I have been studying Tibetan Buddhism for about three years, and I find that the books written by the Dalai Lama are outstanding. This book is no exception. I have listened to it at least two times, and I intend to come back to it again in the future.
How to practice contains explanations of many important Tibetan Buddhist practices and beleifs. It also contains brief summaries and the end of each chapter to help reinforce what you learned and to give you a roadmap for your daily practice. Although my Buddhist practice is not very advanced, I beleive that this book will benefit beginners as well as advanced practitioners. The Dalai Lama's writing style is clear and easy to understand. He is generally serious but he is not above telling a joke or two. Overall, I found this book to be extremely enjoyable.
Maximum gain reading--the teachings about the nature of reality, clarity of explications on emptiness, the true nature of generosity and compassion, and practical to-do's--all rewards to the reader; but, the greatest reward from this book is the opening that correspondingly happens in the reader's heart as HH the 14th Dalai Lama carries you like a beloved child into the river of the Dharma. I'd say, D.T. Suzuki gave me a kick-start, Kaplau gave me a practice, and now the Dalai Lama has blessed me, initiated me, into a generosity of spirit, and helped my practice mature.
I find that I no longer notice the difference between "practice" and "non-practice" for HH has shown, or instilled, a new understanding of the integrated wholeness of each moment of life. All moments are practice. I no longer wait to "sit" to practice, no longer expect my mind to be a certain way before I am "practicing." It is like finding oneself swimming somehow when before one was only able to float clinging to a log.
Why do I try to put it into words? I believe the lessons of compassion are vital for our world, for our survival as a species, and for the survival of all sentient beings. This small easy to read book allows compassion to emerge.
The greatest gift to me from reading this book? I am quick to forgive, quicker to give, faster to recognize my delusions and entrapment in afflictive emotions, and without a doubt I now see those around me being more compassionate to one another.
Wisdom is a noble goal. Compassion a noble goal. This book sets out the way, like a child's chalk marks on a sidewalk--clear, simple, familiar already, and the periodic summaries at the end of chapters allow one to return to the lessons of the teacher over and over. You'll want to not only listen to this book over and over, but you will seek out the print version so you can have the three jewels handy beside your night table, beside your chair, your zafu!
At first, I gave this title only 4 stars, but then I found myself listening to it everyday in the car. Suddenly, my life has changed,
my practice has risen several notches and my behaviour has been modified. What a Blessing in the truly Buddhist sense.
I loved the Dalai Lama's Art of Happiness and Karen Armstrong's Buddha, but have been disappointed in this one. The narrator speaks in a monotone and rarely shows enthusiasm for the material. While this has given me an opportunity to demonstrate compassion for a first time narrator, I also want to spare new listeners and recommend another of the Dalai Lama's works.
This is a great book. It's probably not for beginners, but if you're serious about Buddhism, you'll definitely want to read this. Note the word READ. The narration of this book is TERRIBLE. Do you self a favor and pick up the old-fashioned paper copy.
This book changed my life.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama can transcend the divides that exist between humans and show us our tue nature.
Much of our personal experience has taught us lessons; some that we would rather forget. But this book shows us how the difficult lessons in life can be brought together with the beautiful aspects we recognize but cannot internalize.
This book shows us how to develop compassion for ourselves and others so that we can overcome the internal struggles that often lead us to a cynical view of life.
The insights provided by a tibetan monk to a caucasian everyman are astonishingly valid and beneficial.
While much of buddhism is, on it's surface, difficult for westerners to access, this book provides an introduction to the major philosophical insights of buddhism in a manner which is easily understood by anyone.
If you are contemplative and desire to understand more about yourself and a world which seems cruel and confusing I urge you to get this book.
Well, what a surprise, a book on practicing by the Dalai Lama has a lot of Buddhism on it!! I don't want to offend anyone, but if the Pope writes a book on practicing, it would be based on his tradition, no? The message is, tolerance... one God, many Ways...
I have to admit that I am pretty new to this type of book and have never before read anything even remotely related to Buddhism. This book quickly became very confusing for me to the point of loosing interest. Definately not a beginners book on 'practicing'.
Although I found this book provided me with a greater understanding of Buddhism and some valuable insights, the majority of the text was overly theoretical and complex for a beginner such as myself. It may mean more to someone more advanced in their understanding of the concepts discussed.