Elevate Difference

Transcendent Wisdom

This recent translation of a teaching presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on a chapter of the same name written by Indian scholar Shantideva in A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life serves as a guide to more thoroughly understanding of this particular work. Initially spoken to thousands of Tibetans in 1979, the ideas and wisdom of this chapter continue to exist and are translated to illuminate those pondering a Buddhist Centrist view and how it relates to and exists in the contemporary world.

Utilizing his experience as a teacher and trainer, B. Alan Wallace selected this information for interpretation and clarification. With points numbered from the original work, Wallace presents questions and opposing concepts (some of which may fall into the realm of Western thought) to each idea; this leads to further developing the work, each point acting as a building block to develop a further understanding of the Madhyamaka view of Buddhism.

Devoting his life to teaching and Buddhism, Wallace trained as a Buddhist monk in several countries and serves as a major Tibetan translator, editor, and author for over thirty books. His studies in religion support his pursuits in communicating to readers as he combines his training in science and religion as it applies to our contemporary living. Divided into three parts, this singular text identifies major aspects of the Centrist view. Through detailed elaboration on each point, Wallace provides necessary commentary to help make the reading more achievable.

Even without a tremendous awareness of Buddhism, one can maneuver through Transcendent Wisdom carefully and deliberately. With a minor foray into understanding the philosophy of Buddhism, one can utilize the footnotes for a more elaborate experience into the active acceptance of this specific branch of the faith. As a tool, this text delivers a more ornate explanation and a bounty of substance to bring the reader to a better understanding of what this religion embraces. Dry but clear, this text requires sincere focus and time; however, as one adventures into the writing, one may adopt a more Buddhist way of being.

Written by: Carolyn Espe, December 15th 2009

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