- Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism [An alternative term, "lamaism", apparently derives from Chinese "lama jiao" and was used to distinguish Tibetan Buddhism from Han Chinese Buddhism, "fo jiao". The term was taken up by western scholars including
Hegel, as early as 1822. (cite book |last=Lopez |first=Donald S. Jr. |authorlink=Donald S. Lopez, Jr. |title=Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West |year=1999 |publisher=University of Chicago Press |location=Chicago |isbn=0226493113 |pages=6, 19f ) Insofar as it implies a discontinuity between Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, the term has been discredited (Conze, 1993).] is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibetand certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India( Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakhand Sikkim). It is also practiced in Mongoliaand parts of Russia( Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tuva) and Northeast China. Tibetan Buddhism comprises many distinct schools, but is primarily divided into four main traditions: Nyingma, Kagyu, Gelug, and Sakya. All schools are said to include the teachings of the three vehicles [Skt: yānas, Tib: "tekpa, theg-pa"] of Buddhism: the Foundational Vehicle, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, although some schools, the Gelug for example, consider Vajrayana a part of Mahayana.
land reformof the Tibetan region by the People's Republic of Chinabeginning in mid-1950s led to armed conflicts later in the decade. The failed rebellion resulted in the exile of about eighty thousand Tibetans, many of them Buddhist clergy members, to India. Some of them went further to the west, which in turn eventually led to the spread of Tibetan Buddhism to many Western countries, where the tradition has gained some popularity.
The Tibetan Buddha Ideal
The ideal goal of spiritual development in Tibetan Buddhism, a
Mahayanatradition, is to achieve the enlightenment ( Buddhahood) in order to most efficiently help all other sentient beings attain this state. [The motivation for Mahayana practice is called bodhicitta‘’byang-chhub sems’’: “the mind of enlightenment” -- an altruistic intention to become enlightened for the sake of all sentient beings. Cf. Dhargyey (1978), 111; Pabongka, 533f; Tsong-kha-pa II: 48-9.]
Buddhahood is sometimes partially defined as a state of omniscience. ["thams-cad mkhyen-pa, sarvajña̅". Cf. Dhargyey (1978), 64f; Dhargyey (1982), 257f, etc; Pabongka, 364f; Tsong-kha-pa II: 183f. More precisely, it is held to require complete freedom from obstructions to liberation as well as those to omniscience. The former are the afflictions/ negative states of mind/ three poisons (klesa, nyon-mongs), viz. craving, anger and delusion. The latter are subtle imprints, traces or 'stains' of delusions that involve the imagination of inherent existence.] "Omniscience" relates to the Buddhist principle that all things derive from mind. [For this principle in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, cf. Nyanaponika Thera (1965), 21f.]
When, in Buddhahood, one is freed from all mental obscurations, [ Pabongka, 152f ] one is said to attain a state of continuous
bliss, mixed with a simultaneous cognition of emptiness, [Pabongka, 243, 258] the true nature of reality [Hopkins (1996)] . In this state, all limitations on one's ability to help other living beings are removed. [ Dhargyey (1978), 61f; Dhargyey (1982), 242-266; Pabongka, 365 ]
It is said that there are countless beings who have attained Buddhahood. [ Pabongka, 252f ] Buddhas spontaneously, naturally and continuously perform activities to benefit all sentient beings. [ Pabongka, 367 ] However it is believed that sentient beings'
karmas limit the ability of the Buddhas to help them. Thus, although Buddhas possess no limitation from their side on their ability to help others, sentient beings continue to experience suffering as a result of the limitations of their own former negative actions. [ Dhargyey (1978), 74; Dhargyey (1982), 3, 303f; Pabongka, 13f, 280f]
Tibetan definitions of “Buddhist”
Introspection as the mark of a Buddhist is embodied in the Tibetan term for Buddhist: ["nangpa, nang-pa": Pabongka, 785] literally, "internalist". [In this connection a story is told about the Indian Buddhist
