Books by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet’s capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong’s Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. He passed his scholastic examinations with honors at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1959, the same year Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives.
His Holiness frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of interreligious harmony, and securing the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture, and religion. As a superior scholar trained in the classical texts of the Nalanda tradition of Indian Buddhism, he is able to distill the central tenets of Buddhist philosophy in clear and inspiring language, his gift for pedagogy imbued with his infectious joy. Connecting scientists with Buddhist scholars, he helps unite contemplative and modern modes of investigation, bringing ancient tools and insights to bear on the acute problems facing the contemporary world. His efforts to foster dialogue among leaders of the world’s faiths envision a future where people of different beliefs can share the planet in harmony. Wisdom Publications is proud to be the premier publisher of the Dalai Lama’s more serious and in-depth works.
Discover His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice for finding happiness, helping others, and applying insights from Buddhist thought to everyday life—for a life of greater harmony, meaning, and joy, for ourselves, others, and in our world.
This first volume of The Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s Stages of the Path shares His Holiness’s teachings on specific topics of vital relevance to contemporary life and his messages on these topics will be of value to all readers, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. These teachings embody the Dalai Lama’s generous warmth and humor, his expertise in presenting important Buddhist ideas, and his ability to inspire us toward greater kindness and happiness.
Buddhism is practiced by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, from Tibetan caves to Tokyo temples to redwood retreats. To an outside viewer, it might be hard to see what they all have in common. In Buddhism, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and American Buddhist nun Thubten Chodron map out with clarity the convergences and the divergences between the two major strains of Buddhism—the Sanskrit traditions of Tibet and East Asia and the Pali traditions of Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Especially deep consideration is given to the foundational Indian traditions and their respective treatment of such central tenets as the four noble truths, the practice of meditation, the meaning of nirvana, and enlightenment.
The authors seek harmony and greater understanding among Buddhist traditions worldwide, illuminating the rich benefits of respectful dialogue and the many ways that Buddhists of all stripes share a common heritage and common goals.
“The key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion.”—His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Giving and receiving affection is the key to happiness, and compassion is the key that opens our hearts to affection. Illuminating themes touched upon in The Good Heart and The Art of Happiness, this generous and gentle book contains some of the most beloved teachings on compassion that the Dalai Lama has ever offered. Touching and transformative, The Compassionate Life is a personal invitation from one of the world’s most gifted teachers to live a life of happiness, joy, and true prosperity.
Collected here for the first time are four of the Dalai Lama’s most accessible and inspiring teachings on compassion. The purpose of life is to be happy, His Holiness reminds us. To be happy, we should devote ourselves to developing our own peace of mind; the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own peace of mind. Therefore, we must develop compassion for others in order to be truly happy.
In these four teachings—imbued with the gentle humor and extraordinary kindness of this incomparable teacher—His Holiness explores altruism and the need for compassion on an individual as well as a global scale. He offers specific practices for developing loving-kindness and compassion in even the most difficult situations.
Engage with leading scientists, academics, ethicists, and activists, as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness the Karmapa, who gathered in Dharamsala, India, for the twenty-third Mind and Life conference to discuss arguably the most urgent questions facing humanity today: What is happening to our planet? What can we do about it? How do we balance the concerns of people against the rights of animals and against the needs of an ecosystem? What is the most skillful way to enact change? And how do we fight on, even when our efforts seem to bear no fruit?
Inspiring, edifying, and transformative, this should be required reading for any citizen of the world.
For more than two thousand years, the Heart Sutra has been part of the daily life of millions of Buddhists. This concise text, so rich and laden with meaning, concentrates the very heart of Buddhism into a powerful and evocative teaching on the interdependence of all reality.
In Essence of the Heart Sutra, the Dalai Lama masterfully unpacks the Heart Sutra so that any reader can benefit from its teachings—teachings meant to help us release ourselves from suffering and live with true compassion. Comprised of his “Heart of Wisdom” talks, originally delivered to thousands of listeners in 2001, the book offers the Dalai Lama’s commentary as well as his easy-to-follow overview of Buddhist philosophy that places the sutra within its historical and philosophical context. With additional contributions by scholar and translator Thupten Jinpa, Essence of the Heart Sutra is the authoritative presentation of a text seminal to the world’s religious heritage.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s commentary on Tsongkhapa’s Three Principal Aspects of the Path helps us integrate the full Buddhist path into our own practice. His Holiness offers a beautiful elucidation of the three aspects of the path: true renunciation and the wish for freedom, the altruistic awakening mind (bodhichitta), and the correct view of emptiness. These three aspects of the path are the foundation of all the sutric and tantric practices, and encapsulate Tsongkhapa’s vision of the Buddhist path in its entirety.
