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Tibetan Buddhism


MandalaMandala: Sacred Symbols

Hardback, 80 pages, 80 Colour and Black & white illustrations Thames and Hudson Ltd London, UK

This text is part of the "Sacred Symbols" series. Each work in the series focuses on a different culture or belief system to provide through an interpretation of their signs and symbols a look into the ancient universal wisdoms of mankind. The Mandala is one of the great symbols of human experience. Its concentric structure suggests the passage from state to state, from the material to the spiritual; its center is eternity, its periphery is perfection. From Tantric belief and medieval Christianity to 20th-century psychology, this guide demonstrates the relevance of this complex art form in today's society, revealing its secrets, emblem of the cosmos, and aid to meditation and inner peace.

General Tibetan Buddhism

Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by John Powers / paperback / 1995. One of the notable challenges for those starting in Tibetan Buddhism is sorting out the new terminology, the thicket of imagery and culture, and the various "schools." John Powers' book is a comprehensive guide that accomplishes these feats, as well as covering the history of Buddhism in Tibet, Tibetan culture, and the basics of traditional Tibetan Buddhist practice. A must-have for serious students - or potential students - in any Tibetan tradition.

Luminous Mind : The Way of the Buddha by Kalu Rinpoche, Maria Montenegro (Translator) / Paperback / 1997

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Sogyal Rinpoche, et al / Hardcover / 1992
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Paperback / 1994

The Tibetan Book of the Dead by Padma Sambhava, Robert A. Thurman (Translator) / Paperback

Passionate Enlightenment : Women in Tantric Buddhism by Miranda Shaw /Hardback
Passionate Enlightenment : Women in Tantric Buddhism by Miranda Shaw /Paperback

General Tibetan Buddhism
The Bodhisattva path
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Surya Das
Kalu Rinpoche
Chogyam Trungpa
Stephen Batchelor
Pema Chodron
Buddhism root texts: Pali Canon, Prajnaparamita & other sutras
Buddhism "getting started" books

= titles I've read & recommend
Books without checks are by authors whose work I respect, or are books that others have requested or recommended.

East of Lo Monthang: In the Land of Mustang Peter Matthiessen / Hardcover / 1995
East of Lo Monthang: In the Land of Mustang Paperback / 1996

The Snow Leopard (Penguin Nature Classics) Peter Matthiessen / Paperback / 1996

Dzogchen : The Self-Perfected State by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, Adriano Clemente (Editor), John Shane (Translator) / Paperback / 1996

Enlightened Courage : An Explanation of Atisha's Seven Point Mind Training by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche / Paperback / 1994

Tibetan Astrology by Phillipe Cornu / Hardcover / 1997. The only book I'm aware of on this subject.

A Handbook of Tibetan Culture : A Guide to Tibetan Centres and Resources Throughout the World by Graham Coleman (Editor) Paperback / 1994
A Handbook of Tibetan Culture Hardcover / 1995

Mandala : The Architecture of Enlightenment by Denise Patry Leidy, Robert A. F. Thurman / Paperback / Published October 1997.

The Complete Guide to Buddhist America by Don Morreale, Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein / Hardcover / 1998. This is the long-awaited update of a comprehensive guide to Buddhist centers, monasteries, practice groups and retreat facilities in the United States.

Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer / Paperback /(reprint) 1997.

Lost Lhasa : Heinrich Harrer's Tibet by Heinrich Harrer (Photographer) / Reprint Edition Hardcover / 1997. A visual sequel to Heinrich Harrer's great travel and adventure classic Seven Years in Tibet. These photographs provide a unique record of life in and around Tibet's capital city of Lhasa as it can never be seen again, when Tibetan society was still innocent of other 20th-century cultures.

Seven Years in Tibet Soundtrack / Audio CD / 1997.

Seven Years in Tibet : Screenplay and Story Behind the Film by Jean-Jacques Annaud, Becky Johnston, David Appleby (Photographer) / Hardcover/1997.
"Acting in the movie was an unforgettable experience for all the Tibetans who were involved. Old and young alike, we came to learn a great deal about Tibet in the 1940s. The older people relived our country's recent past, and some even reenacted their own roles in shaping the very events that engulfed Tibet. For the young, it was a moving discovery of a homeland they had heard about, and a real eye-opener to our country's rich traditions and wonderful culture. Many of them had hardly believed that Tibet was such a place as the movie portrayed, and their curiosity about and enthusiasm for the cause of Tibet's freedom increased manyfold. To all of us, the movie became an eloquent voice for the anguish of Tibet." -- Jetsun Pema, sister of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, who played their mother in the film. (from the book's forward)

Bodhisattva Path

A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night : A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (Shambhala Dragon Editions) Dalai Lama, et al / Paperback / 1994. In addition to the Shantideva text, this book includes commentary by HH the Dalai Lama.

