Read Becoming Enlightened by Dalai Lama XIV Jeffrey Hopkins Online

becoming-enlightened

In Becoming Enlightened, His Holiness the Dalai Lama powerfully explores the foundation of Buddhism, laying out an accessible and practical approach to age-old questions: How can we live free from suffering? How can we achieve lasting happiness and peace? Drawing from traditional Buddhist meditative practices as well as penetrating examples from today's troubled planet, hIn Becoming Enlightened, His Holiness the Dalai Lama powerfully explores the foundation of Buddhism, laying out an accessible and practical approach to age-old questions: How can we live free from suffering? How can we achieve lasting happiness and peace? Drawing from traditional Buddhist meditative practices as well as penetrating examples from today's troubled planet, he presents step-by-step exercises designed to expand the reader's capacity for spiritual growth, along with clear milestones to mark the reader's progress. By following the spiritual practices outlined in Becoming Enlightened, we can learn how to replace troublesome feelings with positive attitudes and embark on a path to achieving an exalted state -- within ourselves and within the larger world. Full of personal anecdotes and intimate accounts of the Dalai Lama's experiences as a lifelong student, thinker, political leader, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Becoming Enlightened gives readers all the wisdom, support, guidance, and inspiration they need to become successful and fulfilled in their spiritual lives. This is a remarkable and empowering book that can be read and enjoyed by seekers of all faiths. Readers at every stage of their spiritual development will be captivated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's loving and direct teaching style....

Title : Becoming Enlightened
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416565833
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Becoming Enlightened Reviews

  • Ann
    2018-11-15 13:23

    In Becoming Enlightened, His Holiness the Dalai Lama powerfully explores the foundation of Buddhism, laying out an accessible and practical approach to age-old questions: How can we live free from suffering? How can we achieve lasting happiness and peace?Dalai Lama says that all religions are valid and each is suited well for a different group of people. It says Buddhists should never go around trying to convert others. Buddhism is not better than other religions. Each religion is a path, each one promotes peace, compassion and charity.Time is precious, don't waste it by hurrying to do things. Instead meditate daily, to give yourself some calm, quiet time. You should try to bring under control your lust for objects and people. Learn to be content with what you have, to appreciate what you already own.Focus on appreciating yourself and others. People pray all the time for more money, better health, a better job, etc. - but rarely do they simply focus on being content NOW. In fact, if people relaxed and were content with they had now, they would be healthier and happier now.