Aryadeva. In preparation for debate with a non-Buddhist, he made a public display of cleaning the outside of a cess-pot. When asked why he was ignoring the inside, he explained that was what non-Buddhists did by obsession with external things like ritual. Cf. Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, c1976, Oral discourse on Aryadeva's Four Hundred Verses. LTWA, Dharmsala]
More precisely, Tibetans specify two alternative criteria for being Buddhist: a) formal: having taken refuge [Tsong-kha-pa I] and b) in belief: acceptance of the
Three marks of existence.Fact|date=May 2008
General Methods of Practice
Transmission and Realisation ("lungtok, lung-rtogs")
An emphasis on oral transmission as more important than the printed word derives from the earliest period of Indian Buddhism, when it allowed teachings to be kept from those who should not hear them. [Conze (1993), 26] Hearing a teaching (transmission) readies the hearer for realisation based on it. The person from whom one hears the teaching should have heard it as one link in a succession of listeners going back to the original speaker: the Buddha in the case of a sutra or the author in the case of a book. Then the hearing constitutes an authentic lineage of transmission. Authenticity of the oral lineage is a prerequisite for realisation, hence the importance of lineages.
Merely reading about a teaching is helpful but no substitute for receiving a transmission on it. Having a text recited aloud by someone who holds the lineage for transmission of that text makes oneself also a holder of that lineage and the more ready for realisation of the teaching in it. Oral transmissions by lineage holders traditionally can take place in small groups or mass gatherings of listeners and may last for seconds (in the case of a mantra, for example) or months (in the case of a section of the canon, etc). A transmission can even occur without actually hearing, as in Asanga's visions of Maitreya.Fact|date=July 2008
Analytic Meditation and Focussed/ Fixation Meditation [Cf. Pabongka, 66, 212f]
Spontaneous realisation on the basis of transmission is possible but rare. Normally an intermediate step is needed in the form of analytic meditation ["jegom, dpyad-sgom"] , i.e., thinking about what one has heard. As part of this process, entertaining doubts and engaging in internal debate over them is encouraged in some traditions particularly. When analytic meditation achieves the quality of realisation, one is encouraged to switch to "focussed" or "fixation" meditation ["joggom, 'jog-sgom"] . In this the mind is stabilised on that realisation for periods long enough to gradually habituate it to it. A person's capacity for analytic meditation can be trained with logic and that for successful focussed meditation through mental quiescenece [Skt: "shamatha", Tib: "shiné, zhi-gnas"] . A meditation routine may involve alternating sessions of analytic meditation to achieve deeper levels of realisation and focussed meditation to consolidate them. The deepest level of realisation is Buddhahood.
kepticism and Guru Devotion
Of all aspects of Tibetan Buddhism, none receive more skepticism than the guru devotion ["lama-la tenpa, bla-ma-la bsten-pa. Lama" is the literal Tibetan translation of the Sanskrit "guru". For a current perspective on the guru-desciple relationship in Tibetan Buddhism, see Alexander Berzin, "Relating to a Spiritual Teacher: Building a Healthy Relationship." (http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/e-books/published_books/spiritual_teacher/spiritual_teacher_preface.html)] have led it into conflict with Chinese socialism and so invited the genocide of the Tibetan intelligentsia under Mao. [cite book |last=Avedon |first=John F. |authorlink= John F. Avedon |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title=Tibet Today. Current Conditions and Prospects |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |volume= |date=1988 |year= |month= |publisher=Wisdom |location=London |language= |isbn=0861710843 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages=20 |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ] An attitude of critical skepticism is encouraged to promote abilities in analytic meditation. However, as in other Buddhist traditions, an attitude of reverence for the teacher is also highly prized.
