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How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life Paperback – August 19, 2003
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As a primer on living the good life, few books compete with How to Practice, another profound offering from the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Westerners may be confused by the book's title, assuming that it focuses solely on Buddhist meditation and prayer techniques. Though it does address meditation and prayer, at its core this is a book that demonstrates how day-to-day living can be a spiritual practice. There are two ways to create happiness:
The first is external. By obtaining better clothes, better shelter, and better friends we can find a certain measure of happiness and satisfaction. The second is through mental development, which yields inner happiness. However, these two approaches are not equally viable. External happiness cannot last long without its counterpart.... However, if you have peace of mind you can find happiness even under the most difficult circumstances.As he has in previous books (An Open Heart, The Art of Happiness), the Dalai Lama reminds us that developing peace of mind means paying attention to our daily attitudes and choices as well as taking the time to meditate and be prayerful. The six-part book covers Buddhist meditation techniques and visualization exercises as well as daily thoughts and actions that foster morality and wisdom. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
The Dalai Lama, a formidable teacher, presents a way that is the middle way, but not necessarily the easy way. Because the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism has a natural gift as well as the translating and publishing resources that makes his teachings accessible, it is easy to forget the rigor and depth of those teachings. Too, Buddhism so often appears in the West as a system of daily behavior and practice that it is also easy to overlook the compelling intellectual challenge it presents to the Western understanding of reality. His Holiness starts on familiar Buddhist ground (morality of action, suffering, compassion) and chapter by chapter adds doctrine and complexity until teachings from the heights of imaginative Tantra and Tibetan deity yoga are being explicated. For the uninitiated the climb is steep, and those seeking general ethical guidance would do better with an easier text (His Holiness has written those, too). For the serious, however, the Dalai Lama offers elegant clarity about the paradoxes at the heart of Buddhism including the central Heart Sutra itself, the teaching of form-is-emptiness and about the intellectual intricacy of Buddhist teachings. Tibetan Buddhism is considered the esoteric wing of Buddhism; this slice shows some layers of its complexity while whetting the spiritual appetite for more understanding, or what Buddhists would call the intention for enlightenment.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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His Holiness Dalai Lama has elegantly answered the question Nihilism proposes, by stating that only co-dependent entities can perform any function. In this, he uses "function" rather than "purpose" although the two are effectively exchangeable. Please read the book to further understand what I mean.
This book has affected me deeply primarily because I did not expect to get this type of information from this book. The subtitle, although cheesy at the onset of reading "How to live a meaningful life", is precisely accurate and the book successfully performs it's described function. I know how to live a meaningful life now. And no, existence is not meaningless, purposeless, or useless. It is precisely meaningful, purposeful, and useful, and now I know why thanks to this book.
If all human minds were seeds of flowers, the Dalai Lama is the Sun.