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A Simple Path:
The Dalai Lama, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, is widely respected as one of the world's great spiritual teachers. Although he is from one particular school of Buddhism, the Tibetan, Buddhists from most traditions find his work both acceptable and inspiring, because he tends to stress the broad features rather than the narrow.
A Simple Path, based on talks he gave in London in 1996, exemplifies this approach by discussing the essence of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths: the nature of suffering; the origin of suffering and the law of karma; cessation of suffering through liberation; and the path to achieving this.
The Dalai Lama also covers other central Buddhist teachings, such as the interdependence of reality, the principle of non-violence, the Three Jewels--the Buddha himself, the Dharma or teaching, and the Sangha, or community of practitioners--and much more including, crucially, compassion. The essence of Buddhism may indeed be a simple path, but the philosophy is endlessly complex; this book is not an introductory text for the complete beginner!
The text of the book has appeared previously, both as The Four Noble Truths and as part of The Heart of the Buddha's Path, so it's worth checking your shelves before buying it. The "added value" of this edition comes from the 80+ stunning colour photographs by Ian Cumming, which are intended to complement, rather than merely illustrate the text. These images of Tibetan monks, monasteries and mountains are truly inspiring; they make the world of Tibetan Buddhism, and the home from which the Dalai Lama has been exiled, come to life in a remarkable way for Western readers. --David V. Barrett [via]