Buddhist Paths to liberation

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The Buddhist tradition gives a wide variety of descriptions of the Buddhist Path to liberation.[1] The most notable of these descriptions is the Noble Eightfold Path, which was presented in the first discourse of the Buddha and is considered the essence of the Buddhist path (magga). Alongside the eightfold path, Buddhist texts present a number of other "paths" that describe the path in different ways according to different traditions.

Early Buddhism[edit]

Main article: Early Buddhism

Noble Eightfold Path[edit]

Main article: Noble Eightfold Path
The Dharmachakra represents the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Noble Eightfold Path is presented as the fourth of the Buddha's Four Noble Truths and it is considered to be the essence of Buddhist practice.[a] For example, Bhikkhu Bodhi states:[6]

The essence of the Buddha’s teaching can be summed up in two principles: the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The first covers the side of doctrine, and the primary response it elicits is understanding; the second covers the side of discipline, in the broadest sense of that word, and the primary response it calls for is practice.

The Noble Eightfold Path consists of a set of eight interconnected factors or conditions, that when developed together, lead to the cessation of dukkha.[7] These eight factors are: Right View (or Right Understanding), Right Intention (or Right Thought), Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.

Ajahn Sucitto describes the path as "a mandala of interconnected factors that support and moderate each other."[7] The eight factors of the path are not to be understood as stages, in which each stage is completed before moving on to the next. Rather, they are understood as eight significant dimensions of one's behaviour—mental, spoken, and bodily—that operate in dependence on one another; taken together, they define a complete path, or way of living.[8]

The eight factors of the path are commonly presented within three divisions (or higher trainings) as shown below:

Division Eightfold factor Sanskrit, Pali Description
Wisdom
(Sanskrit: prajñā,
Pāli: paññā)
1. Right view samyag dṛṣṭi,
sammā ditthi
Viewing reality as it is, not just as it appears to be
2. Right intention samyag saṃkalpa,
sammā sankappa
Intention of renunciation, freedom and harmlessness
Ethical conduct
(Sanskrit: śīla,
Pāli: sīla)
3. Right speech samyag vāc,
sammā vāca
Speaking in a truthful and non-hurtful way
4. Right action samyag karman,
sammā kammanta
Acting in a non-harmful way
5. Right livelihood samyag ājīvana,
sammā ājīva
A non-harmful livelihood
Concentration
(Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi)
6. Right effort samyag vyāyāma,
sammā vāyāma
Making an effort to improve
7. Right mindfulness samyag smṛti,
sammā sati
Awareness to see things for what they are with clear consciousness;
being aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversion
8. Right concentration samyag samādhi,
sammā samādhi
Correct meditation or concentration, explained as the first four jhānas

Alongside the eightfold path, Buddhist texts present a number of paths that describe the path in different ways according to different traditions. Generally speaking, these alternative methods of presentation are not considered to be contradictory, but rather as different ways to present the Buddhist path.[b]

Atthakavagga[edit]

The Atthakavagga, one of the oldest books of the Pali canon's Sutta Pitaka, contained in the Sutta Nipata, does not give a clear-cut goal such as nirvana, but describes the ideal person.[11] This ideal person is especially characterized by suddhi (purity) and santi (calmness).[11]

Commentaries on the Atthakavagga, namely the Mahaniddesa and the commentary by Buddhaghosa, show the development of Buddhist ideas over time. Both commentaries place the Atthakavagga in their frame of reference, giving an elaborated system of thought far more complicated than the Atthakavagga itself.[11]

Theravada tradition[edit]

Nikayas[edit]

A standard sequence of developments can be found in the Nikayas, for example the Tevijja Sutra verse 40-75 (Dikha Nikaya 13):[web 1]

  • Verse 40: A Tathàgata is born into the world, who makes his knowledge known to others.
  • Verse 41: A householder listens to that truth, acquites faith, and goes forth from the household life into the homeless state.
  • Verse 42: He passes a life self-restrained, good in his conduct, guarding the door of his senses; mindful and self-possessed.
  • Verse 43-75: This results in:
    • The confidence of heart that results from the sense of goodness.
    • The way in which he guards the doors of his senses.
    • The way in which he is mindful and self-possessed.
    • His habit of being content with little, of adopting simplicity of life.
    • His conquest of the Five Hindrances, eachwith the explanatory simile.
    • The joy and peace which, as a result of this conquest, fills his whole being.

Path of purification[edit]

Main article: Visuddhimagga

The path of purification (or the seven stages of purification) provides the framework for a gradual path to liberation.[web 2] The classical outline of this path are the Seven Purifications, as described by Buddhaghosa in the Visuddhimagga. These purifications are:[12]

  1. Purification of Conduct (sīla-visuddhi)
  2. Purification of Mind (citta-visuddhi)
  3. Purification of View (ditthi-visuddhi)
  4. Purification by Overcoming Doubt (kankha-vitarana-visuddhi)
  5. Purification by Knowledge and Vision of What Is Path and Not Path (maggamagga-ñanadassana-visuddhi)
  6. Purification by Knowledge and Vision of the Course of Practice (patipada-ñanadassana-visuddhi)
    1. Knowledge of contemplation of rise and fall (udayabbayanupassana-nana)
    2. Knowledge of contemplation of dissolution (bhanganupassana-nana)
    3. Knowledge of appearance as terror (bhayatupatthana-nana)
    4. Knowledge of contemplation of danger (adinavanupassana-nana)
    5. Knowledge of contemplation of dispassion (nibbidanupassana-nana)
    6. Knowledge of desire for deliverance (muncitukamyata-nana)
    7. Knowledge of contemplation of reflection (patisankhanupassana-nana)
    8. Knowledge of equanimity about formations (sankharupekka-nana)
    9. Conformity knowledge (anuloma-nana)
  7. Purification by Knowledge and Vision (ñanadassana-visuddhi)
    1. Change of lineage
    2. The first path and fruit
    3. The second path and fruit
    4. The third path and fruit
    5. The fourth path and fruit

The "Purification by Knowledge and Vision" is the culmination of the practice, in four stages leading to liberation.

The emphasis in this system is on understanding the three marks of existence, dukkha, anatta, anicca. This emphasis is recognizable in the value that is given to vipassana over samatha, especially in the contemporary vipassana movement.

Mahayana tradition[edit]

Bodhisattva path[edit]

Main article: Bodhisattva

Mahāyāna Buddhism is based principally upon the path of a bodhisattva. According to Jan Nattier, the term Mahāyāna ("Great Vehicle") was originally even an honorary synonym for Bodhisattvayāna, or the "Bodhisattva Vehicle."[13] The earliest known Mahāyāna definition for a bodhisattva is found in the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, which states:[14][15][16]

Because he has enlightenment as his aim, a bodhisattva-mahāsattva is so called.

Mahāyāna Buddhism encourages everyone to become bodhisattvas and to take the bodhisattva vows. With these vows, one makes the promise to work for the complete enlightenment of all sentient beings by following the bodhisattva path. The path can be described in terms of the six perfections or in terms of the five paths and ten bhumis.

Six paramitas[edit]

Main article: Pāramitā

The six paramitas are the means by which Mahayana practitioners actualize their aspiration to attain complete enlightenment for the benefit of all. In Mahāyāna Buddhism, the Prajñapāramitā Sūtras, the Lotus Sutra (Skt., Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra), and a large number of other texts, list the six perfections as follows:

  1. Dāna pāramitā: generosity, the attitude of giving
  2. Śīla pāramitā : virtue, morality, discipline, proper conduct
  3. Kṣānti (kshanti) pāramitā : patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance
  4. Vīrya pāramitā : energy, diligence, vigor, effort
  5. Dhyāna pāramitā : one-pointed concentration, contemplation
  6. Prajñā pāramitā : wisdom, insight

Five paths and ten bhumis[edit]

Five paths[edit]

The Mahayana commentary the Abhisamayalamkara presents a progressive formula of five paths (pañcamārga, Wylie Tibetan lam lnga).[c] The Five Paths are:[17]