Practitioners will find The Three Principal Aspects of the Path invaluable as a manual for daily meditation. The universal and timeless insights of this text speak to contemporary spiritual aspirants, East and West. The root verses are presented in both Tibetan and fluid English translation to accompany these profound teachings.
One of the most revered spiritual figures of our time—His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama—tells the story of his life in this intimate, timeless, and approachable book. Featuring luminous illustrations from world-renowned artist Rima Fujita and some never-before-shared details, it’s the perfect way to explore the life of the Dalai Lama. This simple yet powerful text combined with stunning artwork will captivate readers of all ages—and will take you on a mystical journey you won’t soon forget.
In The Good Heart, The Dalai Lama provides an extraordinary Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus. His Holiness comments on well-known passages from the four Christian Gospels, including the Sermon on the Mount, the parable of the mustard seed, the Resurrection, and others. Drawing parallels between Jesus and the Buddha—and the rich traditions from which they hail—the Dalai Lama delivers a profound affirmation of the sacred in all religions. Readers will be uplifted by the exploration of each tradition’s endless merits and the common humanity they share.
If you could sit down with the Dalai Lama and talk with him about anything, what would you discuss? Fabien Ouaki, a prominent French businessman, was granted such an opportunity and asked the Dalai Lama for his thoughts on the everyday issues that fill our newspapers and our lives. This is the record of these varied and remarkable conversations.
Covered are a wide spectrum of topics—political, social, personal and spiritual—including the media and education, marriage and sex, and disarmament and compassion. Blessed by His Holiness’s buoyant and insightful thoughts, Imagine All the People allows readers to glimpse the spontaneous workings of an extraordinary mind at once of—and above—this world.
Includes the full text of The Global Community and the Need for Universal Responsibility.
Associated with the promotion of world peace, the Kalachakra—or “Wheel of Time”—tantra is one of the most detailed and encompassing systems of theory and practice within Tibetan Buddhism. This book contains a complete translation of the Kalachakra initiation ritual as conferred by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, along with his commentary and a comprehensive introduction by Professor Jeffrey Hopkins that explores the Kalachakra’s rich symbolism, meaning, and history. The book also includes the Six-Session Yoga.
The Sixth Ling Rinpoché (1903–83) was a towering figure in Tibetan Buddhism. Combining great learning with great humility, he was ordained by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and went on to serve as the head of the Geluk tradition and as the senior tutor to the present Dalai Lama. In temperament and wisdom, he had a profound influence on the Dalai Lama’s spiritual development, and he became a steadying presence for His Holiness during the chaotic changes that defined the Tibetan experience of the twentieth century, with the invasion of their county by Communist forces and the subsequent rebuilding of their culture in India. Ling Rinpoché’s extensive travels among exiled communities abroad and across India buoyed the spirits of the Tibetan diaspora, and the training and activities of this consummate Buddhist master, here told by the Dalai Lama in the traditional Tibetan style, will inspire and amaze.
Over one hundred archival photos bring the text to life.
This title is also available in paperback.
“We all have the same human mind—each and every one of us has the same potential. Our surroundings and so forth are important, but the nature of mind itself is more important. . . . To live a happy and joyful life, we must take care of our minds.”—His Holiness the Dalai Lama
At the heart of this book is The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel of the Oral Tradition, an accessible and nonsectarian treatise on penetrating the nature of mind by Khöntön Peljor Lhündrub, a teacher of the Fifth Dalai Lama. His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s broad-ranging overview of this work insightfully distills some of the most central themes of Buddhism: why the mind is so essential to the tradition, what distinguishes the levels of consciousness, and how different schools of Tibetan Buddhism elaborate those distinctions. Profound and erudite, it brings the reader closer to a fresh and direct experience of Buddhism’s central truths.
