Book Review: The Buddhist Path

The Buddhist Path: A Practical Guide from the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism
Written By Khenchen Palden Sherab, Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
Published by Snow Lion Publications

As the title presumes, The Buddhist Path: A Practical Guide from the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, is an extremely clear depiction of this lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The book, although a guide, does not read like a guide or instruction manual. The authors write in such a way it seems as though the reader is sitting in on a talk by these masters and receiving the teaching, rather than reading it.

The chapters are broken down into a variety of topics, such as meditation posture and breathing, taking refuge, advice on visualization and cultivating bodhichitta. The instructions on an array of meditation techniques are clear, and can be very helpful to those who are new to Tibetan Buddhism and even those that have experience. I found the following snippet to be valuable and quiet palpable…

“Do your meditation with a relaxed mind; do not worry or force yourself to meditate. Do not be in a rush, but be concerned enough that you do not postpone it until tomorrow. If you put it off, there is always another tomorrow, and you can extend that for endless tomorrows without developing your practice.”

Personally, I found the chapter on visualization practice to be extremely useful. The process has never been fully described to me, other than during a teaching with a group of folks, so I am grateful that this chapter was included.

Khenchen Palden Sherab and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche, also known as the Khenpo Brothers, were both born in the Kham region of Tibet. In the 1980’s they came to the US and soon after founded the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center (PBC) in upstate New York. Their teachings are known worldwide and they are well respected by elders and leaders within the Tibetan Buddhist realm.

For those that are hoping to get a better understanding of what Tibetan Buddhism, Vajrayana, is all about I highly recommend reading this book. Weighing in at barely 100 pages, it’s a nice quick read as well. It is surely one book  I will refer to in times to come.

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