This work stands out among the multitude of books on Tibetan Buddhism as being a uniquely accessible overview of the Buddhist path that encompasses all three yanas, or traditional Buddhist spiritual paths. Ringu Tulku - renowned for both his insight and approachable style - consistently brings the teachings back to the reader's own experience as he reveals the vital role of each path in the attainment of genuine realization.
Draws on several venerable sources, among them the Buddha's earliest teachings. The author takes us from the most basic meditation practice to the rarefied realm of Mahamudra, touching on a dazzling range of teachings and techniques along the way.
Next the book turns to the Mahayana, explaining these teachings through The Thirty-seven Practices of a Bodhisattva by Ngulchu Thogme - a highly acclaimed scholar as well as a genuine saintly bodhisattva who truly practiced what he taught. His text is an abbreviation of the Bodhicharyavatara by Shantideva and conveys its content in an easily comprehensible form, fit for those who do not have the time and fortune to study all the words of the Buddha on the bodhisattva path in their entirety and vastness.
To elucidate the main principles of Vajrayana, Ringu Tulku has used a text not previously available in a Western language. It is called Babble of a Fool: A Note on the Creation and Completion Stages , and was composed by Dzogchenpa Shonnu Yeshe Dorje, who is also known as Do Khyentse or 'Crazy Khyentse'.
In the final section of this book, Rinpoche explains the teachings on Mahamudra, and there resorts to his personal background as a member of the Karma Kagyu lineage.
As much practice manual as scholastic accomplishment, this articulate, lively presentation will be eagerly sought after as both trustworthy introduction for the beginning student and an indispensable reference for practitioners at every stage of the path.
Note: Below are two editions of this book. The only difference is that in the second edition are few drawings.