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110 Reviews
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Read for Buddhists and Non-Buddhists.
I had never heard of Michael Roach until I searched out Shoutcast (Internet Radio) and found the Tibetan Buddhist station. Being of that tradition, I was delighted to find the station.
The program that was on at that time was Dharma talks by Michael on The Heart Sutra, a most important Buddhist teaching.
I was so taken with his messages and the way he could...
Published on April 27, 2000 by Susanna Hutcheson

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99 of 124 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Path to the Dark Side
Wow, what a troubling book, wherein the principles of Social Darwinism are twisted with Buddhist philosophy. According to the author, not only does one attain wealth and success by being the smartest, strongest or "fittest"--but by being the most spiritual as well! If only that were true...unfortunately, my life experience in the world of film and business has led me to...
Published on March 22, 2007 by Ben Miller


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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Read for Buddhists and Non-Buddhists., April 27, 2000
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I had never heard of Michael Roach until I searched out Shoutcast (Internet Radio) and found the Tibetan Buddhist station. Being of that tradition, I was delighted to find the station.
The program that was on at that time was Dharma talks by Michael on The Heart Sutra, a most important Buddhist teaching.
I was so taken with his messages and the way he could get these deep ideas across so easily that I wanted to learn more about him. That's when I discovered that he had a new book out, The Diamond Cutter. So I bought a copy at Amazon.
Michael spent many years in the New York Diamond industry. He explains that he was attracted to diamonds because they are the hardest form in the universe.
This book is about business. It is about the problems that we all encounter in business daily. And it tells us how to handle the problem and why every problem has a cause, perhaps not in this lifetime but in some lifetime.
Michael clearly explains why some people who are greedy and unkind are successful. No, it's nothing they've done in this life but rather they did something of merit in another life that brought the wealth in this lifetime. But in another lifetime they will reap the Karma they're now sowing.
He tells us that if we wish to be wealthy, we need to be generous with our money and our time.
Michael uses his vast knowledge of the diamond industry to teach business ethics from a Buddhist perspective based on the all-important teaching of Lord Buddha in His Diamond Cutter (Vajrachchedika sutra).
I highly recommend this wonderful book to anyone who cares about their business, their relationships, their finances and their life in general.
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66 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't know what to say.. (79 stars!!!:)), February 22, 2006
By 
J. Malnar (Zagreb Croatia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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and I don't end up speechless often.

Since I started reading this book 4 days ago I retold the basics of its lessons to half a dozen friends, and they have been adding their names to the waiting list to borrow it.

This book came into my life at the time when I already reached the level of spiritual understanding needed to put it into practice.

The bottom line of the book (and the buddhist teaching) is that every thing we DO, SAY and THINK, leaves an imprint onto our minds. Good or bad.

The more positive imprints we "stamp" onto our consciousness, the more positive our life's circumstances will be, resulting in more positive experiences.

Most desirable imprints we can plant in our minds, summarized in an 1800 years old poem by an indian master (quoted from the book):

I'll tell you briefly the fine qualities

of those on path of compassion

Giving, and ethics, patience and effort,

concentrating, wisdom, compassion and such.

Giving is giving away what you have,

And ethics is doing good to others.

Patience is giving up feelings of anger,

And effort is joy that increases all good.

Concentration 's one pointed, free of bad thoughts,

And wisdom decides what truth really is.

Compassion's a kind of high intelligence

Mixed deep with love for all living kind.

Giving brings wealth, a good world comes from ethics;

Patience brings beauty, eminence comes from effort.

Concentration brings peace, and from wisdom comes freedom;

Compassion achieves everything we all wish for.

On how to use the knowledge given in Buddha's teaching in everyday life, do read the book. Its going to change your life. Or rather, it will give you tools to start changing your life.

