Yangsi Rinpoche was born in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1968 and recognized as a reincarnate tulku at age six. At the age of ten, he entered Sera Je Monastery in South India, and in 1995 graduated with the highest degree of Geshe Lharampa. In 1998, Rinpoche came to America, where he lived and taught for several years at Deer Park Buddhist Center near Madison, Wisconsin. He now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is president and professor of Buddhist Studies at Maitripa College, a Buddhist institute of higher education.
Books, Courses & Podcasts
Practicing the Path
The Lamrim Chenmo, or Great Treatise on the Steps of the Path, by Je Tsongkhapa is a comprehensive overview of the process of individual enlightenment. Meditation on these steps has been a core practice of Tibetan Buddhists for centuries. The Lamrim Chenmo presents the Buddha’s teachings along a continuum of three spiritual attitudes: the person who worries about rebirth, the person who wants to escape rebirth, and finally the person who strives for buddhahood in order to relieve the suffering of all beings—this is the supreme aspiration of the bodhisattva. Given over two months to a group of Western Students in Dharamsala, India, Yangsi Rinpoche’s commentary revitalizes our understanding of Tsongkhapa’s work, giving readers renewed inspiration.
Read Tsongkhapa’s biography at the Treasury of Lives.
- Academic & Translations
- Children's Books
- Tibetan Buddhism
- All Topics
Tibetan Calligraphy, Part 2
The Wisdom Academy is very pleased to announce that next year, we’ll be bringing out our next course with master calligrapher Tashi Mannox. Stay tuned for further announcements!
Dzogchen: Ten Key Terms
The Wisdom Academy is very pleased to announce that this year, we’ll be bringing out an online course with master translator Malcolm Smith. Stay tuned for further announcements!
The Dharma of Well-Being 2
Welcome to The Dharma of Well-Being 2! In this three-part course, drawn on insights and methods from both the Buddhist tradition and Western psychology and philosophy, Lama Alan Wallace invites you to investigate the causes of both genuine unhappiness and genuine well-being.
In this second module, Lama Alan explores the wisdom of the second turning of the wheel of Dharma, and the deeper causes of mental distress and mental well-being. Lama Alan introduces the deepest root of suffering: grasping to inherent existence. The Middle Way teachings of the Buddha’s second turning of the wheel of Dharma look at the nature of identification and the way phenomena exist. Understanding how the self is perceived, we can reveal the process by which we form attitudes and behaviors in our relations to other sentient beings. With this deflating of self-centered delusion, we are brought into accord with reality and able to inspire well-being for all, including ourselves.
While not necessary, we recommend completing The Dharma of Well-Being 1 before engaging with parts 2 and 3.
In this second program, you will learn about:
- the nature of identification and the way phenomena exist;
- dependent arising;
- the nuanced view of Mādhyamaka Prāsaṅgika philosophy;
- holistic well-being;
- the transformation from renunciation to bodhicitta;
- turning within for satisfaction and cultivating selflessness;
- and more!
Lama Alan Wallace, internationally renowned for the clarity and profundity of his teachings, invites you to explore the inner causes of suffering alongside the causes of genuine well-being, and learn practices and techniques that will help you on your journey to develop genuine and lasting well-being.
Histories of Tibet
Coming soon! This book will be available in July 2023. Enter your name and email below to be notified when this book is available for purchase.
The thirty-four essays in this volume follow the particular interests of Leonard van der Kuijp, whose groundbreaking research in Tibetan intellectual and cultural history imbued his students with an abiding sense of curiosity and discovery.
As part of Leonard van der Kuijp’s research in Tibetan history, he patiently and expertly revealed treasures of the Tibetan intellectual tradition in fourteenth-century Tsang, seventeenth-century Lhasa, or eighteenth-century Amdo. The thirty-four essays in this volume follow the particular interests of the honoree and express the comprehensive research that his international cohort has engaged in alongside his generous tutelage over the course of forty years. His inquisitiveness can be experienced through every one of his writings and can be found as well in these new essays in intellectual, cultural, and institutional history by Christopher Beckwith, Yael Bentor, the late Hubert Decleer, Franz-Karl Ehrhard, Jörg Heimbel and David Jackson, Nathan Hill, Isabelle Henrion-Dourcy, Matthew Kapstein, Todd Lewis, Kurtis Schaeffer, Peter Schwieger, Gray Tuttle, Pieter Verhagen, Michael Witzel, and others.