  • Terence
    2018-11-17 21:18

    The best vacation I've ever had was the three weeks I spent in Nepal in 1995 or '96. I was lucky. The military junta had been overthrown but the Communist insurgency hadn't begun; the Nepalese were enjoying what turned out to be an all-too-brief peace. Of those 21 days, the best of the best were the eleven I spent at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery north of Kathmandu. I've always had an intellectual interest in Buddhism, and my week and a half of direct exposure to people who were living a version of it made a lasting impression. Fifteen years later, I find that my cast of mind becomes increasingly Buddhist-like. Not to the point of converting - the faith-based assumptions of the various Buddhisms prevent that - but to the point that the four noble truths, the eight-fold path and its universal compassion and my own actions and opinions look much alike.Becoming Enlightened is not for the already practicing Buddhist or for someone seriously committed to becoming one (except to the extent that it might be useful as a quick reference to doctrine as they become more familiar with actual scripture). Though some Buddhist authorities - Nagarjuna, Shantideva, Aryadeva, among others - are quoted, there is not in-depth discussion of any of them or their doctrines. Instead, I think, His Holiness attempts to speak to the curious nonbeliever, explaining the whats and whys of Buddhism (of course, I doubt he'd be unhappy to pick up a convert along the way). Unfortunately, it makes the bulk of the book (200 pages of 250+) potentially irrelevant as it lays out the program a Buddhist should follow. Yet even if you don't accept reincarnation, the illusory nature of perception, the wisdom of extinguishing the self, or the reality of nirvana, the moral and social consequences that flow from these beliefs are worth considering - indeed, implementing, IMO.The first six chapters, then, were the most interesting to me - "A Book About Enlightenmnet", "Comparing Religions", "The Buddhist Framework", "Practicing Buddhism", "Knowing the Qualifications of a Teacher", and "Buddhism in India and Tibet". Three of the most attractive features of the religion are its rationality, its inclusiveness and its morality.An example of that rationality is His Holiness' insistence that every teaching of the Buddha as well as subsequent gurus be able to withstand analysis and reflection. In short, doubt should be the initial reaction of the student to anything they hear. If it can't endure examination, the teaching must be a "wrong view" (more on this below). Another example (and one fundamentalists of any stripe should pay attention to) is the correct interpretation of scriptures. The sacred writings of any faith are guidelines that - if truly inspired - cannot be wrong. If reason, science or experience show that a valid teaching cannot be literally true, don't deny reality or abandon scripture but understand it in another way. There's a variety of scriptures because there's a variety of human experiences and understandings. Validity depends upon implementing a scripture to good effect. If it results in continuing the cycle of suffering, then it cannot be "true" in any sense.Buddhism's inclusiveness is reflected in the Dalai Lama's belief that any teaching that promotes compassion and altruism has some worth. Different minds understand the Four Noble Truths differently; no one should be pushed into understanding more than they can handle. He explicitly says that Christians, Muslims and others should try to understand via their own faiths; this book is not meant as a call to conversion. (If the teaching's valid, it will eventually bring you to the place the Buddha arrived at, afterall.)In the final matter of morality, as I reflected on "what I learned from this book" - and what has made it loom larger in my thoughts than it might otherwise have done - I came to the realization of how inhumane we as a society are. As individuals and concerned groups/congregations, most people are pretty good. Not saints but neither sociopathic libertarians when they take the time to reflect on others' situations. It's as a so-called civilization that we're failing. Consider the ten nonvirtues that should be avoided. It seems modern society perversely elevates many, if not all, as virtues:1. Killing: Wrong under any circumstances, though the details and intent of a death are important. The sheer scale of celebrated murder in the name of state, faith, corporation or for the convenience of low-priced hamburgers beggars the imagination on this one.2. Stealing: As a society we idolize the accumulation of "things," which fosters covetousness (nonvirtue #8, see below).3. Sexual misconduct: A tricky concept that the Dalai Lama avoids discussing in much detail but it includes possessive desire.4. Lying: I don't know that we've enshrined lying as such as a virtue yet but insofar as it's necessary to justify what we have made virtuous, our society tends to practice it to perfection.5-7. Divisive talk, harsh speech & senseless chatter: Following these injunctions would eliminate 99.9% of what we hear in the media and what passes for entertainment today.8. Covetousness9. Harmful intent10. Wrong views: Another nebulous concept but one that includes beliefs that promote selfishness or any of the other nonvirtues (Objectivism just went out the window).I don't want to preach, however. As the Dalai Lama argues, a rational, unbiased person who contemplates existence will come to recognize the effects of nonvirtuous conduct and belief and will cultivate their opposites.