In favour of skepticism towards Buddhist doctrines in general, Tibetans are fond of quoting sutra to the effect that one should test the Buddha's words as one would the quality of a coin.Fact|date=July 2008 On the other hand, at the beginning of a public teaching, a lama will do prostrations to the throne on which he will teach due to its symbolism, or to an image of the Buddha behind that throne, then students will do prostrations to the lama after he is seated. Merit accrues when ones interactions with the teacher are imbued with such reverence in the form of guru devotion, a code of practices governing it that derives from Indian sources. By such things as avoiding disturbance to the peace of mind of one's teacher and wholeheartedly following his prescriptions, much merit accrues and promotes ones practice.
There is a general sense in which any Tibetan Buddhist teacher is called a lama. A student may have taken teachings from many authorities and revere them all as lamas in this general sense. However, they will typically have one held in special esteem as their own root guru ["zawé lama, brtsa-ba'i bla-ma"] and is encouraged to view the other teachers who are less dear to them, however more exalted their status, as embodied in and subsumed by the root guru. Often the teacher the student sees as root guru is simply the one who first introduced them to Buddhism.
The opposing principles of skepticism and guru devotion are reconciled with the Tibetan injunction to scrutinise a prospective guru thoroughly before finally adopting them as such without reservation. A Buddhist may study with a lama for decades before finally accepting them as their own teacher.
Preliminary Practices and the Tibetan Approach to
Vajrayana is said to be the fastest method for attaining Buddhahood but it carries the caution that for unqualified practitioners it can be dangerous. Even for a qualified advanced practitioner, to engage in Vajrayana without having received the appropriate initiation (also known as an "empowerment") from a lama who is fully qualified to give it is to court controversy. From the time one has resolved to accept a Vajrayana initiation, skepticism towards the person giving that initiation as guru is suspended and the utmost sustained effort in guru devotion towards them is essential.
Just as Sutrayana preceded Vajrayana historically in India, so sutra practices constitute those that are preliminary to tantric ones. Preliminary practices ["ngöndo, sngon-'gro"] include all Sutrayana activities that yield merit like hearing teachings, prostrations, offerings, prayers and acts of kindness and compassion, but chief among the preliminary practices are realisations through meditation on the three principle stages of the path: renunciation, the altruistic
bodhicittawill for enlightenment and the wisdom realising emptiness. For a person without the basis of these three in particular to practise Vajrayana can be like a small child trying to ride an unbroken horse. [Pabongka, 649]
While the hathayoga-like practices of Vajrayana are not known in Sutrayana, all Sutrayana practices are common to Vajrayana. Without training in the preliminary practices, the ubiquity of allusions to them in Vajrayana is meaningless and even successful Vajrayana initiation becomes impossible.Fact|date=July 2008
The merit acquired in the preliminary practices facilitates progress in Vajrayana. While many Buddhists may spend a lifetime exclusively on sutra practices, however, an amalgam of the two to some degree is common. For, example, in order to train in mental quiescence, one might use a tantric visualisation as the meditation object.
In Vajrayana particularly, Tibetan Buddhists subscribe to a voluntary code of self-censorship, whereby the uninitiated do not seek and are not provided with information about it. This self-censorship may be applied more or less strictly depending on circumstances such as the material involved. A depiction of a mandala may be less public than that of a deity. That of a higher tantric deity may be less public than that of a lower. The degree to which information on Vajrayana is now public in western languages is controversial among Tibetan Buddhists.
Buddhism has always had a taste for esotericism since its earliest period in India. [Cf. Conze (1993), 26 and 52f.] Tibetans today maintain greater or lesser degrees of confidentiality also with information on the Vinaya and emptiness specifically. In Buddhist teachings generally, too, there is caution about revealing information to people who may be unready for it. Esoteric values in Buddhism have made it at odds with the values of Christian missionary activity, for example in contemporary Mongolia.
