What is tantra? Who is qualified to practice it? How should it be practiced? What are the results? According to Buddhism, every human being has the potential to achieve profound and lasting happiness. And according to the tantric teachings of Buddhism, this remarkable transformation can be realized very quickly if we utilize all aspects of our human energy - especially the energy of our desires.
Introduction to Tantra is the best available clarification of a subject that is often misunderstood. This new edition of this classic text includes a new foreword by Philip Glass and a new cover design, but leaves untouched Lama Yeshe's excellent original text, edited by Jonathan Landaw.
Tantra recognizes that the powerful energy aroused by our desire is an indispensable resource for the spiritual path. It is precisely because our lives are so inseparably linked with desire that we must make use of desire's tremendous energy not just for pleasure, but to transform our lives.
Lama Yeshe presents tantra as a practice leading to joy and self-discovery, with a vision of reality that is simple, clear, and extremely relevant to twenty-first century life.
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.
"Introduction to Tantra, with its foreword by Philip Glass, deserves to be widely distributed—it will be very helpful to lots of people."
– Prof. Robert Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University
"No one has summarized the essence of tantra as well as Thubten Yeshe does here."
– Religious Studies Review
"The best introductory work on Tibetan Buddhist tantra available today."
– Professor Janet Gyatso, Hershey Chair of Buddhist Studies, Harvard University
"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."
– Gehlek Rimpoche, author of Good Life, Good Death
"A lucid explanation of Buddhist tantra... a classic."
– Phillip Glass, composer, from the foreword
"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 significance for practitioners of all schools of Buddhadharma."
– Larry Rosenberg, senior teacher and founder of Cambridge Insight Meditation Center; Senior and guiding teacher, Insight Meditation Society, and author of Living in the Light of Death and Breath by Breath