Sakya Pandita's parables, aphorisms, and stories have been a staple of Tibetan culture for a thousand years. This collection of wise sayings was written primarily for lay people. Sakya Trizin, a Tibetan cleric, calls it "a definitive guide to ethical conduct in everyday life." It offers good advice on achievement and failure, anger and kindness, deceit and desire, intelligence and foolishness, excellence and coarseness, generosity and greed.

Here's an example: "Inability to tolerate / The good fortune of others / Destroys one's own good fortune; / Therefore, eradicate jealous feelings." This is the kind of character education we need in today's schools and businesses. It was thoroughly ingrained in the Tibetan way of life. Here's another sample on positive qualities: "The supreme wealth is generosity; / The supreme happiness is a joyous mind; / The supreme ornament is learning; / And the supreme friend is an undeceitful person."

These are just two of the philosophical gems in this treasure trove of Buddhist wisdom. There are also soul-stretching pieces on wealth, contentment, leadership, impatience, and spiritual progress.