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Hardcover How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life Book

ISBN: 0743427084

ISBN13: 9780743427081

How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life

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Book Overview

As human beings, we possess one common desire: the need for happiness and a meaningful life. According to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the ability to find true fulfillment lies within each of us. Now, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, Nobel Prize winner, and bestselling author helps readers begin the path to enlightenment in a very special book -- an easy-access reference for daily practice as well as stunning illumination of the timeless...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A practical guide to change for the better

Just like the title, "How to Practice" is a gift to humankind to illuminate the right way to act. The goal of being human is to realize the potential within, which is a permanent state of happiness and peace. To achieve this, the beginner cultivates kindness and harmony for all beings. The Dalai Lama also describes the methods for training and controlling the mind. There is also a brief description of "The Middle Way", which is the way of renunciation, the real way to escape the Wheel of Samsara or suffering. It is the way to liberation. The Middle Way is not possible without practicing "Deity Yoga", which is mentioned towards the end of the book. "Diety Yoga" or the highest form of tantra, is not for everyone, as the practice is exceeding difficult and demanding on the practitioner. For those who are interested, the Middle Way, including the highest form of tantra is described in detail in Samael Aun Weor's books.... (see

Love, Forgiveness, and Compassion

I was lucky enough to see the Dalai Lama give a lecture in person. And, surprisingly, he's very funny! He had the entire rutgars stadium laughing! But I digress. This book is truly beautiful. You know that feeling you get in your heart when everything is right with the world and you are filled with so much love that you want to explode? That's the feeling I get every time I read this book. This really helped me find the path. With simple teachings of love, you are drawn right to the heart of Tibetan Buddhism. This book helps you cultivate selfless love, begin meditating (something I couldn't understand before this book), and ultimately live a better life. This, like many of the Dalai Lama's books, is not meant exclusively for Buddhists. He hardly even focuses on The Buddha. Instead, The Dalai Lama draws from his personal experiences and all that he has learned in his lifetime to convey the need for love and peace in your life. I cannot even begin to describe how remarkable this book is. Please read this!

To Practice Peace and Kindness

This book by H.H. the Dalai Lama may be read by those wishing an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and by those wishing to begin or develop their practice. The Dalai Lama attempts to answer the basic question: "How can people be happy?" His answer outlines a path of spiritual growth and practice. Although based upon Tibetan Buddhism, there is wisdom in the book for anybody seeking spiritual growth, within or without any specific religious practice. The book consists of six short sections. It begins with a brief discussion of the life of the Buddha which, as the Dalai Lama points out, encompasses the basic teachings of the Buddhist path: morality, concentrated meditation and wisdom. The Dalai Lama then explains the basis of each teaching in short chapters. It is good that the book gives its focus to moral practice -- curing anger, lust, hatred, and agression and wishing well to oneself and others. Chapter III of the book discusses meditation practices and will introduce the beginner to the value of meditation and to several meditation techniques. The Dalai Lama stresses the need for consistent practice and for patience and for the need of controlling one's expectations. There are several chapters which discuss the difficult but key Buddhist teaching of dependent origination. Much of this material the Dalai Lama also covers in an earlier book called "The Meaning of Life." There is a concluding section on Tantra, a uniquely Tibetan practice. I think it is better for the average person to remain with the practices of morality and concentration described earlier in the book. Some of the unique features of this book are the Dalai Lama's anecdotes of his life in Tibet before the Chinese Invasion of 1950 and of his teachers. There is a substantial discussion of sexuality in the book and of how it may be used (and abused) in the search for peace and kindness. (pages 192-196) There is a translation of the Heart Sutra, a key Buddhist text with a commentary by the Dalai Lama. (159-163) I found the Dalai Lama's concluding paragraph captures much of the tenor and the value of this book (page 223): "Though my own knowledge is limited and my experience is also very poor, I have tried my best to help you understand the full breadth of the Buddha's teaching. Please implement whatever in these pages appears to be helpful. If you follow another religion, please adopt whatever might assist you. If you do not think it would be helpful, just leave it alone."

Buddhism for Beginners

I am completely new to Buddhism and am thoroughly impressed by the Dalai Lama's clear, simple explanation. He effectively describes how even a complete Western beginner like myself can begin to end suffering by practicing. Throughout the book, the Dalai Lama's enlightenment and compassion shine off of the pages through modest stories of his life and experiences. The Dalai Lama starts out the book with the basics of Buddhist morality, moves on to the practice of meditation, and ends with the details of wisdom and tantra. There are images for meditation, lists of moral and amoral thoughts and deeds, and even a short explanation of the concept of emptiness.Most striking of all is the Dalai Lama's comment at the very end of the book, "Though my own knowledge is limited and my experience is also very poor, I have tried my best to help you understand the full breadth of the Buddha's teaching." With these words, the Dalai Lama sets a startling example for the aspiring student by both showing humility and providing a reminder of the breadth and depth of Buddhist enlightenment. I higly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in beginning to follow the Buddhist path.

A great deal of wisdom for people of all faiths

Many people choose not to read the books by his Holiness the Dalai Lama because they believe that this will offend or counter their own religious beliefs. Quite to the contrast, everybody can take the simple practices of this book to better their everyday lives.One line in this book has stood out in the my mind. "You should realize that difficult present circumstances are entirely due to your own past undisciplined actions, so when you experience a difficult period, do you best to avoid behavior that will add to the burden later on." (p 38). This is just one example of the suggestions given to living a more fulfilling life. I believe that he is right in his suggestion that money and posessions will not make a person happy in life. Each of us must discover what gives meaning to our life. To find this is really not that difficult as His Holiness reveals where it lies.This book is highly recommended for anybody seeking personal and spiritual growth.
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