Unlike most books by the Dalai Lama which are edited compilations of talks he has given, this book consists of two texts that he himself wrote and two that he chose - all especially aimed at helping Western readers become better grounded in Buddhism. He wrote The Buddhism of Tibet and The Key to the Middle Way sections to explain the principle topics and central practices of Buddhism. He chose The Precious Garland by Nagarjuna and The Song of the Four Mindfulnesses by the Seventh Dalai Lama for their treatment of the bodhisattva path, the necessity of developing positive karma, and for their explanation of emptiness and tantra.
"His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is considered the foremost Buddhist leader of our time. The exiled spiritual head of the Tibetan people, he is a Nobel Peace Laureate, a Congressional Gold Medal recipient, and a remarkable teacher and scholar who has authored over one hundred books."