The Buddha gave teachings
in order to share with us the path to enlightenment that he
had actualized himself. These teachings are practical, give
us the tools to deal with difficulties, and show us how to
live a meaningful life.
Noble Truths and the Noble
Eight-fold Path are one way of formulating these teachings.
The Gradual Path to Enlightenment
is another. These two are compatible, and knowing both enables
us to look at the same thing from different perspectives.
In the early eleventh century, the Indian Buddhist master,
Atisha condensed essential points from the sutras and ordered
them into the text, "Lamp of
the Path". These were then expanded upon in the
fourteenth century by the Tibetan Buddhist master, Lama Tzong
Khapa into the text "The Great
Exposition on the Gradual Path to Enlightenment"
("Lam Rim Chenmo").
Venerable Chodron comments on this text and relates these
practical teachings to our daily lives.