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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 19 March 2010
Well-written and inspiring guide to practising Buddhism, with practical steps to take such as meditations, prayer, actions to take or avoid, and things to think about during your day. However, because it is an introduction to more or less all of Buddha's teachings, and all the steps to enlightenment, be prepared for a challenge! The book begins with explanations of Buddhist morality, and how to meditate. Then later chapters of the book focus on Buddhist wisdom, such as the extremely complex concept of 'emptiness'. Furrowed brows are guaranteed. As another reviewer pointed out, Douglas Adams referred to this concept as 'Simultaneous tea and no tea'. I love that analogy, but I still don't understand it really!

Fortunately, the Dalai Lama does not expect us to truly understand these philosophical concepts until we have practised morality and meditation for many years, but they are included so that the book can serve as a complete overview of the Buddhist path to Enlightenment. I recommend this book if you wish to commit yourself to Tibetan Buddhism, and wish to know where you may be going, and the basic steps of how to get there.

Encouragingly, the Dalai Lama regularly assures us that this stuff is not easy, and at the end of the book, he says that we should only do that which we feel would help us, particularly if we are from different faiths. This is an example of the kindness and understanding of the author of the book.

As well as having this book as an encouraging overview and reference, I recommend books by Thich Nhat Hanh, who is a Zen Buddhist monk. Choose a title that appeals to you, as I have yet to read a book by him that is not excellent. They are beautifully and clearly written, and concentrate more on mindfulness. In this way, you can get the benefit of two schools of Buddhist thought. For further explanations of the concepts introduced in 'How to Practise', I would recommend The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching

(NB - I would personally avoid books by Kelsang Gyatso, even though they seem to have glowing reviews. Gyatso is the leader of a Buddhist sect, that some have called a cult. Also, his books just aren't very good.)
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on 15 October 2003
Like most of the books the Dalai Lama has authored, this book serves as an introduction to the buddhist religious path. To really proceed in your quest for enlightenment, you need a living master -in person. However, this is a good substitute because it takes you by the hand and gives you a real nice overview.
This book is an attempt to clarify the sometimes complex Tibetan approach to Buddhism with its wonderfully simple structure, centered around the three tenets held by all Buddhists, morality, meditation and wisdom. In the morality chapter the Dalai Lama explains why a selfish attitude can't bring real satisfaction in life. He speaks about suffering and dying, and then gives a very special meditation on the actual process of dying.
Essential buddhist meditations are explained, and even the tantric deity mediations are not excluded here. In all, a wonderful book, which is not really suited for absolute beginners ("Open Heart" is an option for you), but more for the spiritual seeker who is already on the path but in need of guidance.
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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2007
A book that is meaningful to anyone, regardless of faith or spiritual beliefs. HH The Dalai Lama is one of the great teachers and anyone can benefit from a study of this book and its techniques. An answer to a stressful world.
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on 5 April 2006
This book is very good if (in this life) you are starting your journey to enlightenment, it offers real guidance, especially in the way it's been laid out, begining with the basic premisses of morality and perception, leading on to meditation, and later discusing wisdom and teaching. The Dalia Lama introduces steps one can implement before a buddhisttva can give personal guidance. I don,t have a personal teacher as yet, so find this book exceptionally helpful.
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on 16 March 2015
I really like this book. The Dalai Lama has managed to condense an enormous number of Buddhist teachings, including the Heart Sutra and Tantra, into a very practical guide. I think the book is suitable for both people new to Buddhism and those with a lot of experience.

For those new to Buddhism, the Dalai Lama gives a clear explanation of the basics and how to incorporate some of the changes into your life but don‘t worry the text is not over run with Buddhist terms and imagery. There’s enough substance for you to immediately start meditating and maybe inspire you to find out more.

For experienced practitioners I think it is a fabulous guide book to remind you of the path and the anecdotes from the Dalai Lama’s own life are inspirational.

I have sometimes found books by the Dalai Lama a little difficult to read but thoroughly enjoyed this one.
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on 27 March 2013
I have many books written by the Dalai Lama and they are all excellent. This one is no exception either, and is beautifully written. For anyone who really does want to find their way to a meaningful life, this book will help them acheive it. I have now read it several times and with each reading discover something new, to help me to acheive that better, more meaningful way of life. If that is something that you are looking for, look no furhter than this book.
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on 21 February 2013
Excellent book. Recommend for those who are questioning religion at the moment. Gives a different perspective on life and how to live it
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on 1 February 2011
A lovely book, well written and clearly explaining the Buddhist approach to live and how to live it in a happy manner. Easy to read without being simplistic, equally not pretending to give any "magic" answers - the thinking person's approach to the subject.
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on 7 April 2014
His Holiness makes the reader feel engaged right from the start, it is a bit repetitive and doesn't get to the point quickly but I am learning to cope with the style....
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on 10 November 2015
If you have read the Art of Happiness books this is a great book that really helps you to practising your way to a meaningful life
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