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Stages of the Path and the Oral Transmission

Selected Teachings of the Geluk School

Published by Wisdom Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A major contribution to the literature on Buddhist practice according to the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism from its foremost interpreter.

Although it was the last major school to emerge in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the Geluk school has left an indelible mark on Buddhist thought and practice. The intellectual and spiritual brilliance of its founder, the great Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), has inspired generations of scholars and tantric yogis to place him at the heart of their daily meditative practice. The Geluk tradition’s close ties to the Dalai Lamas have also afforded it an outsized influence in all aspects of Tibetan life for centuries. At its peak its combined monasteries boasted a population in the tens of thousands, and its sway encompassed the religious landscape of Mongolia and much of Central Asia.

This widespread religious activity fostered a rich literary tradition, and fifteen seminal works are featured here representing four genres of that tradition. They include works on the stages of the path, or lamrim, the genre for which the Geluk is most renowned; works on guru yoga, centered around the core Geluk ritual Offering to the Guru (Lama Chöpa); teachings from the unique oral transmission of Geluk mahamudra, meditation on the nature of mind; and instructions on the three essential points—what to practice in life, at death, and in the bardo.

Your guide to these riches, Thupten Jinpa, maps out their historical context and spiritual significance in his extensive introduction.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (December 20, 2022)
  • Length: 936 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861714452

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Raves and Reviews

"Carefully selected, and wonderfully translated, this group of texts gives us the very raison d’etre for the importance and prominence of this lineage. The crucial texts are all here, skillfully chosen, beautifully rendered and annotated. If you read only one book of key Ganden Oral Tradition teachings, it should be this one!”

– Jan Willis, author of Enlightened BeingsLife Stories from the Ganden Oral TraditionDreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist, and Dharma Matters: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist

“It is often assumed that the Geluk tradition is concerned above all with scholastic philosophy, but like all Tibetan traditions, the Geluk has a rich canon of devotional liturgies, meditation manuals, and practical instructions for the vision of reality. This remarkable volume collects such works by some of the greatest masters and saints of the Land of Snows.”

– Donald Lopez, Arthur E. Link Distinguised University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, University of Michigan

“Once more, Thupten Jinpa has given us an excellent addition to the growing body of translations of the major works of Tibetan Buddhism. The works included in this volume provide clear material for serious study and practice of both sutra and tantra.”

– Alexander Berzin, autor and founder, Berzin Archives

“We only need to look at the table of contents of Stages of the Path and the Oral Transmission: Selected Teachings of the Geluk School to know that this book is a treasure of vital instructions on the path to awakening. Plus, these texts were translated by some of the best translators of our time. Who could ask for anything more!”

– Bhiksuni Thubten Chodron, abbess of Sravasti Abbey

“Expertly curated and lucidly translated, Stages of the Path and the Oral Transmission is a magnificent collection. The instructions in this book are practiced to this day in Geluk institutions across the Himalayan plateau and increasingly in hundreds of Dharma centers throughout the world. Contained in these pages are some of the great pith instructions of Tsongkhapa; “stages of the path” texts including the Fifth Dalai Lama’s Words of Mañjusri, never before translated into a Western language; inspirational rituals like Offering to the Guru; and the most authoritative Geluk writings on mahamudra and the three essential points. A wonderful gift to scholars and practitioners alike.”

– José Ignacio Cabezón, Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies, University of California Santa Barbara

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More books in this series: Library of Tibetan Classics