  • Rod
    2018-12-03 13:40

    This was way too much fun - in a nasty way! Here goes:Because of this book I now know about hungry ghosts, gods and demi-gods, HELL-beings??? and lama's. And here I was thinking that Buddhists are intellectual philosopher's that aren't really religious. (just kidding!) And yet they claim LOVE has priority. Says WHO?I picked this book up because of the retarded comment on the back:"It is very important to value all religious systems...since all religions share these goals, it is important to respect them and value their contributions."Well that just proves that the Dalai Lama is not even a beginner at theology and world religions - he's a Moron. Now look at the world around us: Do religions represent a good attitude towards others based on patience, love, compassion, contentment??? After reading this book I think even Buddhism lies about these issues. Here's why:It keeps discussing sexual misconduct without carefully explaining what it is. Does the Cosmic oneness even care? Why? How? When was this law officially declared to the human race? Who is incharge of Karma? How? Why? Does Karma care? Says WHO? Where do Hell-beings fit into all this foolishness?So how does this Buddhistic Enlightened force declare something official: like women's rights? Look at page 105. The total Holiness Dalai Lama boy acts like a coward and leaves the fate of women nuns in the hands of others rather than declare a full ordination be restored. What is his source on any of this? Says WHO? Did the Cosmic (?whatever?) not leave specific early instructions?And that is my biggest problem with Buddhism: What is it's source for anything? Did Buddha write a book? Did his closest friends and followers of his day? What were the enlightened beliefs for a few thousand years before him? Says who? I honestly think they just make this stuff up as they go along - and a few million easily buy into it - while attempting to carefully place the blame on the Guru's before them.It came to me while reading this babble that you can take this approach and make anything cosmic enlightenment. Here's how:Flood the market with endless philosophical discussions about the meaning of nothingness based on what we see around us - and throw in little bits of truths. For instance:The religion of the great Peanut Butter Sandwich. How do we know this is GREAT? Because it is - it tells us everything...we just need to see it clearly. The sandwich represents all our desires and struggles. Corners of the bread guide us to truth and ever changing oneness of the sandwich. The jelly has sweetness, but along with the peanut butter we have a connection that cannot be denied. We can oneday become ONE with the sandwich - if we eat it! But then the sandwich and us are one, yet the sandwich ceases to be seen. We must take the sandwich to another in symbolism. We must NOT worship ourselves, but the sandwich that came before us. How do we know all this CRAP? Because there's a room full of writings that tell us. Why do we trust them? Because...? How do we test this teaching... we see that it meets our greatest desires and sufferings. With hunger we long for the sandwich. It offers temporary fulfillment - and yet guides us slowly to eternal fulfillment if we focus on ONLY THE SANDWICH. Says "the sandwich".I could on like this for months. Create some monasteries and teach disciples this crap for years. It's easy. Pseudo-psychology. Then of course - ALL RELIGIONS point to this Peanut Butter Sandwich. Jesus' wishes he had this peanut-butter sandwich: but fish and bread were all he could manage - for he had not yet achieved full enlightenment.My first problem with Buddhism is Buddha himself. He had a wife and a child - and he wondered off to find enlightenment. Do you know what that tells us? He was a horrible Father, husband, a deadbeat dad who was only thinking of himself - and then he stumbles across enlightenment? How many times have we heard that story from drunk guys at the pub who should really be home with their families???This is really just humanistic altruistic philosophy wrapped up in oppressive religion. Satan is proud. Well done! Buddhism does not claim too need a savior - and it offers NONE. It even dismisses what Jesus has done for us on the cross. I have alot more I could say about this book - but I doubt many want to hear it. That's enough fun for now.WARNING:I accidentally became enlightened while reading this crap. What a wonderful experience - I now have the cosmic answers to life, the Universe and everything - except they all came from the Bible that was nearby.

  • Thomas
    2018-11-17 14:19

    To my surprise and regret I find that I'm not yet enlightened after reading this book. No fifth star for you! Of course it isn't that easy. The Dalai Lama describes three stages or levels of practice in detail, and in the course of 200 pages covers most of the major tenets and history of the Buddhism. He repeats key points and phrases so that the text at times reads like Buddhist scripture, but they are points that bear repeating and re-reading and deep thought. He mentions toward the beginning of the book that most people who come from other faiths would probably be better off concentrating on their own traditions rather than dabbling in Buddhism. (He points out that the principle of dependent arising, which is central to Buddhist thinking, is completely at odds with a belief in a Creator God, and it sounds like he's tired of talking about emptiness with Westerners who have read Zen for Dummies but haven't thought seriously about the consequences of emptiness.) So there's nothing watered down here. The language is straight forward and the approach is practical, but there's nothing easy about it.