  1. The path of accumulation (saṃbhāra-mārga, Wylie Tibetan: tshogs lam). Persons on this Path:
    1. Possess a strong desire to overcome suffering, either their own or others;
    2. Renunciate the worldly life.[17]
  2. The path of preparation or application (prayoga-mārga, Wylie Tibetan: sbyor lam). Persons on this Path:
    1. Start practicing meditation;
    2. Have analytical knowledge of emptiness.[17]
  3. The path of seeing (darśana-mārga, Wylie Tibetan: mthong lam) (Bhūmi 1). Persons on this Path:
    1. Practice profound concentration meditation on the nature of reality;
    2. Realize the emptiness of reality.[17]
  4. The path of meditation (bhāvanā-mārga, Wylie Tibetan: sgom lam) (Bhūmi 2-7). Persons on this path purificate themselves and accumulate wisdom.[17]
  5. The path of no more learning or consummation (aśaikṣā-mārga, Wylie Tibetan: mi slob pa’I lam or thar phyin pa'i lam) (Bhūmi 8-10). Persons on this Path have completely purified themselves.[17]

Ten Bhumis[edit]

The Five Paths advance through a progression of ten stages, referred to as the "bodhisattva bhūmis" ("enlightenment-being grounds/levels"). The Sanskrit term bhūmi literally means "ground" or "foundation", since each stage represents a level of attainment and serves as a basis for the next one. Each level marks a definite advancement in one's training that is accompanied by progressively greater power and wisdom.

The Avatamsaka Sutra refers to the following ten bhūmis:[18]

  1. The Very Joyous (Skt. Paramudita), in which one rejoices at realizing a partial aspect of the truth;
  2. The Stainless (Skt. Vimala), in which one is free from all defilement;
  3. The Luminous (Skt. Prabhakari), in which one radiates the light of wisdom;
  4. The Radiant (Skt. Archishmati), in which the radiant flame of wisdom burns away earthly desires;
  5. The Difficult to Cultivate (Skt. Sudurjaya), in which one surmounts the illusions of darkness, or ignorance as the Middle Way;
  6. The Manifest (Skt. Abhimukhi) in which supreme wisdom begins to manifest;
  7. The Gone Afar (Skt. Duramgama), in which one rises above the states of the Two vehicles;
  8. The Immovable (Skt. Achala), in which one dwells firmly in the truth of the Middle Way and cannot be perturbed by anything;
  9. The Good Intelligence (Skt. Sadhumati), in which one preaches the Law freely and without restriction;
  10. The Cloud of Doctrine (Skt. Dharmamegha), in which one benefits all sentient beings with the Law (Dharma), just as a cloud sends down rain impartially on all things.

Tibetan Buddhism[edit]

Main article: Tibetan Buddhism

Lam Rim[edit]

Main article: Lamrim

Lam Rim describes the stages of the path. Tsong Khapa mentions three essential elements:[19]

  • The aspiration for awakening
  • Bodhicitta, the aspiration to attain this for all living beings
  • Insight into emptiness

Annuttara-yoga tantras[edit]

Main article: Anuttarayoga Tantra

In the highest class of tantra, two stages of practice are distinguished, namely generation and completion. In some Buddhist tantras, both stages can be practiced simultaneously, whereas in others, one first actualizes the generation stage before continuing with the completion stage practices.

Generation stage[edit]

Main article: Generation stage

In the first stage of generation, one engages in deity yoga. One practices oneself in the identification with the meditational Buddha or deity (yidam) by visualisations, until one can meditate single-pointedly on being the deity.[d]

Four purities[edit]

In the generation stage of Deity Yoga, the practitioner visualizes the "Four Purities" (Tibetan: yongs su dag pa bzhi; yongs dag bzhi)[web 3] which define the principal Tantric methodology of Deity Yoga that distinguishes it from the rest of Buddhism:[20]

  1. Seeing one's body as the body of the deity
  2. Seeing one's environment as the pure land or mandala of the deity
  3. Perceiving one's enjoyments as bliss of the deity, free from attachment
  4. Performing one's actions only for the benefit of others (bodhichitta motivation, altruism)[web 4]

Completion stage[edit]

Main article: Completion stage

In the next stage of completion, the practitioner can use either the path of method (thabs lam) or the path of liberation ('grol lam).[21]

At the path of method the practitioner engages in Kundalini yoga practices. These involve the subtle energy system of the body of the chakras and the energy channels. The "wind energy" is directed and dissolved into the heart chakra, where-after the Mahamudra remains,[22] and the practitioner is physically and mentally transformed.

