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Ocean of Reasoning: A Great Commentary on N=ag=arjuna's M?lamadhyamakak=arik=a
Ocean of Reasoning: A Great Commentary on N=ag=arjuna's M?lamadhyamakak=arik=a
Price: £24.22

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For the tenacious and scholarly only, 27 Oct. 2011
This translation shows Je Tsongkhapa's utter thoroughness and brilliance in arriving at clear conclusions from analysing Nagarjuna's seminal work on ultimate truth. However, any understanding of this text is not going to come from anything other than a thorough grounding in Madhyamika philosophy and meditational experience, not to mention spending of lot of time and effort in reading and thinking deeply about what Tsongkhapa is saying. If you don't have the right background and the tenacity to work slowly through this text, it's really not for you. I have to admit that I haven't read it all. To do justice to this book will take many years of work, and it may be argued that there are shorter and clearer explanations of emptiness available that would make you wonder why you should bother - for example, those given by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in 'Modern Buddhism'. No doubt this book is a delight to those with sufficient wisdom and a scholarly disposition, but for most it will lead to head-scratching and not a little frustration! Good luck if you decide to delve in. I must applaud the authors for their own tenacity and dedication, I hope that their kind work will be of great benefit to those who are equipped to study Nagarjuna and Tsongkhapa deeply.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2012 6:09 PM BST


Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom - Volume 2 Tantra
Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom - Volume 2 Tantra
Price: £0.00

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The clearest and most practical guide to Buddhist Tantra ever written, 6 July 2011
In this book, Geshe Kelsang gives a clear and practical explanation of Buddhist Tantra, the supreme quick path to enlightenment. This is a subject which is quite profound and difficult to find simple and practical instructions on, so this volume is a gem, a must for anyone interested in inner peace and happiness.

The book begins by giving some encouragement to practise Tantra and then goes on to explain the two stages of Tantric practice - Generation Stage and Completion Stage. Geshe Kelsang then explains how to practise Tantra according to the instructions of Heruka Body Mandala and Vajrayogini. Through practising these instructions sincerely, enlightenment can be attained in one short human life and when we become enlightened, we can benefit all living beings.

According to Buddha, attaining the supreme inner peace of Enlightenment is the real meaning of human life. This volume, available for download on Kindle, will delight those who already have knowledge of Buddhist Tantra but it will also amaze those who are new to Buddhist practice. Never in this history of Buddhism have these instructions been presented so simply and accessibly


Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom - Volume 1 Sutra
Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom - Volume 1 Sutra
Price: £0.00

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient wisdom, Modern guide, 6 July 2011
This is a very beautiful and practical book explaining how we can learn to be happy all the time. In three volumes, it explains the whole Buddhist path to enlightenment. Geshe Kelsang begins by explaining why we need to practise Buddha's teachings - although we want to be happy all the time, we don't know how to do this and we are continually destroying our happiness by developing negative states of mind ('delusions') such as anger, attachment and ignorance. He goes on to show how happiness comes from inner peace, and how a peaceful mind can only be achieved by controlling and finally eliminating our delusions by practising Buddha's teachings on developing wisdom and compassion.

It's very kind of Geshe Kelsang to allow this book to be made available free of charge considering the wealth of wisdom that is contained within it - read it, practise it, and watch your problems vanish.


SanDisk SDMX18-008G-E46K Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player - 8 GB, Black
SanDisk SDMX18-008G-E46K Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player - 8 GB, Black
Offered by AOT (UK VAT registered)

5.0 out of 5 stars Beats any iPod hands down!, 12 Mar. 2011
This is an amazing mp3 player. It's small, light and packed with features especially if you use it with 'rockbox' open source firmware. Its really easy to load up, too. I used to have an iPod Nano and I hated the way Apple make you use iTunes or some equivalent to upload files, making it unnecessarily complicated, especially if you use Ubuntu Linux as I do. Now all you have to do it connect the device, double click on the desktop icon to open a window which shows all the files and folders, and then copy and paste the music files you want to listen to - easy peasy! No hassle, no messing. It's fast and simple, just as it should be.

The Clip's FM radio is a great feature (one that the Nano didn't introduce until recently) and it has other extras as well, such as voice recording and FM recording. Battery life is good - about 15 hours. Another thing I love is the ability to play many different music formats such as FLAC, Ogg Vorbis (much better quality at low bitrates than mp3), AAC and so on, as well as the usual mp3 - unlike iPods which are very limited in this regard.

Another unique feature is the ability to expand the memory with slot in cards - you can add another 8Gb or even 32Gb in this way so you can take your whole music library around with you in your jacket pocket.

At about a third of the price of the overblown and overrated Nano and bursting with features, especially with Rockbox, the Sansa Clip is a joy to use. It's incredible value: I'm delighted with it and would definitely buy another one. Thanks for a great product, SanDisk!


Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom
Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom
by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Presentation of Buddhism for Modern Times, 17 Nov. 2010
This book is quite astonishing, containing as it does, in one small volume, all the teachings necessary to attain enlightenment. What's so unique is that it contains both sutra and tantra teachings from the Ganden Oral Lineage, or the lineage of the great Buddhist Teacher Je Tsongkhapa. It's very unusual to have such a lucid and clear explanation of both of these sets of teachings in one book. First there is a very clear presentation of the lamrim or 'Stages of the Path to Enlightenment' teachings of sutra and then there is an extensive and practical explanation of tantra in general, and of the Highest Yoga Tantra practices of Heruka Body Mandala and Vajrayogini in particular.

The material is presented as a practical guide to developing wisdom and compassion, with italicised meditations embedded in the text which allow contemplation while reading. The publishing of this book is a unique event, as such a clear and concise presentation of Buddha's teachings, suited to the modern day practitioner with a busy life, has never existed before. As such, I highly recommend it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2011 4:43 PM BST


Meeting the Buddhas: Our Closest Friends and Helpers
Meeting the Buddhas: Our Closest Friends and Helpers
by Tharpa Publications
Edition: Board book

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful and Inspiring Guide to the Buddhas, 20 April 2010
This delightful book of brightly coloured pages is filled with images of Buddhas such as Buddha Shakyamuni, Green Tara, Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri and information about each one. We meet the Buddhas by seeing their images (both statues and paintings) and reading a little bit about their special qualities, especially how they try to help all living beings, and are then inspired to follow their example of helping others.

I have found this book a treasure trove of faith-inspiring images and information. At first I thought it was just a children's book, but upon seeing the beauty and simplicity of the presentation it awakened a feeling of deep faith in enlightened beings that has really helped my spiritual practice. I would think that anyone of any age would be inspired and moved by the content which shows the result of following the path to enlightenment. The book's simplicity is its strength and it never fails to inspire when I pick it up and dip into it - it's a clear reminder of why someone would want to follow the Buddhist path. Highly recommended for Buddhists of all ages.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 24, 2011 8:26 PM GMT


A Great Deception: The Ruling Lamas' Policies
A Great Deception: The Ruling Lamas' Policies
by Western Shugden Society
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

19 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mixing of Religion and Politics, 6 Jan. 2010
When the Dalai Lama expelled 900 monks worshipping the tradition Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden from Gelugpa monasteries in Southern India in January 2008, claiming that it was 'spirit worship' and that Shugden practitioners were responsible for arson and even murder, it was clear that something was seriously wrong in Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama himself had engaged in this practice for many years and it was a mainstream Gelugpa practice relied upon by many great and powerful Teachers of the Gelugpa and Sakya traditions for centuries. Such extreme behaviour by a religious leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, appearing to persecute a particular group of practitioners in his own tradition while at the same time preaching love, peace, tolerance and inter-religious dialogue rang alarm bells. The subsequent demonstrations by members of the Western Shugden Society seeking equal rights for Shugden practitioners also surprised the world, as up to that time, the Dalai Lama was regarded as a blameless holy man with a universal message of love. How could the Western Shugden Society find fault with such a pure religious leader? The answers are contained within this book which delves behind the fantasy image of the Dalai Lama created by such films as 'Kundun' and 'Seven Years in Tibet' to discover a more shocking and discouraging truth about the man revered by millions throughout the world.

This book clearly shows how Tibetan Buddhism is suffering from political pollution, culminating in the Dalai Lama's interference in the affairs of the Kagyu tradition over the choosing of the 17th Karmapa and the banning of the practice of Dorje Shugden in this century. This political pollution began at the time of the 5th Dalai Lama who, supported by the Ooshot Mongols, took political control of Tibet and in so doing established a religio-political duality that tore Tibet apart. The Dalai Lama's position as a political leader was further consolidated by the 13th Dalai Lama and now the 14th who is continuing this policy of mixing religion and politics which is called 'Lama Policy' by the Western Shugden Society.

The book makes many bold claims about the Dalai Lama's deceptiveness, which at first glance may be difficult to accept given his extremely positive public image, not to say devotion, in the eyes of millions. However, the book contains extensive references and proves each claim it makes. It makes shocking reading and the WSS encourages the world's media to make further investigations to uncover the truth. This is no collection of crackpot 'conspiracy theories' but a carefully researched exposition of the Dalai Lama and his use of religion to accomplish selfish political goals and consolidate his own power over the Tibetan people. The references are well known authors and journalists which lends credibility to the WSS's claims.

I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, and I would advice reading with an open and inquiring mind. It's sad to see one of the icons of Buddhism shown up to be a self-serving politician but it's better to know the truth that to continue in a state of delusion. The wish of the Western Shugden Society is to remove political pollution from Buddhism. If the claims of the book are shown to be true through further investigative journalism, this will go a long way to doing just that.


