The Library of Wisdom and Compassion

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Looking for a comprehensive resource to guide you in learning about Buddhism or to refresh your understanding of foundational teachings? Through this multi-volume book series and in-depth video teachings, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron share with us the Buddha’s teachings that they themselves practice. Reading these books and listening to the extensive teachings will provide you with a definitive course on the complete path to full awakening.

Cover of book Approaching the Buddhist Path.

Approaching the Buddhist Path

Volume 1

The first volume in the series starts with introductory material that sets the context for Buddhist practice: the universal human wish for happiness and the dynamic nature of the mind. It also provides a wealth of reflections on Buddhist history and fundamentals, contemporary issues, and the Dalai Lama’s own personal experiences.

Study the full text with Venerable Chodron.


  • Exploring Buddhism
  • The Buddhist View of Life
  • Mind and Emotions
  • The Spread of the Buddhadharma and Buddhist Canons
  • The Buddha’s Teachings Form a Cohesive Whole
  • Investigating the Teachings
  • The Importance of Kindness and Compassion
  • A Systematic Approach
  • Tools for the Path
  • Making Progress
  • Personal Reflections on the Path
  • Working in the World

Learn more about the book here.

Cover of book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Volume 2

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice describes the bedrock of Buddhist practice — important topics that help us to stay focused on what is worthwhile as we establish a flourishing Dharma practice.

Study the full text with Venerable Chodron, in progress:


  • The Buddhist Approach
  • Gaining Nondeceptive Knowledge
  • The Basis of the Self: The Body and Mind
  • Choosing Spiritual Mentors and Becoming a Qualified Disciple
  • Relying on Spiritual Mentors
  • How to Structure a Meditation Session
  • Mind, Body, and Rebirth
  • The Essence of a Meaningful Life
  • Looking Beyond This Life
  • Karma and its Effects
  • Results of Karma
  • The Workings of Karma

Learn more about the book here.

Cover of the book Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature

Volume 3

How can our minds be both the basis of the extreme duhkha of samsara and the incredible bliss and fulfillment of nirvana? Saṃsāra, Nirvāṇa, and Buddha Nature answers this question through a deep and thorough explanation of the unpurified mind (the duhkha of samsara) and the purified mind (the basis of nirvana).


  • The Self, the Four Truths, and Their Sixteen Attributes
  • Revolving in Cyclic Existence: The Truth of Duḥkha
  • True Origins of Duḥkha
  • Afflictions, Their Arising, and Their Antidotes
  • Afflictions and Karma, Their Seeds and Latencies
  • Karma, the Universe, and Evolution
  • Revolving in Cyclic Existence: The Twelve Links of Dependent Origination
  • Dependent Origination: Cycling in Samsāra
  • The Determination to Be Free
  • Seeking Genuine Peace
  • Freedom from Cyclic Existence
  • The Mind and Its Potential
  • Buddha Nature
  • Going Deeper into Buddha Nature

Learn more about the book here.

Book cover of Following in the Buddha's Footsteps

Following in the Buddha’s Footsteps

Volume 4

This fourth volume delves into the substance of spiritual practice and includes topics that form the core of Buddhist practice.


  • Trustworthy Spiritual Guidance
  • Qualities of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha
  • Heartfelt Connection to the Three Jewels
  • The Higher Training in Ethical Conduct
  • Sangha: The Monastic Community
  • The Higher Training in Concentration and the Perfection of Meditative Stability
  • Obstacles and Antidotes
  • The Meditation Absorptions
  • Concentration in the Pali Tradition
  • The Practice of Serenity in Chinese Buddhism
  • Higher Training in Wisdom: The Role of Mindfulness and Introspective Awareness
  • The Four Establishments of Mindfulness: Body, Feelings, and Mind
  • The Four Establishments of Mindfulness: Phenomena
  • The Thirty-Seven Harmonies with Awakening

Learn more about the book here.

Book cover of In Praise of Great Compassion

In Praise of Great Compassion

Volume 5

As the series continues to illuminate the path to awakening, this volume offers inspiring guidance especially relevant in these difficult times. By looking in depth at compassion and the bodhisattva path, we find ways to challenge the self-centered attitude that leads to misery and replace it with a more realistic perspective, greater emotional balance, and a life made more meaningful by benefiting others.


  • The Four Immeasurables
  • The Altruistic Intention of Bodhicitta
  • How to Cultivate Bodhicitta: The Seven Cause-and-Effect Instructions
  • Equalizing and Exchanging Self and Others
  • Becoming a Bodhisattva
  • Homage to Great Compassion
  • Aspiring and Engaging Bodhicitta
  • Love, Compassion, and Bodhicitta in Chinese Buddhism
  • Bodhicitta and Bodhisattvas in the Pali Tradition
  • Mind Training

Learn more about the book here.

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