At the path of liberation the practitioner applies mindfulness,[23] a preparatory practice for Mahamudra or Dzogchen, to realize the inherent emptiness of every-'thing' that exists.[24]

Four yogas of mahāmudrā[edit]

Main article: Mahamudra

Mahāmudrā' literally means "great seal" or "great symbol". The name refers to the way one who has realized mahāmudrā. "Mudra" refers to the fact that each phenomenon appears vividly, and "maha" refers to the fact that it is beyond concept, imagination, and projection.[25]

Mahāmudrā is sometimes divided into four distinct phases known as the four yogas of mahāmudrā. They are as follows:[26]

  1. One-pointedness;
  2. Simplicity, "free from complexity" or "not elaborate";
  3. One taste;
  4. Non-meditation, the state of not holding to either an object of meditation nor to a meditator. Nothing further needs to be 'meditated upon' or 'cultivated at this stage.

These stages parallel the four yogas of dzogchen semde. The four yogas of Mahāmudrā have also been correlated with the Mahāyāna five Bhumi paths.

Zen[edit]

Although the Rinzai Zen-tradition emphasises sudden awakening over the study of scripture, in practice several stages can be distinguished. A well-known example are the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures which detail the steps on the Path.

Sudden and gradual[edit]

Main article: Subitism

Once the dichotomy between sudden and gradual was in place, it defined its own logic and rhetorics, which are also recognizable in the distinction between Caodong (Soto) and Lin-ji (Rinzai) chán.[27] But it also lead to a "sometimes bitter and always prolix sectarian controversy between later Chán and Hua-yen exegetes".[28] In the Huayan classification of teachings, the sudden approach was regarded inferior to the Perfect Teaching of Hua-yen. Guifeng Zongmi, fifth patriarch of Hua-yen ànd Chán-master, deviced his own classification to counter this subordination.[29]

Guifeng Zongmi also softened the edge between sudden and gradual. In his analysis, sudden awakening points to seeing into one's true nature, but is to be followed by a gradual cultivation to attain Buddhahood.[29]

Chinul, a 12th-century Korean Seon master, followed Zongmi, and also emphasized that insight into our true nature is sudden, but is to be followed by practice to ripen the insight and attain full Buddhahood. To establish the superiority of the Chán-teachings, Chinul explained the sudden approach as not pointing to mere emptiness, but to suchness or the dharmadhatu.[30]

This is also the standpoint of the contemporary Sanbo Kyodan, according to whom kensho is at the start of the path to full enlightenment.[31]

This gradual cultivation is described by Chan Master Sheng Yen as follows:

Ch'an expressions refer to enlightenment as "seeing your self-nature". But even this is not enough. After seeing your self-nature, you need to deepen your experience even further and bring it into maturation. You should have enlightenment experience again and again and support them with continuous practice. Even though Ch'an says that at the time of enlightenment, your outlook is the same as of the Buddha, you are not yet a full Buddha.[32]

Rinzai-Zen[edit]

In Rinzai, insight into true nature is to be followed by gradual cultivation. This is described in teachings such as The Three mysterious Gates of Linji, and the Four Ways of Knowing of Hakuin.[33]

Sōtō-Zen[edit]

