Tibetan meditation master Kalu Rinpoche (1905-1989) presents the foundations of Tibetan Buddhism, noting that attaining enlightenment is like building a house out of bricks, wood, cement, and labor. The basic building blocks are taking refuge, prostrations, Dorje Sempa purification meditation, mandala practice, guru yoga practice, and the guru-disciple relationship. He also discusses the vows of the lay person, the bodhisattva, and the tantric practitioner. This spiritual teacher, who was sent on a teaching journey to the West in 1971, founded numerous dharma and retreat centers in France, Sweden, Canada, and the United States.

In one of the many stories that punctuate his teachings, Kalu Rinpoche recounts how the Buddha established four monastic rules: not to take life, not to lie, not to have sexual activity, and not to steal. There was nothing said about intoxication until one monk visited a woman's home for a midday meal. She said to him, now that I have you here I'm not going to let you go until you either have sex with me, or kill the goat that I have in my yard, or drink this bottle of alcohol. Knowing the prohibitions against having sex and killing, he chose the alcohol. But unfortunately he became so drunk that he ended up having sex with the woman and killing the animal anyway. It was at that point that the Buddha instructed all monks to avoid the use of intoxicants, because there was the danger of robbing the mind of clarity and giving rise to further problems.