Book cover of Lamrim ebook vol 1

Lamrim Teachings: Volume I

Foundations of the Path

Lamrim foundations and preliminary practices, plus teachings on precious human life. This freely distributed ebook contains lightly edited transcripts of lamrim teachings given by Venerable Chodron.


© Thubten Chodron. For free distribution and not to be sold (see below for additional use information).

About the book

In this first volume, Venerable Chodron introduces the gradual path to enlightenment and lays out the fundamentals needed for the initial, intermediate and advanced scope practices covered in subsequent volumes. She makes the point early on that western students are often missing the Buddhist world view, well-known in the Tibetan, Chinese, and Indian cultures, and this hampers westerners when learning the lamrim the way it is traditionally taught. For this reason, she is careful to fill in pre-supposed knowledge on topics such as rebirth, karma, and different life forms and universes.

These ebooks contain lightly-edited transcripts of teachings given by Venerable Thubten Chodron at Dharma Friendship Foundation, Seattle, from 1991-1994.


  • Introduction to the Lamrim
  • How the Teachings Should Be Studied and Taught
  • Mind, Rebirth, Cyclic Existence and Enlightenment
  • The Six Preparatory Practices
  • How to Rely on a Spiritual Mentor
  • Precious Human Life


The nice thing about the Buddhist tradition is you can see that, first of all, it started with somebody who is a fully enlightened being. Secondly, it was passed down through a lineage, which has been tried and proven for 2,500 years. It didn’t start two years ago. It didn’t start five years ago. It’s something that’s been passed down and it’s been passed down in a very strict way from teacher to disciple. It’s not that the masters dredged something up all of a sudden and interpreted it their own way to spread a new religion. The teachings and the meditation techniques were passed down very strictly from teacher to disciple so that each successive generation was able to have pure teachings and gain realizations.

Being aware of this helps give us a lot of confidence in this method. It isn’t some new ephemeral bubble that somebody developed, wrote a book and went on a talk show about, and made a million dollars selling a best-seller on. It was something that started out with a fully enlightened being who had completely pure ethics, who lived very, very simply, and who, with great compassion, took care of his disciples. They then took care of their disciples and so on down to the present day. It is important to be assured that something has the Buddha as its source, has a tried and true lineage that is tested over many years by the Indian pundits and later by the Tibetan practitioners. It’s now coming to the West.

Copyright © 2015-2016 by Venerable Thubten Chodron. For free distribution. All rights reserved. For personal, noncommercial use only. This book may be printed or downloaded electronically, in whole or in part, for personal use by individuals or Buddhist groups. Permission is required to publish and distribute this book on any information storage and retrieval system, such as, but not limited to, a blog or website. To request permission to use this book in ways that are not expressly granted here, please contact communication(dot)sravasti(at)gmail(dot)com.