Coming soon! This book will be available in June 2023. Enter your name and email below to be notified when this book is available for purchase.
Senior scholars and former students celebrate the life and work of Janet Gyatso, professor of Buddhist studies at Harvard Divinity School. Inspired by her contributions to life writing, Tibetan medicine, gender studies, and more, these offerings make a rich feast for readers interested in Tibetan and Buddhist studies.
Janet Gyatso has made substantial, influential, and incredibly valuable contributions to the fields of Buddhist and Tibetan studies. Her paradigm-shifting approach is to take a topic, an idea, a text, a term—often one that had long been taken for granted or overlooked—and turn it inside out, to radically reimagine the kinds of questions that might be asked and what the answers might reveal. The twenty-nine essays in this volume, authored by colleagues and former students—many of whom are now also colleagues—represent the breadth of her interests and influence, and the care that she has taken in training the current generation of scholars of Tibet and Buddhism. They are organized into five sections: Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Biography and Autobiography; the Nyingma Imaginaire; Literature, Art, and Poetry; and Early Modernity: Human and Nonhuman Worlds. Contributions include José Cabezón on the incorporation of a Buddhist rock carving in Central Asian culture; Matthew Kapstein on the memoirs of an ambivalent reincarnated lama; Willa Blythe Baker on Jikmé Lingpa’s theory of absence; Andrew Quintman on a found poem expressing worldly sadness on the forced closure of a monastery; and Padma ’tsho on Tibetan women’s advocacy for full female ordination. These and the many other chapters, each fascinating reads in their own right, together offer a glowing tribute to a scholar who indelibly changed the way we think about Buddhism, its history, and its literature.
The Two Truths in Indian Buddhism
In this clear and exemplary approach to one of the core philosophical subjects of the Buddhist tradition, Sonam Thakchoe guides readers through the range of Indian Buddhist philosophical schools and how each approaches the two truths: ultimate truth and conventional truth. In this presentation of philosophical systems, the detailed argumentations and analyses of each school’s approach to the two truths are presented to weave together the unique contributions each school brings to supporting and strengthening a Buddhist practitioner’s understanding of reality. The insights of the great scholars of Indian Buddhist history—such as Vasubandhu, Bhāvaviveka, Kamalaśīla, Dharmakīrti, Nāgārjuna, and Candrakīrti—are illuminated in this volume, with profound implications to the practice and views of modern practitioners and scholars.
The Vaibhāṣika, Saūtrāntika, Yogācāra, and Madhyamaka schools provide a framework for a continuum of philosophical debate that is far more interrelated, and internally complex, than one may presume. Yet we see how the schools build upon the findings of one another, leading from a belief in the realism of external phenomena to the relinquishment of any commitment to realism of either external or internal realities. This fascinating movement through philosophical approaches leads us to see how the conventional and ultimate—dependent arising and emptiness—are twin aspects of a single reality.
Sounds of Innate Freedom, Volume 3
This is the third volume in an historic six-volume series containing many of the first English translations of the classic mahāmudrā literature compiled by the Seventh Karmapa. Sounds of Innate Freedom: The Indian Texts of Mahāmudrā are historic volumes containing many of the first English translations of classic mahamudra literature. The texts and songs in these volumes constitute the large compendium called The Indian Texts of the Mahāmudrā of Definitive Meaning, compiled by the Seventh Karmapa, Chötra Gyatso (1456–1539). The collection offers a brilliant window into the richness of the vast ocean of Indian mahamudra texts cherished in all Tibetan lineages, particularly in the Kagyü tradition, giving us a clear view of the sources of one of the world’s great contemplative traditions.
This third volume contains twenty-four texts, the bulk of which are dohās by Saraha and commentaries on them, as well as works by other renowned Indian Buddhist mahāsiddhas such as Nāropa, Kṛṣṇa, and Śākyaśrībhadra. The extensive commentaries brilliantly unravel enigmas and bring clarity to the songs they comment on as well as to many other songs of realization in the series. These expressive songs of the inexpressible offer readers a feast of profound and powerful pith instructions uttered by numerous male and female mahāsiddhas, yogīs, and ḍākinīs, often in the context of ritual gaṇacakras and initially kept in their secret treasury. Displaying a vast range of themes, styles, and metaphors, they all point to the single true nature of the mind—mahāmudrā—in inspiring ways and from different angles, using a dazzling array of skillful means to penetrate the sole vital point of buddhahood being found nowhere but within our own mind. Reading and singing these songs of mystical wonder, bliss, and ecstatic freedom, and contemplating their meaning, will open doors to spiritual experience for us today just as it has for countless practitioners in the past.
