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This lucid overview-which has come to be regarded by many as the best introductory book on Tibetan Budshy;dhism-looks at its subject from the perspective of the three traditional "vehicles": the Hinayana, the Mahayana, and the Vashy;jrayana. These divisions are often presented as a historical deshy;velopment, but here Traleg Kyabgon equates them with the attitudes that we bring to our Buddhist practice. Basic to them all is the need to understand our own immediate condition. The primary tool for achieving this is meditation, and The Essence of Buddhism serves as a handbook for the various meditative apshy;proaches of Buddhist practice. Beginning with the most basic teaching of the Four Noble Truths, Traleg Rinpoche goes on to incorporate the expansive vision of the bodhisattva path and the transformative vision of Tantra. The final chapters present the transcendent view of Mahamudra. Along the way, the author provides vivid definishy;tions of fundamental concepts such as compassion, emptiness, and Buddha-nature. With a new look and a foreword from Sogyal Rinpoche, this book will further establish itself as an essential part of the canon of Tibetan Buddhist literature.
Traleg Kyabgon is director of Kagyu E-Vam Buddhist Institute, which is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, with a major practice center in upstate New York and a practice community in New York City. He has been teaching and leading retreats for Buddhist groups, as well as lecturing for university courses in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia since 1980. He is also the author of The Practice of Lojong and Mind at Ease.