Realizing the Profound View

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Realizing the Profound View relates traditional Tibetan teachings to Theravāda and East Asian Buddhism in an unprecedented way. The authors clearly position themselves, holding Jé Tsongkhapa’s view on dependent arising and emptiness. At the same time they are open to understanding other views and searching for similarities and differences between the Pāli sūtras or early Buddhist presentations in the Mūlasarvāstivāda canon and the Prāsaṅgika-Mādhyamika view. The authors’ approach is genuinely Rimé (nonsectarian) and not exclusivist, but rather a process of humility and genuine interest in different interpretations of the Buddha's teaching despite significant diversity, demonstrating how living traditions can learn from one another. This series should be in every Buddhist library and deserves translation into as many languages as possible.”—Dr. Carola Roloff (Bhikṣuṇī Jampa Tsedroen), professor, Buddhism and Dialogue, the Academy of World Religions, University of Hamburg

“A beautiful addition to the golden rosary of the Library of Wisdom and Compassion, this invaluable text generously introduces us to the actual analytic practices that help us realize the true nature of reality. Discovering the Middle Way, we come to see how dualistic thinking breeds suffering, while deep investigation leads us to radiant wisdom. His Holiness and Ven. Chodron have made these powerful practices immediately accessible. Bravo!”—Judith Simmer-Brown, Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies, Naropa University, author of Ḍākinī’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism

“This book is a treasure. With clear and unbiased explanations, and astutely chosen examples from both northern and southern Buddhist traditions, the venerable authors lucidly present the means of realizing the profound view in the life of the reader. This rich trove of liberating teachings is also a practical workbook. Accordingly, the appeal of the text does not merely sit in the intellect but is a comprehensive toolkit that is easily applied to changing one’s attitudes for the better and enabling spiritual potential to be actualized.”—Ajahn Amaro, abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery

Realizing the Profound View is of signal importance, for it contains the Dalai Lama's most extensive and detailed exposition yet of the various ways in which Indian and Tibetan Mādhyamikas analyze persons and phenomena so as to arrive at their ultimate nature: emptiness of inherent existence, which, far from entailing nihilism, assures the validity of dependently arisen conventional reality. Enriched by Ven. Chodron's skillful presentation of discussions from the Pāli tradition, Realizing the Profound View is among the clearest and most detailed analyses of the Buddhist wisdom of no-self ever published and should be in the library of every serious student of Buddhism.”—Roger R. Jackson, John W. Nason Professor of Asian Studies and Religion, Emeritus, Carleton College


His Holiness the Dalai Lama Thubten Chodron

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.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 480 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $39.95
  • ISBN 9781614298403
  • ebook
  • 480 pages
  • $26.99
  • ISBN 9781614298618
about the author
Realizing the Profound View

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
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
Courageous Compassion
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

Realizing the Profound View

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
Searching for the Self
Courageous Compassion
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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