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A Profound Mind: Cultivating Wisdom in Everyday Life Paperback – September 25, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385514689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385514682
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The teachings of the Buddha are of vast benefit to us. Like effective medicine, they address our own personal issues in a specific way. And of course they share striking resonances with teachers and teachings of other spiritual paths. Love, compassion, charity, honesty, kindness, generosity, altruism, joy, and forgiveness are qualities most if not all beings recognize and admire. Buddhism puts great emphasis on developing these wonderful qualities to their fullest…. None of this is easy. It all takes effort. The Buddha himself almost died with the effort. But the rewards are great. Beyond measure. I find it incredibly moving that these great beings like His Holiness the Dalai Lama still do the heavy lifting, still do the hard work on themselves every day, all day. Even with the vast wisdom and compassion His Holiness has generated over countless lifetimes, still he arises from sleep each day at 3:30 a.m. to set his altruistic motivation and begin his hours of practices before engaging in another full day of being of benefit to others. What an inspiration!”
 
—From the Afterword by Richard Gere

About the Author

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama. During the years since his exile from Tibet he has worked tirelessly not only on behalf of the Tibetan people, but as a voice for human rights worldwide.
 
Nicholas Vreeland was appointed to Abbot of Rato Monastery in Mundgod, India and serves as director of The Tibet Center. He is the editor of An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life, by the Dalai Lama.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This is a short book that resists easy reading.
Robin Friedman
Having the Dalai Lama's teachings on this subject distilled into a clear, accessible text is a great resource, for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
Dewey Square
From a philosophic point of view, I thought it was great.
Lex

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lex on October 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I lack the ability as well as the right to endeavor to do anything except try to understand and put into practice the ideas and teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I am a student of philosophy, a spiritual nomad, a misfit toy, and nowhere near capable of such thought as to offer insight. However, I shall give it my best shot.
There is a question posed quite early: What is the Meaning of Life? This is a question many struggle with, looking for purpose and meaning. There are those that would be excited to see the question and disappointed to see the answer His Holiness gives, but I for one have found it to be the best answer I have heard in my few years on the earth. The answer: to be compassionate towards others.
Taking that idea a step further, it is based on our ability to be compassionate and to show that compassion towards others that we are able to have an impact on our future lives. We are the captains of our own fate.
The idea of impermanence, depending on the context in which one is trying to understand/accept it, ca be difficult to internalize. However, the visual concept of the apple transitioning from the form that we see as delicious to a form we do not recognize, and the scientific concept of the erosion of the mountains over millions of years, allows for a much easier internalization process.
A question I have asked myself on several occasions has been "What makes me me?" Another is "Who am I?" In regard to Christian and Judaic thought, my soul makes me me, and my soul is here on the planet once, and is then either sent to paradise or eternal suffering.
However, in Buddhist theory and belief, there is no soul. The idea of "I" is a major problem.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Many of the Dalai Lama's books are directed to questions that engage readers of all religious persuasions rather than only practitioners of Buddhism. This new book of the Dalai Lama's, "A Profound Mind: Cultivating Wisdom in Everyday Life" (2011) belongs in a smaller group of books which expound a specifically Buddhist teaching: the doctrine of shunya or emptiness. This is a teaching that is central to many, if not all, forms of Buddhism. Readers familiar with the Dalai Lama's other writings will find this book difficult. The book is based on lectures that the Dalai Lama gave in New York City in 2003 and 2007 on the Buddhist understanding of selflessness.

In the book, the Dalai Lama explains the several different Buddhist understandings of emptiness and the importance of this teaching. But the path leading to his exposition is almost as important as the result. The Dalai Lama makes two important opening observations that deserve to be noticed. First, the Dalai Lama stresses the difficulty in understanding the teaching of emptiness. With his usual modesty, he claims that his own understanding of the subject is "mediocre". As a result of his claimed "mediocre" understanding, the readers of the book "can only hope to gain an understanding that will be half knowledge and half ignorance." But even such knowledge is better than none at all.

The second important preliminary involves the relationship of Buddhism to other religions or what the Dalai Lama calls "Diverse Spiritual Traditions". As in many of his other books, the Dalai Lama stresses that his goal is not to convert. To the contrary, he urges his readers to remain within their own faith traditions if possible.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dewey Square on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you'd like to hear more about the core of Buddhist philosophy, correctly and coherently explained, then this book is for you. Buddhism is rooted in the teachings on emptiness and the law of cause and effect. These things may seem simple at first, but can take a lifetime to fully grasp. Having the Dalai Lama's teachings on this subject distilled into a clear, accessible text is a great resource, for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gonzobrarian on December 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This particular set of teachings from the Dalai Lama is a very clear and straightforward introduction to the more complex aspects of Buddhist thought and practice. Covering the major topics like the Four Noble Truths, karma, the differing Buddhist schools of thought, as well as the central intertwining of emptiness and compassion and basics of meditation, the brief chapters contained within cover a very wide amount of material in a concise compilation.

What makes this book so effective in addition to its brevity is the care taken with translation and delivery. Not only are both well crafted for a western audience, but they are quite conversational in tone as well. Throughout the book HHDL takes great care to demystify Buddhism, focusing on the practicality of the concepts and advising the reader, as the Buddha himself would, to experiment with practice rather than strictly follow dogma. With an emphasis on approaching the understanding of emptiness, it's certainly not light reading, but nevertheless its brevity makes it less intimidating than the more voluminous dharma texts available.

Apart from his more secular works focusing worldly ethics, A Profound Mind is a beneficial resource with surprising depth for those with a developing interest in Buddhism.
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