The Spirit of Tibetan Buddhism


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Sam van Schaik

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A leading writer and researcher on Tibet, Sam van Schaik offers an accessible and authoritative introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by examining its key texts, from its origins in the eighth century to teachings practiced across the world today. In addition to demonstrating its richness and historical importance, van Schaik’s fresh translations of and introductions to each text provide a comprehensive overview of Tibetan Buddhism’s most popular teachings and concepts—including rebirth, compassion, mindfulness, tantric deities, and the graduated path—and discusses how each is put into practice. The book unfolds chronologically, conveying a sense of this thousand-year-old tradition’s progress and evolution. Under the spiritual leadership of the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism has an estimated ten to twenty million adherents worldwide. Written for those new to the topic, but also useful to seasoned Buddhist practitioners and students, this much-needed anthological introduction provides the deepest understanding of the key writings currently available.

Sam van Schaik is senior researcher in the International Dunhuang Project at the British Library, and a principal investigator in the research project "Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State." He is the founder and editor of, and his previous books include Tibetan Zen.

“Van Schaik unfolds a fascinating history . . .  the whole work offers the reader a deep sense of the historical progress and evolution of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition over more than a millennium.”—Wendy C. Hamblet, Metapsychology
ISBN: 9780300198751
Publication Date: May 24, 2016
208 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

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