Not only was Lama Yeshe one of the most beloved Tibetan Buddhist masters of the late twentieth century, he was also a remarkably effective teacher and communicator. In Becoming the Compassion Buddha, just as he did with his bestselling Introduction to Tantra, he once again demonstrates his extraordinary ability to present practices that once were considered arcane or hidden in a way that is clear and understandable to the general reader.
In these pages, Lama Yeshe guides readers through the tantric practice of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, basing his instructions on a text written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at age nineteen. He gives special emphasis to mahamudra, the emptiness of one's own mind, and demystifies these esoteric techniques, clearly showing them for what they are: highly developed psychology. Throughout, Lama Yeshe presents his approachable teachings by drawing on examples from daily life and introducing meditation practices that all can follow. Becoming the Compassion Buddha is an extraordinary book that opens new doors for countless readers.
Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) was born in Tibet and educated at the great Sera Monastic University. He fled the Chinese oppression in 1959 and in the late 1960s, with his chief disciple, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, began teaching Buddhism to Westerners at their Kopan Monastery, Kathmandu, Nepal. In 1975 they founded the international Buddhist organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), which now has more than 160 centers, projects and services worldwide.
"An intimate book, so clear and compassionate, you know you are listening to the unforgettable voice of Lama Yeshe, one of the great teachers of our time."
– Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
"This book is based on Lama Yeshe's commentary on a guru-yoga practice (sadhana) created by H.H. the Dalai Lama, which revolves around the identity of one's teacher with Avolokiteshvara (Tibetan: Chenrezig). As editor Robina Courtin states in her preface, "When Lama Yeshe taught, enlightenment was a real possibility." Something of this quality shines through the words on the pages of this book. [See also my comments about Lama Yeshe in my review of Becoming Vajrasattva.] Needless to say, this makes the present volume-apart from the abundance of insights contained in it-extremely valuable to the spiritually engaged reader. A wonderful offering to serious students by one of the twentieth-century's great meditation masters."
– Georg Feuerstein, Traditional Yoga Studies Interactive
"Compassion is necessary for everyone. Particularly today, compassion is the only thing that can heal the problems we face. Lama Yeshe was one of the forefathers capable of translating Tibetan Buddhist thought not only through language, but by his presence, gestures, and way of life. He was a wonderful person who had the unique quality of conveying the true message of the union of compassion and wisdom--the great Mahamudra."
– Gehlek Rimpoche, author of Good Life, Good Death
"Lama Yeshe expresses the profundity of Buddha's teachings in a clear, penetrating, yet easily accessible way that that enables us to see ourselves and our Buddha potential. Through his instructions on The Inseparability of the Spiritual Master and Avalokiteshvara, we gain the confidence and skill to overcome our 'poor quality' self-image and transform ourselves into the Compassion Buddha."
– Thubten Chodron, author of Buddhism for Beginners and Working with Anger
"Many years ago I heard a Dharma talk by Lama Yeshe. I was very impressed with his ability to communicate deep truths in very ordinary language, with a hilarious sense of humor that helped deliver such wisdom. But he died, so my attention eventually went elsewhere. Recently, I discovered his books--some very technical Tantra; some down-to-earth wisdom. Lama Yeshe's same gift was present in both modes. Although, my many years of Dharma training is in Theravadin Buddhism, especially the practice of vipassana meditation, I found his teaching once again to be of great value--so direct, so clear. Granted, some of his technical Tantra seemed to me, at first, of limited relevance to my interests. But upon closer reading, and in his hands, these teachings proved equally valuable. Lama Yeshe has given us a body of teaching of immense signifciance for practitioners of all schools of Buddhadharma."-
– Larry Rosenberg, founder of Cambridge Insight Meditation Center; Senior guiding teacher, Insight Meditation Society, and author of Living in the Light of Death and Breath by Breath