We all have the potential for self-transformation, and a limitless capacity for the growth of good qualities, but to fulfil this potential we need to know what to do along every stage of our spiritual journey.
With this book, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso offers us step-by-step guidance on the meditation practices that will lead us to lasting inner peace and happiness.
With extraordinary clarity, he presents all Buddha’s teachings in the order in which they are to be practised, enriching his explanation with stories and illuminating analogies.
Following these practical instructions, we will come to experience for ourselves the joy that arises from making progress on a clear and structured path that leads to full enlightenment.
This is a perfect guidebook to the Buddhist path.
'This book is invaluable.' — WORLD RELIGIONS
Excerpt from this book:
Preface by the author
Although there are countless living beings, humans and non-humans, all are included within three kinds: those who seek mainly worldly happiness, those who seek mainly the attainment of liberation from samsara, and those who seek mainly the attainment of full enlightenment.
In the scripture known as the Stages of the Path (Tib. Lamrim) the first kind of being is called `a person of initial scope' because his or her mental scope or capacity is at the initial stage of development. The second kind of being is called `a per- son of intermediate scope' because his or her mental capacity is more extensive than the first being but less developed than the third being. The third kind of being is called `a person of great scope' because such a person has progressed from the initial scope through the intermediate scope so that his or her mental capacity has become great.
The actual practice of the stages of the path fulfils the wishes of all three kinds of being. The practice of the stages of the path of a person of initial scope, which is explained in the first part of this book, brings us the happiness of humans and gods. The practice of the stages of the path of a person of intermediate scope, which is explained in the second part of this book, brings us the happiness of liberation. The practice of the stages of the path of a person of great scope, which is explained in the third part of this book, brings us the ultimate happiness of full enlightenment. Thus the main function of the Lamrim instructions is to fulfil the needs and wishes of all living beings.
The instructions of Lamrim form the main body of Buddhadharma. They arose from the omniscient wisdom of Atisha (AD 982-1054), and the tradition has continued to this day. It is wonderful and a sign of great fortune that these precious teachings are now beginning to flourish in western countries. I received these teachings from my Spiritual Guide, Trijang Dorjechang, who was an emanation of Atisha; thus the explanations given in this book, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, actually come from him and not from myself. Nevertheless, I have worked with great effort over a long period of time to complete this book.
The practice of Lamrim is very important because everyone needs to cultivate peaceful states of mind. By listening to or reading these teachings we can learn how to control our mind and always keep a good motivation in our heart. This will make all our daily actions pure and meaningful. By controlling our mind we can solve all our daily problems, and by gradually improving our daily practice of Lamrim we can advance from our present stage to the stage of a Bodhisattva. By progressing further we can become a fully enlightened being. This is the essential meaning of our human life. Such a great attainment will be the result of our practice of Lamrim.