The Awakening Mind - Foreword
The Buddha’s message is universal. We all search for happiness but somehow fail to find it because we are looking for it in the wrong direc- tion. Only when we start cherishing others will true happiness grow within us. And so the Buddha’s essential teaching is one of compassion and ethics, combined with the wisdom that understands the nature of reality. The teachings of the Buddha contain everything needed to eliminate suffering and make life truly meaningful, and as such the teachings are not only relevant to today’s world, but vital.
This is the message my precious teacher, Lama Thubten Yeshe, gave to his Western students. His vision to present the Dharma in a way that was accessible and relevant to everyone continues and grows as his legacy. His organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), now has centers all over the world, and Lama’s work is carried on by many of his students.
The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, developed by Geshe Tashi Tser- ing, is one of the core courses of the FPMT’s integrated education program. The essence of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy can be found within its curriculum, consisting of six different subjects in Buddhist thought and practice. The Foundation of Buddhist Thought serves as a wonderful basis for further study in Buddhism, as well as a tool to transform our everyday lives into something meaningful.
Geshe Tashi has been the resident teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, since 1994. He has been incredibly beneficial in skillfully guiding the students both in London and in many other centers where he teaches. Besides his profound knowledge—he is a Lharampa Geshe, the highest educational qualification within our tradition—his excellent English and deep understanding of Western students means that he can present the Dharma in a way that is both accessible and relevant. His wisdom, compassion, and humor are combined with a genuine gift as a teacher. You will see within the six books of The Foundation of Buddhist Thought series the same combination of profound understanding and heart advice that can guide both beginner and experienced Dharma practitioner alike on the spiritual path.
Whether you read this book out of curiosity or as part of your spiritual journey, I sincerely hope that you find it beneficial and that it shows you a way to open your heart and develop your wisdom.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition