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Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet, Mongolia, Tuva, Bhutan, Kalmykia and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, and India (particularly in Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Dharamsala, Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim). It is the state religion of Bhutan. It is also practiced in Mongolia and parts of Russia (Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tuva) and Northeast China. Religious texts and commentaries are contained in the Tibetan Buddhist canon such that Tibetan is a spiritual language of these areas.
The Tibetan diaspora has spread Tibetan Buddhism to many Western countries, where the tradition has gained popularity. Among its prominent exponents is the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The number of its adherents is estimated to be between ten and twenty million.
- Origins 1
- Buddhahood 2
General methods of practice 3
- Transmission and realization 3.1
- Analytic meditation and fixation meditation 3.2
- Devotion to a guru 3.3
- Skepticism 3.4
- Preliminary practices and approach to Vajrayāna 3.5
- Esotericism 3.6
- Native Tibetan developments 4
- Study of tenet systems 5
- Nyingma 6.1
- Kagyu(pa) 6.2
- Sakya 6.3
- Gelug 6.4
- Jonang 6.5
- Bon 6.6
- Monasticism 7
- Tibetan Buddhism in the contemporary world 8
- Glossary of terms used 9
- See also 10
- Notes 11
- References 12
- Further reading 13
- External links 14
Tibetan Buddhism derives from the latest stage of north Indian Buddhism.
Tibetan Buddhism comprises the teachings of the three vehicles of Buddhism: the Foundational Vehicle, Mahāyāna, and Vajrayāna. The Mahāyāna goal of spiritual development is to achieve the enlightenment of buddhahood in order to most efficiently help all other sentient beings attain this state. The motivation in it is the bodhicitta mind of enlightenment — an altruistic intention to become enlightened for the sake of all sentient beings. Bodhisattvas are revered beings who have conceived the will and vow to dedicate their lives with bodhicitta for the sake of all beings. Tibetan Buddhism teaches methods for achieving buddhahood more quickly by including the Vajrayāna path in Mahāyāna.
Buddhahood is defined as a state free of the obstructions to liberation as well as those to omniscience. When one is freed from all mental obscurations, one is said to attain a state of continuous bliss mixed with a simultaneous cognition of emptiness, the true nature of reality. In this state, all limitations on one's ability to help other living beings are removed.
It is said that there are countless beings who have attained buddhahood. Buddhas spontaneously, naturally and continuously perform activities to benefit all sentient beings. However it is believed that one's karma could limit the ability of the Buddhas to help them. Thus, although Buddhas possess no limitation from their side on their ability to help others, sentient beings continue to experience suffering as a result of the limitations of their own former negative actions.
General methods of practice
Transmission and realization
There is a long history of oral transmission of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism. Oral transmissions by lineage holders traditionally can take place in small groups or mass gatherings of listeners and may last for seconds (in the case of a mantra, for example) or months (as in the case of a section of the Tibetan Buddhist canon). A transmission can even occur without actually hearing, as in Asanga's visions of Maitreya.
An emphasis on oral transmission as more important than the printed word derives from the earliest period of Indian Buddhism, when it allowed teachings to be kept from those who should not hear them. Hearing a teaching (transmission) readies the hearer for realization based on it. The person from whom one hears the teaching should have heard it as one link in a succession of listeners going back to the original speaker: the Buddha in the case of a sutra or the author in the case of a book. Then the hearing constitutes an authentic lineage of transmission. Authenticity of the oral lineage is a prerequisite for realization, hence the importance of lineages.
Analytic meditation and fixation meditation
Spontaneous realization on the basis of transmission is possible but rare. Normally an intermediate step is needed in the form of analytic meditation, i.e., thinking about what one has heard. As part of this process, entertaining doubts and engaging in internal debate over them is encouraged in some traditions.
Analytic meditation is just one of two general methods of meditation. When it achieves the quality of realization, one is encouraged to switch to "focused" or "fixation" meditation. In this the mind is stabilized on that realization for periods long enough to gradually habituate it to it.
A person's capacity for analytic meditation can be trained with logic. The capacity for successful focused meditation can be trained through calm abiding. A meditation routine may involve alternating sessions of analytic meditation to achieve deeper levels of realization, and focused meditation to consolidate them. The deepest level of realization is Buddhahood itself.
