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The Four Noble Truths: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume 1 [Paperback]

Geshe Tashi Tsering , Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche , Gordon McDougall
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Book Description

April 15 2005 The Foundation of Buddhist Thought (Book 1)
The four noble truths are well known as the Buddha's first and most essential explanation of his enlightened realizations. The truths diagnose the human existential crisis--suffering and its origin--and prescribe a solution--cessation and the path. To understand the four noble truths is to understand Buddhism as a whole.

In The Four Noble Truths, Geshe Tashi draws on his decades of training in Tibetan Buddhism to illuminate these truths for a modern audience. His respectful engagement with Buddhists outside his own tradition and his insights into Western culture make this book refreshing. It will reward even those already acquainted with the fundamentals of Buddhism.

The Four Noble Truths is the first of six stand-alone volumes in the Foundation of Buddhist Thought series.

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The Four Noble Truths: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume 1 + Relative Truth, Ultimate Truth: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume 2 + Buddhist Psychology: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume 3
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"Although coming from a traditional Gelugpa presentation of the Buddhist path, these books are written for a modern western audience, and therefore 'happiness' is presented as a principle goal, alongside the more traditional goal of enlightenment. The author's personal tone and his fluent language, combined with his obvious mastery of the material help to make the series a tremendously valuable resource for the study of basic Buddhist teachings from a Tibetan perspective." (Buddhadharma)

"In his first sermon, the Buddha famously laid the foundation for all of his teachings to follow with the doctrine of the Four Noble Truths. So it makes sense that the first volume of a six-volume set titled The Foundation of Buddhist Thought should be given the same name. The series is based on a popular course developed by the author, Geshe Tashi Tsering, as a systematic and comprehensive introduction to the core tenets of Buddhism. This volume's particular strength lies in Tsering's ability to harmonize the Mahayana and Theravada interpretations of the Four Noble Truths." (Tricycle)

"Possibly one of the finest expositions of this all-important aspect of Buddhist doctrine. What makes this book special is that Geshe Tashi Tsering wrote it from the vantage-point of teaching Westerners over many years and encountering their constant need for logical explanations couched in terms that they could understand. Geshe Tashi Tsering's book summarizes in simple, lucid, and very user-friendly terms the traditional teaching on the four noble truths and offers the kind of practical guidance that one would need to take the first step on the spiritual path. For those who are already on the way, the book is a timely reminder to maintain beginner's mind." (Georg Feuerstein, Traditional Yoga Studies Interactive)

"Geshe Tashi Tsering's explanations of the four noble truths are helpful and valuable to anyone interested in exploring these core teachings of the Buddha. This small and user-friendly book is filled with gems of insight from the vast Tibetan commentarial tradition on the first teaching the Buddha gave. Not a mere discussion or theory, the spirit of the book nudges the reader in the direction of realizing these truths in one's own life." (Mu Soeng, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies)

"With this series of books drawn from his highly successful courses, Geshe Tashi's insights can be enjoyed by a wide audience of both specialists and newcomers to the Buddhist tradition. His presentations, never divorced from the basic humanity and warmth of his personality, combine rigor and accessibility." (Thupten Jinpa, principal translator for the Dalai Lama and director of the Institute of Tibetan Classics)

"Geshe Tashi's systematic approach to Buddhist thought allows readers to gradually but surely enhance their knowledge of Buddhism without feeling overwhelmed." (Eastern Horizon)

About the Author

Geshe Tashi Tsering was born in Tibet in 1958 and received his Geshe Lharampa degree (similar to a doctorate in divinity) from Sera Monastery in India in 1987. Since 1994, he has been the guiding teacher of the Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London, while also teaching at other Buddhist centers worldwide.

Gordon McDougall was director of Cham Tse Ling, the FPMT's Hong Kong center, for two years in the 1980s and worked for Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London from 2000 to 2007. He helped develop the Foundation of Buddhist Thought study program and administered it for seven years. Since 2008 he has been editing Lama Zopa Rinpoche's lamrim teachings for Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive's FPMT Lineage series.

Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche is the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a worldwide network of Buddhist centers, monasteries, and affiliated projects, including Wisdom Publications. Rinpoche was born in 1946 in the village of Thami in the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal near Mount Everest. His books include Transforming Problems into Happiness, How to Be Happy, and Ultimate Healing. He lives in Aptos, California.

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Most helpful customer reviews
I will always love theDalhi Lama and his outlook on the world system.Please tell me tell world will be safe .Please tell me the world will be Ok.The way most people think is not so good.The world is so small now,who is out there that can tell me if the spiritual world can be more enbraced,Please tell me we will be ok.Thankyou Sarah.d

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have Book (and series) May 31 2008
By NovaGhost - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a novice book for students of buddhism. Though it is the first part of the series "The Foundation of Buddhist Thought" it is slightly more advanced than some of the other books I started out reading. You will want some previous exposure to Buddhism before tackling this series. The explanations are excellent and relavent, however without some previous knowlege or experience there is a chance you might get lost. This should not be a obstacle to anyone though you will learn from it, but it is more helpful to be exposed to some buddhism before tackiling this series in a more serious study.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Fooled by the "Novice" Review Jan. 12 2011
By RabbitHorn - Published on
This book is actually pretty deep - as the basics often are. I have read parts of this book online and it's talking about critical aspects of mind consciousness which I would not assign to the classification of "novice text." For example in one section the author describes the "telling differences" between the Mahayana and Theraveda understanding of "craving for transitory aggregates." This is the type of topic that makes the eyes of most Buddhist I know glaze over - and yet it's a very important consideration in the understanding in the mechanics of consciousness. My take on this book is that it is scholarly and suitable for advance students attempting to deepen their understanding by revisiting the profundity to be found in the basics. Enlightening explanations of Pali and Tibetan terms and the use of obscure but pertinent quotes are all more than I normally expect from a mere "novice" text.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read May 6 2010
By Jade B. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book explains the Buddhism philosophy in simpler concept. Examples in the book are realistic, not things in fairy tales, but things that happen to human everyday. To realize the truth in this life, you must read it!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Jan. 23 2009
By Cheryl L. Malone - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Geshe Tashi Tsering has the gift of not only speaking English but understanding the Western mind. I have a degree in Buddhist Studies and found this text more enjoyable than any I have read in a long time. Geshe is the type of writer that captivates you and you won't be able to put his books down. Can't wait to read his newest title Emptiness, coming out soon.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book fore beginners as well as more advanced practitioners. March 21 2009
By R. Couch - Published on
A truly great book. Geshe Tsering has a truly unique ability to convey buddhist thought relative to our modern experience. I can't wait to read the other books in the series.
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