A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life : (Bodhicaryavatara) by Shantideva, Vesna A. Wallace, B. Alan Wallace (Snow Lion) / Paperback / 1997. The Wallaces used both Tibetan and Indian texts for this new translation, with footnotes discussing the textual differences.

The Way of the Bodhisattva : A Translation of the Bodhicharyavatara (Shambhala Dragon Editions) by Shantideva / paperback / 1997. A new translation from the Tibetan texts.

The Bodhicaryavatara : A Guide to the Buddhist Path to Awakening (World's Classics) by Shantideva, Kate Crosby, Andrew Skilton / Paperback / 1996

Pema Chodron

Noble Heart : A Self-Guided Retreat on Befriending Your Obstacles by Pema Chodron / Audio Cassette / 1998. Ani Pema Chodron's books are so unabashedly down-to-earth, direct and supportive, they're among those I regularly turn to when I find myself flat on my face... again. I'm looking forward to hearing - and using this set of tapes.

Awakening Compassion : Meditation Practice for Difficult Times Pema Chodron / Audio Cassette / 1997

Awakening Loving-Kindness (Shambhala Pocket Classics) Pema Chodron / Paperback / 1996

Start Where You Are : A Guide to Compassionate Living Pema Chodron / Paperback / 1994

When Things Fall Apart : Heart Advice for Difficult Times Pema Chodron / Hardcover / 1997

The Wisdom of No Escape : And the Path of Loving-Kindness Pema Chodron / Paperback / 1991

Chogyam Trungpa

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism Chogyam Trungpa / Paperback / 1987

The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation Chogyam Trungpa, et al / Paperback / 1988

Shambhala : The Sacred Path of the Warrior Chogyam Trungpa, Carolyn Rose Gimian (Editor) / Paperback / 1995

The Tibetan Book of the Dead : The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo Francesca Fremantle, et al / Paperback / 1988

The Tibetan Book of the Dead : The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo Guru Rinpoche, et al / Paperback / 1992

Training the Mind & Cultivating Loving-Kindness Chogyam Trungpa, Judith L. Lief (Editor) / Paperback / 1993

Journey Without Goal; The Tantric Wisdom of the Buddha, Shambhala ed. (Dharma Ocean Series) Chogyam Trungpa / Paperback / 1985

The Path Is the Goal : A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation (Dharma Ocean) Chogyam Trungpa, Sherab Chodzin (Editor) / Paperback / 1995

Crazy Wisdom (Dharma Ocean Series) Chogyam Trungpa / Published 1991 (Hard to Find)

Kalu Rinpoche

The Dharma: That Illuminates All Beings Like the Light of the Sun and the Moon Kalu Rinpoche, / Paperback / 1986

Gently Whispered : Oral Teachings by the Very Venerable Kalu Rinpoche / Paperback / 1995

Excellent Buddhism : An Exemplary Life Kalu Rinpoche / Paperback / 1995

Profound Buddhism : From Hinayana to Vajrayana Kalu Rinpoche / Paperback / 1995

Luminous Mind : The Way of the Buddha by Kalu Rinpoche, Maria Montenegro (Translator) / Paperback / 1997

Surya Das

Awakening the Buddha Within : Eight Steps to Enlightenment by Lama Surya Das / Hardback / published October 1997. When I first started prowling the web for Buddhist sites three years ago, Surya Das' Dzogchen Foundation website was one of the few that provided more than bare-bones information about how to contact a 3-D center. The strength of this book is its jargon-free, informal style, presenting Tibetan Buddhism in a way that connects with Western perspectives and psychological insights. Lama Das, who is from New York, has the traditional training with native Tibetan teachers and the extensive formal practice to be one of the leaders in the first generation of American Dharma teachers. My only wish would have been some unobtrusive footnotes referencing his selections from traditional texts and sutras. As a practice-focused intro to Tibetan Buddhism, this is both a wonderful starting point and an excellent review.

Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Sas, et al / Audio Cassette / 1997

Natural Great Perfection: Dzogchen Teachings and Vajra Songs by Nyoshul Khenpo and Surya Das / Paperback / 1995

Snow Lion's Turquoise Mane: Wisdom Tales from Tibet by Surya Das / Paperback / 1992

Stephen Batchelor

Buddhism Without Beliefs : A Contemporary Guide to Awakening by Stephen Batchelor / Hardcover / 1997. Batchelor created something of a stir with this book, with his healthy agnosticism. Whether one agrees with some of his conclusions or not, I found this a practice-stimulating read that sings with spare, graceful prose and a depth of insight into the essentials that can benefit both newcomers and "old-timers."

The Awakening of the West : The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture by Stephen Batchelor / Hardcover / 1994
The Awakening of the West / Paperback

Alone With Others : An Existential Approach to Buddhism by Stephen Batchelor / Paperback / 1983


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