The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism

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9780743257626: The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism

Few teachers in the West possess both the spiritual training and the scholarship to lead us along the path to enlightenment. Robert Thurman is one such teacher. Now, in his first experiential course on the essentials of Tibetan Buddhism, adapted and expanded from a popular retreat he led, Thurman -- the first Westerner ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself -- shares the centuries-old wisdom of a highly valued method used by the great Tibetan masters. Using a revered, once-secret text of a seventeenth-century Tibetan master, along with a thorough explanation for contemporary Westerners, The Jewel Tree of Tibet immerses you fully in the mysteries of Tibetan spiritual wisdom. A retreat in book form as well as a spiritual and philosophical teaching, it offers a practical system of understanding yourself and the world, of developing your learning and thought processes, and of gaining deep, transforming insight.
Tibetans think of their cherished tradition of Buddhism as a "wish-fulfilling jewel tree" for its power to generate bliss and enlightenment within all who absorb its teachings. Happiness, in fact, is the true goal of Tibetan spirituality, and the wish-fulfilling jewel tree will put you on the road to that reachable goal. This beautiful jewel-tree imagery, which acts like a mandala or a yoga pose to focus your attention on truths larger than yourself, will help you break through worn-out ideas and habits, strengthen positive abilities, develop more energy and creativity, and change your life -- and future -- for the better. As Thurman writes, "Readers learn to cultivate the sensitivity and appreciation to love more fully, feel compassion more intensely, and become a fountain of cheerfulness for all they meet and know."
Because the path to enlightenment requires more than sitting in meditation, The Jewel Tree of Tibet offers a rich, intellectually riveting course with many specific spiritual practices, including: eleven steps to create the spirit of enlightenment, here and now; the truths and stories of the ancient Indian and Tibetan sages; and guided meditations to experience the blessings of the wish-fulfilling jewel tree. You can do these practices with others or on your own, while living your daily life. And as you travel this road to deeper self-realization, self-understanding, and infectious happiness, you will also learn how the principles of Tibetan Tantra can open the doors to "infinite compassion and continuity," and how to discover states of consciousness that transcend even death.
One of the most explicit teachings of the steps to the path of enlightenment available, explained by a skilled Western teacher, The Jewel Tree of Tibet will enable you to honor the full subtlety and hidden depths of the Tibetan Buddhist path and realize at last its deeper mysteries and rewards -- for yourself and others.

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Review:

Robert Thurman is probably best know for his translation of the sacred text The Tibetan Book of the Dead, although he has published many works of both translation and exploration of Tibetan Buddhism. The Jewel Tree of Tibet is a significant addition to Thurman’s contribution to this field of spiritual scholarship. His deep knowledge and devotion are in evidence on every page. His style is straightforward and inviting. He also provides a short introduction to the history of Buddhism which is as clear and straightforward as possible for what can be an exceptionally complex and entangled topic.

In short, Thurman writes for real people with an interest in (perhaps longing for) a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world. In addition to a clear and inviting style and providing the reader with an accessible understanding of important spiritual matters, this book is exceptionally openhanded and openhearted. While Thurman wants us to share the dharma of the Jewel Tree he also wants the reader to know that they are already on their path- no matter what their faith or non-faith, political beliefs, no matter what manner of thinking may appear to divide, separate, or individualize us: Thurman presents a view of the self in which we can see that it is possible to overcome these limitations and alienations and to see ourselves as inhabiting common ground with the suffering, the joy, and the seeking of others. His bias is ecumenical in the best and most generous sense of the word.

This is an excellent book for the person just awakening to their spiritual path and for the seeker of many years.--Julian Riepe

Book Description:

One of the leading Western scholars on Tibet and Tibetan religion, Thurman introduces listeners to the basic teachings of Tibetan Buddhism in the form of a six-part, guided retreat. An inspiring program for people of all religions.

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Thurman, Robert
Published by Atria Books (2005)
ISBN 10: 0743257626 ISBN 13: 9780743257626
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Book Description Atria Books, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110743257626

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