the esoteric subject of Dzogchen, His Holiness offers insights into one of Buddhism’s most profound systems of meditation. He discusses both the philosophic foundations and the practices of this system—taking into account the approaches of various schools and teachers. To these teachings, His Holiness brings all those qualities which are so uniquely his—the accumulated knowledge of years of study, his curiosity, humor, and compassion, and his seemingly infinite subtlety of mind. Paying tribute to the uniqueness of Dzogchen, His Holiness sets it within the wider spectrum of Tibetan Buddhism as a whole. He explains the essence of Dzogchen practice and addresses subjects such as why it is called “the pinnacle of all vehicles,” what its special features are, and the crucial principles of the other Buddhist paths that a Dzogchen practitioner should know.
This beloved classic brings together in one volume all the major themes of the Dalai Lama’s teachings. Drawn from the lectures he gave during his first three visits to North America, the book covers the core subject matter of Tibetan Buddhism, as presented for the first time to an English-speaking audience. The chapters are arranged developmentally from simple to complex topics, which include the luminous nature of the mind, the four noble truths, karma, the common goals of the world’s religions, meditation, deities, and selflessness.
Healing Emotions: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Psychology, Meditation, and the Mind-Body Connection
Can the mind heal the body? The Buddhist tradition says yes—and now many Western scientists are beginning to agree. These discussions between the Dalai Lama and this group of prominent physicians, psychologists, philosophers, and behaviorists shed new light on the mind-body connection. The book is a record of the third Mind and Life Conference, a meeting that took place in Dharamsala, India, gathering Buddhist teachers and Western scholars to discuss questions that provide a framework for an ongoing dialogue between psychology and Buddhism. Edited with a new foreword by Pulitzer Prize nominee Daniel Goleman, this exploration of stress, death, meditation, self-compassion, and much more underscores the timeliness and significance of working together—across scientific and religious aisles—for the greater benefit of humankind.
From Here to Enlightenment: An Introduction to Tsong-kha-pa's Classic Text The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment
When the Dalai Lama was forced into exile in 1959, he could take only a few items with him. Among these cherished belongings was his copy of Tsong-kha-pa’s classic text The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. This text distills all the essential points of Tibetan Buddhism, clearly unfolding the entire Buddhist path.
In 2008, celebrating the long-awaited completion of the English translation of the Great Treatise, the Dalai Lama gave a historic six-day teaching at Lehigh University to explain the meaning of the text and underscore its importance. It is the longest teaching he has ever given to Westerners on just one text—and the most comprehensive. From Here to Enlightenment makes the teachings from this momentous event available for a wider audience.