Along with his lucid translations, José Cabezón provides an introduction to the root text and presentations of the life and works of Khöntön Rinpoche, all richly annotated.
The Dalai Lama opens The Middle Way with an elegant argument for the power of compassion in cultivating a happy life. From there, he connects core ideas of Buddhist philosophy to the truths of our shared condition. His Holiness delivers a sparklingly clear teaching on how the Buddhist ideas of emptiness and interdependency relate to personal experience and bring a deeper understanding of the world around us.
In down-to-earth style, this book sets forth a comprehensive explanation of the foundational teachings of the Mahayana tradition based on the works of two of Buddhism’s most revered figures. Using Nagarjuna’s Middle Way, the Dalai Lama explores Buddhist understandings of selflessness, dependent origination, and the causal processes that lock us in cycles of suffering. He grounds these heady philosophical discussions using Tsongkhapa’s Three Principal Aspects of the Path, presenting a brief explanation of how to put ethical discipline, wisdom, and compassion into practice.
Through these beautifully complementary teachings, His Holiness urges us to strive, “with an objective mind, endowed with a curious skepticism, to engage in careful analysis and seek the reasons behind our beliefs.”
This title is also available in paperback.
What is the subtle relationship between mind and body? What can today’s scientists learn about this relationship from masters of Buddhist thought? Is it possible that by combining Western and Eastern approaches, we can reach a new understanding of the nature of the mind, the human potential for growth, the possibilities for mental and physical health?
MindScience explores these and other questions as it documents the beginning of a historic dialogue between modern science and Buddhism. The Harvard Mind Science Symposium brought together the Dalai Lama and authorities from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, and education. Here, they examine myriad questions concerning the nature of the mind and its relationship to the body.
Here, in a teaching of outstanding completeness and clarity, the Dalai Lama sets out the key principles of Buddhism, showing how the mind can be transformed, and suffering overcome, through love, compassion, and a true understanding of the nature of reality. By illustrating his brilliant overview of the path with his own personal experiences and advice on how to integrate the practice, the Dalai Lama brings these teachings to life.
The Dalai Lama delves deep into the teaching of the Great Perfection, or Dzogchen. His enthusiasm and admiration for this profound tradition shine through as he comments on an important work by the great Dzogchen master Longchen Rabjam, Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation on the Great Perfection.
This teaching, with its remarkable breadth and richness, was originally given to an audience of ten thousand in France in 2000, and this book perfectly captures the majesty of the occasion. As Sogyal Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama’s host for the occasion, said, “All of us were moved by the depth, relevance, and accessibility of these teachings; there were those who said that they were among the most remarkable they had ever heard him give. To receive these teachings from him was the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Blending the highest wisdom with the deepest compassion and humanity, Mind in Comfort and Ease offers a glimpse into the Dalai Lama’s wisdom mind and a panoramic view of the Buddhist path.
Opening the Eye of New Awareness is a succinct, thorough overview of the doctrines of Buddhism as they have been practiced for a thousand years in Tibet. The Dalai Lama here discusses the need for religious practice and the importance of kindness and compassion. Originally written for Tibetan laypeople, this was the Dalai Lama’s first book on Buddhist philosophy to appear in English, and Prof. Lopez’s new introduction places these teachings in their proper historical context. This is an invaluable handbook for both personal use and academic study of the Buddhist path.
“Written for both Tibetan and Western readers, Opening the Eye of New Awareness is the Dalai Lama’s first religious work. It is not an edited transcript of public lectures, but is His Holiness’s own summation of Buddhist doctrine and practice. Completed in 1963, just four years after his escape from Tibet and four years after completing his religious education, it is a work of consummate scholarship by a twenty-seven-year-old geshe, wise beyond his years. Nowhere in his many subsequent works does one find a more clear and concise exposition of the essentials of Buddhist thought. Indeed, all of His Holiness’s many publications are in some sense commentaries on this first book.”—Donald S. Lopez
Like the bestselling A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of the Night, Practicing Wisdom focuses on Shantideva’s Way of the Bodhisattva. While the former includes only a brief introduction to Shantideva’s complex and crucial ninth chapter on insight, Practicing Wisdom is a full and detailed follow-up commentary, making it an invaluable statement on the fundamental concept behind Buddhist thought and practice.
