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The World of Tibetan Buddhism
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Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. He passed his scholastic examinations with honors at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1959, the same year Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives.

His Holiness frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of interreligious harmony, and securing the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture, and religion. As a superior scholar trained in the classical texts of the Nalanda tradition of Indian Buddhism, he is able to distill the central tenets of Buddhist philosophy in clear and inspiring language, his gift for pedagogy imbued with his infectious joy. Connecting scientists with Buddhist scholars, he helps unite contemplative and modern modes of investigation, bringing ancient tools and insights to bear on the acute problems facing the contemporary world. His efforts to foster dialogue among leaders of the world's faiths envision a future where people of different beliefs can share the planet in harmony. Wisdom Publications is proud to be the premier publisher of the Dalai Lama's more serious and in-depth works.

Thupten Jinpa Langri was educated in the classical Tibetan monastic academia and received the highest academic degree of Geshe Lharam (equivalent to a doctorate in divinity). Jinpa also holds a BA in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies, both from the University of Cambridge, England. Since 1985, he has been the principal translator to the Dalai Lama, accompanying him to the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has translated and edited many books by the Dalai Lama, including The World of Tibetan Buddhism, Essence of the Heart Sutra, and the New York Times bestseller Ethics for the New Millennium.

Jinpa has published scholarly articles on various aspects of Tibetan culture, Buddhism, and philosophy, and books such as Songs of Spiritual Experience: Tibetan Poems of Awakening and Insight (co-authored) and Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Thought. He serves on the advisory board of numerous educational and cultural organizations in North America, Europe, and India. He is currently the president and the editor-in-chief of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to translating key Tibetan classics into contemporary languages. He also currently chairs the Mind and Life Institute.

Richard Gere is an internationally renowned film actor, social activist, and philanthropist. Gere was the Co-Founder and Chairman of Tibet House and joined the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Tibet to more effectively engage both national and international forums of influence. He founded the Gere Foundation in 1991. It is the mission of the Gere Foundation to alleviate suffering and advocate for the people of Tibet. As a small grant-giving organization, the Foundation supports groups which are dedicated to the cultural preservation of Tibet, to providing HIV/AIDS care, research, and treatment, and to those organizations addressing human rights violations throughout the world.

Richard Gere is an internationally renowned film actor, social activist, and philanthropist. Gere was the Co-Founder and Chairman of Tibet House and joined the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Tibet to more effectively engage both national and international forums of influence. He founded the Gere Foundation in 1991. It is the mission of the Gere Foundation to alleviate suffering and advocate for the people of Tibet. As a small grant-giving organization, the Foundation supports groups which are dedicated to the cultural preservation of Tibet, to providing HIV/AIDS care, research, and treatment, and to those organizations addressing human rights violations throughout the world.

Reviews

In his foreword to The World of Tibetan Buddhism, actor Richard Gere describes the Dalai Lama as ``universally respected as one of our greatest spiritual friends.'' The implied sentiment of equality and ease is appropriate for this manual by His Holiness, who here continues his loving attack on the West through publishing. A guidebook, this fluid translation by Geshe Thupten Jinpa of talks given by the Dalai Lama in London in 1988 is suitable for beginners in, as well as more advanced practitioners of, the Buddhist way, for it discusses general Buddhism as well as the esoteric Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet. Of interest and also useful to any reader is the central section, ``An Altruistic Outlook and Way of Life,'' in which the benefits of the Dalai Lama's clear mind are in abundance. Just before the glossary and bibliography at the end of this substantive textbook, His Holiness closes his remarks on the specifics of daily practice with typical simplicity: ``This is the way: try, try, try!! Then, over time, there is hope.'' (Mar.)

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