Advice from a Spiritual Friend

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“The commentary is clear, comprehensible, and immensely helpful. A nice, well-arranged book, unconditionally recommended for all students of mind training.Shambhala Sun


Geshe Rabten Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey Stephen Batchelor Brian Beresford

Do not wish for gratitude.
Never strike at the heart.
Now if you die, you will have no regrets.
          —The Seven-Point Thought Transformation

Like wise old friends, two Tibetan masters offer down-to-earth advice for cultivating compassion, wisdom, and happiness in every situation. Based on practical Buddhist verses on “thought training” (lojong), Advice from a Spiritual Friend teaches how to develop the inner skills that lead to contentment by responding to everyday difficulties with patience and joy.

Following Stephen Batchelor’s introduction to the Kadamapa tradition that gave rise to these earthy, pithy instructions, Part One is a commentary by Geshe Dhargyey to Atisha’s (982-1054) Jewel Rosary of a Bodhisattva. Part Two includes a commentary by Geshe Rabten to the famous Seven-Point Thought Transformation.

First published in 1977, Advice from a Spiritual Friend is a Wisdom classic that has enriched readers in many editions over the years. As Batchelor says in his introduction, “These teachings are as applicable today as they were when Atisha first introduced them to Tibet.

Read the biographies of Chekawa Yeshe Dorje and Atisha at the Treasury of Lives.

book information
  • Paperback
  • 160 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 inches
  • $17.95
  • ISBN 9780861711932
  • ebook
  • 160 pages
  • $12.99
  • ISBN 9780861719198
about the author
Advice from a Spiritual Friend

Geshe Rabten (1921–86) was born in Dargye in eastern Tibet. He studied at Sera Monastery in Lhasa, where he gained renown as a great scholar, debater, and meditation master. In 1959, he escaped to India, where he became the spiritual teacher of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. In the mid 1960s Geshe Rabten was appointed as a religious assistant to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. On His Holiness’s request he began teaching Dharma to Westerners in Dharamsala in 1969, and he went to live and teach in Switzerland in 1974. He founded Rabten Choeling Center (originally Tharpa Choeling) in Switzerland in 1979, where he lived and worked as spiritual director until he passed away in 1986.

Other books by Geshe Rabten:
The Essential Nectar

Advice from a Spiritual Friend

Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey taught Western students at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala. He moved to New Zealand in the early 1980s, where he lived until his death in 1995.

Advice from a Spiritual Friend

Stephen Batchelor has studied in Buddhist monasteries in India, Switzerland, and Korea. An accomplished writer and photographer, he has translated, written, and contributed to many books about Buddhism including After BuddhismBuddhism Without Beliefs, Verses from the Center, and The Tibet Guide. He lives in the South of France.

Advice from a Spiritual Friend

Brian Beresford (1948–97) was a photographer, translator, and editor. Beresford translated and edited several Tibetan Buddhist texts, including the first Wisdom title ever published, Advice from a Spiritual Friend. His photographs of Tibetan lamas and scenes of Tibetan culture have been published worldwide. He was also one of the first Westerners to travel into the remote areas of western Tibet, which he visited between 1986 and 1993. Between 1973 and 1979 he lived in Dharamsala and studied at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. He took pictures of, studied with, and translated for Geshe Rabten, Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, Lama Yeshe, and Lama Zopa, among other Tibetan masters. In the 1980s Beresford made his home in England, where in 1985 he helped found the Meridian Trust. At the end of his life, Brian was a student of the Dzogchen master Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and a leading figure in the Dzogchen community.

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