Throughout the book the Dalai Lama emphasises the importance of logical analysis of scriptures, even if they are in the Buddha's own words; some teachings, he stresses, "should not be taken literally, but need interpretation". And this is what he does in this clear and readable commentary, originally given in 1989, and only now transcribed, translated and published. Its 10 short chapters are on such familiar Buddhist themes as Training the Mind, Compassion, Identifying the Nature of Suffering, and the Practice of Calm Abiding.
"Through meditation," says the Dalai Lama, "we can train our minds in such a way that negative qualities are abandoned and positive qualities are generated and enhanced." Those who practice meditation, whether Buddhist or not, will find this a thoughtful and practical guide, written with the Dalai Lama's characteristic warmth and gentleness. --David V Barrett