The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism - Amitabha Buddhist ?· The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism v THE ESSENCE OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM The Three Principal Aspects of the Path and an Introduction to Tantra BY LAMA THUBTEN YESHE
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The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism i
ii The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism
The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism iii
iv The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism
The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism v
THE ESSENCE OFTIBETAN BUDDHISM
The Three Principal Aspects of thePath and an Introduction to Tantra
BY LAMA THUBTEN YESHE
Edited by Nicholas Ribush
for free distribution
vi The Essence of Tibetan BuddhismPublished for free distribution
Amitabha Buddhist Centre494-D Geylang Road
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Jan 2003 3000 books
Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 2002
Please do not reproduce any part of this booklet by any meanswhatsoever without written permission from
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The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism vii
The Three Principal Aspects of the PATHto Enlightenment
Introduction to Tantra
Table of Contents
viii The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism
Awakening a Kind Heart by Venerable Sangye Khadro
Becoming Your Own Therapist by Lama Thubten Yeshe
Compassion & Wisdom by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
Essence of Tibetan Buddhism by Lama Thubten Yeshe
Glimpse of Reality by Dr. Alexander Berzin & Venerable Thubten Chodron
How to Generate Bodhicitta by Ribur Rinpoche
I Wonder Why by Venerable Thubten Chodron
The Joy of Compassion by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Live with Compassion by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche (English & Chinese editions)
Making Your Mind an Ocean by Lama Thubten Yeshe
Mirror of Wisdom by Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen
Perfect Freedom by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Practicing the Good Heart by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Purpose of Life by Venerable Thubten Gyatso
The Meaning of Life by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche (English & Chinese editions)
The Mind, Karma and the Bodhisattva Path by Venerable Thubten Gyatso
The Path to Happiness by Venerable Thubten Chodron
Other titles printed by Amitabha Buddhist Centrefor free distribution:
The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism ix
Teachings from Lama Konchong by Geshe Lama Konchog
Kadampa Teachings by Geshe Lama Konchog
Teachings from the Mani Retreat by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
The Direct and Unmistaken Method - The Practice and Benefits of the Eight
Mahayana Precepts, Commentaries by Trijang Dorje Chang &
Geshe Lamrimpa; compiled and translated by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Transforming Problems by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Chinese edition)
Transforming Problems into the Path by Venerable Thubten Gyatso
Wisdom Energy by Lama Yeshe & Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Chinese edition)
Working with Anger by Venerable Thubten Chodron
x The Essence of Tibetan BuddhismDedications
By the merits of printing this book, may all spiritual teachers teaching truepaths to enlightenment especially His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama- Tenzin Gyatso, Lama Ribur Rinpoche, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lama OselRinpoche and Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup, have long and healthy livesand continue to benefit sentient beings.
May all the wishes, prayers and aspirations of all our sponsors andbenefactors and their loved ones be fulfilled in accordance with the HolyDharma. May all their obstacles be pacified and may they have good healthand success always.
May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes.May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes.May all sentient beings not be separated from sorrowless bliss.May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment andanger.
May whoever sees, touches, reads, remembers, talks or thinks about thisbook never be reborn in unfortunate circumstances, receive only rebirthsin situations conducive to the perfect practice of Dharma, meet a perfectlyqualified spiritual guide, quickly develop bodhicitta and immediately attainenlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.
The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism xiEditors Introduction
This publication is the third in the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archivesseries of free booklets by Lama Yeshe, following the extremelypopular and well received Becoming Your Own Therapist and MakeYour Mind an Ocean.
It differs, however, in that the material contained herein is alsoon video (see the back pages of this book for details), so that youcan now see and hear Lama Yeshe giving these teachings. We haveedited them less intensively than normal so that the text quite closelyadheres to Lamas original words and phraseology, making it easierto follow when watching the videos. For the same reason, we havealso left intact Lamas references to world events of the time, suchas the various Middle East dramas of 1979(80).
Lamas teachings were dynamic events full of energy and laughter.He taught not only verbally but physically and facially as well. Thus,we encourage you to obtain the videos of these teachings in orderto get as total an experience of the incomparable Lama Yeshe aspossible.
The first teaching, The Three Principal Aspects of the Path, wasgiven in France in 1982, during an FPMT-sponsored tour of Europeby His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Just before His Holinesssscheduled teachings at Institut Vajra Yogini, His Holiness manifestedillness and asked Lama Yeshe to fill in for a couple of days to baby-sit the audience, as Lama put it. This wonderful two-part teachingon three principal aspects of the path is the result.
The second teaching, an Introduction to Tantra, also in twoparts, was given at Grizzly Lodge, California, in 1980. It comprisesthe first two lectures of a commentary on the Chenrezig yogamethod taught by Lama at the request of Vajrapani Institute,Boulder Creek. The entire course was videotaped and we plan to
xii The Essence of Tibetan Buddhismmake available the remaining six tapes as soon as we can enhancetheir sound and picture quality.
I am most grateful to Linda Gatter and Wendy Cook for theireditorial suggestions, which greatly improved this work.
1The Three Principal Aspects of the PATH to Enlightenment
2 The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism
Azt Vajra Yogini Institute, France, during an FPMT-sponsored
teaching tour of Europe in 1982, His Holiness the Dalai Lama
manifested ill health and asked Lama Yeshe to fill in for him for the
first days teachings. The following teachings ensued.
3The Three Principal Aspects of the PATH to Enlightenment
THE THREE PRINCIPAL ASPECTSOF THE PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT
The first teaching: renunciation, bodhicitta and emptiness
Today, Im unfortunate. And today, youre unfortunate as well, because
you have to put up with me, the garbage man. You have to put up
with my garbage; Im the garbage man. Due to circumstance, His
Holiness is experiencing some discomfort with his health, so we should
all pray for his good health...and so that it wont be necessary to be in
this situation, where you have to put up with my garbage. However,
due to these circumstances, His Holiness has given me permission to
Now, His Holiness has chosen a particular text by Lama Je Tsong
Khapa, which we call the Three Principal Paths to Liberation, or
Enlightenment. So today Im going to try to give you an introduction
to this text, but going into it in detail is not my business.
In Tibetan, we call this text Nam-tso lam-sum. Historically, this
book derives from Lama Je Tsong Khapas direct, visual communication
with Lord Manjushri. Manjushri gave him this teaching and then
Lama Je Tsong Khapa gave it to his disciples: Nam-tso lam-sum, the
Three Principal Aspects. This is a small text, but it contains the essence
of the entire teaching of Lord Buddha. Also, while it is very simple
and practical, it is a universal teaching that everybody can understand.
4 The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism
Now, the three principles are renunciation, bodhicitta and the wisdom of
shunyata; these three are called the principal, essential paths to liberation.
I want you to understand why they are called the three essential,
or principal, paths to liberation, because in the Western world, the
word renunciation has a different connotation; people get scared
that they will lose their pleasure. But without renunciation, theres no
First of all, all of us consider that we would like to be free from ego
mind and the bondage of samsara. But what binds us to samsara and
makes us unhappy is not having renunciation. Now, what is
renunciation? What makes us renounced?
The reason we are unhappy is because we have extreme craving
for sense objects, samsaric objects, and we grasp at them. We are seeking
to solve our problems but we are not seeking in the right place. The
right place is our own ego grasping; we have to loosen that tightness,
According to the Buddhist point of view, monks and nuns are
supposed to hold renunciation vows. The meaning of monks and nuns
renouncing the world is that th