  • JoJoTheModern
    2018-11-27 20:37

    With no illusions about becoming a Tibetan Buddhist, I humbly review this book.The Dalai Lama put together something excellent in Becoming Enlightened, a treasury of wisdom both ancient and set to the tune of modern science. Eschewing deeper philosophy for practical basics, one of the contemporary era's most respected religious leaders explains how anyone who wants it can taste a dash of Tibetan Buddhism's peace and compassion for humankind."Once when I visited Canada, several Christian demonstrators carried signs saying they had nothing against me personally but that my philosophy was heretical. In Sweden, as I left my car one day I encountered a man carrying a sign. I put my palms together in a gesture of greeting, and he did the same. A journalist took a picture, which appeared in the newspaper the next day, celebrating that both the demonstrator and the object of demonstration were paying respect to each other. That indeed is how it should be, although I have to admit that I had not noticed that he was demonstrating against my views!" - from Chapter 2, "Comparing Religions"That pretty much says it all right there, peace and compassion-wise. It's catching.Becoming Enlightened introduces readers to simple yet valuable concepts, like the fact that being human, capable of reason, and free to practice religion is a situation both rare and highly favorable in a world where countless beings are born less privileged. For this reason, and because this situation is (no matter how we slice it) temporary, irrevocably temporary, it would behoove us and all around us to not procrastinate- if we want to adopt a spiritual practice, we had better do it. It's quite a kick in the butt without a whiff of hellfire and/or brimstone. The Dalai Lama also doesn't shy away from ideas specific to his own religious practice, which means the reader may find themselves googling "hungry ghosts", and cringing at a picture of their worst enemy nursing their infant selves in a past life. "Hence in the cyclic existence of birth and death you may have been born in any place with any type of body.... Thus there is no saying that any particular being has not taken care of you in the past or will not do so in the future." Go ahead, picture the person you hate most changing your diaper. I'll wait.The meditation is supposed to make you feel more well disposed towards even your worst enemy. It grossed me out, but again, I have no illusions about becoming a Tibetan Buddhist. This book pretty much dispelled any notions I may have had about that.It may be a sign of weakness; it may be stubbornness or rebellion; but I politely and personally reject the steps to enlightenment as counted by the Dalai Lama. I am not saying he is wrong. I am saying that to attempt to live such a life would be "pushing the river", as Taoists say- unnatural for me, miserable.It may be virtuous to approach all members of the human race with an unbiased compassion for all, refusing attachment to one's intimates and blessing friend and foe in equal measure. It may be logical to detach oneself from the world's pleasures, material and ineffable, because they only lead to pain on some level, eventually, certainly. Perhaps there is no "I", which also means there is no "you".But with all due respect to a man who has dedicated his life to the service of his fellow beings (and if his beliefs are to be believed, he has dedicated many many MANY lives to this endeavor), I can't live that way. My loved ones and friends cannot be blended into the crowd. I am temporary, pleasures are temporary, and suffering is *also* temporary, with pleasures sweetened by their precious state; life is what it is and it can't be anything else, and it is a pleasure itself to love life for itself. I could get by with no sense of "I", but I couldn't go on without "you".Kind of exasperating for the Dalai Lama, I guess. He keeps being reborn specifically to instruct others on the Way to enlightenment. I'm not helping, am I?I feel like apologizing.Sorry.But none of this means I didn't learn. There are important teachings in this book. I want to cultivate love. I want to make the best use of my fortunate situation. I want to serve others as well, as exasperating as it may be. Becoming Enlightened is a great help for one who seeks truth in spiritual things. Hopefully, that will make up for my shortcomings. At least in this life.

  • Kevin
    2018-12-04 17:20

    Not sure this fits into his usual "Art of Happiness" handbooks style. It seemed to be heavy on the reincarnation and religious side of Buddhism aspects. Although it did have a few of the expected, tasty, enlightened nuggets of wisdom that only bald people wearing pajamas can really provide. Instead of taking a lot of the non-religous-specific advice to heart, I found myself thinking more often than not, "Yep, this is why I'm not officially a Buddhist." (Hint: it's not because I don't like wearing pajamas in the day or shaving my head). When he's focusing on karma, on rebirth, or the "fact" of past lives, etc., he kinda loses me.Some of the stronger points of the book were his discussions about how nothing is inherently a certain way (everything is based on a perspective which is subject to moods, emotions, time, etc), the Four Noble Truths, the need to contemplate death now (not just when you are about to die), and the attachment issues we all have (Oprah is helping me with mine though, oh sweet closure!)

  • Carmen Micsa
    2018-12-01 19:34

    I have read most of his books, and they are, of course, filled with divine wisdom and graciousness. I enjoyed listening to this book, although he repeated some of the key conpcepts, such as the noble truths, and so on. One of his key concepts is loving and cherishing others before we cherish ourselves, which I think it's the leitmotif of the book well-worth repeating, as we constantly seem to forget these simple and noble truths. Being selfless is also a recurrent theme in the book, which even though it's repeated so much throughout the book, it serves the purpose of raising self-awareness to our absent-minded nature. It also points out that we need to spend more time to develope our inner strength, such as altruistic love, patience, character, inner peace, or what Erkardt Tolle calls inner space.Overall a good read, which inspires and challenges our intellectual lives amidst the ordinary turmoil and fleetingness of life.

  • Maritily
    2018-12-15 16:28

    Practice avoiding the 10 nonvirtues:3 main physical nonvirtues: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct4 main verbal nonvirtues: lying, divisive talk, harsh speech, senseless chatter3 main mental nonvirtues: covetousness, harmful intent, wrong viewsThis alone makes the book worth reading.

  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    2018-12-06 18:22

    I am not a buddhist but I like to pretend to be, no really.. this book is interesting so far. Some of it is hard to wrap my mind around, and while I don't quite follow most of the Dalai Lama's beliefs, I respect them and feel enlighted just reading.

  • Rrrrrron
    2018-11-20 15:15

    I liked buddism a lot more before reading this book.

  • Patrick
    2018-11-22 16:18

    This one may have convinced me to become vegetarian.

  • Carrie
    2018-11-29 21:41

    Much more specific than the last dali lama book I read which was sort of pop psychology or something, this is very specific explanation of the buddhist belief and the steps laid out to enlightenment.

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-25 21:22

    I came to this book already having a pretty solid familiarity with Buddhism. The book's a bit dry and academic, so I can see how it would be difficult for a lot of people. If you really listen (I had the audiobook; if reading, then the word would be "focus") and think about what he's saying, you will get a good sense of the Tibetan branch of Buddhism; this Dalai Lama has really embraced science and reason and it shows, though there are definitely difficulties that come with bringing the language and culture gaps for western audiences. Personally, I think Buddhism makes a lot more sense than many other religions I'm aware of, but your mileage is sure to vary, and that's okay. We all need to find what works best for us to achieve the goals of a contented self and a contented world.

  • Ben Tipper
    2018-12-11 14:40

    I thought this book was well targeted at an American audience. I can’t judge it too much, because I didn’t get too far into it. It wasn’t very exciting and I didn’t feel like I was gaining much from it unfortunately. I do appreciate the additional research on Buddhism that this book inspired me to do. I haven’t read any of the Dalia Lama’s other works, but I have a feeling there may be better ones, or at least better Buddhism resources out there, than this one.

  • Caran-marie
    2018-11-22 15:35

    Enlightened now!

  • Ha
    2018-11-27 18:34

    đọc xong rồi mới thấy đúng là untamed mind rất khó để tame.Khi có chuyện bực mình muốn xả - là tạo ra lực hấp dẫn để nhiều chuyện bực mình kéo đến nhiều hơn. Và để thuần hoá tâm trí ko quá tập trung vào những chuyện bực mình, những cảm xúc tiêu cực mà là những niềm vui, may mắn, yêu thương, tế nhị mà đầy quan tâm và trân trọng những cử chỉ nhỏ nhặt nhất - ko hề dễ dàng.Cũng như việc luôn biết ơn những người xung quanh, ngay cả những người gây khó khăn đau khổ cho mình - nói theo kiểu nhà Phật là họ tạo cơ hội cho mình trả nghiệp xưa kia, nói theo kiểu tu hành là họ tạo cơ hội để mình rèn tâm thế an nhiên tự tại trước mọi tình huống, rèn tâm luôn từ bi hỉ xả trước bất kể thị phi nào - để nhìn rõ chân tướng sự vật, ko bị tham sân si che mờ đôi mắt - không hề dễ dàng.Đường còn dài, anh lang thang, ôi chao...