I already started changing mine.
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99 of 124 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Path to the Dark Side, March 22, 2007
By 
Ben Miller (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY USA) - See all my reviews
Wow, what a troubling book, wherein the principles of Social Darwinism are twisted with Buddhist philosophy. According to the author, not only does one attain wealth and success by being the smartest, strongest or "fittest"--but by being the most spiritual as well! If only that were true...unfortunately, my life experience in the world of film and business has led me to observe the exact opposite. Let's take this quote from the "Diamond Cutter":

"The greatest business people have a deep inner capacity - they hunger, as we all do, but perhaps more strongly - for a true spiritual life. They have seen more of the world than most of us; they know what it can give them, and what it cannot. They demand a logic in spiritual things; they demand that the method and the results be clear, as clear as the terms in any business deal. Often they have dropped out from an active spiritual life - not because they are greedy or lazy, but simply because no path has measured up to their demands. The Diamond Cutter was literally made for these people - talented, tough and savvy... The wisdom of The Diamond Cutter says that the very people who are attracted to business are exactly the ones who have the inner strength to grasp and carry out the deeper practices of the spirit."

By this rationale, Donald Trump should be one of the most profoundly spiritual human beings on the planet. And the impovershed Buddhist masters of old should be spiritually bankrupt. I am wondering how the author of "The Diamond Cutter" would reconcile his philosophy against the teachings of past Buddhist Masters, such as the following by Ehei Dogen:

"To study the Way, first of all, you learn poverty. After having learned poverty and becoming poor, you will be intimate with the Way. From the time of Shakyamuni, up to the present day, I have never seen or heard of a true student of the Way who possessed great wealth." --Shobogenzo-zuimonki

Or the following from 20th century zen master Kodo Sawaki:

"It's clear what you like: having sex, wining and dining, and making yourself a career without having to make an effort. Running after what you like and running away from what you don't like is what is meant by 'wandering around in the impermanent world'. Even a rat begins to run if you give him an electric shock."

Perhaps that doesn't quite gel with our modern consumerist, "success" oriented culture...and as such, "The Diamond Cutter" may sell more copies by offering needy folks a quick route to fame and fortune. Sad to say, "The Diamond Cutter" is the path to the Dark Side, and directly conflicts with the very foundations of Buddhism. Run a thousand miles from this stuff...
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got through my thick skull what nothing else hasn't!, March 23, 2000
I'm not Buddhist, but after reading Michael Roach's book, "The Diamond Cutter", I'm devouring everything about Tibetan Buddhism I can get my hot little hands on!
I've searched 52 years for the meaning of this insanity we call life in hundreds of books, tapes, seminars, Martial Arts, a Trappist Monastery, and one on one studying with people who meant well; but Michael Roach explained it all--at least to me--logically and better than anyone ever has! Screw the writing style! That's only someone's opinion anyway. Geshe Roach tells it like it is, and does so in a humble way. Hell, check out any of the organizations the author has created or is involved in. These people spread their message of compassion for free! That's certainly a new one on me! It's my humble opinion that Michael Roach indeed "walks the walk". Sincere people like that are hard to find here in the good old Y2K USA!
Like Roach (and the Buddha himself) said: "Try it and see if it works for you." It's sure working so far for me--very well! Well, I very much hope that it works even weller, er, sorry, I mean better, for you!
By the way, I sought out the book for my personal and spiritual growth more than the business angle. Interestingly enough, I'm more comfortable about my business dealings now which, oddly enough, have taken a decided turn for the better.
Stew Wilkins
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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book that brings spirituality to the workplace, March 21, 2004
By 
F. J. Cote (Downers Grove, Il USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book is a wonderful story about a Buddhist priest who comes to the New York diamond business and works his way up from the bottom using Buddhist principles anonymously. The business is a great success selling millions and still being true to the most unlikely of business attitudes. It's a great story and it actually rings true. Along the way he talks about a lot of the problems westerners have with classice Buddhist writings.
This book made me rethink the way I deal with the people I work with and my goals in life.
I want all my friends to read this book.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gem, September 30, 2000
This book presents many insights on parts of the Diamond Sutra. (The "Diamond Cutter" name is interestingly new to me, as I have been only familiar with the shorter "Diamond" and the longer "Diamond That Cuts Through Delusions".) The author's interpretations are refreshing, even without the context of business challenges, of which his diamond venture serves as a unique background. It is rare to have aspects of the Dharma presented by a young, life-engaging monk, and an American to boost. In particular, the notion of "mental imprints" is deeply important with respect to how one perceives and constructs the world. As a bonus, I learn a few things about diamond, diamond cutting, and the diamond trade.
Unlike another reviewer, I am supportive of Geshe Roach in his presenting the Diamond Sutra through the particular form of this book -- a manifestation of what Buddhist tradition calls "skillful means".
About the 4 stars: I wish the writing could be tightened up in various places. (But then again, this subjective observation of mine may be the effects of imprints left by my earlier writing courses.)
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient Wisdom with Modern Enterprise, October 23, 2003
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Geshe Michael Roach combines 15 years as an international business executive, with the wisdom accrued by living a life dedicated to spiritual evolution. In fact, his phenomenal success as a business man was directly caused by following the principles outlined in The Diamond Cutter.
This book is an incredible guideline for not only how to be an sucessful, ethical businessperson, but how the world actually works. The point is not the dogmatic notion of virtue, but the logic behind it. Why does generosity lead to wealth? Why does kindness lead to happiness? The key lies in two concepts clearly articulated by Geshe Roach in The Diamond Cutter: Hidden Potential and Mental Imprints.
Read this book if you want to know why you experience your world the way you do, and the speciic causes for creating the business, and the life, that you desire. Learn how to get to the end of your career, and look back and know that it was worth it. This book is highly recommended.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit scary, March 27, 2007
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This is a guidebook to achieving 'success" in the business world through application of perception practices developed by Tibetans. The book is based on sound Buddhist methodology, written by a highly competent and experienced person (geshe, no less).

