Stages of the Path and the Oral Transmission

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“Because so many of its doctrinal works have been translated into English, it is often assumed that the Geluk tradition is concerned above all with scholastic philosophy. However, like all Tibetan traditions, the Geluk has a rich canon of devotional works, meditation manuals, and practical instructions for the vision of reality. The most famous of those works are collected in this remarkable volume, works composed by some of the greatest masters and saints of the Land of Snows.” —Donald Lopez, Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, University of Michigan

“Expertly curated and lucidly translated, Stages of the Path and the Oral Transmission is a magnificent collection of practice-oriented texts from the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism. The meditation manuals, oral instructions, and rituals found in this book are practiced to this day in Geluk institutions in the whole of the Tibetan plateau, and increasingly in hundreds of Dharma centers throughout the world. With more than a dozen expertly executed translations of the most beautiful and moving works ever written in the Tibetan language, this latest volume of The Library of Tibetan Classics is a wonderful gift to scholars and practitioners alike.” —José Ignacio Cabezón, Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies, University of California Santa Barbara

“We only need to look at the table of contents of Stages of the Path and the Oral Transmission: Selected Teachings of the Geluk School to know that this book is a treasure chest of vital instructions on the path to awakening. Beginning with stages of the path literature (lamrim), it describes the vital points of the Buddhist worldview that frames our perspective and our values. This is followed by guru yoga—devotional practices that touch our heart and bring the Buddhist worldview to life. This, in turn, leads to profound instructions on both sūtra and tantra mahāmudrā, which focus on realizing the conventional and ultimate nature of the mind. Plus, these texts were translated by some of the best translators of our time. Who could ask for anything more!” —Bhikṣuṇī Thubten Chodron, abbess of Sravasti Abbey and author of Buddhism for Beginners

“Here, at long last, are presented the essential texts authored by key practitioners of the Ganden Oral Tradition. All fifteen texts included here are practice manuals. Carefully selected, and wonderfully translated, this group of texts gives us the very raison d’etre for the importance and prominence of this lineage: Tsongkhapa’s teachings on the stages of the path; Panchen Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen’s Offering to the Guru, the sine qua non of Geluk liturgy; and three additional texts by the Panchen Lama on Geluk mahāmudrā. Thupten Jinpa has translated and presented the fundamental works by these Ganden siddhas on the stages of the path (lamrim), guru yoga, mahāmudrā, and other essential Ganden Oral Tradition teachings. The crucial texts are all here, skillfully chosen, beautifully rendered and annotated. If you read only one book of key Ganden Oral Tradition teachings, it should be this one!” —Jan Willis, author of Enlightened Beings, Life Stories from the Ganden Oral Tradition, Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist and Buddhist, and Dharma Matters: Women, Race, and Tantra


Selected Teachings of the Geluk School

Thupten Jinpa

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.

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book information
  • Hardcover
  • 936 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $89.95
  • ISBN 9780861714452
  • ebook
  • 936 pages
  • $60.99
  • ISBN 9781614297741
about the author
Stages of the Path and the Oral Transmission

Thupten Jinpa Langri was educated in the classical Tibetan monastic academia and received the highest academic degree of Geshe Lharam (equivalent to a doctorate in divinity). Jinpa also holds a BA in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies, both from the University of Cambridge, England. Since 1985, he has been the principal translator to the Dalai Lama, accompanying him to the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has translated and edited many books by the Dalai Lama, including The World of Tibetan Buddhism, Essence of the Heart Sutra, and the New York Times bestseller Ethics for the New Millennium.
Jinpa has published scholarly articles on various aspects of Tibetan culture, Buddhism, and philosophy, and books such as Songs of Spiritual Experience: Tibetan Poems of Awakening and Insight (co-authored) and Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Thought. He serves on the advisory board of numerous educational and cultural organizations in North America, Europe, and India. He is currently the president and the editor-in-chief of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to translating key Tibetan classics into contemporary languages. And he also currently chairs the Mind and Life Institute and the Compassion Institute.

Other books by Thupten Jinpa:
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 4
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 3
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 2
Illuminating the Intent
The Book of Kadam
The Tibetan Book of Everyday Wisdom
Ornament of Precious Liberation
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 1
Wisdom of the Kadam Masters
Practicing Wisdom
Essential Mind Training
The Good Heart
Mind Training
The Middle Way
Essence of the Heart Sutra

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