The Middle-Length Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment

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“It is thrilling at long last to have a complete translation of the Middle-Length Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. Philip Quarcoo’s accurate and readable rendering brings Jé Rinpoché's lucid presentation alive.” —Roger R. Jackson, John W. Nason Professor of Asian Studies and Religion, emeritus, Carleton College

“Tsongkhapa’s Middle-Length Treatise offers precious personal instruction for practice. It is a beautiful letter from our teacher. I am grateful to everyone involved in producing this excellent translation!” —Guy Newland, editor of The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment

“The great Jamgön Lama Tsongkhapa composed the Middle-Length Treatise as a commentary on Jowo Atiśa’s Lamp on the Path. Although abridged, the presentation is complete, and essential key points are crystal clear. The way to cultivate the mental image in tantric śamatha meditation (not elucidated in the Great Treatise), the sequence in which the two types of selflessness are realized, and other such profound points make this an outstanding text. That it is now in English for the first time for scholars and for practitioners striving to study it, contemplate, and meditate is worthy of praise and fills me with great joy.” —Jhado Tulku Rinpoche, former abbot of Namgyal Monastery

“The profound words of Jé Tsongkhapa come through clearly and precisely in this welcome addition to the growing graded-path literature.” —Alexander Berzin, author and founder, Berzin Archives,


Tsongkhapa Philip Quarcoo

Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), author of the well-known Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment and guru to the First Dalai Lama, is renowned as perhaps Tibet’s greatest scholar-saint. A dozen years after writing his Great Treatise, he wrote the Middle-Length Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, presented here in its first complete English translation. 

Less than half the length of the Great Treatise, this work similarly presents a systematic overview of the Buddha’s teachings. Tsongkhapa begins by abridging the longer work, distilling its meditations for quicker integration. After recognizing the rarity of our human existence and the great opportunities it affords, he follows with reflections on impermanence, suffering, and the promise of liberation from our past actions, proceeding then to the path of bodhisattvas, whose universal compassion seeks to free every being from suffering. Tsongkhapa gives especially detailed instructions on śamatha, the deep meditative concentration that is a precondition for the highest insight into the nature of reality. The final and largest section, on that very insight, is unique to this work, particularly Tsongkhapa’s presentation of conventional truth and ultimate truth. Beginners and longtime practitioners alike will cherish the clear guidance from one of Tibet’s great luminaries.

The Wisdom Culture Series, published under the guidance of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, features translations of key works by masters of the Geluk tradition.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 488 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $49.95
  • ISBN 9781614294436
  • ebook
  • 488 pages
  • $33.99
  • ISBN 9781614294597
about the author
The Middle-Length Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment

Tsongkhapa Losang Dragpa (1357–1419) was one of the finest scholar-practitioners in Tibetan Buddhism. Renowned for both his written works and his meditative accomplishments, he founded the Gelug school, which produced the lineage of the Dalai Lamas.

Other books by Tsongkhapa:
Great Treatise on the Stages of Mantra (Sngags rim chen mo)
Illuminating the Intent
Brilliantly Illuminating Lamp of the Five Stages
Illumination of the Hidden Meaning, Vol. 2
Illumination of the Hidden Meaning, Vol. 1
The Splendor of an Autumn Moon
Tantric Ethics
A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages
Tsongkhapa’s Praise for Dependent Relativity

The Middle-Length Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment

Philip Quarcoo began studying Tibetan Buddhism in London in the late 1990s. He earned his first degree in modern European languages at the University of Durham, UK, and in 2007 graduated with a masters degree in Tibetan studies from the University of Munich, Germany, where he is currently researching nineteenth-century Tibetan and Mongolian devotional poetry.

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