  • Jeannie Mancini
    2018-12-15 15:32

    Tibet is famous throughout the Buddhist world for introducing in layman’s terms, the practice of enlightenment. The Dalai Lama shows us in a comprehensive yet simplistic way, the practical methods of learning to cope with daily stress from the complexity of today’s society, and the benefits these practices can reap once the ancient art of enlightenment is achieved. In this short but concise book, he outlines practical ways to end our suffering through promoting kindness & tolerance, and by putting an end to the many actions that can cause our emotions to spin out of control. He displays candidly how we all get stuck by not taking time to use logic & reason, or to meditate when we become mired in the mud of our problems. Our behavior can often hurt our lives and those around us that we love when we don’t take proper time to evaluate situations that are escalating out of control, or when we become so caught up in our own traumas we forget other people in our lives.He teaches us to shift away from tunnel-visioning and narrow mindedness to a more ‘big picture’ awareness. He asks us to be more in-tuned to the heartache and suffering of others around us, to extend more kindness with a listening ear that will support our loved ones in times of need, versus allowing ourselves to focus on our own lives, egos, and personal gains or successes. The act of caring and sharing that will ensure a path to a more calmer life, is the pervasive theme here in this thought provoking book. The Dalai Lama approaches the reader with a step by step plan that introduces us to the basics of the Buddhist practice of enlightenment by discussing the topics of religion, death and dying, altruism, karma, acts of compassion, and of the ways we create our own suffering through repeated behavior that is not beneficial. Many chapters detail the Dalai Lama’s perceptive and personal views on how people today need to embrace & cherish other races, cultures, and religious diversity. Changing our behavior to show more respect & patience towards the unfamiliar, and welcoming unknown philosophies including other people’s attitudes on life, love & the pursuit of happiness, can guide us further towards becoming more insightful individuals. The reader will soon grasp the concept his holiness easily conveys and can soon appreciate the wisdom he offers us all. To not just live in the moment but to plan for the future, to be free of endless suffering and angst & to hone our senses regarding life and death and to the fact we are here on this earth a very short time, is a key factor in this wonderful book. He urges us to veer away from a materialistic world and to swerve instead on to a path of appreciating the small things this world has to offer by taking time to “smell the roses” while we are here, instead of speeding through life at top speed. Point by point, paragraph after paragraph, the Dalai Lama generously offers many easy to accomplish methods that can have us all practicing selflessness, appreciating our friends and family more by offering them our hearts and minds more often, and gives us his unending wisdom towards a better life of reduced suffering. We all need more inner peace, and a personal world of harmony and love. Reading Becoming Enlightened is a way to begin that journey.

  • Shane Amazon
    2018-12-12 21:24

    Over the years I have found myself looking for some sort of spirituality or connection to a higher plain. With many of the mainstream religions I've found an emphasis on following rules and less emphasis on guiding a person to inner strength and morality. After watching a documentary on BBC about Buddhism and the history of, I decided to do a little more research on the history and teachings.After looking over a plethora of books I came across Becoming Enlightened and read the product description as it described..."Drawing from traditional Buddhist meditative practices as well as penetrating examples from today's troubled planet, he presents step-by-step exercises designed to expand the reader's capacity for spiritual growth, along with clear milestones to mark the reader's progress. By following the spiritual practices outlined in Becoming Enlightened, we can learn how to replace troublesome feelings with positive attitudes and embark on a path to achieving an exalted state -- within ourselves and within the larger world."From reading the above I had assumed that the book itself was more of a step-by-step guide to the path of spiritual enlightenment. However after reading it I found it as more of a cliff-note version of the buddhist teachings. Its structure is setup as follows; a header that tells what is next to be mentioned and then two to three paragraphs about the header subject. At first I had thought that this was just a foundation to which more in depth knowledge would be passed on later in the book, however this theme is throughout. Later in the book things do seem to be more informative but I did find some of what was being said was a little hard to follow or was completely over my head as a beginner.The book itself is translated by Jeffery Hopkins, PH.D. and perhaps some is lost in translation, however I find most of my problem lies in the basic structure of the presentation. I would have preferred something more along the lines of; subject: history of, what can be gained from, step-one,two,three-etc., and final thought before moving on to the next subject.Perhaps after reading more on the subject from different literature I may gain better knowledge in order to understand what is presented in this book. If you may know some books that described what I'm looking for please suggest them.

