Courageous Compassion

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“At this critical time the world is in need of guides who embody both wisdom and genuine compassion, such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron, who serve as living examples of courageous action in upholding the bodhisattva ideal both in word and in deed. Now they have collaborated to give us a volume on the practical application of fearless compassion. May this serve as an inspiration to Buddhist practitioners, now and in the future, to bravely embody compassion for the benefit of all.
“We welcome this addition to the series, which deals with the central relevance of courageous compassion as we walk the path.”
—Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

“In the sixth installment of their extraordinary Library of Wisdom and Compassion series, H. H. the Dalaia Lama and Ven. Thubten Chodron transport us through the higher reaches of the Buddhist path, as envisioned by the Theravāda, Sūtrayāna, and Mahāyāna traditions. Led by two expert guides, we come to appreciate the perfections we must practice, the stages of spiritual ascent we must traverse, and the sublime awakened states awaiting at journey's end. At once informative and deeply inspiring, Courageous Compassion should have a place on the bookshelf of every Buddhist, along with the other volumes in this masterful collection.”—Roger Jackson, author of Mind Seeing Mind: Mahāmudrā and the Geluk Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

“The previous volume in this groundbreaking series explored ways to generate compassion and bodhicitta; in this volume His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron address how to develop and sustain compassion in the ordinary life we have today all the way up to the completion of our spiritual path. This turn to applying compassion requires not only profound knowledge of the Buddhist textual tradition but also great sensitivity to the circumstances of people’s ordinary lives and to twenty-first-century societies. This book brings both to bear as it asks, What would our lives look like if we lived and acted purely out of compassion?
“Between the two of them, the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron have over a century practicing and teaching on compassion. That depth of experience and knowledge is reflected on every page of this book.”—Damchö Diana Finnegan, PhD


The Library of Wisdom and Compassion, Vol. 6

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Thubten Chodron

Courageous Compassion, the sixth volume of the Library of Wisdom and Compassion, continues the Dalai Lama’s teachings on the path to awakening. The previous volume, In Praise of Great Compassion, focused on opening our hearts with love and compassion for all living beings, and the present volume explains how to embody compassion and wisdom in our daily lives. Here we enter a fascinating exploration of bodhisattvas’ activities across multiple Buddhist traditions—Tibetan, Theravāda, and Chinese Buddhism. 

After explaining the ten perfections according to the Pāli and Sanskrit traditions, the Dalai Lama presents the sophisticated schema of the four paths and fruits for śrāvakas and solitary realizers and the five paths for bodhisattvas. Learning about the practices mastered by these exalted practitioners inspires us with knowledge of our minds’ potential. His Holiness also describes buddha bodies, what buddhas perceive, and buddhas’ awakening activities. 

Courageous Compassion offers an in-depth look at bodhicitta, arhatship, and buddhahood that you can continuously refer to as you progress on the path to full awakening.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 496 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $29.95
  • ISBN 9781614297475
  • ebook
  • 496 pages
  • $17.99
  • ISBN 9781614297628
about the author
Courageous Compassion

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.

Photo of His Holiness provided by Olivier Adam.

Other books by His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s Stages of the Path, Volume 2
Appearing and Empty
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 4
Realizing the Profound View
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 3
The Extraordinary Life of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama – Tibetan Edition
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s Stages of the Path, Volume 1
Searching for the Self
The Extraordinary Life of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 2
In Praise of Great Compassion
Mastering Meditation
Following in the Buddha’s Footsteps
The Essence of Tsongkhapa’s Teachings
The Compassionate Life
The Life of My Teacher
The Life of My Teacher (Paperback)
Ecology, Ethics, and Interdependence
Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature
The Foundation of Buddhist Practice
Approaching the Buddhist Path
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 1
Kalachakra Tantra
The World of Tibetan Buddhism
Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying
Practicing Wisdom
Meditation on the Nature of Mind
The Good Heart

Courageous Compassion

Venerable Thubten Chodron is an author, teacher, and the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey, the only Tibetan Buddhist training monastery for Western nuns and monks in the US. She graduated from UCLA, and did graduate work in education at USC. Ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun in 1977, she has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkong Rinpoche, and Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche.
Ven. Chodron teaches worldwide and is known for her practical (and humorous!) explanations of how to apply Buddhist teachings in daily life. She is also involved in prison outreach and interfaith dialogue. She has published many books on Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and has co-authored a book with His Holiness the Dalai Lama—Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions. Visit for a media library of her teachings, and to learn more about the Abbey.
Thubten Chodron featured in Tricycle: “Tibetan Buddhist Nun Blazes Trail for Others to Follow.”
See Thubten Chodron’s teaching schedule here.

Other books by Thubten Chodron:
Appearing and Empty
Realizing the Profound View
Searching for the Self
In Praise of Great Compassion
Following in the Buddha’s Footsteps
Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature
The Foundation of Buddhist Practice
Approaching the Buddhist Path
Insight into Emptiness
Practical Ethics and Profound Emptiness

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