Native Tibetan developments
Some commentators have emphasised minor Tibetan innovations such as the system of incarnate lamas, [tulku, sprul-ku"] but such genuine innovations have been few. [Conze (1993)] True to its roots in the Pala system of North India, however, Tibetan Buddhism carried on a tradition of eclectic accumulation and systematisation of diverse Buddhist elements, and pursued their synthesis. Prominent among these achievements are the Stages of the Path "(lamrim, lam-rim)" and motivational training "(lojong, blo-sbyong)".
chools of Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism has four main traditions: [The Tibetan adjectival suffix "pa" is translatable as "ist" in English.]
* Nyingma(pa), "The Ancient Ones". This is the oldest, the original order founded by
* Kagyu(pa), "Lineage of the (Buddha's) Word". This contains one major subsect and one minor subsect. The first, the Dagpo Kagyu, encompasses those Kagyu schools that trace back to
Gampopa. In turn, the Dagpo Kagyu consists of four major sub-sects: the Karma Kagyu, headed by a Karmapa, the Tsalpa Kagyu, the Barom Kagyu, and Pagtru Kagyu. There are further eight minor sub-sects, all of which trace their root to Pagtru Kagyu. Among the eight sub-sects the most notable of are the Drikung Kagyu and the Drukpa Kagyu. The once-obscure Shangpa Kagyu, which was famously represented by the 20th century teacher Kalu Rinpoche, traces its history back to the Indian master Niguma, sister of Kagyu lineage holder Naropa. This is an oral tradition which is very much concerned with the experiential dimension of meditation. Its most famous exponent was Milarepa, an eleventh century mystic.
* Sakya(pa), "Grey Earth", headed by the
Sakya Trizin, founded by Khon Konchog Gyalpo, a disciple of the great translator Drokmi Lotsawa. Sakya Pandita1182–1251CE was the great grandson of Khon Konchog Gyalpo. This school very much represents the scholarly tradition.
* Gelug(pa), "Way of Virtue", whose spiritual head is the
Ganden Tripaand whose temporal, the Dalai Lama. Successive Dalai Lamas ruled Tibetfrom the mid-17th to mid-20th centuries. This order was founded in the 14th to 15th century by Je Tsongkhapa, based on the foundations of the Kadampatradition. Tsongkhapa was renowned for both his scholasticism and his virtue. The Dalai Lama belongs to the Gelugpa school, and is regarded as the embodiment of the Bodhisattva of Compassion [ Avalokitesvara, Chenrezig] .
Texts recognized as scripture and commentary are fixed by the
Tibetan Buddhist canon.
These major schools are sometimes classified into
Nyingma("Old Translation") and Sarma ("New Translation") traditions according to translations and lineages of various Tantric texts. Another common way of classification is the differentiation into "Red Hat" and "Yellow Hat" schools:
Besides these major schools, there are a number of minor ones like
Jonang. The Jonangpawere suppressed by the rival Gelugpain the 1600s and were once thought extinct, but are now known to survive in Eastern Tibet.
There is also an
ecumenicalmovement known as Rimé. [Wylie: "ris-med"]
tudy of tenet systems in Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhists practise one or more understandings of the true nature of reality, the emptiness of all things. Emptiness is propounded according to four classical Indian schools of philosophical tenets.
Two belong to the older
Hinayanapath (Skt. for "Lesser Vehicle", Tib. theg dman). ( Hinayanais sometimes referred to as Śravakayāna (Skt. "Vehicle of Hearers") because "lesser" may be considered derogatory):
Vaibhashika(Tib. "bye-brag smra-ba")
Sautrantika(Tib. "mdo-sde-pa")The primary source for the former is the Abhidharmakoshaby Vasubandhuand commentaries. The Abhidharmakosha is also an important source for the Sautrantikas. Dignagaand Dharmakirtiare the most prominent exponents.
The other two are
Mahayana(Skt. "Greater Vehicle") (Tib. "theg-chen"):
Yogacara, also called Cittamatra(Tib. "sems-tsam-pa"), "Mind-Only"
Madhyamaka(Tib. "dbu-ma-pa")Yogacarin base their views on texts from Maitreya, Asangaand Vasubandhu, Madhyamikas on Nagarjunaand Aryadeva. There is a further classification of Madhyamaka into Svatantrika-Madhyamaka and Prasangika-Madhyamaka. The former stems from Bhavaviveka, Santaraksitaand Kamalashila, and the latter from Buddhapalitaand Chandrakirti.
