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His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Born on July 6, 1935, he was the 5th of 16 children from a farming family in the Tibetan province of Amdo. When he was two years old, he was proclaimed the tulku (rebirth) of the 13th Dalai Lama. At the age of 15, he was enthroned as Tibet's Head of State and most important political ruler, as Tibet faced occupation by the forces of the People's Republic of China. After the collapse of the Tibetan resistance movement in 1959, the Dalai Lama fled to India, where he was active in establishing the Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government in exile) and in seeking to preserve Tibetan culture and education among the thousands of refugees who accompanied him. A charismatic figure and noted public speaker, His Holiness is the first Dalai Lama to travel to the West. There, he has helped spread Buddhism and promote the concepts of universal responsibility, secular ethics, and religious harmony. In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his distinguished writings and his leadership in the solution of international conflicts, human rights issues, and global environmental problems.
I read several books by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, including the The Art of Happiness and The Universe in a Single Atom. Attended his live-teachings in France and Germany, watched several symposia of the Mind and Life Institute, etc. And strongly recommend to read "The End of Suffering and The Discovery of Happiness: The Path of Tibetan Buddhism" if you are serious about expanding your awareness about the paths of Tibetan Buddhism, and how they apply to our daily lives.
After introducing the three turnings of the Dharma Wheel, emptiness and Tantras, this book explains the teachings of Je Tsongkhapa. You can discover the importance of the intention of becoming free and happy for the benefit of all beings, and how to generate such intention. Buddhism paths are often very practical in nature and value the importance of walking the path for the common welfare. To live a skillful life becomes easier once you understand the law of co-arising and impermanence, all beautifully and poetically introduced in this book.
"The End of Suffering and The Discovery of Happiness: The Path of Tibetan Buddhism" may require a bit more attention from the reader, compared to the other mainstream books by the Dalai Lama. However, this commitment is generously rewarded by the insights and beautiful drawings you will find among these pages.
Deep gratitude goes to His Holiness for making Tibetan Buddhism accessible, sharing his meritorious ocean of wisdom with caring words. To the several translators who worked on this book and to Jeremy Russell who edited most of the book.
I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.
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The End of Suffering and the Discovery of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the first book I've had the privilege of reviewing for Hay House. The first of the six chapters, drawn from various essays by His Holiness, is the frame for the rest. This chapter, "What Can Religion Contribute to Mankind," addresses the fundamental human problem: the desire for happiness and the experience of suffering.
The Dalai Lama's premise, with which I imagine most everyone reading this will agree, is that material development is not sufficient to solve the problem of suffering. What is lacking is development of consciousness or mind. And while we have developed substantial mental capacities, we have largely neglected the heart.
"Although the intellect--the "brain" aspect of human beings--has been much developed and put to use, we have somehow neglected the "heart" aspect, by which I mean the development of a good heart, love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness....The key point is developing a basic human feeling, which means genuine sincerity, genuine openness, genuine love and kindness, and respect for others as brothers and sisters."
After establishing that development of the mind and heart is essential if we are to heal the fundamental human problem, the Dalai Lama moves to personal responsibility. It is not enough to work for world peace, we must cultivate inner peace. It is not enough to advocate for justice, we must cultivate the qualities of clarity and compassion in ourselves.
The foundation of personal responsibility is practice, and that forms the basis of the rest of the book. Chapters two through six are somewhat heavy lifting. In them the Dalai Lama interprets and to some extent simplifies core teachings and practices of Tibetan Buddhism.Read more ›
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I appreciate the honor of reading a book written by His Holiness, the 14th Dali Lama. This book attempts to break down into simple language some rather complex concepts such as emptiness in everything, and it does so in a clear and concise manner. As Westerners it can be difficult to think of everything as being empty without approaching a nihilistic viewpoint, and with a nihilistic approach to life, what would be the point to acting with any moral standard or pursuing any goals aside from what immediately satisfies the physical appetite?
He explains that the emptiness found in everything is simply an understanding of everything we perceive as being dependent on something else. This understanding of conditional existence is key to ending suffering. It allows the subject to transcend the attachment he/she feels toward people and objects within one's realm of perception. By meditating on and realizing the transient nature of everything we perceive, we can decrease our anger and frustration toward the people and things that hurt us and begin to love the nature of the underlying existence--that which everything else is dependent upon.
Furthermore, the more you concern yourself with the happiness of others, the more happiness you will experience. Whereas in some religions this is perceived as a situation where a person makes God happy and God blesses them with peaceful relationships and improved circumstances, according to the Dali Lama, one's concern for others directly translates in that person being more happy. It seems that in acting in this way they begin to renounce the attachment of their ego's pursuits and adopt a love for all living beings, an existence harmonized with the underlying essence of everything.Read more ›
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