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Genuine Happiness: Meditation as the Path to Fulfillment [Hardcover]

His Holiness the Dalai Lama , B. Alan Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 April 2005
Discover your personal path to bliss "This book will give anyone interested in the spectrum of core meditative practices stemming from the Buddhist tradition but in essence universal the deepest of perspectives on what is possible for us as human beings as well as excellent guidance in the essential, time–tested attitudes and practices for actualizing our innate capacity for wisdom, compassion, and well–being, right here and right now." — Jon Kabat–Zinn , author of Coming to Our Senses and Full Catastrophe Living "In Genuine Happiness , Alan Wallace displays his rare talent in boiling down the complex to the clear and in guiding readers through a practical path to contentment. A gift for all moods and seasons." — Daniel Goleman , author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ "This lucid and rich book offers brillant, wise, and accessible teachings on the essentials of four core meditation techniques that lead one to genuine joy and happiness. Alan Wallace′s years of practice and teaching shine through every page, as with ease and great humanity, he brings to the reader the possibility of liberation." — Joan Halifax Roshi , abbot of Upaya Zen Center " Genuine Happiness is a treasure chest of wisdom: clear, inspiring teaching jewels. It is an excellent support for any student of meditation." — Sharon Salzberg , author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience In today′s overstimulated world, many are realizing that happiness gained through material wealth and frivolous conquests is short–lived. To achieve long–term happiness, you must access your own bountiful resources—housed in your heart and mind. In Genuine Happiness , longtime Buddhist practitioner Alan Wallace shows you the path to bliss. Drawing on more than three decades of study under His Holiness the Dalai Lama and sixty other teachers, as well as 2,500 years of Buddhist tradition, Alan Wallace guides you step by step through five simple yet powerful meditations to help you focus your mind and open your heart to true happiness. Featuring a Foreword by the Dalai Lama, this book will help you discover that it is possible to experience genuine happiness every day. As you incorporate the meditations from Genuine Happiness into your life, you will discover that the joy you′ve sought has always been only a few meditative minutes away.

Frequently Bought Together

Genuine Happiness: Meditation as the Path to Fulfillment + The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind: v.ution + Stilling the Mind: Shamatha Teachings from Dudjom Lingpa's Vajra Essence
Price For All Three: £37.12

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (1 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047146984X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471469841
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 15.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 575,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Wallace, founder of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, explores key Buddhist meditation–related concepts that aid the "conquest of our inner obscurations" and "present a path to inner fulfillment and human flourishing." He first examines several particular methods—such as "mindfulness of breathing"—for cultivating shamatha, a state of "meditative quiescence" in which people′s capacity for attention is refined and stabilized. They can then use these techniques to make a direct, delusion–free investigation of their own bodies, feelings and thoughts. These insights, in turn, help them nurture hearts of compassion and equanimity and, ultimately, realize more advanced teachings such as cultivating bodhichitta (a "spirit of awakening"), dream yoga and a highly developed meditation technique known as dzogchen. Wallace′s discussions are usually clear and helpful (on why meditation works: "sustained, continuous effort can actually reconfigure your brain"), and his questions invite readers to see for themselves if his assertions resonate. Moreover, each chapter contains guided meditations to help readers encounter the teachings more directly. Nevertheless, the text can become dense and self–referential, and if readers miss a particular point early on, the effectiveness of later sections may be lessened. The result is a solid—if advanced—examination of some key Buddhist meditation techniques that will appeal to the serious student more than the casual seeker. (Apr.) ( Publishers Weekly , February 28, 2005) “[ Genuine Happiness ]…is a practical guide.” ( Publishers Weekly , February 14, 2005)

“[ Genuine Happiness ]…is a practical guide.” ( Publishers Weekly , February 14, 2005)

From the Inside Flap

In our search for happiness, we need not look far. True happiness is not found through the conquest of nature or the acquisition of wealth and fame—it is found within by realizing the potential of our own hearts and minds. In Genuine Happiness, Alan Wallace, scholar and longtime Buddhist practitioner, helps you embrace the joy within through the unique power of meditation. Based on his thirty–four years of study and practice under the guidance of sixty teachers from the East and West, Alan Wallace describes a range of Tibetan meditation techniques from the simplest mindfulness of breathing to the exalted methods of Dzogchen. Encapsulating the most promising principles of Buddhist teachings, Genuine Happiness outlines the five essential Tibetan meditations that will help you achieve greater happiness: Meditative quiescence: mindfulness of breathing, settling the mind in its natural state, and cultivating awareness of simply being aware The Four Applications of Mindfulness (of the body, feelings, mind, and phenomena): the fundamental teachings on the cultivation of contemplative insight The Four Immeasurables (compassion, loving–kindness, empathic joy, and equanimity): the heart′s path to genuine happiness Dream yoga: both daytime and nighttime practices Dzogchen: the Great Perfection Featuring a foreword from the Dalai Lama, Genuine Happiness will help you collect and focus your mind away from the dullness and compulsive agitation of daily life. Through these Buddhist techniques and meditations, you will discover how to train your mind to delve into deeper and deeper states of awareness. Each chapter begins with a guided meditation, introductory material, and thoughts for further contemplation. Through practice, understanding, and Alan Wallace′s guidance, you will learn to follow the path of genuine happiness to its source—by tapping your inner natural resources to the fullest.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
OVER THE PAST THIRTY-FOUR years that I have studied and practiced Buddhism, I have trained under the guidance of sixty teachers from the East and West. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Buddhist book that i was always looking for 17 Sep 2010
i had to give it 5 stars! thought about 4 but can't find fault.

