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Introduction to Emptiness: As Taught in Tsong-Kha-Pa's Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path by Guy Newland

Introduction to Emptiness: As Taught in Tsong-Kha-Pa's Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path
Introduction to Emptiness: As Taught in Tsong-Kha-Pa's Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path
Guy Newland
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Snow Lion; New edition (October 16, 2009)
144 pages
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1788 kb
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1878 kb
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1911 kb
Readers are hard-pressed to find books that can help them understand the central concept in Mahayana Buddhism—the idea that ultimate reality is emptiness. In clear language, Introduction to Emptiness explains that emptiness is not a mystical sort of nothingness, but a specific truth that can and must be understood through calm and careful reflection. Newland's contemporary examples and vivid anecdotes will help readers understand this core concept as presented in one of the great classic texts of the Tibetan tradition, Tsong-kha-pa's Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. This new edition includes quintessential points for each chapter.

  • Perdana
This is a truly exceptional book in giving a clear, understandable account of emptiness as understood by Tsongkhapa, the precursor of the Gelugpas. Newland does not, however, give any of the extensive historical background for for his material. That's entirely appropriate since his intention is to present the teachings themselves, not the history behind them. But that historical background is very helpful for many of us in assimilating the teachings themselves. Fortunately, that background from Nagarjuna (ca 2nd, 3rd c.) up to the early twentieth century is readily available at the following link where you will find a very clear overview in a mere fifteen pages . . .


I found it very helpful to first read this historical overview - which I returned to again and again - then to read over Newland's nine page appendix which gives 'The Quintessential Points Chapter by Chapter'. Then I began the text itself, re-reading more carefully the appendix for each chapter before entering into the chapter itself. Wow! I sure learned a lot!! And even understood some of it (I think).
  • Virtual
Still reading but love it so far.
  • Black_Hawk_Down
This will get you closer to full understanding
  • Yozshugore
This book is wonderfully clear on the enormously difficult concept of emptiness. In particular, Professor Newland exacting analysis of the object of negation - just what it is that is negated in Madhyamaka analytical meditation - is highly clarifying. Still, as a frustrated life-long seeker myself, I failed to find the philosopher's stone needed to remove my doubts and close the mediative distance between all I've read and learned second-hand and my own first-hand knowledge. My fault, of course!
  • Ramsey`s
This book takes the often confusing topic of emptiness, and makes sense of it. In addition, it illustrates very well how we can see emptiness in our every day lives, and why this view is so important in preventing clinging and other misconceptions. A wonderful book, and well with reading.
  • Jelar
Professor Newland's Intro to TKP's treatment of "Ultimate Reality" as first realized by The Buddha is an easy to understand guide on this work of art. I fully recommend this book to anyone with the aspiration to more fully understand the Buddha's teachings.
  • Gozragore
I agree with all of the positive statements about Newland's book and I recommend it highly. It is well-writen, clear and important. The book is mainly about one school of Buddhist thought and to me it's reasoned analysis is excellent for about two-thirds of the book. However, it biases are apparent in the final third where reason is set aside and the teachings and practices of that school shape and, I believe, distort the purity and logic of the arguments and, dare I say it, promote erroneous views. I read the book on Amazon's Kindle.
The Great Treatise is a foundational text of Tibetan Buddhism, especially for the Gelugpa lineage (best known as the lineage associated with the Dalai Lama). Although recently translated into English, this key text is still very challenging for western students. That makes this explanatory volume especially welcome.

In this book Professor Newland brings together both his informal, humorous teaching style and his deep scholarly knowledge of the text and its traditions. He does a beautiful job of making clear the main concepts of "emptiness" for a more general western reader, while at the same time producing a book which amply rewards the serious student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism.

An exceptionally valuable contribution to the English language literature on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice. Highly recommended.