John Powers s Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism meets a genuine need in providing nonspecialist students of religion or Asian studies with an overview of this distinctive form of Buddhist belief and practice In clear and readable language, the book mostly achieves its stated goal of being a systematic and wonderfully clear presentation of Tibetan Buddhist views and practices Powers begins with a survey of Buddhist history and doctrine, with a focus on Mah y na philosophy This whole opening s John Powers s Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism meets a genuine need in providing nonspecialist students of religion or Asian studies with an overview of this distinctive form of Buddhist belief and practice In clear and readable language, the book mostly achieves its stated goal of being a systematic and wonderfully clear presentation of Tibetan Buddhist views and practices Powers begins with a survey of Buddhist history and doctrine, with a focus on Mah y na philosophy This whole opening section of the book is very useful, allowing as it does a reader new to Buddhism to pick up the work and be introduced to the tradition as a whole before moving on to consider its Tibetan manifestation What follows is a brief but informative survey of Tibetan history and a look at some of the holy days, ceremonies, and architectural settings of Tibetan Buddhist practice.Part Three is, it seems to me, the heart of the book, as it engages the distinctive teachings and practices of Tibetan Buddhism, both in the context of wider Mah y na and in contradistinction to it Powers admirably clarifies the Tibetan understanding of the place of tantra in Buddhism and provides a very easily understood description of the major forms of tantric practice Chapter 10, Death and Dying in Tibetan Buddhism, is admirable for the vividness with which it portrays the Tibetan Buddhist understanding of death in its metaphysical, ontological, and soteriological aspects.Part Four turns to the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism Here I think the book gets a bit bogged down in a surfeit of detail Brevity is not one of this section s virtues indeed, the author occasionally seems to repeat himself from chapter to chapter, restating conceptions or doctrines already associated with one of the previously discussed schools.This Introduction is highly recommended to undergraduates in Religious Studies or Asian Studies, to general readers with an interest in Asian religions, or to academics needing a primer on Tibetan Buddhism Did not finish, read until page 434 of 593.I must confess, until the fourth part came, I was enjoying this quite contently It was a fascinating look into the history, background and practices of a side of Buddhism I have until fairly recently, have all but ignored completely But as I came onto the section wherein, a detailing of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism began, I felt it slightly unnecessary Given, as I began to notice soon thereafter, it was virtually just retelling what was already s Did not finish, read until page 434 of 593.I must confess, until the fourth part came, I was enjoying this quite contently It was a fascinating look into the history, background and practices of a side of Buddhism I have until fairly recently, have all but ignored completely But as I came onto the section wherein, a detailing of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism began, I felt it slightly unnecessary Given, as I began to notice soon thereafter, it was virtually just retelling what was already said but in the context of that school in question And what wasn t already said was really quite little, usually only being 2 or 3 pages of material To top it all off, I recently got a hoard of books on most, if not all of the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, along with a few other interrelated texts on matters in and around the same subjects As a consequence, I found that what was being said, could be saiddetailed in what I now had so I decided to quit.But, to simply tuck this away and forget about it as a book stained with eventual disappointment, would be a mistake If this is all you have or can find as an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, go ahead it s a good introduction and is saturated with references to other texts However, if access can be given to those aforementioned texts, perhaps it would be advisable to read those instead possibly with a cross reference back to here if one ever be needed Un excelente libro para aprender sobre historia y cultura Tibetana, la historia enfocada a eventos religiosos obviamente Lamentablemente el tema del budismo se ve de una forma muy superficial, enfoc ndose en la tradici n tibetana sobre la filosof a en si,En vez de citar sutras o analizar el darma, como hacen la mayor a de los libros budistas, John Powers analiza en forma objetiva los rituales y costumbres de las 4 principales escuelas budistas en Tibet, incluyendo una secci n completa sobre el Un excelente libro para aprender sobre historia y cultura Tibetana, la historia enfocada a eventos religiosos obviamente Lamentablemente el tema del budismo se ve de una forma muy superficial, enfoc ndose en la tradici n tibetana sobre la filosof a en si,En vez de citar sutras o analizar el darma, como hacen la mayor a de los libros budistas, John Powers analiza en forma objetiva los rituales y costumbres de las 4 principales escuelas budistas en Tibet, incluyendo una secci n completa sobre el B n, una religi n shamanista con gran influencia del Budismo.Adem s, se introduce al concepto budista mediante la explicaci n del avance hist rico y geogr fico de la filosof a desde India, hasta llegar al Tibet, y la posterior influencia sobre el imperio Mongol y Chino.Este libro seguramente ser apreciado por los amantes de la historia y filosof a por igual I loved this book, but I am partial to Tibetan Buddhism.DO NOT read this if you want an intro to Buddhism.This is a scholastic introduction and in particular, to Tibetan.Tibetan Buddhism comes with tons of myths and cultural baggage.But I still love it Not sure why.The Dalai Lama is my favorite Buddhist author. Very good book written by author well explained As someone so very interested in Tibetan Buddhism then this is the most academically thorough introduction to Tibetan Buddhism I have read so far Recommended if you are interested, especially on an academic level. The expanded edition of the classic reference, one of Snow Lion s top ten bestsellers Thorough coverage of Tibetan Buddhism from its Indian origins to the present day includes new information on the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, religious practices and festivals, and the current political situation A decent introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and it s main schools However, Powers is not a historian, but a researcher on meditation all which he admits upfront Thus, the history sections are a bit lacking and the descriptions of meditation are much too thorough unless you are a tibetologist. I bumped into a Japanese woman at a Tibetan Buddhist community center several years ago who asked me to housesit for her for three weeks In addition to mentioning that Tibetan Buddhism is a highly scholastic spiritual path, she told me to read anything I wanted to out of her library and highly recommended this book This text discusses the origin and history of the four major lineages or schools of this particular spiritual path. I thought this 400 page tome would be a total snooze, but it was extremely fascinating Everything from butter sculptures, to bas ass buddhas like Padmasambhava, it s all here andThere s even a chapter on B n I was especially happy to read the descriptions of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism Guleg, Sakya, Nyigma and Kagyu because I d always puzzled about what the differences between them might be HIghly recommended for anyone with an interest in this topic.