if, like me, you don't always want to be sold the whole nine yards and perhaps like to walk your own path exploring the road to enlightenment, whilst relying on good guides along the way, then this book is for you.

you find out what is was that the Buddha himself actually taught, unembellished by, what i have found, to be questionable further 'revelations' and / or religious dogma. this is presented in bite-sized, specific, ways that you can explore / practice in an organised way. as well as presenting a practical way of exploring the great perfection that you may seek. cheers Alan

plus there is plenty of food for thought too. mmmm!

the author also writes from a western mind-set and is someone who has walked the walk all over the world. he draws from 'vipassana' (indian), 'zen' (oriental) and other traditions. this enables you to potentially make effective spiritual progress by studying the authors choice of the most effective means that he has found in each tradition.

btw if you like barefoot doc (body) stuff, then you may well like this.

peace, love and good things.

Ez. London.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
105 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Supreme Guide to Meditation and Contentment 13 Oct 2005
By D. McKenzie - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most concise books I've ever read on meditation and Buddhism's method for leading a virtuous and happy life. This is the one book that brought together everything that I had previously read in other books on Buddhism and meditation. With so many approaches to meditation, it's a relief to find an experienced practitioner who eloquently maps out the elements of Buddhist meditation in relationship to the balanced development of both wisdom and compassion. In particular, I found it very helpful the way the author divides the practice of 'samatha' or tranquility meditation and 'vipassana' techniques or insight meditation. The explanation of the Four Immeasurables (kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity) and how they balance our practice that's useful to others as well as ourselves was also invaluable. The writing is condensed and to the point with many jewels of wisdom. I found myself underlining almost every other sentence. If you're looking for a clear outline for meditation practice and how to apply it to your daily practice on an off the meditation cushion, this is a great book to read, study, and put into practice.
54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more practice guide than academic discussion 22 Jan 2007
By Jim G - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I own several of Alan Wallace's books. I like them all. He presents information from a Western perspective, which I find easier to understand. Here there are specific meditation techniques presented in detail. You are encouraged to practice for a while at each stage using the suggested exercises before continuing on in the book. This book serves as a nice checklist for a complete Buddhist meditation practice, including meditative quiescence (Shamatha), (Buddhist) wisdom meditation, dream yoga and more.

Alan Wallace's other book, "The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind" would be more appropriate if your interest is specifically in meditative quiescence (mind training).
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOLD MINE!!!!! 18 Dec 2007
By Sarah Orbanic - Published on
I'm a Christian who is new to studying Buddhism. I find that the teachings and meditations enhance
my religion, as well as my life. I have to admit that this book was on my shelf for a while before
I began reading it. I was a bit scared that it might be too difficult to follow for a beginner.
Once I picked it up, I could not put it down. I'm a mother of a toddler and I only have 2 hours a day free to do what I want, and I chose to use up all my free time to read this book. It was really easy to read but not at all dumbed down. The meditations were also very clear and easy to follow. After reading this book I truly believe that loving everyone even your enemies is attainable in this life time. For a book to give me such inspiration and hope is absolutely amazing. This book is excellent not just for enhancing my life but for really wanting to strive for enlightenment and perfection. It's only been a week since I've read this book and just the teachings alone have already improved my life, and have caused a shift in my perspective. I think this book would be excellent for anyone in any walk of life, and any level of Buddhist knowledge. I can't believe I had a gold mine sitting in my book shelf this whole time waiting to be read. This is one of those books that you will want to share with everyone after reading it. I am in no way interested in new age books, and this does not even come close. This is the real thing, completely authentic. Alan has so much knowledge and experience on this subject, and the fact that he's a Westerner gives him an even better perspective on how to relay all his information to the modern society.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a Manual for Contentment, but a Path to Self-esteem 7 Jan 2007
By Arthur R. Murphy - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read the first three chapters of "Genuine Happiness" as the textbook for a class in Tibetan meditation at a Buddhist monastery in Atlanta: a valuable supplement to techniques to quiet the `monkey mind' of frenzied western consumers.

But the book, like Tibetan Buddhist meditation itself, is not about a technique for relaxation, nor merely an escape from frantic behavior. It is a path to an awareness of the necessity for ethical behavior: a prerequisite for true happiness. And, ethical conduct is based not only on clarity of thought but also an awareness of what service to other sentient beings entails.

As an entry to guided mediation, the book is helpful. (Although, mastering new concepts without the aid of an experienced teacher is worse than learning new software without at least a User's Guide.) Life is rarely "intuitive"... No meditation book can function as a self-contained manual.

The profound value of this book is its gentle synthesis of the rational views of western science with eastern visions of esoteric reality that surpass a biological understanding of consciousness. The last few chapters define levels of enlightenment that exceed what most of us can attain - levels of mastery that transcend western explanations of conscious control of our physical reality. These forms of enlightenment redefine the "Happiness" of the book's title.

If you are interested in a genuine path to happiness through service to others (with more self-awareness than one gets from the Boy Scout's oath), this book will be a wonderful companion for your journey.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Insightful & Concise Guide To Life 10 Jun 2008
By Ingo Leung - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are books that you read, you enjoy, & you gradually forget; there are books that you read, you think, & you apply the underlying wisdom to your life. Allan Wallace's 'Genuine Happiness' is certainly the second type; it's actually one of the rare & precious books that I would treasure for the rest of my life.
Wallace's writing is highly concise; he presents the wisdom of Buddhist meditation practice in a coherent, humane & pragmatic manner that anyone with any cultural or spirtual background can appreciate, value & apply.
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