A Simple Path: Basic Buddhist Teachings

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9780007138876: A Simple Path: Basic Buddhist Teachings

The only four-colour, fully illustrated book by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, author of two recent international bestsellers. This will be a perfect gift for anyone interested in one of the most beloved spiritual leaders of our time.

This sumptuous, fully illustrated book by His Holiness the Dalai Lama offers a perfect introduction to Buddhism and the remarkable landscape and culture of Tibet. In the text, based on lectures on the four noble truths given in London, the Dalai Lama lays out the fundamentals of the Buddhist path, showing us how we can develop our compassion and find happiness in any situation. The photographs, by Ian Cumming, show the context in which this profound teaching developed, from the stunning landscapes and Tibetan people, to scenes of monastery life, prayer wheels and beautiful artwork. This is a must-have book for admirers of the Dalai Lama and is an ideal gift.

N.B. The book is an edited version of The Four Noble Truths and is now an even more concise, lucid exposition of the fundamentals of Buddhist teaching.

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Review:

The Dalai Lama, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, is widely respected as one of the world's great spiritual teachers. Although he is from one particular school of Buddhism, the Tibetan, Buddhists from most traditions find his work both acceptable and inspiring, because he tends to stress the broad features rather than the narrow.

A Simple Path, based on talks he gave in London in 1996, exemplifies this approach by discussing the essence of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths: the nature of suffering; the origin of suffering and the law of karma; cessation of suffering through liberation; and the path to achieving this.

The Dalai Lama also covers other central Buddhist teachings, such as the interdependence of reality, the principle of non-violence, the Three Jewels--the Buddha himself, the Dharma or teaching, and the Sangha, or community of practitioners--and much more including, crucially, compassion. The essence of Buddhism may indeed be a simple path, but the philosophy is endlessly complex; this book is not an introductory text for the complete beginner!

The text of the book has appeared previously, both as The Four Noble Truths and as part of The Heart of the Buddha's Path, so it's worth checking your shelves before buying it. The "added value" of this edition comes from the 80+ stunning colour photographs by Ian Cumming, which are intended to complement, rather than merely illustrate the text. These images of Tibetan monks, monasteries and mountains are truly inspiring; they make the world of Tibetan Buddhism, and the home from which the Dalai Lama has been exiled, come to life in a remarkable way for Western readers. --David V. Barrett

From the Back Cover:

'A Simple Path' brings together profound, accessible teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Four Noble Truths with extraordinary images that offer insight into the rich cultural heritage of Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness provides a concrete and lucid explanation of the foundation of the Buddhist path as it applies to contemporary life in both Eastern and Western world views. The teachings inspire us to embrace a way of compassion and peace in our lives and to find a deeper satisfaction in every day.

Photographer Ian Cumming's images of landscapes and Tibetan people, both the monastic community and lay practitioners, take the reader on a photographic journey into the heart of Buddhist practice. The photographs, which accompany rather than illustrate the text, help to deepen our appreciation of the context in which Tibetan Buddhism developed and to see how it is now practiced by those in Tibet as well as those in exile.

Note: The text in this book has previously appeared in different editions: 'The Four Noble Truths' as well as 'The Heart of the Buddha's Path' (a volume that combines 'The Four Noble Truths' with 'The Power of Compassion').

"Compassion brings us a certain inner strength. Once it is developed, it naturally opens an inner door, through which we can communicate with other fellow human beings, and even other sentient beings, with ease and heart to heart."
HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA

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