Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2007-11-09
  • Publisher: Snow Lion

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


This is the most comprehensive and authoritative introduction to Tibetan Buddhism available to date, covering a wide range of topics including history, doctrines, meditation practices, schools, religious festivals, and major figures. The revised edition contains expanded discussions of recent Tibetan history and tantra, and incorporates important new publications in the field. Beginning with a summary of the Indian origins of Tibetan Buddhism and how it was eventually brought to Tibet, it explores Tibetan Mahayana philosophy and tantric methods for personal transformation. The four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism as well as Bon are exploded in depth from a nonsectarian point of view. This new and expanded edition is a systematic and wonderfully clear presentation of Tibetan Buddhist views and practices. Book jacket.

Author Biography

John Powers teaches at the Center for Asian Societies and Histories at the Australian National University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 11
Technical Notep. 17
Introductionp. 21
The Indian Background
Buddhism in Indiap. 31
The Buddhap. 31
The Buddha's Life and Livesp. 34
Epiloguep. 56
Some Important Buddhist Doctrinesp. 63
Cyclic Existencep. 63
Appearance and Realityp. 71
Meditationp. 81
The Role of Meditation in Indian and Tibetan Buddhismp. 81
Stabilizing and Analytical Meditationp. 85
The Five Buddhist Pathsp. 91
Mahayanap. 101
Originsp. 101
Mahayana Doctrinesp. 105
The Bodhisattva Pathp. 113
Tibetan History and Culture
Tibetan Religious Historyp. 137
Tibet: Geography and Environmentp. 137
The Early History of Tibetp. 139
The Period of the Religious Kingsp. 144
The Second Dissemination of Buddhismp. 155
Mongol Influence and Sakya Supremacyp. 159
The Gelukpa Ascent to Powerp. 163
The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuriesp. 169
The Twentieth Centuryp. 181
Foreign Conflictsp. 181
The Fourteenth Dalai Lamap. 187
The Interregnum Periodp. 195
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Assumes Powerp. 197
The Chinese Occupation of Tibetp. 205
Religious Festivals and Holy Daysp. 219
Monlamp. 219
The Butter-Sculpture Festival of Kumbump. 222
Sacred Dancep. 226
Other Religious Festivalsp. 228
Common Elements in Tibetan Religious Ceremoniesp. 229
Geography and Architecturep. 233
The Religious Environmentp. 233
Construction of Religious Structuresp. 236
Stupasp. 242
Tibetan Buddhist Doctrines and Practices
Tantrap. 249
The Place of the Tantras in Buddhist Literaturep. 249
Tantra as a Branch of Mahayanap. 257
Tantric Symbolsp. 262
Entering Tantric Practicep. 267
The Four Classes of Tantrap. 279
The Preliminary Practicesp. 294
The Fourteen Root Downfallsp. 315
Death and Dying in Tibetan Buddhismp. 325
Introductionp. 325
Death Meditation: Exoteric and Esoteric Traditionsp. 330
The Bardo Processp. 341
Tibetan Rituals of Death and Dyingp. 348
The Orders of Tibetan Buddhism
The Four Ordersp. 355
The Nonsectarian Movementp. 359
Nyingmap. 367
History and Doctrinesp. 367
The Nine Vehiclesp. 375
Terma: Hidden Treasuresp. 378
Distinctive Practices: Dzogchenp. 383
Kagyup. 399
History and Doctrinesp. 399
Meditation Practicesp. 405
Sakyap. 433
Origins of the Sakya Traditionp. 433
The Development and Dissemination of Sakya Doctrines and Practicesp. 437
Sakya Becomes a Political Forcep. 442
The Sakya Monastic Orderp. 445
Distinctive Practices: "Path and Result"p. 447
Gelukp. 467
History of the Lineagep. 467
The Gelukpa Monastic Systemp. 477
Distinctive Practices: The Stages of the Pathp. 481
Bon: A Heterodox Systemp. 497
Introductionp. 497
Bon Teachings and Practicesp. 500
Chronology of Indian and Tibetan Buddhismp. 515
Lexicon of Buddhist Termsp. 521
English-Tibetan-Sanskrit Glossaryp. 529
Select Bibliographyp. 561
Technical Termsp. 577
Proper Namesp. 584
Titles of Works Mentionedp. 589
Locationsp. 590
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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