Main article: Sōtō

Although Sōtō emphasizes shikan-taza, just-sitting, this tradition too had description of development within the practice. This is described by Tozan, who described the Five ranks of enlightenment.[web 5]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Noble Eightfold Path is considered to be the essence of Buddhist practice.:
    • Traleg Kyabgon states: "The fourth Noble Truth is the path, and this is the essence of Buddhist practice. Known as the Eightfold Noble Path, it is oriented towards developing three things in an individual: moral sensitivity, meditation or the concentrated mind, and wisdom."[2]
    • Ringu Tulku Rinpoche states: "The Buddha showed the gradual way toward the cessation of suffering by means of the Noble Eightfold Path. Again, this is a very basic teaching, yet it is not just a preliminary one. When examined deeply, it proves to cover the whole journey... The entire teaching of the Buddha is included in this path, which provides the basic guideline on how to work with and overcome the sources of suffering."[3]
    • Paul Williams states: "That certain practices truly bring about the results they claim to bring about - that, for example, the eightfold path as taught by the Buddha if followed properly with single-minded devotion will eventually lead to liberation (i.e. Sanskrit: nirvana; Pali: nibbana) - is also central to Buddhism." [4]
    • Smith and Novak state: "The core of the Buddha’s teaching, the Eightfold Path, came to be symbolized as an eight-spoked wheel, which in turn became an icon of the Buddha’s entire teaching.[5]
    • Bhikkhu Bodhi states: "The essence of the Buddha’s teaching can be summed up in two principles: the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The first covers the side of doctrine, and the primary response it elicits is understanding; the second covers the side of discipline, in the broadest sense of that word, and the primary response it calls for is practice. In the structure of the teaching these two principles lock together into an indivisible unity called the dhamma-vinaya, the doctrine-and-discipline, or, in brief, the Dhamma."[6]
  2. ^ Generally speaking, alternative methods of presenting the Buddhist path are not considered to be contradictory, but rather as different ways to present the path. For example:
    • Contemporary Buddhist teacher Geshe Tashi Tsering states: "Many people have asked me why Tibetan Buddhism does not present the noble eightfold path as part of the fourth noble truth, but for me there is no difference between the noble eightfold path and the five paths apart from the style of presentation. In the Mahayana tradition, when the path leading to cessation is presented in the context of the five paths, the noble eightfold path is implicit. The noble eightfold path is the substance, and the five paths is the process, the step-by-step progress that we have to make.[9]
    • Contemporary Buddhist teacher Joseph Goldstein states: "Don’t-know mind, a phrase often used by Zen master Seung Sahn, enabled me to embrace a variety of perspectives, seeing the different views and methods as skillful means for liberation, rather than as the statements of absolute truth I was taking them to be. It is this understanding that provides a context for exploring the One Dharma of freedom."[10]
  3. ^ From the Tibetan Buddhist point of view, the noble eightfold path is implicit in this Mahayana presentation of the five paths. For example, Geshe Tashi Tsering states: "Many people have asked me why Tibetan Buddhism does not present the noble eightfold path as part of the fourth noble truth, but for me there is no difference between the noble eightfold path and the five paths apart from the style of presentation. In the Mahayana tradition, when the path leading to cessation is presented in the context of the five paths, the noble eightfold path is implicit. The noble eightfold path is the substance, and the five paths is the process, the step-by-step progress that we have to make.[9]
  4. ^ A comparison may be made with the "Role theory" of Hjalmar Sundén, which describes how identification with a religious figure can lead to conversion. See (in Dutch) N. Hijweege (1994, Bekering in de gereformeerde gezindte, which describes how the story of Paulus conversion on the road to Damascus serves as an example of the "ideal-conversion" in orthodox Protestant churches.

References[edit]

Book-references[edit]

  1. ^ Buswell & Gimello 1994, pp. 1-36.
  2. ^ Traleg Kyabgon 2001, p. 7.
  3. ^ Ringu Tulku 2005, p. 37.
  4. ^ Williams 2002, p. 7.
  5. ^ Smith & Novak 2009, Kindle location 2744.
  6. ^ a b Bhikkhu Bodhi 2011, Kindle location 46-48.
  7. ^ a b Ajahn Sucitto 2010, p. 87-88.
  8. ^ Gethin 1998, p. 82.
  9. ^ a b Geshe Tashi Tsering 2005, Kindle Locations 2187-2190.
  10. ^ Goldstein 2011, p. 11.
  11. ^ a b c Burford 1994.
  12. ^ Gunaratana 1994, p. 143-174.
  13. ^ Nattier, Jan (2003), A few good men: the Bodhisattva path according to the Inquiry of Ugra: p. 174
  14. ^ Mall, Linnart. Studies in the Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita and Other Essays. Motilal Banarsidass. 2005. pp. 53-54.
  15. ^ Hirakawa, Akira. A history of Indian Buddhism: from Śākyamuni to Early Mahāyāna. Motilal Banarsidass. 2007. p. 297.
  16. ^ Conze, Edward. The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines and its Verse Summary. Grey Fox Press. 2001. p. 89.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Losangsamten, Introduction to the Buddhist Path
  18. ^ Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada 1998.
  19. ^ Tsong Khapa 2003.
  20. ^ Yuthok 1997, p. 27.
  21. ^ Harding 1996, p. 19.
  22. ^ Snelling 1987, p. 116.
  23. ^ Harding 1996, p. 17.
  24. ^ Harding 1996, p. 16-20.
  25. ^ Ray 2001, p. 261.
  26. ^ Namgyal 2006, p. 463.
  27. ^ McRae 2003, p. 123.
  28. ^ Buswell 1993, p. 234.
  29. ^ a b Gregory 1991.
  30. ^ Buswell 1991, p. 240-241.
  31. ^ Kapleau 1989.
  32. ^ Yen 2006, p. 54).
  33. ^ Low 2006.