Devotion to a guru
As in other Buddhist traditions, an attitude of reverence for the teacher, or guru, is also highly prized. At the beginning of a public teaching, a lama will do prostrations to the throne on which he will teach due to its symbolism, or to an image of the Buddha behind that throne, then students will do prostrations to the lama after he is seated. Merit accrues when one's interactions with the teacher are imbued with such reverence in the form of guru devotion, a code of practices governing them that derives from Indian sources. By such things as avoiding disturbance to the peace of mind of one's teacher, and wholeheartedly following his prescriptions, much merit accrues and this can significantly help improve one's practice.
There is a general sense in which any Tibetan Buddhist teacher is called a lama. A student may have taken teachings from many authorities and revere them all as lamas in this general sense. However, he will typically have one held in special esteem as his own root guru and is encouraged to view the other teachers who are less dear to him, however more exalted their status, as embodied in and subsumed by the root guru. Often the teacher the student sees as root guru is simply the one who first introduced him to Buddhism, but a student may also change his personal view of which particular teacher is his root guru any number of times.
Skepticism is an important aspect of Tibetan Buddhism, an attitude of critical skepticism is encouraged to promote abilities in analytic meditation. In favor of skepticism towards Buddhist doctrines in general, Tibetans are fond of quoting sutra to the effect that one should test the Buddha's words as one would the quality of gold.
The opposing principles of skepticism and guru devotion are reconciled with the Tibetan injunction to scrutinize a prospective guru thoroughly before finally adopting him as such without reservation. A Buddhist may study with a lama for decades before finally accepting him as his own guru.
Preliminary practices and approach to Vajrayāna
Vajrayāna is believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be the fastest method for attaining Buddhahood but for unqualified practitioners it can be dangerous. To engage in it one must receive an appropriate initiation (also known as an "empowerment") from a lama who is fully qualified to give it. From the time one has resolved to accept such an initiation, the utmost sustained effort in guru devotion is essential.
The aim of preliminary practices (ngöndro) is to start the student on the correct path for such higher teachings. Just as Sutrayāna preceded Vajrayāna historically in India, so sutra practices constitute those that are preliminary to tantric ones. Preliminary practices include all Sutrayāna activities that yield merit like hearing teachings, prostrations, offerings, prayers and acts of kindness and compassion, but chief among the preliminary practices are realizations through meditation on the three principle stages of the path: renunciation, the altruistic bodhicitta wish to attain enlightenment and the wisdom realizing emptiness. For a person without the basis of these three in particular to practice Vajrayāna can be like a small child trying to ride an unbroken horse.
While the practices of Vajrayāna are not known in Sutrayāna, all Sutrayāna practices are common to Vajrayāna. Without training in the preliminary practices, the ubiquity of allusions to them in Vajrayāna is meaningless and even successful Vajrayāna initiation becomes impossible.
The merit acquired in the preliminary practices facilitates progress in Vajrayāna. While many Buddhists may spend a lifetime exclusively on sutra practices, however, an amalgam of the two to some degree is common. For example, in order to train in calm abiding, one might use a tantric visualisation as the meditation object.
In Vajrayāna particularly, Tibetan Buddhists subscribe to a voluntary code of self-censorship, whereby the uninitiated do not seek and are not provided with information about it. This self-censorship may be applied more or less strictly depending on circumstances such as the material involved. A depiction of a mandala may be less public than that of a deity. That of a higher tantric deity may be less public than that of a lower. The degree to which information on Vajrayāna is now public in western languages is controversial among Tibetan Buddhists.
Buddhism has always had a taste for esotericism since its earliest period in India. Tibetans today maintain greater or lesser degrees of confidentiality also with information on the vinaya and emptiness specifically. In Buddhist teachings generally, too, there is caution about revealing information to people who may be unready for it. Esoteric values in Buddhism have made it at odds with the values of Christian missionary activity, for example in contemporary Mongolia.
Native Tibetan developments
A distinct feature of Tibetan Buddhism is the system of incarnate lamas, but such genuine innovations have been few. A small corpus of extra-canonical scripture, the treasure texts (terma) is acknowledged by some practitioners, but the bulk of the canon that is not commentary was translated from Indian sources. True to its roots in the Pāla system of North India, however, Tibetan Buddhism carries on a tradition of eclectic accumulation and systematisation of diverse Buddhist elements, and pursues their synthesis. Prominent among these achievements have been the Stages of the Path and motivational training.