  • Claire
    2018-12-06 20:21

    What a calming philosophy I need to have returned by Thursday if I want to do without renewing. (I might very well have to renew and return it Saturday. No problem.)Before one of my dearest friends put this into my hands, I only had a passing acquaintance with Buddhism through my longer history of learning about the Japanese culture through anime, then through everything I gathered through my grand trip to China in late spring 2013 (the Dragon Boat Festival time of year)... Let me see if I can get the exact memory... I only clearly remember seeing a temple. Google image searching Buddhist temple Guizhou got me this set of images. Yeah, like that. I would like to learn more about the Tibetan ways of life. Ah, it's one of those autonomous regions of China I skirted in my studies. Oh, the Tibetan language is closer to Burmese than Mandarin...? Aww! Let's listen to a man speaking in Tibetan about the importance of cultural preservation and having good teachers. That's nothing I hadn't heard at Guizhou University before, if maybe in a different tongue. Of the Chinese ethnic minority groups I most clearly remember the Miao, but I rediscovered the full list!Different cultures are simply lovely, as long as their conflicts don't turn murderous.Enlightenment feels wonderful - the process of illuminating the darkness of uncertainty and despair certainly warms one up for a lovely day.

  • Labyrinth
    2018-12-14 21:20

    In the spring of 2009, I was in a very bad place. I had left a job that I loved very much, teaching, because of very severe anxiety issues, but although I went through reading "deserts" as the accompanying depression interfered with my desire to do any activity whatsoever, reading has never left me altogether. Thank God. Barnes and Noble was pushing this book on one of their tables as literature appropriate for graduates, so it was an odd place to find it, or maybe not. Graduate literature is all about new beginnings, adult-ing, self help, and seeking success. As I was to find out later in a long journey of reading Buddhist texts, everything is interconnected, but this was my first, and I don't feel that it made its way to me by "accident." I have the utmost respect for the Dalai Lama. He remains a large figure in my life, but I went on to discover other teachers from here, and I discovered Shambhala, which is primarily an American form of Buddhism and the very, very newest, hardly recognizable as a distinct form when Tibetan is still considered "new."^^ Shambhala mixes the older three forms, Therevada, Zen, and Tibetan, and focuses on the essence of the teachings with a global perspective. Since that is what Pope Francis is trying to do with the Catholic Church I finally feel comfortable mixing the two together, so I feel a bit like a ninja or secret operative, but the GOOD SORT that wants everyone to live happy, peaceful, fulfilled lives, and reach their version of "Heaven" or Nirvana.

  • William Southwell-Wright
    2018-11-21 20:36

    This book is far less accessible than it is packaged to be. I have a reasonable familiarity with Buddhist concepts and found it relatively easy to process, but during my reading of it (having found this on the shelves of Waterstones rather than anywhere particularly esoteric) my main thought was that this would be pretty inaccessible and opaque to the general reader. There is a lot of specific Buddhist terminology deployed which isn't unpacked and can easily be misunderstood, potentially in a harmful or misleading way. For that reason I really wouldn't recommend this book to someone new to Buddhist thought. For someone who is however, there is of course a lot of value to be found in the book. For a more accessible, popular introduction to Tibetan Buddhist thought go with 'The Art of Happiness', which is a classic for good reasons.

  • Greg
    2018-11-29 19:30

    A very interesting book.Having only read a little bit about Buddhism online, I was excited to read this to get more of a feel of the teachings. I found many things easy to agree upon and other aspects a little bit more faith-based, but in whole I found it fascinating. I think I came away from this book with more of an open mind towards certain things, and has led me to think about things a little differently. I enjoyed how he referenced modern psychology and science a bit, but I wish that had maybe been fleshed out a bit more. There was a lot of repetition in this book and it made it kind of slow to read and pretty tedious at times. Overall I recomend it to people who are interested in knowing more about Buddhism, Tibet, and The Dalai Lama.