Web-references[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Ajahn Sucitto (2010), Turning the Wheel of Truth: Commentary on the Buddha's First Teaching, Shambhala 
  • Bhikkhu Bodhi (2011), The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering, Independent Publishers Group, Kindle Edition 
  • Burford, Grace G. (1994), "Theravada Buddhist Soteriology and the Paradox of Desire", in Buswell, Robert E., Paths to Liberation. The Marga and its Transformations in Buddhist Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 
  • Buswell, Robert E. (1991), The "Short-cut" Approach of K'an-hua Meditation: The Evolution of a Practical Subitism in Chinese Ch'an Buddhism. In: Peter N. Gregory (editor) (1991), Sudden and Gradual. Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited 
  • Buswell, Robert E (1993), Ch'an Hermeneutics: A Korean View. In: Donald S. Lopez, Jr. (ed.)(1993), Buddhist Hermeneutics, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass 
  • Buswell, Robert E. JR; Gimello, Robert M. (editors) (1994), Paths to Liberation. The Marga and its Transformations in Buddhist Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 
  • Geshe Tashi Tsering (2005), The Four Noble Truths: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume I, Wisdom, Kindle Edition 
  • Gethin, Rupert (1998), Foundations of Buddhism, Oxford University Press 
  • Goldstein, Joseph (2011), One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism, Harper Collins, Kindle Edition 
  • Gregory, Peter N. (1991), Sudden Enlightenment Followed by Gradual Cultivation: Tsung-mi's Analysis of mind. In: Peter N. Gregory (editor)(1991), Sudden and Gradual. Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited 
  • Gunaratana, Henepola (1994), The Path of Serenity and Insight, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited 
  • Harding, Sarah (1996), Creation and Completion - Essential Points of Tantric Meditation, Boston: Wisdom Publications 
  • Kapleau, Philip (1989), The three pillars of Zen 
  • Kasulis, Thomas P. (2003), Ch'an Spirituality. In: Buddhist Spirituality. Later China, Korea, Japan and the Modern World; edited by Takeuchi Yoshinori, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass 
  • Low, Albert (2006), Hakuin on Kensho. The Four Ways of Knowing, Boston & London: Shambhala 
  • McRae, John (2003), Seeing Through Zen, The University Press Group Ltd 
  • Namgyal, Dakpo Tashi (2006), Mahamudra: The Moonlight: Quintessence of Mind and Meditation, Wisdom Publications 
  • Ray, Reginald (2001), Secret of the Vajra World, Shambhala 
  • Ringu Tulku (2005), Daring Steps Toward Fearlessness: The Three Vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism, Snow Lion 
  • Smith, Huston; Novak, Philip (2009), Buddhism: A Concise Introduction, HarperOne, Kindle Edition 
  • Snelling, John (1987), The Buddhist handbook. A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching and Practice, London: Century Paperbacks 
  • Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada (1998), The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism 
  • Traleg Kyabgon (2001), The Essence of Buddhism, Shambhala 
  • Tsong Khapa (2003), Drie hoofdzaken van het pad, Maitreya Uitgeverij 
  • Williams, Paul (2002), Buddhist Thought, Taylor & Francis, Kindle Edition 
  • Yen, Chan Master Sheng (1996), Dharma Drum: The Life and Heart of Ch'an Practice, Boston & London: Shambhala 
  • Yuthok, Choedak (1997), Lamdre: Dawn of Enlightenment., Canberra, Australia: Gorum Publications, ISBN 0-9587085-0-9 

Further reading[edit]

  • Buswell, Robert E. JR; Gimello, Robert M. (editors) (1994), Paths to Liberation. The Marga and its Transformations in Buddhist Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 

External links[edit]

Seven Stages of Purification

Lam Rim

Creation and Completion

Mahamudra