Study of tenet systems
Tibetan Buddhists practice one or more understandings of the true nature of reality, śūnyatā, or the emptiness of inherent existence of all things. Emptiness is propounded according to four classical Indian schools of philosophical tenets.
Two belong to the older path referred to as the Hinayana:
The primary source for the former is the Abhidharma-kośa of Vasubandhu and its commentaries. The Abhidharmakośa was also an important source for the Sautrāntikas. Dignāga and Dharmakīrti are the most prominent exponents.
The other two are Mahayana:
Yogacārins base their views on texts from Maitreya, Asaṅga and Vasubandhu, Madhyamakas on Nāgārjuna and Āryadeva. There is a further classification of Madhyamaka into Svatantrika and Prasaṅgika. The former stems from Bhāviveka, Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla and the latter from Buddhapālita and Candrakīrti.
The tenet system is used in the monasteries and colleges to teach Buddhist philosophy in a systematic and progressive fashion, each philosophical view being more subtle than its predecessor. Therefore the four schools can be seen as a gradual path from a rather easy-to-grasp, "realistic" philosophical point of view, to more and more complex and subtle views on the ultimate nature of reality, that is on emptiness and dependent arising, culminating in the philosophy of the Mādhyamikas, which is widely believed to present the most sophisticated point of view.
The diagram to the right shows the growth of Tibetan Buddhist traditions. The four main ones overlap markedly, such that "about eighty percent or more of the features of the Tibetan schools are the same". Differences include the use of apparently, but not actually, contradictory terminology, opening dedications of texts to different deities and whether phenomena are described from the viewpoint of an unenlightened practitioner or of a Buddha. On questions of philosophy they have no fundamental differences, according to the Fourteenth Dalai Lama  The Tibetan adjectival suffix -pa is translatable as "-ist" in English.
"The Ancient Ones" are the oldest Buddhist school, the original order founded by Padmasambhāva and Śāntarakṣita. Whereas other schools categorize their teachings into the three yānas or "vehicles", Hinayana, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna, the Nyingma tradition classifies its into Nine Yānas, among the highest of which is Dzogchen. Terma "treasures" (revealed texts) are of particular significance to the Nyingma school.
“Lineage of the (Buddha's) Word”. This is an oral tradition which is very much concerned with the experiential dimension of meditation. Its most famous exponent was Milarepa, an 11th-century mystic. It contains one major and one minor subsect. The first, the Dagpo Kagyu, encompasses those Kagyu schools that trace back to the Indian master Naropa via Marpa Lotsawa, Milarepa and Gampopa and consists of four major sub-sects: the Karma Kagyu, headed by a Karmapa, the Tsalpa Kagyu, the Barom Kagyu, and Pagtru Kagyu. There are a further eight minor sub-sects, all of which trace their root to Pagtru Kagyu and the most notable of which are the Drikung and Drukpa Lineages. The once-obscure Shangpa Kagyu, which was famously represented by the 20th century teacher Kalu Rinpoche, traces its history back to the Indian master Naropa via Niguma, Sukhasiddhi and Kyungpo Naljor.
The "Grey Earth" school represents the scholarly tradition. Headed by the Sakya Trizin, this tradition was founded by Khön Könchok Gyelpo (Wylie: 'khon dkon mchog rgyal po, 1034–1102), a disciple of the great lotsāwa Drogmi Shākya (Wylie: brog mi lo tsā wa ye shes) and traces its lineage to the mahasiddha Virūpa. A renowned exponent, Sakya Pandita (1182–1251CE), was the great-grandson of Khön Könchok Gyelpo.