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s Stages of the Path, Volume 2
Coming soon! This book will be available in September 2023. Enter your name and email below to be notified when this book is available for purchase.
Central to Buddhism is knowing our own minds. Until we do, we are driven by unconscious, often destructive desire and aversion. We couldn’t have a better guide for inner transformation than the Dalai Lama.
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s Stages of the Path, Volume 2: An Annotated Commentary on the Fifth Dalai Lama’s Words of Mañjuśrī is the second volume of the Dalai Lama’s outline of Buddhist theory and practice. Having introduced Buddhist ideas in the context of modern society in volume 1, the Dalai Lama turns here to a traditional presentation of the complete path to enlightenment, from developing faith in the Dharma to attaining the highest wisdom. This book, compiled by the revered Tibetan lama Dagyab Rinpoché, comments on the Fifth Dalai Lama’s stages of the path titled Oral Transmission of Mañjuśrī. The volume will appeal to all readers interested in the Dalai Lama’s works, both those new to Buddhism and those looking to deepen their understanding of the Tibetan presentation of the Buddhist path.
The Secret Revelations of Chittamani Tara
Chittamani Tara is the Highest Yoga Tantra aspect of Green Tara, one of the most popular yidams in Tibetan Buddhism. In The Secret Revelations of Chittamani Tara: Generation and Completion Stage Practice and Commentary, beloved teacher Pabongkha Rinpoche shares the teachings that his teacher, Gargyi Wangpo Takphu Dorje Chang, received directly from Chittamani Tara herself.
The Secret Revelations of Chittamani Tara contains many profound oral instructions that are not easily found elsewhere, including one of the most powerful and practical discourses on the completion stage to be found anywhere in English translation. Rinpoche has supplemented his commentary with teachings from the Gaden Hearing Lineage as well as the general tantric teachings of the Gelug tradition. Also included are the Chittamani Tara self-generation sadhana, the ganachakra offering for Chittamani Tara, and three beautiful and moving praises and prayers to Tara composed by masters in the tradition.
Lovingly translated by the scholar-monk David Gonsalez, The Secret Revelations of Chittamani Tara is a guiding force leading all living beings to the state of Arya Tara.
The Dechen Ling Practice Series from Wisdom Publications is committed to furthering the vision of David Gonsalez (Venerable Losang Tsering) and the Dechen Ling Press of bringing the sacred literature of Tibet to the West by making available many never-before-translated texts.
The Swift Path
This collection of guided meditations from eighteenth-century Tibet harnesses elements of tantric visualization to induce realizations while contemplating the steps on the path to buddhahood.
The Swift Path by the Second Panchen Lama has long been heralded in the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism as one of the “eight great lamrims,” or works presenting the stages of the path to enlightenment, but it is the last to become widely available in English translation. Composed by a preceptor of two Dalai Lamas, this practical and systematic guide to meditating on the lamrim is based on the Easy Path, a more concise work by the First Panchen Lama. In the Swift Path, Paṇchen Losang Yeshé expands on the earlier Paṇchen Lama’s meditation guide with more detailed instructions on how to generate a clear and profound experience of the key recognitions that allow us to advance on our spiritual journey. These include the recognition of the opportunity afforded by our human existence, both its preciousness and its precariousness, and the way to adopt and live out the practices of a bodhisattva. The guided meditations here make use of a visualization of one’s teacher in the guise of Śākyamuni Buddha to unlock our own innate potential for buddhahood, complete enlightenment, to best benefit humanity and all living beings.
The Wisdom Culture Series, published under the guidance of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, features translations of key works by masters of the Geluk tradition. Also available in the Wisdom Culture Series are Tsongkhapa’s The Middle-Length Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s The Power of Mantra.
Realizing the Profound View
The eighth volume in the Dalai Lama’s definitive and bestselling Library of Wisdom and Compassion series, and the second of three focusing on emptiness.