Shantideva says in his Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life: “All branches of the Buddha’s teachings are taught for the sake of wisdom. If you wish to bring an end to suffering, you must develop wisdom.” Shantideva’s ninth chapter is revered in Tibetan Buddhist circles as one of the most authoritative expositions of the Buddha’s core insight, and all other Buddhist practices are means to support the generation of this wisdom within the practitioner. In Practicing Wisdom, the Dalai Lama reaffirms his reputation as a great scholar, communicator, and embodiment of the Buddha’s Way by illuminating Shantideva’s verses, drawing on contrasting commentaries from the Nyingma and Gelug lineages, and leading the reader through the stages of insight up to the highest view of emptiness. These teachings, delivered in southern France in 1993, have been masterfully translated, edited, and annotated by Geshe Thupten Jinpa, the Dalai Lama’s primary translator and founder of the Institute of Tibetan Classics.
For modern science, the transitional states of consciousness lie at the forefront of research in many fields. For a Buddhist practitioner these same states present crucial opportunities to explore and transform consciousness itself. This book is the account of a historic dialogue between leading Western scientists and the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Revolving around three key moments of consciousness—sleep, dreams, and death—the conversations recorded here are both engrossing and highly readable. Whether the topic is lucid dreaming, near-death experiences, or the very structure of consciousness itself, the reader is continually surprised and delighted.
Narrated by Francisco Varela, an internationally recognized neuroscientist, the book begins with insightful remarks on the notion of personal identity by noted philosopher Charles Taylor, author of the acclaimed Sources of Self. This sets the stage for Dr. Jerome Engel, Dr. Joyce MacDougal, and others to engage in extraordinary exchanges with the Dalai Lama on topics ranging from the neurology of sleep to the yoga of dreams.
Remarkable convergences between the Western scientific tradition and the Buddhist contemplative sciences are revealed. Dr. Jayne Gackenbach’s discussion of lucid dreaming, for example, prompts a detailed and fascinating response from the Dalai Lama on the manipulation of dreams by Buddhist meditators. The conversations also reveal provocative divergences of opinion, as when the Dalai Lama expresses skepticism about “Near-Death Experiences” as presented by Joan Halifax. The conversations are engrossing and highly readable. Any reader interested in psychology, neuroscience, Buddhism, or the alternative worlds of dreams will surely enjoy Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying.
Using the traditional Buddhist allegorical image of the Wheel of Life and the teaching of the twelve links of dependent origination, the Dalai Lama deftly illustrates how our existence, though fleeting and often full of woes, brims with the potential for peace and happiness. We can realize that potential by cultivating a wise appreciation of the interdependency of actions and experience, and by living a kind and compassionate life. A life thus lived, the Dalai Lama teaches, becomes thoroughly meaningful for both oneself and for others.
Currently only available in ebook only.
With characteristic humility, His Holiness the Dalai Lama begins this landmark survey of the entire Buddhist path by saying, “I think an overview of Tibetan Buddhism for the purpose of providing a comprehensive framework of the path may prove helpful in deepening your understanding and practice.” In this book, the Dalai Lama delivers a presentation that is both concise and profound, accessible and engaging. As readers explore Tibetan Buddhism more fully than ever before, they will find in His Holiness a great friend and authority.
This title is also available in paperback.
The Library of Wisdom and Compassion is a special multivolume series in which His Holiness the Dalai Lama shares the Buddha’s teachings on the complete path to full awakening that he himself has practiced his entire life. The topics are arranged especially for people seeking practical spiritual advice and are peppered with the Dalai Lama’s own unique outlook. Assisted by his long-term disciple, the American nun Thubten Chodron, the Dalai Lama sets the context for practicing the Buddha’s teachings in modern times and then unveils the path of wisdom and compassion that leads to a meaningful life and sense of personal fulfillment. This series is an important bridge from introductory to profound topics for those seeking an in-depth explanation from a contemporary perspective.
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics compiles classical Buddhist explorations of the nature of our material world, the human mind, logic, and phenomenology and puts them into context for the modern reader.
This ambitious four-volume series—a major resource for the history of ideas and especially the history of science and philosophy—has been conceived by and compiled under the visionary supervision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself. It is his view that the exploratory thinking of great Indian masters in the first millennium CE still has much that is of interest to us today, whether we are Buddhist or not. These volumes make those insights accessible.