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Tibetan Buddhism from the Ground Up: A Practical Approach for Modern Life Paperback – October 9, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (October 9, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861710754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861710751
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

As long as our minds are dominated by the conditions of the external world, we are bound to remain in a state of dissatisfaction, always vulnerable to grief and fear. How then can we develop an inner sense of well-being and redefine our relationship to a world that seems unavoidable painful and unkind? Many have found a practical answer to that question in the 2,500- year-old teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Here at last is an organized overview of these teachings, beginning with the basic themes of the sutras-the general discourses of the Buddha-and continuing through the esoteric concepts and advanced practices of Tantra. Unlike other introductions to Tibetan Buddhism, this accessible, enjoyable work doesn't stop with theory and history, but relates timeless spiritual principles to the pressing issues of modern life, both in terms of our daily experience and our uniquely Western world view. This fascinating, highly readable book asks neither unquestioning faith nor blind obedience to abstract concepts or religious beliefs. Rather, it challenges us to question and investigate life's issues for ourselves in the light of an ancient and effective approach to the sufferings and joys of the human condition.

About the Author

B. Alan Wallace is president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. He trained for many years as a monk in Buddhist monasteries in India and Switzerland. He has taught Buddhist theory and practice in Europe and America since 1976 and has served as interpreter for numerous Tibetan scholars and contemplatives, including H. H. the Dalai Lama. After graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science, he earned his MA and PhD in religious studies at Stanford University. He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than thirty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and religion.

Steve Wilhelm is a professional journalist with the Puget Sound Business Journal and the former president of the Northwest Dharma Association.

More About the Author

B. Alan Wallace began his studies of Tibetan Buddhism, language, and culture in 1970 at the University of Göttingen and then continued his studies over the next fourteen years in India, Switzerland, and the United States. After graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science, he went on to earn his Ph.D. in religious studies at Stanford University. He then taught for four years in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and is now the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies (http://sbinstitute.com). He is also Chairman of the Thanypura Mind Centre (http://piamc.com) in Thailand, where he leads meditation retreats. He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than forty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and Buddhism, including Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic: A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice, Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity, and Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
Please buy and enjoy.
Bill Butler
My teacher suggested this book for anyone new to Tibetan Buddhism.
D. Masters
Easy to read and thought provoking.
buen chapin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To put it plainly, this is the best book I've ever read for an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. B. Alan Wallace explains the major parts of Tibetan Dharma practice in very Western, everyday language. Never does he simplify or generalize, he's a talented author with a deep understanding of his subject and an ability to put it into to terms that a beginner from the West can understand. Whenever I've been asked to recommend literature on Buddhism, this is the first book on the list. Its absolutely the best. I cannot recommend it more highly!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. J. Walsh on October 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
One has to appreciate the fact that many books taking on this task that was given in this short, under 200 pages are as introductions anywhere from 450 to 650 pages. If one wants more detail check out John Powers', Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism which runs, as an introduction, some 470 pages. For one who is looking for the essence of this practice without too much dedication of time, this is the book. You will come away with a very good idea of what this type of buddhism is and why it is important.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. Goonan on June 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
B. Allan Wallace has extremely impressive credentials. He was ordained by the Dali Lama, earned an undergraduate degree in Physics and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Therefore, he is well qualified from an exposure to the concepts point of view.

My experience reading this book, however, was mixed. While the author has impressive credentials, his material is easily accessible and he make it relevant to Western people, he often left me wanting more of an explanation or more detail.

In an attempt to make the concept of Tibetan Buddhism accessible, I found that Mr. Wallace often over simplified his explanations. He appeals to common sense, but I found this book lacked the depth I was looking for given an author with such an impressive background.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was a great introductory book on Buddhism. It was well written, easy to read, and covered all the general yet important aspects of Buddhism. The author obviously has an in depth understanding of his subject. A must read for anyone seriously interested in this topic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By buen chapin on February 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is by far the best explanatory book on Tibetan Buddhism I've read. It should be a Must Read for everyone interested in this fascinating philosophy and life style. Although targeted for beginners mostly, it is a thorough book for us in the western cultures. Easy to read and thought provoking. This books deserves a ten star rating and a special mantra. Buy it! Another recommended book is Open Heart, Clear Mind by Thubten Chodron.
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