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Understanding the Mind: The Nature and Power of the Mind [Paperback]

Kelsang Gyatso Geshe
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Aug 2002
This book offers a deep insight into the nature and functions of the human mind. The first part describes different types of mind in detail, revealing the depth and profundity of Buddhist understanding of human psychology, and how this can be used to improve our lives. The second part is a practical guide to developing and maintaining a light, positive mind -- showing how to recognise and abandon states of mind that harm us and replace them with peaceful and beneficial ones. The inspiring discovery we make is that we can attain a lasting state of joy, independent of external conditions.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tharpa Publications; 3rd Revised edition edition (1 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780948006784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0948006784
  • ASIN: 0948006781
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 349,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso was born in Tibet and is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism. Resident in the West since 1977, he is the author of 21 highly acclaimed books that perfectly transmit the ancient wisdom of Buddhism to our modern world. He has also founded over 1100 Kadampa Buddhist Centres and groups throughout the world.

Product Description

Review

'Astonishingly, what has been produced here is actually a new and self-explanatory Buddhist commentarial text composed in English'. - Buddhist Studies Review

About the Author

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso was born in Tibet and is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism. Resident in the West since 1977, he is the author of a series of highly acclaimed books that transmit perfectly the ancient wisdom of Buddhism to our modern world. He has also founded many Buddhist centres throughout the world.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chew slowly 10 July 2011
By Graeme
Format:Paperback
I come back to this book regularly as my meditation practice grows. Geshe Kelsang writes books that are meant to be used in practice rather than academic works, which might sound like an approach that lends itself to light reading. In practice it means that things are stated accurately and lucidly but space is left for the practitioner to grow into. A topic like this (the mind itself) could easily be over explained so that the reader feels the final word has been given and there is nothing left to say. Geshe Kelsang's approach is confident, carefully thought out and certainly not 'wordy', the reader is meant to find the truth of these teachings through careful checking in their own mind. Practical advice is given throughout on how to apply these sometimes technical teachings practically which helps the practitioner to breathe while exploring these very profound areas. I'm not sure whether this book can be fully understood without guidance from a teacher and certainly if this is your first book on Buddhism you're in for an interesting time, but personally I think that if you've got an open mind and some interest in exploring that mind you're in for a fun ride!
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent presentation of a difficult subject 20 Jan 2001
Format:Paperback
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso explains the nature of mind from the point of view of his tradition. The book is divided into two main parts. The first deals with specific types of mind and how they function. The second is a more practical account of which states of mind bring happiness and peace. Throughout the text the author suggests how knowledge of this particular system may be used to bring greater peace of mind. A splendid guide to the mind from the buddhist point of view. Be warned this is a difficult subject!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 29 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is part of the New Kadampa Tradition teaching programme (I believe) it's not just going to explain things you'll need to really think about what is being said. A book to meditate on and find your own way.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book offers an understanding about what is known in Tibetan Buddhism as Lorig - the teachings on the mind and its function.

The author in general follows the classic Tibetan Buddhist teachings on this subject although in some points he differs, and it is not clear who is the author - what is the origin Buddhist source - of the given definitions or if the definitions were made by the author himself. Especially the definition on 'faith' or 'non-faith' are rather fuzzy and not very practical. Therefore other texts should be consulted to deepen one's understanding, to verify or to refine what the author states.

The book is - like all of the author's books are - highly self-referential. This means the author suggests always his own books for further English readings and there is no bibliography of works by other authors than himself nor is there any suggestion or reference to a translated origin Buddhist text on this subject of mind and its function.

The author offers also some of his personal views which form the basis of the religious and study approach within his own organisation the New Kadampa Tradition - IKBU (also advertised nowadays by him as 'Kadampa Buddhism'). Kelsang Gyatso states on page 162:

"The practices taught by one Teacher will differ from those taught by another, and if we try to combine them we shall become confused, develop doubts, and lose direction. If we try to create a synthesis of different traditions we shall destroy the special power of each and be left only with a mishmash of our own making that will be a source of confusion and doubt. Having chosen our tradition and our daily practices we should rely upon them single-pointedly, never allowing dissatisfaction to arise.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Book 29 Dec 2008
Format:Paperback
This book explains the nature and functions of the mind. As Geshe Kelsang says, normally we only have a vague (and probably wrong!) idea of what our mind is and what it does. Buddha taught that the mind is the key to both happiness and suffering and that by realizing our own mind, through meditation, we can become permanently free from suffering. This book explains how to do that.

However, I have to temper my enthusiasm with a warning: The subject of this book is very profound and it's difficult to realize without a solid background in Buddhist teachings. This is not a book I would recommend for beginners, but for those who have already some experience of Buddha's teachings, it's a unique, invaluable and challenging read.

I'd have to go as far as to say there isn't another book like this in the world because it explains how the mind works from the point of the view of Buddha's highest philosophical view, something that's not normally done, and it also explains how to apply this knowledge practically. It's rare to find this blend of scholarship and practical advice. It's a book to come back to again and again and every time I read it I learn something new!
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