The "Way of Virtue" school was originally a reformist movement and is known for its emphasis on logic and debate. The order was founded in the 14th to 15th century by Je Tsongkhapa, renowned for both his scholarship and virtue. Its spiritual head is the Ganden Tripa and its temporal one the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is regarded as the embodiment of Avalokiteśvara. Successive Dalai Lamas ruled Tibet from the mid-17th to mid-20th centuries.These first four major schools are sometimes said to constitute the Nyingma "Old Translation" and Sarma "New Translation" traditions, the latter following from the historical Kadam lineage of translations and tantric lineages. Another common but trivial differentiation is into the Yellow Hat (Gelug) and Red Hat (non-Gelug) sects, a division that mirrors the distinction between the schools involved in the Rimé movement versus the one that did not, the Gelug. The correspondences are as follows:
|Old Translation||New Translation||New Translation||New Translation|
|Red Hat||Red Hat||Red Hat||Yellow Hat|
The Jonang is a minor school that branched off from Sakya traditions; it was suppressed in 1650 in Gelug-controlled regions and subsequently banned and its monks and nuns converted to the Gelug school in 1658.
The Jonang re-established their religio-political center in Golok, Nakhi and Mongol areas in Kham and Amdo centered at Dzamthang Monastery and have continued practicing uninterrupted to this day. An estimated 5,000 monks and nuns of the Jonang tradition practice today in these areas and at the edges of historic Gelug influence.
However, their teachings were limited to these regions until the Rimé movement of the 19th century encouraged the study of non-Gelug schools of thought and practice. In modern times has been encouraged to grow by the 14th Dalai Lama, who installed the 9th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu as its head.
Bon is a sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It arose in the eleventh century upward and established its scriptures mainly from termas and visions by tertöns such as Loden Nyingpo. Though Bon terma contain myths of Bon existing before the historical introduction of Buddhism in Tibet, "in truth the 'old religion' was a new religion."
Although there were many householder-yogis in Tibet, monasticism was the foundation of Buddhism in Tibet. There were over 6,000 monasteries in Tibet, however nearly all of these were ransacked and destroyed by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. Most of the major monasteries have been at least partially re-established while, many other ones remain in ruins.
In Mongolia during the 1920s, approximately one third of the male population were monks, though many lived outside monasteries. By the beginning of the 20th century about 750 monasteries were functioning in Mongolia. These monasteries were largely dismantled during Communist rule, but many have been reestablished during the Buddhist revival in Mongolia which followed the fall of Communism.
Monasteries generally adhere to one particular school. Some of the major centers in each tradition are as follows:
Nyingma lineage is said to have "six mother monasteries" each of which has numerous associated branch monasteries:
Kagyu monasteries are mostly in Kham, eastern Tibet. Tsurphu and Ralung are in central Tibet:
- Drigung Monastery — the seat of the Könchog Tenzin Kunzang Thinley Lhundrub
- Palpung Monastery — the seat of the Tai Situpa and Jamgon Kongtrul
- Ralung Monastery — the seat of the Gyalwang Drukpa
- Surmang Monastery — the seat of the Trungpa tülkus
- Tsurphu Monastery — the seat of H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa
Gelug first three centers are also called 'great three' and are near Lhasa:
- Drepung Monastery — the home monastery of the Dalai Lama
- Ganden Monastery — the seat of the Ganden Tripa
- Sera Monastery
- Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse — founded by the first Dalai Lama, now the seat of the Panchen Lama
Jonang main centers of the more than 70 active monasteries:
- Takten Phuntsok Ling Monastery Shimla, gift from the Dalai Lama - seat of Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche 
- Jonang Shimla Monastery - seat of Khenpo Choekyi Nangwa Rinpoche
- Tsangwa Monastery in Dzamthang is one of the largest with home to about 1,500 monks
- Menri, re-founded in Himachal Pradesh - seat of the 33rd abbot Menri Trizin
- Triten Norbutse Monastery in Nepal
- The Redna Menling Nunnery
Other monasteries with particularly important regional influence:
- Mahayana Monastery — the seat of the H.H Kadhampa Dharmaraja (The 25th Atisha Jiangqiu Tilei), Nepal
- Labrang Monastery in eastern Amdo
- Kumbum Jampaling in central Amdo
- Jokhang Temple in Lhasa — said to have been built by King Songtsen Gampo in 647 AD part of the UNESCO Tsangwa
Tibetan Buddhism in the contemporary world
Today, Tibetan Buddhism is adhered to widely in the Tibetan Plateau, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, Kalmykia (on the north-west shore of the Caspian), Siberia and Russian Far East (Tuva and Buryatia). The Indian regions of Sikkim and Ladakh, both formerly independent kingdoms, are also home to significant Tibetan Buddhist populations. In the wake of the Tibetan diaspora, Tibetan Buddhism has gained adherents in the West and throughout the world. Celebrity practitioners include Brandon Boyd, Richard Gere, Adam Yauch, Jet Li, Sharon Stone, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, Mike Barson and Steven Seagal (who has been proclaimed the reincarnation of the tulku Chungdrag Dorje). Fully ordained Tibetan Buddhist Monks also work in academia (see Ven. Alex Bruce ('Tenpa')).
