The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism

By Lama Thubten Yeshe
California, 1980 and France, 1982 (Archive #038 377)

This book consists of two teachings. The first, The Three Principal Aspects of the Path, was given in France in 1982, during an FPMT-sponsored tour of Europe by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The second teaching, Introduction to Tantra, was given at Grizzly Lodge, California, in 1980. You can view both of these talks on our YouTube channel.

See also the Related Links to access the audio recordings and videos, and read along with the edited transcripts, or listen to a free audiobook on Google Play.

The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism
Lama Thubten Yeshe

The first teaching in this book, The Three Principal Aspects of the Path, is an introduction to the path to enlightenment. The second teaching, Introduction to Tantra, comprises the first two lectures of a commentary on the Chenrezig yoga method and is a wonderful explanation of the fundamentals of tantric practice. These teachings were given in France in 1982 and at Grizzly Lodge, California, in 1980.

"Meditation is not on the level of the object but on that of the subject—you are the business of your meditation.

"Bodhicitta is very practical, I tell you. It’s like medicine. The self-cherishing thought is like a nail or a sword in your heart; it always feels uncomfortable. With bodhicitta, from the moment you begin to open, you feel incredibly peaceful and you get tremendous pleasure and inexhaustible energy. Forget about enlightenment—as soon as you begin to open yourself to others, you gain tremendous pleasure and satisfaction. Working for others is very interesting; it’s an infinite activity. Your life becomes continuously rich and interesting.

"Historically, Shakyamuni Buddha taught the four noble truths. To whose culture do the four noble truths belong? The essence of religion has nothing to do with any one particular country's culture. Compassion, love, reality—to whose culture do they belong? The people of any country, any nation, can implement the three principal aspects of the path, the four noble truths or the eightfold path. There's no contradiction at all."
      - Lama Yeshe

Order a print copy by clicking the Add to Cart button on this page, or visit your favorite ebook vendor using the links below. You can also listen to the audiobook, read this book online, listen to the original audio files, access links to translations or download a PDF. LYWA Members can download the ebook for free.




Google Play



Free audiobook on Google Play

Smashwords is accessible worldwide and offers the full range of ebook formats including Kindle. You can also access LYWA titles through the ebook subscription service Scribd.


Members have exclusive access to the entire LYWA library of books in digital format. Read more about LYWA Membership and its benefits here.

Click on the relevant icon below to download the file. The ebook versions are freely available for Members in pdf, mobi and epub formats. Note that the mobi version works with Kindle readers and the epub version is compatible with Apple devices and many other readers. Members can also listen online to the MP3 audiobook or download the file and listen offline on any MP3 player, with a choice of two narration styles.

For Kindle

For Apple


MP3: Female narrator

MP3: Male narrator

ISBN 9781891868085 / 9781891868306

Next Chapter:

Editor's Introduction »