Opening the Eye of New Awareness is a succinct, thorough overview of the doctrines of Buddhism as they have been practiced for a thousand years in Tibet. The Dalai Lama here discusses the need for religious practice and the importance of kindness and compassion. Originally written for Tibetan lay people, this was the Dalai Lama's first book on Buddhist philosophy to appear in English, and Prof. Lopez's new introduction places these teachings in their proper historical context. This is an invaluable handbook for both personal use and academic study of the Buddhist path.
"Written for both Tibetan and Western readers, Opening the Eye of New Awareness is the Dalai Lama's first religious work. It is not an edited transcript of public lectures, but is His Holliness' own summation of Buddhist doctrine and practice. Completed in 1963, just four years after his escape from Tibet and four years after completing his religious education, it is a work of consummate scholarship by a twenty-seven year-old geshe, wise beyond his years. Nowhere in his many subsequent works does one find a more clear and concise exposition of the essentials of Buddhist thought. Indeed, all of His Holinesss's many publications are in some sense commentaries on this first book.
Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. In 1959, Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives. He is the author of numerous books, including The Good Heart, The Meaning of Life, The World of Tibetan Buddhism, and The Compassionate Life.
"...an excellent and original synopsis of Gelukpa doctrine for serious students of Tibetan Buddhism."
– Middle Way
"...a remarkable work, providing a compendium of Buddhist doctrine and practice that is both dense and rich, serving both as a summation of knowledge and as an invitation to further study. Nowhere in his many subsequent works does one find a more clear and concise exposition of the essentials of Buddhist thought. All of His Holiness' many publications are in some sense commentaries on this first book."
– Donald S. Lopez, Jr., from his Introduction
"It must be noted that this is not, as in the case of many works attributed to the Dalai Lama, merely an edited transcript of a public lecture, but a complete, singularly authored work introducing the Buddhist doctrines that have been practiced for thousands of years in Tibet... this new translation revitalizes the original teaching while more fully placing it in an historical perspective. A remarkable work worthy of a new look."
– NAPRA ReVIEW
"A very highly recommended work of Buddhist scholarship, wisdom, and compassion."