Stages of Meditation is a commentary by the Dalai Lama on a rare text by ninth-century Indian Buddhist scholar Kamalashila that was written in Tibet to correct some Chinese misinterpretations of Buddhism that were influential at the time. Khamalashila's short work is not widely known today, but according to the Dalai Lama, it is a most important text, and is worthy of study by those new to Buddhism because "on the basis of this knowledge you will be able to understand other treatises without great difficulty. This text can be like a key that open the door to all other major Buddhist scriptures."
Throughout the program, the Dalai Lama emphasizes the importance of the logical analysis of scriptures, even if they are in the Buddha's own words. Some teachings, he stresses, "should not be taken literally, but need interpretation." And interpretation is what the Dalai Lama gives in this clear and enjoyable commentary, originally given in 1989 and now translated and published for the first time. Included are such familiar Buddhist themes as training the mind, compassion, identifying the nature of suffering, and the practice of calm abiding.
Those who practice meditation, whether Buddhist or not, will find this a thoughtful and practical guide, written with the Dalai Lama's characteristic warmth and gentleness.