Silent Mind Holy Mind

By Lama Thubten Yeshe

The celebration of Christmas focuses on our longing for peace and deepest expression of love. Its essential spirit, therefore, appeals not only to Christians but to all people. Taking as his major focus the ways in which we customarily celebrate Christmas, Lama Yeshe exposes the foibles of our secular age and shows how we can surmount them.

The 2024 edition of Silent Mind Holy Mind has been expanded to include the original collection of talks given by Lama Yeshe at Kopan Monastery on Christmas Eve, as well as another Christmas talk and a Cistercian priest’s tribute to Lama after he passed away in 1984. Edited by Jon Landaw and Nicholas Ribush. Go to the Contents page to find links to these teachings on our website. You can also download a free PDF file.

Preface (by Nicholas Ribush)

This book, Wisdom Publications’ third title, was first published in 1978, following Wisdom Energy (1976) and Advice from a Spiritual Friend (1977). Lama Yeshe (1935–84) and I founded Wisdom at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in December 1975.1 In 1978, Lama moved Wisdom to Manjushri Institute in England, and a few months later Silent Mind became the first title published from the new location, just in time for Christmas, mainly due to the efforts of Jon Landaw and Ven. Robina Courtin.

For this edition we have made several editorial changes. The book is now divided into three parts: (1) the original material (somewhat modified), edited by Jon Landaw; (2) the only other Christmas talk Lama gave, edited by me; and (3) a Cistercian priest’s tribute to Lama after he passed away in 1984. We have tweaked Jon Landaw’s 1978 introduction accordingly.

Apart from the two extra sections, the main modification to the original material has been to chapter 3, where we have replaced Ngawang Chötak’s translation of The Eight Verses of Thought Transformation by a more recent one by Lama Zopa Rinpoche (1945–2023).

By the mid-80s the book had sold out and has been out of print since then, but about twenty years ago, with Wisdom’s permission, LYWA began distributing a PDF photocopy of the original. Recently we decided that it would be better to create an updated version with some new material added, so again, with the kind permission of Wisdom’s director, Daniel Aitken, we have created the edition you are reading now. We hope you continue to enjoy and benefit from Lama Yeshe’s timeless wisdom.

Nicholas Ribush
Lincoln, Massachusetts
November 2023


1 See Big Love: The Life and Teachings of Lama Yeshe (LYWA, 2020), p. 473: “The Birth of Wisdom Publications.” At first, Lama called the FPMT publishing house Publications for Wisdom Culture, which was the imprint under which Silent Mind was first published (“Wisdom Culture,” actually). Around 1980, the name of the company was changed to Wisdom Publications. [Return to text]