The Wisdom Blog: Classic & Contemporary Buddhism

Celebrating the Dalai Lama

by Kestrel Slocombe
July 6, 2015
Mon, 07/06/2015 - 10:00 -- Kestrel Slocombe

Today is His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday, and all of us at Wisdom would like to wish him good health and long life, and thank him for the many mind- and heart-opening teachings he’s given the world. We’ve been honored to publish many of those teachings in the form of books that we hope express what His Holiness names as the three major commitments in his life: the promotion of basic human values and secular ethics in the interest of the happiness of all beings; the fostering of interreligious harmony; and securing the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture, and religion. It’s an honor and a joy to help create these books and share them with the world; they represent the breadth and depth of His Holiness’s skill as a thinker, teacher, and leader. As a superior scholar trained in the classical texts of the Nalanda tradition of Indian Buddhism, His Holiness 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 is proud to publish the Dalai Lama, and we wish him much joy on his 80th birthday. May there be many more!

Discover the Dalai Lama’s Books

The Compassionate Life - Touching and transformative, The Compassionate Life is a personal invitation from one of the world’s most gifted teachers to live a life of happiness, joy, and true prosperity.


Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions - This broad-reaching and profound work by His Holiness and Venerable Thubten Chodron illuminates the many ways that all forms of Buddhism, amid their rich diversity, share a common heritage and common goals.


Mind in Comfort and EaseHere, in a teaching of outstanding completeness and clarity, the Dalai Lama sets out the key principles of Buddhism, showing how the mind can be transformed, and suffering overcome, through love, compassion, and a true understanding of the nature of reality. By illustrating his brilliant overview of the path with his own personal experiences and advice on how to integrate the practice, the Dalai Lama brings these teachings to life.


The Middle WayThe Dalai Lama opens The Middle Way with an elegant argument for the power of compassion in cultivating a happy life. From there, he connects core ideas of Buddhist philosophy to the truths of our shared condition. His Holiness delivers a sparklingly clear teaching on how the Buddhist ideas of emptiness and interdependency relate to personal experience and bring a deeper understanding of the world around us.


Essence of the Heart Sutra - The Dalai Lama masterfully unpacks the Heart Sutra so that any reader can benefit from its teachings—teachings meant to help us release ourselves from suffering and live with true compassion. 


The Good Heart“Arguably the best book on interreligious dialogue published to date. One does not say such things lightly, but in a very real sense this is a holy book.”—Huston Smith. In this landmark book of interfaith dialogue, the Dalai Lama provides an extraordinary Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus, commenting on well-known passages from the four Christian Gospels.


Imagine All the PeopleIf you could sit down with the Dalai Lama and talk with him about anything, what would you discuss? Fabien Ouaki, a prominent French businessman, was granted such an opportunity and asked the Dalai Lama for his thoughts on the everyday issues that fill our newspapers and our lives. This is the record of these varied and remarkable conversations. Blessed by His Holiness’ buoyant and insightful thoughts, Imagine All the People allows readers to glimpse the spontaneous workings of an extraordinary mind at once of—and above—this world.


MindScienceMindScience explores these and other questions as it documents the beginning of a historic dialogue between modern science and Buddhism. The Harvard Mind Science Symposium brought together the Dalai Lama, Robert Thurman, Dan Goleman, and other authorities from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, and education. Here, they examine myriad questions concerning the nature of the mind and its relationship to the body.


Kalachakra TantraThis book contains a complete translation of the Kalachakra initiation ritual as it was conferred by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Washington DC in July 2011, along with his commentary and a comprehensive introduction by Professor Jeffrey Hopkins that explores the Kalachakra’s rich symbolism, meaning, and history. 


The Meaning of LifeUsing the traditional Buddhist allegorical image of the Wheel of Life and the teaching of the twelve links of dependent origination, the Dalai Lama deftly illustrates how our existence, though fleeting and often full of woes, brims with the potential for peace and happiness. We can realize that potential by cultivating a wise appreciation of the interdependency of actions and experience, and by living a kind and compassionate life. 


Opening the Eye of New Awareness - A succinct, thorough overview of the doctrines of Buddhism as they have been practiced for a thousand years in Tibet. The Dalai Lama here discusses the need for religious practice and the importance of kindness and compassion. 


Practicing WisdomIn Practicing Wisdom, the Dalai Lama reaffirms his reputation as a great scholar, communicator, and embodiment of the Buddha’s Way by illuminating Shantideva’s verses, drawing on contrasting commentaries from the Nyingma and Gelug lineages, and leading the reader through the stages of insight up to the highest view of emptiness. 


Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying - This is an absorbing account of a dialogue between leading Western scientists and His Holiness on topics ranging from the neurology of sleep to the yoga of dreams. The conversations are engrossing and highly readable. Any reader interested in psychology, neuroscience, Buddhism, or the alternative worlds of dreams will surely enjoy Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying.


The World of Tibetan Buddhism With characteristic humility, His Holiness the Dalai Lama begins this landmark survey of the entire Buddhist path by saying, “I think an overview of Tibetan Buddhism for the purpose of providing a comprehensive framework of the path may prove helpful in deepening your understanding and practice.” In this book, the Dalai Lama delivers a presentation that is both concise and profound, accessible and engaging. As readers explore Tibetan Buddhism more fully than ever before, they will find in His Holiness a great friend and authority.


Meditation on the Nature of MindAt the heart of this book is The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel of the Oral Tradition, an accessible and nonsectarian treatise on penetrating the nature of mind by Khöntön Peljor Lhündrub, a teacher of the Fifth Dalai Lama. His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s broad-ranging overview of this work insightfully distills some of the most central themes of Buddhism: why the mind is so essential to the tradition, what distinguishes the levels of consciousness, and how different schools of Tibetan Buddhism elaborate those distinctions. Profound and erudite, it brings the reader closer to a fresh and direct experience of Buddhism’s central truths.

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