In Buddhism in China (Princeton University Press, 1965), Kenneth Chen proposed the idea that Buddhism adapts itself to its host culture. A more traditional viewpoint is that the Dharma is like a Yak, able to carry the "baggage" of culture and religion of the societies in which it gains hold, thus giving rise to the various "Buddhisms". Within this view the various "adaptations" Buddhism undergoes are actually nothing more than the unloading and reloading of the "Yak of the Dharma" with different local 'baggage'.
"Adaptations" of Buddhism to contemporary Western culture include Tricycle magazine, the modern notion of a dharma center, and Celtic Buddhism. Buddhist author Michaela Haas notes that Tibetan Buddhism is undergoing a sea change in the West. "Of all these changes that we are watching Buddhism undergo in the West, the most momentous may be that women are playing an equal role."
Glossary of terms used
|English||spoken Tibetan||Wylie Tibetan||Sanskrit transliteration|
|analytic meditation||jegom||dpyad-sgom||yauktika dhyāna|
|devotion to the guru||lama-la tenpa||bla-ma-la bsten-pa||guruparyupāsati|
|fixation meditation||joggom||'jog-sgom||nibandhita dhyāna|
|foundational vehicle||t’ek män||theg sman||hīnayāna|
|inherent existence||rangzhingi drubpa||rang-bzhin-gyi grub-pa||svabhāvasiddha|
|mind of enlightenment||changchub sem||byang-chhub sems||bodhicitta|
|motivational training||lojong||blo-sbyong||autsukya dhyāna|
|omniscience||t’amcé k’yempa||thams-cad mkhyen-pa||sarvajña|
|preliminary practices||ngöndro||sngon-'gro||prārambhika kriyāni|
|root guru||zawé lama||rtsa-ba'i bla-ma||mūlaguru|
|stages of the path||lamrim||lam-rim||pātheya|
|transmission and realisation||lungtok||lung-rtogs||āgamādhigama|
- Tibetan Buddhist History
- Derge Parkhang
- Pure Land Buddhism (Tibetan)
- Schools of Buddhism
- Shambhala Buddhism
- Songs of realization
- Tibetan art
- Tibetan prayer wheel
- Tibetan prayer flag
- Tibetan Buddhist teachers (category)
- Traditional Tibetan medicine
- Wrathful deities
- Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy of Karma
- An alternative term, "lamaism", and was used to distinguish Tibetan Buddhism from other buddhism. The term was taken up by western scholars including ). Insofar as it implies a discontinuity between Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, the term has been discredited (Conze, 1993).
- The 2007 U.S. State Department report on religious freedom in Bhutan notes that "Mahayana Buddhism is the state religion..." and that the Bhutanese government supports both the Kagyu and Nyingma sects. State.gov
- Statistics on Religion in America Report -- The 2007 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Survey estimates that although Tibetan Buddhism adherents are less than 0.3 percent of the population, Buddhism has had a 0.5 net increase in reported adherents.
- Adherents.com estimates twenty million for Lamaism (Vajrayana/Tibetan/Tantric).
- Conze, 1993
- Cf. Dhargyey (1978), 111; Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, 533f; Tsong-kha-pa II: 48-9
- Thurman, Robert (1997). Essential Tibetan Buddhism. Castle Books: 291
- Thurman, Robert (1997): 2-3
- Cf. Dhargyey (1978), 64f; Dhargyey (1982), 257f, etc; Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, 364f; Tsong-kha-pa II: 183f. The former are the afflictions, negative states of mind, and the three poisons – desire, anger, and ignorance. The latter are subtle imprints, traces or "stains" of delusion that involves the imagination of inherent existence.
- Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, 152f
- Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, 243, 258
- Hopkins (1996)
- Dhargyey (1978), 61f; Dhargyey (1982), 242-266; Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, 365
- Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, 252f
- Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, 367
- Dhargyey (1978), 74; Dhargyey (1982), 3, 303f; Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, 13f, 280f; Introductory Comparison of Hinayana and MahayanaBerzin, Alexander (2002).
- Conze (1993): 26
- Cf.Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, 66, 212f
- Lama is the literal Tibetan translation of the Sanskrit guru. For a traditional perspective on devotion to the guru, see Tsong-ka-pa I, 77-87. For a current perspective on the guru-disciple relationship in Tibetan Buddhism, see Relating to a Spiritual Teacher: Building a Healthy RelationshipBerzin, Alexander.
- notably, Gurupancasika, Tib.: Lama Ngachupa, Wylie: bla-ma lnga-bcu-pa, “Fifty Verses of Guru-Devotion” by Aśvaghoṣa
- Indian tradition (Cf. Saddharmapundarika Sutra II, 124) encourages the student to view the guru as representative of the Buddha himself.
- "Do not accept my Dharma merely out of respect for me, but analyze and check it the way a goldsmith analyzes gold, by rubbing, cutting and melting it." (Ghanavyuhasutra; sTug-po bkod-pa'i mdo); A Sutra [on Pure Realms] Spread Out in a Dense Array, as quoted in translation in The Berzin Archives. On the same need for skepticism in the satipatthāna tradition of Theravada Buddhism, cf. Nyanaponika Thera (1965), 83. Further on skepticism in Buddhism generally, see the article, Buddhist philosophy.
- Pabonka, p.649
- Kalu Rinpoche (1986), The Gem Ornament of Manifold Instructions. Snow Lion, p. 21.
- Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, 649
- Cf. Conze (1993), 26 and 52f.
- Tib.: tulku, Wylie: sprul-ku
- Conze (1993). Moreover, that even this is a distinctly Tibetan development is disputable. Two centuries before Buddhism was introduced to Tibet, in the fifth century CE, the Abhidharma teacher Buddhaghoṣa was declared by Sri Lankan elders to be a reincarnation of the bodhisattva Maitreya. Introductory Comparison of Hinayana and MahayanaBerzin, Alexander (2002).
- Sopa & Hopkins (1977), 67-69; Hopkins (1996). Non-Tibetan scholars have suggested that historically, Madhyamaka predates Cittamātra, however. Cf. Conze (1993).
- Introductory Comparison of the Five Tibetan Traditions of Buddhism and Bon, http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/study/comparison_buddhist_traditions/tibetan_traditions/intro_compar_5_traditions_buddhism_bon.html Retrieved 31.07.2013
- http://www.rigpawiki.org/The_four_main_schools_of_Tibetan_Buddhism retrieved 31.07.2013
- Berzin. Alexander (2000). Introductory History of the Five Tibetan Traditions of Buddhism and Bon: Berzinarchives.com
- Kagyuoffice.org See section: The Nine Yana Journey
- Gruschke 2001, p.72; and A. Gruschke, "Der Jonang-Orden: Gründe für seinen Niedergang, Voraussetzungen für das Überdauern und aktuelle Lage", in: Henk Blezer (ed.), Tibet, Past and Present. Tibetan Studies I (Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of The IATS, 2000), Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden 2002, pp. 183-214
- Sam van Schaik describes "In fact, the Bonpo religion only started to take shape alongside the revival of Buddhism in the eleventh century." - Tibet: A History. Yale University Press 2011, p. 99.
- Van Schaik, Sam. Tibet: A History. Yale University Press 2011, pages 99-100.
- "Tibetan monks: A controlled life".
- "Mongolia: The Bhudda and the Khan". Orient Magazine.
- Tom Lowenstein (2006). Treasures of the Buddha: The Glories of Sacred Asia. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 207.
- Statement by H.H. Penor Rinpoche Regarding the Recognition of Steven Seagal as a Reincarnation of the Treasure Revealer Chungdrag Dorje of Palyul Monastery
- Bruce A (ed). One World – Many Paths to Peace ANU E-Press 2009 (launched by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama) http://eview.anu.edu.au/one_world/index.php (accessed 11 May 2013)
- "A Female Dalai Lama? Why It Matters".
