Books by Lama Ole Nydahl

Introductory reading


The Way Things Are

A living approach to Buddhism for today's world

240 pages
O Books Publishing (2008)
ISBN: 978-1-84694-042-2

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Years of travel and search for adventure matured in 1968 when Hannah and Ole Nydahl met the great Tibetan lamas in Nepal. Having fled south into India during the Communist Chinese occupation of their country and facing the loss of their timeless wisdom, these masters of meditation readily imparted to the eager Danes the view of the Great Seal Mahamudra and the methods of Diamond Way Buddhism. Trained in the Himalayas until the autumn of 1972, the Nydahls were first directed by the great Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche and then adopted by Tibet's first incarnate lama, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, who asked them to work in the West. Since then they have traveled around the world twice a year, with Lama Ole teaching nearly every night. They have written half a dozen books, translated into over twenty languages. To date they have founded, with the help of their countless students and friends, over 630 meditation centers for the lay Diamond Way Buddhist Karma Kagyu lineage. Until her death in 2007, Hannah also organized study courses of traditional learning and Tibetan translations under the spiritual guidance of the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje and Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche.

“Lama Ole Nydahl is one of the closest disciples of my predecessor and a qualified teacher who transmits the flawless teachings of the Karma Kagyu lineage. Through his activity over the last three decades, he has benefited many by presenting the profound methods of the Buddha, and the Diamond Way is one of the many methods relevant to people in the West.”

Trinlay Thaye Dorje, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa


Buddha and Love

Timeless Wisdom for Modern Relationships
336 pages
Brio Books (May 15, 2012)
ISBN: 978-1937061845

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Buddha & Love: timeless wisdom for modern relationships explains how a Buddhist approach to relationships can help us to relax our minds, break bad habits, and use relationships to grow ourselves and benefit everyone around us. Unafraid of taboo topics, and free from sappy clichés and political correctness, Buddha & Love provides both women and men with practical advice on how to love better.

Read an excerpt from the book and watch an interview with author Lama Ole Nydahl on the official site for the book Buddha and Love.


Fearless Death

Buddhist Wisdom on the Art of Dying
288 pages
Diamond Way Press (May 1, 2013)
ISBN: 978-0975295410

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Fearless Death: Buddhist Wisdom on the Art of Dying explains the process of death and dying, which is often surrounded by mystery, fear, and confusion, in a clear and supremely helpful way. From the Buddhist point of view, death is a transition and an opportunity to realize the true nature of one’s mind: limitless freedom and joy.

Read extracts from the book and an interview with the author, and watch videos of Lama Ole Nydahl explaining different aspects of death and dying on the official website of the Fearless Death book.

Advanced reading


The Great Seal

Limitless Space & Joy: The Mahamudra View of Diamond Way Buddhism

242 pages
Firewheel Publishing (2004)
ISBN 0-975-2954-0-3

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The Great Seal Limitless Space & Joy The Mahamudra View of Diamond Way Buddhism Lama Ole Nydahl’s refreshing and modern commentary to this classic Buddhist text about the nature of mind makes these teachings accessible to many people. The Great Seal describes our basis for development, the path, and the goal of Diamond Way Buddhism and offers insight into both the conditioned world and absolute reality. The Great Seal, or Mahamudra view, is compared to painting on water. Everything fits perfectly in the moment, yet while it appears it is also dissolving. Enlightened actions work in the same way: here and now, beyond expectations or fears, without holding on or pushing away.


Rogues in Robes

An Inside Chronicle of a Recent Chinese-Tibetan Intrigue in the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Diamond Way Buddhism

by Tomek Lehnert
334 pages
Blue Dolphin Publishing (June 28, 2011)
ISBN 1-577-3302-6-9

When the 16th Karmapa died in 1981, the search for his new incarnation and successor soon began. This is the story of the politics and intrigue involved in finding him, not a simple task as it turned out, as told by a western student of Lama Ole Nydahl.

Bringing Buddhism to the West


Entering the Diamond Way

Tibetan Buddhism Meets The West

251 pages
Blue Dolphin Publishing (1999)
ISBN 0-931892-03-1

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A perfect book to introduce Westerners to Tibetan Buddhism. This is the genuinely compelling story, and spiritual odyssey, of Ole and Hannah Nydahl, who in 1968 became the first Western students of the great Tibetan master, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. Their exciting travels on the worn path between the green lowlands of Europe to the peaks of the Himalayas, led them to experience the skillful teachings of numerous Tibetan lamas who helped transform their lives into “limitless clarity and joy.” From their first contact with Tibetan Buddhism in Kathmandu in the form of a lama with extraordinary psychic powers, Ole and Hannah encountered the full spectrum of the Buddhist “view.” Their aim in writing this book was “to form a bridge between two worlds, and especially to share with all who are looking for their true being ... an introduction to a time-proven way to Enlightenment.”

“One cannot really transmit anything, except what one has directly experienced, and the reason many of you will be able to identify with what happened to us is that, deep within, we are so very much alike.”


Riding the Tiger

Twenty Years on the Road- Risks and Joys of Bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West

512 pages
Blue Dolphin Publishing (1992)
ISBN 0-931892-67-8

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“My recipe is simple: tell people the necessity of finding something which can carry them through sickness, aging, and death, and don't be afraid to give them a glimpse of your joy of life. Tell people that the mind is like space: open, clear and limitless, and talk about both the way and the goal.”

In 1969 Ole and Hannah Nydahl became the first Western students of H.H. the Karmapa, the head of the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. After years of practice in the Himalayas, he authorized them to teach and start centers in his name. An audience with the Queen of Denmark started their work in the West. A basement in historical Copenhagen became the first Tibetan Buddhist center on the European continent, and a rusted-through VW-bus with race-car qualities got them everywhere. Riding the Tiger is the inside story of the development of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

In his refreshingly unsentimental style, Lama Ole shows all aspects of the work. With breathtaking intensity, he highlights both healthy and unhealthy tendencies in the light of the Buddha's ultimate aim: to bring about the fully developed beings whose every activity blesses the world.

Questions to Lama Ole

Questions to Lama Ole

A compilation of Lama Ole Nydahl’s answers to questions asked in his lectures over the years.

Special Moments

Gallery: East meets West

Lama Ole Nydahl's international activity preserved in pictures, focused on his cooperative work with Asian Buddhist teachers.

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