The tenet system is used in the monasteries and colleges to teach Buddhist philosophy in a systematic and progressive fashion, each philosophical view being more subtle than its predecessor. Therefore the four schools can be seen as a gradual path from a rather easy-to-grasp, "realistic" philosophical point of view, to more and more complex and subtle views on the ultimate nature of reality, that is on emptiness and
dependent arising, culminating in the philosophy of the Madhyamikas, which is widely believed to present the most sophisticated point of view. [ Sopa & Hopkins (1977), 67-69; Hopkins (1996). Non-Tibetan scholars have suggested that historically, Madhyamika predates Cittamatra: cf. Conze (1993).]
Although there were many householder-
yogisin Tibet, monasticism was the foundation of Buddhism in Tibet. There were thousands of monasteriesin Tibet, and nearly all were ransacked and destroyed by the Chinese communists (many of them young ethnic Tibetan Red Guards), mainly during the Cultural Revolution. Most of the major ones have been at least partially re-established.
Mongoliaduring the 1920s, approximately one third of the male population were monks, though many lived outside monasteries. These monasteries were largely dismantled during Communist rule, but many have been reestablished during the Buddhist revival in Mongolia which followed the fall of Communism.
Monasteries generally adhere to one particular school. Some of the major centers in each tradition are as follows:
Nyingmalineage is said to have "six mother monasteries," although the composition of the six has changed over time:
ShechenAlso of note is
Samye— the first monastery in Tibet, established by Padmasambhavaand Shantarakshita
Kagyumonasteries are in Kham, eastern Tibet. Tsurphu, one of the most important, is in central Tibet, as is Ralung.
Palpung Monastery— the seat of the Tai Situpaand Jamgon Kongtrul
Ralung Monastery-- the seat of the Gyalwang Drukpa
Surmang Monastery— the seat of the Trungpa tülkus
Tsurphu Monastery— the seat of H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa
Sakya Monastery— the seat of H.H. the Sakya Trizin
The three most important centers of the
Gelugpalineage are Ganden, Seraand DrepungMonasteries, near Lhasa:
Ganden Monastery— the seat of the Ganden Tripa
Drepung Monastery— the home monastery of the Dalai Lama
Three other monasteries have particularly important regional influence:
Tashilhunpo Monasteryin Shigatse— founded by the first Dalai Lama, this monastery is now the seat of the Panchen Lama
Labrang Monasteryin eastern Amdo
Kumbum Jampalingin central Amdo
Great spiritual and historical importance is also placed on:
Jokhang Templein Lhasa— said to have been built by King Songtsen Gampoin 647 AD, a major pilgrimage site
History of Tibetan Buddhism
According to a Tibetan legendary tradition, Buddhist scriptures (among them the Karandavyuha Sutra) and relics (among them the
Cintamani) arrived in southern Tibet during the reign of Lha Thothori Nyantsen, the 28th "king of Tibet" (fifth century), who was probably just a local chief in the Yarlung valley. The tale is miraculous (the objects fell from the sky on the roof of the king's palace), but it may have an historical background (the arrival of Buddhist missionaries). [Studholme, Alexander: "The Origins of Om Manipadme Hum", Albany, NY 2002, p. 14.]