One potential concern is that some of the suggestions and ideas Roach writes about are about becoming a clever manipulator. Becoming skilled in these practices gives one an edge over fellow humans. Roach himself is controversial, has broken his monk vows, was excommunicated from his order, renounced by his teacher Geshe Thubten Rinchen, and is no loner welcome in Dharamsala. One view of his current situation might be that Roach is pioneering a new, revolutionary Vajrayana path; other views are not so charitable.

This work opens the question of compatibility of vajrayana and business practices. I can understand that Roach is selling the idea that business canbe a 'chop wood-carry water' activity, no different from practice as, say, meditation. Yet, i know of no zen monks or Tibetan masters who actually subscribe to or embody this idea. Modern business is based on profit and ego. Perhaps tantrikas rightfully scorn the traditionalists. Yet the guy who comes to mind is no other than the ultimate scam master, Rajneesh himself. Dangerous territory.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing, March 13, 2000
I first have to say that I did not buy this so much for the business angle--I'm more just on the lookout for any new Buddhist material I can find. This is probably the freshest book in the realm of "American Buddhism" that I've read in the last year. I hadn't heard of Roach before, but I now feel that he truly is one of the most important Buddhist teachers in the U.S. today. (If you haven't already seen it you should look at the interview Amazon did with him.) The writing in Diamond Cutter isn't always so great, but Roach has a superior talent for explaining elements of Tibetan Buddhism in a way that is light years ahead of many other books out there in terms of accessibility. Perhaps that's because he is American born, so he really knows how to communicate with his contemporaries, but even beyond that he appears to have a great mind. This isn't great as a Buddhist primer, but if you are at all familiar with Buddhism you'll probably get some real insights out of this one.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that changed my business, January 10, 2002
By A Customer
I run a small business for more than 10 years now and have my share of ups and downs, from facing near bankruptcy to hitting big contracts. But whatever the outcome, I am always short of money and I am constantly struggling to make ends meet. That is, until I read this book. It has changed my business. I now find money flowing in without me chasing after it and I work less than before. To all of you out there who are struggling in business or in your personal life, buy this book and follow the principles. They work and they will make you a better person.
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The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life
The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life by Michael Roach (Paperback - September 1, 2009)
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