- Ancient Tibet: Research Materials from The Yeshe De Project. Dharma Publishing, Berkeley, California. ISBN 0-89800-146-3.
- Coleman, Graham, ed. (1993). A Handbook of Tibetan Culture. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.. ISBN 1-57062-002-4.
- Dhargyey, Geshe Ngawang; ed. Alexander Berzin, based on oral trans. by Sharpa Tulku (3rd edn, 1978). Tibetan Tradition of Mental Development. Dharmsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. [A pithy lam-rim by a geshe appointed in 1973 by the Dalai Lama as head of the translation team at the Tibetan Library.]
- Dhargyey, Geshe Ngawang; ed. Alexander Berzin, based on oral trans. by Sharpa Tulku (1982). An Anthology of Well-Spoken Advice on the Graded Paths of the Mind, Vol. I. Dharmsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. [The first part of a more extensive lam-rim by a geshe appointed in 1973 by the Dalai Lama as head of the translation team at the Tibetan Library. The language of this publication is very different from that of the 1978 work by the same lama due to widespread changes in choice of English terminology by the translators.]
- Hill, John E. "Notes on the Dating of Khotanese History." Indo-Iranian Journal, Vol. 13, No. 3 July 1988. To purchase this article see: . An updated version of this article is available for free download (with registration) at: 
- [Definitive treatment of emptiness according to the Prasaṅgika-Madhyamaka school.]
- Mullin, Glenn H. (1998). Living in the Face of Death: The Tibetan Tradition. 2008 reprint: Snow Lion Publications, Ithica, New York. ISBN 978-1-55939-310-2.
- [This famous lam-rim text was written from notes on an extended discourse by the Gelugpa geshe, Pabongka Rinpoche in 1921 and translated through extensive consultation with Achok Rinpoche (Library of Tibetan Works and Archives).]
- Powers, John. History as Propaganda: Tibetan Exiles versus the People's Republic of China (2004) Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-517426-7
- Ringu Tulku. The Ri-Me Philosophy of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great: A Study of the Buddhist Lineages of Tibet. Shambhala.
- Smith, E. Gene (2001). Among Tibetan Texts: History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-179-3
- Sopa, Geshe Lhundup; Jeffrey Hopkins (1977). Practice and Theory of Tibetan Buddhism. New Delhi: B.I. Publications. [Part Two of this book, ‘’Theory: Systems of Tenets’’ is an annotated translation of ‘’Precious Garland of Tenets (Grub-mtha’ rin-chhen phreng-ba)’’ by Kön-chok-jik-may-wang-po (1728-1791).]
The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment
- Wallace, B. Alan (1999), "The Buddhist Tradition of Samatha: Methods for Refining and Examining Consciousness", Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (2-3): 175-187 .
- Introductory books
- Wallace, B. Alan (October 25, 1993). Tibetan Buddhism From the Ground Up: A Practical Approach for Modern Life. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-075-4, ISBN 978-0-86171-075-1
- Yeshe, Lama Thubten (2001). "The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism". Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. ISBN 1-891868-08-X
- Other books
- Coleman, Graham, ed. (1993). A Handbook of Tibetan Culture. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.. ISBN 1-57062-002-4.
- Smith, E. Gene (2001). Among Tibetan Texts: History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-179-3
Student film about Tibetan Monks studying at Emory University 
- Tibetan Buddhism at DMOZ
- Buddhist Meditation Traditions in Tibet: The Union of Three Vehicles by Georgios T. Halkias
- LamRim.com — Tibetan Buddhist Internet Radio
- The Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library
- The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center
- the Tibetan bibliography database
- Tibetan Buddhism in the West by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
- Songtsen — The rescue and preservation of Tibet's cultural and spiritual traditions
- Famous Monasteries of Tibet
- Tibetan Buddhism: History and the Four Traditions
- The extensive archives of teachings from Alexander Berzin
- Lotsawa House | Tibetan Buddhist Texts | Translations
- Tibetan Rimé Text Library — Buddhist Text Library of all traditions
- Tibetan Buddhism Forums
- A Day In The Life Of A Tibetan Monk - article and slideshow by National Geographic
- Tibetan Buddhist Practice eCalendar
- Karma Kagyü Calendar