This paperback is the fifth and final book in "Simple" series by C. Alexander and Annellen Simpkins, following volumes on Buddhism, Zen, Taoism, and Confucianism. This one presents three aspects of Tibetan Buddhism an overview of its background and development, a look at the important themes, and an opportunity for the reader to try out some exercises that practitioners have found helpful and salutary over the centuries.
Tibetan Buddhism, according to the authors, "offers a path to enlightenment. This path involves an inner transformation. Change begins within our own minds and brings about an intuitive understanding of the nature of the universe. Enlightenment brings great wisdom, but it also brings a deep feeling of compassion and caring for others. These two qualities of enlightenment wisdom and compassion bring satisfying happiness."
With a succinctness and clarity that is a trademark of their work, the Simpkinses discuss some of the most important spiritual practices of Tibetan Buddhism: yoga, used to focus awareness; mantra, used to attune consciousness; and mandala, used to "crystallize and diagram the unconscious." They also examine "dakinis," female deities whose wisdom complements male insights and the Tibetan Book of the Dead where life, birth, and death are all viewed as part of one continuum. They conclude with an analysis of Tibetan Buddhist art, which reflects the inner mind and the Dalai Lama's interest in exploring the link between science and spirituality.