The earliest well-documented influence of Buddhism in Tibet dates from the reign of king
Songtsän Gampo, who died in 650. He married a Chinese Tang DynastyBuddhist princess, Wencheng, who came to Tibet with a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha.Powers 2004, pg. 39] According to a Tibetan legendary tradition, Songtsän Gampo also married a NepaleseBuddhist princess, Bhrikuti; but Bhrikuti, who bears the name of a goddess, is not mentioned in reliable sources. Songtsän Gampo founded the first Buddhist temples. By the second half of the 8th century he was already regarded as an embodiment of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. [Macdonald, Alexander: "Religion in Tibet at the time of Srong-btsan sgam-po: myth as history", in: "The History of Tibet", ed. Alex McKay, Vol. 1, London 2003, p. 354-363 (for the queens see p. 355); Dargyay, Eva: "Srong-btsan sgam-po of Tibet: Bodhisattva and king", in: "The History of Tibet", ed. Alex McKay, Vol. 1, London 2003, p. 364-378 (for the queens see p. 373).]
The successors of Songtsän Gampo seem to have been less enthusiastic about the propagation of Buddhism. But in the 8th century, King
Trisong Detsen(755-797) established Buddhism as the official religion of the state. [Beckwith, C.I.: "The revolt of 755 in Tibet", in: "The History of Tibet", ed. Alex McKay, Vol. 1, London 2003, p. 273-285 (discusses the political background and the motives of the ruler).] He invited Indian Buddhist scholars to his court. In his age the famous tantric mystic Padmasambhavaarrived in Tibet according to the Tibetan tradition. In addition to writing a number of important scriptures (some of which he hid for future " tertons" to find), Padmasambhava established the Nyingmaschool ("the old school")from which all schools of Tibetan Buddhism are said to have derived.
Tibetan Buddhism exerted a strong influence from the 11th century CE among the peoples of
Central Asia, especially in Mongoliaand Manchuria. It was adopted as an official state religion by the Mongol Yuan dynastyand the Manchu Qing dynastythat ruled China.
Transmission of Chan to the Nyingmapa
According to A. W. Barber of the University of Calgary [ [http://www.ucalgary.ca/rels/barber A.W. Barber] ] , Chan Buddhism was introduced to the
Nyingmapain three principal streams: the teachings of Master Kim, Kim Ho-shang, (Chin ho shang) 金和尚 transmitted by "Sang Shi" ["Sang Shi" later became an abbot of SamyeMonastery.] in ca. 750 CE; the lineage of Master Wu Chu(無住禪師) of the Pao T'ang School was transmitted within Tibet by "Ye shes dbang po"; and the teaching from Mo Ho Yen, 和尚摩訶衍 (Tibetan: "Hwa shang Mahayana") that were a synthesis of the Northern School of Chan and the Pao T'ang School. [Barber, A. W.(1990). "The Unifying of Rdzogs Pa Chen Po and Ch'an". Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal. Vol.3, 04.1990. PP.301-317. Source: [http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-BJ001/barber.htm] (accessed: October 20, 2007).]
Tibetan king "Khri srong lde btsan" (742–797) invited the Ch’an master Mo-ho-yen (whose name consists of the same Chinese characters used to transliterate “
Mahayana”) to transmit the Dharma at Samye Monastery. Mo-ho-yen had been disseminating Dharma in the Tun-huang locale, but, according to Tibetan sources, lost an important philosophical debate on the nature of emptiness from the Indian master Kamalashila, and the king declared Kamalashila's philosophy should form the basis for Tibetan Buddhism. [Yamaguchi, Zuihō (undated). "The Core Elements of Indian Buddhism Introduced into Tibet: A Contrast with Japanese Buddhism." Source: [http://thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Miscellaneous/Indian_buddhism.pdf] (accessed: October 20, 2007)] However, a Chinese source says their side won, and some scholars conclude that the entire episode is fictitious. [Macmillan "Encyclopedia of Buddhism" (Volume One), page 70]
Tibetan Buddhism in the contemporary world
Today, Tibetan Buddhism is adhered to widely in the
Tibetan Plateau, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, Kalmykia(on the north-west shore of the Caspian), Siberia(central Russia, specifically Buryatiaand Chita Oblast), and the Russian Far East(concentrated in Tyva). The Indian regions of Sikkimand Ladakh, both formerly independent kingdoms, are also home to significant Tibetan Buddhist populations. In the wake of the Tibetan diaspora, Tibetan Buddhism has gained adherents in the West and throughout the world; there are estimated to be tens of thousands of practitioners in Europe and the Americas. Celebrity Tibetan Buddhism practitioners include Richard Gere, Paris Hilton, Adam Yauch, Jet Li, Sharon Stone, Allen Ginsberg, Angelina Jolie, Philip Glass, and Steven Seagal(who has been proclaimed the reincarnation of the tulku Chungdrag Dorje). [ [http://sangyetashiling.dk/kt/seagal.htm Steven Seagal - "The Action Lama"] ]
Traditional Tibetan medicine
* Coleman, Graham, ed. (1993). "A Handbook of Tibetan Culture". Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.. ISBN 1-57062-002-4.
