Most helpful critical review
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant BUT inconsistant: Not without its faults.
on 25 July 2010
I have had this book on my shelf for a while now, and i have drawn much inspiration from the first half of the book. The first half covers different ideas such as how to reframe death and give it a positive place in our lives, how to understand karma, meditation, how to rest in the nature of mind free of grasping and aversion, and much more. I have used many of the ideas contained in this section to life changing effect, and if it wasn't for the second half of the book, I would have given the book a resounding 5 stars.
The second section of the book seems to fall into esoteric doctrines saved only for the hardcore practitioner of Buddhism (Dzogchen etc). Much of the second half of the book is interspersed with 'don't try this at home' type comments, and suggesting that you need a guru and a master to practice and to be properly introduced to the nature of your own mind. For a book supposedly written by Sogyal Rinpoche, acclaimed for introducing Tibetan Buddhism to the west, I found this section to be quite alienating and of very little or no practical relevence (unless you plan on becoming a hardened Buddhist, packing up this life and living in the Tibetan mountains with the goats.).
For me, the book retains some considerable value, as, for the most part, the book is inspiring and introduces the reader to many interesting key concepts of Buddhism. Think of it as a kind of an encyclopedia of Buddhism. A must have for anyone interested in spirituality, but perhaps not entirely relevant.