I’ve read quite a few books that try to break down the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism, but truly believe that “Daring Steps…” is one of the most explicit books I’ve read on the subject to date.
The section on empowerments really helped me understand the meaning and purpose behind them, as well as transmission. I’ve received a couple different empowerments, and understood the practices at the time. But, being a noob there were still some questions I always held in the back of my mind.
“Daring Steps…” is a great overview of the three yanas (Shravakayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana) as well. What I liked though, is the fact Ringu Tulku did not try to separate them all. He says they are all dependent and independent of each other, and as crazy as that sounded at the time of reading it, it makes perfect sense now.
I enjoyed the third part of the book, about the Vajrayana, specifically the section on Tantra. It is a commentary on a book by the great Tibetan yogi Do Kyhentse Yeshe Dorje, who was better known as “Crazy Kyentse”. It starts off with a fantastic little story about two men who tried to trick the yogi, suffice to say, they are the one’s who are tricked.
If you are looking for a better understanding of some of the core ideas and teachings, not only of Tibetan Buddhism, but from the Buddha himself this is a worthwhile pick up. Certain parts of the book came at the right time for me, as the questions I had were answered.