  • Kevin Klukowski
    2018-11-22 17:38

    this book is so inspirational i can't believe I've put off reading it for so long. I've always had an interest for buddhism and now, with reading this book, i definitely want to start my path to enlightenment. religion was never my thing and i always thought that believing in a "god" was just odd because you don't know that the god you believe in actually existed. as i got to the religion part of this book, i realized buddhism shares the exact same view that i have and even cleared up my own view on religion for me. every chapter, i agree with one hundred percent, its almost weird. its like my future self wrote about my opinions on things and published it into this book. i can't wait to read this entire book and start my path to following buddhism.

  • Z
    2018-11-22 17:28

    A beautiful and moving book, and a fabulous primer for anyone who is interested in Buddhism, as a practitioner or simply from curiosity. With its emphasis on universal benevolence and mortality, it is one of the most profound books I have ever read, and I found it useful and inspiring even though I am not Buddhist and do not plan on becoming Buddhist.(If you are interested in the beneficial, practical, aspects of Buddhism and not so interested in Buddhist dogma, I would recommend The Art of Happiness over this book, however...in that book, the Dalai Lama offers ways for Christians, Jews, Agnostics, and Atheists to integrate some Buddhist ideas and practices into their lives and worldviews in order to be happier, more benevolent, and more in control of negative emotions...)

  • Jon Evans
    2018-12-02 14:41

    This is a great introduction to Buddhism. In this book the Dali Lama covers all the basics and gives you a broad and somewhat generalized understanding of Buddhism and the path to enlightenment. He lays down the groundwork for the path to enlightenment in simple yet profound steps that will leave any reader truly enlightened at the end. For those looking to expand their knowledge in Buddhism for the first time, this is a great book to start with. Even if your not looking to become Buddhist you will find great wisdom to apply to your life throughout the whole book.

  • Karen Williams-Villanueva
    2018-12-06 21:21

    If you believe in life after death this is a wonderful book. If you don't, it's still a wonderful book--but it's no-holds-barred instruction is very difficult to follow, at least for a person like me. Humility; morality; forgiveness; kindness; altruism; understanding why we suffer; and recognizing that the inner attitude is the key to happiness--or at least to being happier--is what this book is about. It's a tough road to refine oneself to become a better person and it is a journey without end. Sometimes I want to avoid facing my many flaws, but to be truly alive it is a prerequisite.

  • Victoria Durm
    2018-12-04 13:21

    I recently became a big fan of the notion of Karma. So I wanted to look more into it, and meditation. I came across this book at my library, and had to read it. While it was a great read, there were some moments where I had to go back, and re-read. Now, I don't know if it was the concepts, or the way they were presented, but it was hard to comprehend at times. I eventually gave up after getting halfway through the book. Now, that doesn't mean I didn't like it. I just think it was a bit too complex for my taste.

  • Mer
    2018-11-17 15:43

    This is a great beginner's book, not alot of Tibetan or Sanskrit words to memorize, he reiterates alot of the concepts and lists several times. It gives me several opportunities to let it sink in but may be too much for another person.There was one section I really enjoyed and now have it written out as a morning intention. I'll definitely get a hard-copy to add to my library and make notes in.

  • Carlo Fernando
    2018-12-09 13:21

    Respect, practice, the acceptance of death. Truly what are essential to build a relationship with the spiritual self and with humankind. A book of compassion and about the true virtue of life. This book made me realize how important it is to be morally upright, and how we should aim for greatness even without reward.

  • Chloé Meyer
    2018-11-29 14:38

    The Dalai Lama is just a joy. There was a lot I loved about this book, at the same time it wasn't a lot of new information but rather just a lot more of added and supportive information for books I was already reading at the time. He also had a little more of his religious tradition tied in, which I couldn't personally relate to as much but was informative and cool to see.