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L'Essenza del Buddismo Tibetano

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  462 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In this highly readable collection, Robert Thurman brings together the jewels of Tibetan literature that have made their own distinctive contribution to "the great river of Buddhism." He introduces the selection with an overview of essential Buddhist thought, orienting the reader with a history of Buddhism's development, from its origins in India, expansion across Asia, an ...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published November 1997 by Newton & Compton editori, l'Aleph (first published 1995)
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Chris Lemig
Robert Thurman is the preeminent American authority on Tibetan Buddhism. He was the first westerner to ever be officially ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk and looks to the Dalai Lama as his personal mentor. (He's also Uma Thurman's dad!)

I've seen a couple of lecture videos by him and I just love his enthusiasm and passion for the subject of Tibetan Buddhism. He's also super-funny in a very geeky sort of way.

I didn't read through this entire book. It's a collection of ancient Tibetan writings
Eric Villalobos
I think I will have to agree with another review that I read on this book: the book is way too dense at some points. A little past the halfway point, there's just this huge block of texts that you have to muddle through and at the end, you ask yourself "What did I learn?" and you can't really pinpoint an answer (which would be okay if it allowed you to experience Tibetan Buddhist culture or something of that sort, but I feel as if that could have been expressed with texts that are less dense). T ...more
This was a really dense read, esp. since I had zero experience with Buddhism prior to reading this book. Probably not the best place to start for someone curious about Buddhism. Otherwise, interesting stuff.
Interesting but rather heavy going in places. Sadly No index but contains a wealth of information about this subject.
William Redd
This book took a long time to get through. Several times I had to stop and take a brief hiatus from reading it because the text was a bit dense and required some time to consider before moving on. One reason for this is the author's call to leave his explanations of the selected writings for the Notes section at the very end. While I understand wanting the selected writings to speak for themselves, for someone who is looking to understand Tibetan Buddhism (like the majority of readers who find t ...more
The beginning is great in that it explains the history of how Tibetan Buddhism came about, but the rest of the book is not what I was expecting at all. It's incredibly dense, and definitely not for beginners. Given the title, I thought it would be more of an intro-style book, but it is not. I think it will be well worth coming back to later, when I have more knowledge/understanding.
Josh Axelrad
Thurman's 50-page condensed introductory history of Buddhism in Tibet is what I bought this for, in retrospect. That man can write a condensed introductory history of Buddhism in Tibet. The bulk of the remainder is texts (poems, narrative, commentary) from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which as a note to myself comes off rather religiously, when you look at it.

Noteworthy: Tse Chokling Yongdzin Yeshe Gyaltsen's telling of the story of the Buddha's life and Enlightenment is ornate, gothically b
Jim Parker
Took me forever to read but this book is no lightweight. The notes at the end of the book are invaluable. The content is at times very difficult reading but this book is essential for anyone from the west who wants to be even a semi-serious student of Tibetan Buddhism. When not just presenting translations of classic text, Robert Thurman is extremely accessible, his understanding of Tibetan Buddhism opens the doors to understanding.
May 11, 2010 Patrick is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A good overview of the fundamental beliefs of the Mahayana traditions emanating from Tibet. Whilst setting out the 'mythology' of Buddhism which is not unlike that of the Christian tradition, not for a moment is there any expectation that the reader will be expected to accept the mythology in a literal sense. Rather these stories are presented in a rich tapestry of symbolism. So far I am enjoying this work immensely.
Informative, but tough going. A lot of the texts are presented without any explanation, which can be difficult for someone not oriented in the Tibetan cosmology to understand (and often Thurman leaves off further explication for the sake of brevity). Still, there is a lot to recommend this, such as the excerpts from Milarepa, Shantideva and the 14th Dalai Lama.
Mary Louise
My husband and I watched the video version of his lectures about Tibet, and I am re-reading his terrific book again.
David Melbie
Dec 11, 2010 David Melbie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers
Recommended to David by: Picked myself
This is a source book for all things Tibetan Buddhism. . . very useful. --From A Reader's Journal, by d r melbie.
Steven Monrad
It's not a religion.
Uma's dad is slightly academic.
Thurman is an authority on Buddhism.
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Tenzin Robert Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, holding the first endowed chair of Buddhist Studies in the United States. He is the author of the bestseller Inner Revolution, as well as Anger, Infinite Life, and other popular books. He is also a translator of Tibetan texts. He serves as co-founder and president of Tibet House US, a no ...more
More about Robert A.F. Thurman...
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