* [A pithy lam-rim by a geshe appointed in 1973 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as head of the translation team at the Tibetan Library.]
* [The first part of a more extensive lam-rim by a geshe appointed in 1973 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as head of the translation team at the Tibetan Library. The language of this publication is very different from that of the 1978 work by the same lama due to widespread changes in choice of English terminology by the translators.]
* [Definitive treatment of emptiness according to the Prasangika-Madhyamika school.]
* [This famous lam-rim text was written from notes on an extended discourse by the Gelugpa geshe, Pabongka Rinpoche in 1921 and translated through extensive consultation with Achok Rinpoche (Library of Tibetan Works and Archives).]
*Powers, John. "History as Propaganda: Tibetan Exiles versus the People's Republic of China" (2004) Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195174267
* Smith, E. Gene (2001). "Among Tibetan Texts: History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau". Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-179-3
* [Part Two of this book, ‘’Theory: Systems of Tenets’’ is an annotated translation of ‘’Precious Garland of Tenets (Grub-mtha’ rin-chhen phreng-ba)’’ by Kön-chok-jik-may-wang-po (1728-1791).]
* Wallace, B. Alan (1999), "The Buddhist Tradition of Samatha: Methods for Refining and Examining Consciousness", "Journal of Consciousness Studies" 6 (2-3): 175-187 .
* Wallace, B. Alan (October 25, 1993). "Tibetan Buddhism From the Ground Up: A Practical Approach for Modern Life". Wisdom Publications. ISBN-10: 0861710754, ISBN-13: 978-0861710751
* Yeshe, Lama Thubten (2001). "The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism". Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. ISBN 1-891868-08-X
* Coleman, Graham, ed. (1993). "A Handbook of Tibetan Culture". Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.. ISBN 1-57062-002-4.
* Smith, E. Gene (2001). "Among Tibetan Texts: History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau". Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-179-3
* [http://www.lamrim.com LamRim.com - Tibetan Buddhist Internet Radio]
* [http://thdl.org The Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library]
* [http://www.tbrc.org/ The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center]
* [http://www.songtsen.org Songtsen - The rescue and preservation of Tibet's cultural and spiritual traditions]
* [http://www.songtsen.org/chanteloube/EN/dres_online_cal_tibetan.php Tibetan Calendar]
* [http://home.valornet.com/overbeck/tibet.html Tibetan Buddhist Practice eCalendar]
* [http://www.buddhist-tourism.com/countries/tibet/monasteries/ Famous Monasteries of Tibet]
* [http://www.simhas.org/tibetbuddhism.html Tibetan Buddhism: History and the Four Traditions]
* [http://www.berzinarchives.com The extensive archives of teachings from Alexander Berzin]
* [http://lotsawahouse.org/translations.html Lotsawa House | Tibetan Buddhist Texts | Translations]
* [http://www.siddharthasintent.org/Pubs/West.htm Tibetan Buddhism in the West by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche]
* [http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=110 Shambhala Sun - Tibetan Buddhism]
* [http://www.wordsofmyperfectteacher.com Documentary feature film about how to follow a Vajrayana Buddhist teacher]
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