I first wrote the two pieces contained in this book some years ago in response
to many requests. Some people wanted to know something about Buddhism in general. Others were particularly interested in the practice of tantra.
The teachings of the Buddha can be summarised as dealing with conduct and view. Conduct refers to the way we should behave, which is essentially to be nonviolent. The Buddha counselled us to help each other if we can, and if we cannot, at least to avoid doing one another harm. View refers to way we understand things to exist. The Buddha explained that nothing exists of its own accor4 in isolation. Everything exists in dependence on something else, the result of a variety of causes and conditions.
These fundamental points of Buddhist practice can be readily applied in daily life. Indeed they can only be effective if we put what we have learned into actual practice. Life is always running out. Therefore, it is very important to examine our mental attitude. If we live each day with mindfulness and alertness, we can keep a check or’ our motivation and behaviour. We can improve and transform ourselves.
In composing A Tantric Meditation my intention was to give people seriously interested in finding out about the practice of tantra the opportunity to do so without the necessity of receiving prior empowerment. Consequently, it includes a simple process of visualisation, recitation of the traditional seven branch rite, recitation of mantras and dissolution of the visualised meditational deities into emptiness. If it is performed with faith, this meditation can be a source of great mental purification and merit, but whether you do so or not is entirely up to the individual.
If the teachings of the Buddha are to help us make spiritual progress it is also most important that we familiarise ourselves with them regularly, either by listening to them or by reading. Therefore, I am happy to see these two pieces intended to be accessible to everyone reprinted in a single volume.
Introduction to Buddhism is intended for beginners interested in the subject. The first half is an excerpt from my book My Land and My People. The section incorporated is the appendix entitled An Outline of Buddhism in 7ibet. Concise notes expounding the significance of the Refuge, the Law of Karma and its fruits, Trishiksha and Bodhichitta have been added.
In order to spread the holy Dharma, and also to help those who seek the way of spiritual development, I hope to publish more of such books and booklets from time to time. May those who seek the Path of Peace find it, and happiness.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Language & Literature (439)
Sacred Sites (102)
Tantric Buddhism (84)
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