Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Religions of Tibet in Practice - Donald Lopez
Tibetan Buddhism is most well known for its Book of the Dead and its tantric practices. In Religions of Tibet in Practice, an anthology of religious texts from Tibet, both of these elements are well represented, along with many more selections of prayers, sermons, biographies, and epics. Translated by the top scholars in the field, these pieces provide an excellent introduction to the varied and wide-ranging aspects of Tibetan Buddhism, such as the epic of King Gesar (the "Iliad of Tibet"), the meditative states of the boddhisattvas, the horseback consecration ritual, and the life story of tantric master Lorepa. Not only do the selections allow direct contact with the Tibetan religious tradition, but the introductions to each selection together provide a history of Tibetan religion that exceeds in scope and quality anything in print today.