"It is my hope that the listener of this audiobook will take away a basic understanding of Buddhism and some of the key methods by which Buddhist practitioners have cultivated compassion and wisdom in their lives. The methods discussed have been taken from three sacred texts of Buddhism. I would like to stress at the outset, however, that one doesn't have to be a Buddhist to make use of these meditation techniques. Meditation is merely the process whereby we gain control over the mind and guide it in a more virtuous direction. Meditation may also be thought of as a technique by which we diminish the force of old thought habits and develop new ones. Yet the techniques themselves do not lead to enlightenment or a compassionate and open heart. That is up to you, and the effort and motivation you bring to your spiritual practice." - The Dalai Lama
©2001 by The Tibet Center, Inc., Gere Productions, Inc. and His Holiness The Dalai Lama; (P)2001 by Time Warner AudioBooks
"A treasury of teachings that point clearly to a better way to live." (Publishers Weekly)
_Live in a Better Way_, _The Art of Happiness_, and _How to Practice_. And of the four, _Live in a Better Way_ and this one are my favourites.
This is book is a little deeper than _The Art of Happiness_ (which struck me as a little superficial) and goes into more detail and into the particularities of the Buddhist meaning of suffering, dharma, and the purposes of meditation, among other things. I am not a Buddhist (am in fact very new to it), but I find these books very soothing to listen to. This also gives some background on the Dalai Lama's history and experience at the beginning.
Some of this book is more explanation and analysis. Unlike _Live in a Better Way_, which focuses on compassion and the way we think about our experience and those we deal with, it gets a little esoteric, and I found myself wanting to read more about the philosophy and wanting more explanation of it.
AN OPEN HEART is based on the Dalai Lama's 1999 US lectures and is accessible and grounded. The Dalai Lama looks at how to live ethically and with compassion in an often chaotic and negative world. The Dalai Lama's insight, wisdom, and guidelines for 'centered' living and meditation make this interesting, especially as I am not a Buddhist myself. It's perfect for bedside listening as it tends to be a bit dry and the narration is rather monotone as well. However, it makes a nice way to drift off to sleep.
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