In Realizing the Profound View the Dalai Lama presents the analysis and meditations necessary to realize the ultimate nature of reality. With attention to Nāgārjuna’s five-point analysis, Candrakīrti’s seven-point examination, and Pāli suttas, the His Holiness leads us to investigate who or what is the person. Are we our body? Our mind? If we are not inherently either of them, how do we exist, and what carries the karma from one life to the next? As we explore these and other fascinating questions, he skillfully guides us along the path avoiding the chasms of absolutism and nihilism and introduces us to dependent arising. We find that although all persons and phenomena lack an inherent essence, they do exist dependently. This nominally imputed mere I carries the karmic seeds. We discover that all phenomena exist by being merely designated by term and concept—they appear as like illusions, unfindable under ultimate analysis but functioning on the conventional level. Furthermore, we come to understand that emptiness dawns as the meaning of dependent arising, and dependent arising dawns as the meaning of emptiness. The ability to posit subtle dependent arisings in the face of realizing emptiness and to establish ultimate and conventional truths as noncontradictory brings us to the culmination of the correct view.
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 3
Deepen your understanding of meaning and truth with the third volume of the Dalai Lama’s esteemed series Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics.
In this third volume the focus turns to exploring the philosophical schools of India. The practice of presenting the views of various schools of philosophy dates back to the first millennium in India, when proponents of competing traditions would arrange the diverse sets of philosophical positions in a hierarchy culminating in their own school’s superior tenets. Centuries later, relying on the Indian Buddhist treatises, Tibet developed its own tradition of works on tenets (grub mtha’), often centered on the four schools of Buddhist philosophy, using them to demonstrate the philosophical evolution within their own tradition, and within individual practitioners, as they progressed through increasingly more subtle expressions of the true reality.
The present work follows in this venerable tradition, but with a modern twist. Like its predecessors, it presents the views of seven non-Buddhist schools, those of the Samkhya, Vaisesika, Nyaya, Mimamsa, Vedanta, Jaina, and Lokayata, followed by the Buddhist Vaibhasika, Sautrantika, Cittamatra, and Madhyamaka schools, arranging them like steps on a ladder to the profound. But rather than following in the sharply polemical approach of its ancient predecessors, it strives to survey each tradition authentically, relying on and citing the texts sacred to each, allowing the different traditions to speak for themselves. What, it asks, are the basic components of the world we experience? What is the nature of their ultimate reality? And how can we come to experience that for ourselves? See how the rich spiritual traditions of India approached these key questions, where they agreed, and how they evolved through dialogue and debate.
This presentation of philosophical schools is introduced by His Holiness and is accompanied by an extensive introduction and survey by Professor Donald Lopez Jr. of the University of Michigan, who is uniquely qualified to communicate the scope and significance of this literary and spiritual heritage to modern readers.
Stages of the Path and the Oral Transmission
A major contribution to the literature on Buddhist practice according to the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism from its foremost interpreter.
Although it was the last major school to emerge in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the Geluk school has left an indelible mark on Buddhist thought and practice. The intellectual and spiritual brilliance of its founder, the great Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), has inspired generations of scholars and tantric yogis to place him at the heart of their daily meditative practice. The Geluk tradition’s close ties to the Dalai Lamas have also afforded it an outsized influence in all aspects of Tibetan life for centuries. At its peak, its combined monasteries boasted a population in the tens of thousands, and its sway encompassed the religious landscape of Mongolia and much of Central Asia.
This widespread religious activity fostered a rich literary tradition, and fifteen seminal works are featured here representing four genres of that tradition. The first are works on the stages of the path, or lamrim, the genre for which the Geluk is most renowned. Second are works on guru yoga, centered around the core Geluk ritual Offering to the Guru (Lama Chöpa). Third are teachings from the unique oral transmission of Geluk mahāmudrā, meditation on the nature of mind. Fourth are the “guide to the view” (tatri) instructions. The volume features well-known authors like Tsongkhapa, the First Panchen Lama, and the Fifth Dalai Lama, but also important works from lesser-known figures like Gomchen Ngawang Drakpa’s stages of the path in verse and Gyalrong Tsultrim Nyima’s extensive commentary on the Lama Chöpa that interweaves precious explanations from the Ensa Oral Tradition he received from his own teacher.
Your guide to these riches, Thupten Jinpa, maps out their historical context and spiritual significance in his extensive introduction.