How to Solve Our Human Problems: The Four Noble Truths
How to Solve Our Human Problems: The Four Noble Truths
by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the real problem, 4 Mar. 2009
This book summarises what human problems really are, how they originate in the mind and how we can use Buddha's teachings to solve those problems by changing our mind. It's especially helpful for those who suffer from anger (all of us!) because Geshe Kelsang uses Buddhist Master Shantideva's explanation of how to practice patience to show clearly how this painful mind can be overcome.

These days there are lots of 'self help' books that purport to solve human problems, but with characteristic directness, this book goes straight to the heart of the issue and gives simple but practical advice to make things better. Considering that it contains so much wisdom, it's also surprisingly short and very readable. Recommended!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2010 8:32 PM BST


Understanding the Mind: The Nature and Power of the Mind
Understanding the Mind: The Nature and Power of the Mind
by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Edition: Paperback

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Book, 29 Dec. 2008
This book explains the nature and functions of the mind. As Geshe Kelsang says, normally we only have a vague (and probably wrong!) idea of what our mind is and what it does. Buddha taught that the mind is the key to both happiness and suffering and that by realizing our own mind, through meditation, we can become permanently free from suffering. This book explains how to do that.

However, I have to temper my enthusiasm with a warning: The subject of this book is very profound and it's difficult to realize without a solid background in Buddhist teachings. This is not a book I would recommend for beginners, but for those who have already some experience of Buddha's teachings, it's a unique, invaluable and challenging read.

I'd have to go as far as to say there isn't another book like this in the world because it explains how the mind works from the point of the view of Buddha's highest philosophical view, something that's not normally done, and it also explains how to apply this knowledge practically. It's rare to find this blend of scholarship and practical advice. It's a book to come back to again and again and every time I read it I learn something new!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 29, 2010 12:09 AM GMT


Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World
Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World
by Robert Thurman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A gushing, highly coloured assessment of a Buddhist leader, 29 July 2008
While Professor Thurman may be highly regarded with respect to his scholarship within Tibetan Buddhism, he is obviously not very objective when it comes to the Dalai Lama. This book comes over as being a somewhat sycophantic portrait of the Tibetan Buddhist leader. It's clear that Professor Thurman has a great deal of faith in the Dalai Lama, which is understandable since he obviously has a close, affectionate relationship with him and has learned a great deal about Tibetan Buddhism from him, but unless you are a great fan of the Dalai Lama and want to regard him as a 'superman', this book is not for you. If you're looking for an objective assessment of the Dalai Lama's contribution to the worlds of religion and politics, this is not for you either.

Robert Thurman's enthusiasm for the Dalai Lama comes across as somewhat 'cultish', and if this book is intended to sell the Tibetan leader to the Chinese Government so that progress can be made on the issue of Tibet (as it appears to aspire to do), it would have been better for someone more objective with a clearer and more realistic view of the Dalai Lama's achievements to have written it. For example, Thurman writes:

'He is a Prince of Peace and Philosopher King of Tibet, by which I mean that he walks successfully in the path of loving meekness so powerfully pointed out and exemplified by Jesus, while also fulfilling the ideals of Plato in action. He is the champion of the Buddha's wisdom, deep, vast and exquisite for his carry one Shakyamuni's scientific teaching of the ultimate freedom of voidness, his religious teaching of the vast art of compassionate action, and his psychological teaching of the power of beauty to liberate. The Dalai Lama calls himself a simple Shakya monk but he is also Shakyamuni's devoted heir. He reaches out to all humans, nonreligious as well as followers of every kind of religion, as upholder of the common human religion of kindness, embracing all, regardless of belief system, in the church of life in the rite of human kindness.....' (pages xiii-xiv)

And so it goes on. Thurman leaves us in no doubt that he is definitely a fan!

However, despite the Dalai Lama's great renown, there are many controversial areas in his career such as his secret support of the Tibetan Resistance movement whilst preaching non-violence, his being in the employ of the CIA in the 60's, his willingness to associate himself with commercial ventures such as advertising Apple computers and editing Vogue magazine, the active opposition to those who opposed the Dalai Lama's attempt to unify all the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism under him - indeed, the leader of that resistance movement, Gunthang Tsultrim was murdered and the assassin claimed that he was paid by the Tibetan Government in Exile. There is also the issue of the ostracism of the practitioners of the Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden who refused to follow the Dalai Lama's puzzling ban of the practice and, as a result, are denied travel, access to education, shops and medical facilities in their own community. The Tibetan Government in Exile even changed the constitution so that Shugden practitioners could never hold government office.

All these controversies, as well as many others such as the Karmapa issue, are not mentioned in the book. This book should therefore be seen for what it is - a highly coloured and exuberant personal portrait of the Dalai Lama by one of his oldest friends and colleagues, but hardly a realistic or objective assessment of the Tibetan Leader's abilities and achievements and as such has limited value unless you, too, are an unquestioning fan.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2014 7:31 PM BST


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