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on January 26, 2016
With a background in World Religion, an avid meditator, and hobby philosopher, this book actually answered some profound issues I had and did so with concise clarity. My brother for almost a decade has been stuck in the "Everything passes and is therefore meaningless" nihilistic state that has now turned into clinical depression. He wasn't the first to point this out to me and for years I have struggled with questions about death and purpose.

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.
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on November 6, 2016
Wonderful book for both the beginning and ongoing Buddhist, and of course any others who want to live a more peaceful and clearer life. The DalaI Lama makes the messages so much more accessible for us all. This is a book to be read in small sections, contemplated, and savored. Then to read again and again.
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on March 8, 2016
As always, His Holiness the Dalai Lama instructs and delights. His suggestion for how to have a meaningful life are attainable. I especially chuckled when he admitted to peaking into medicine cabinets at the homes of the rich, merely to see if they were taking drugs to help them cope with this life, to help them find happiness. It appears most, if not all, of them were. The exercises are thought provoking and not impossible to do in our busy lives. Although, I think once completing them, our lives might not be quite so busy anymore.
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on February 10, 2018
Life changing and clear. His holiness has changed my life through his teachings (including this one). His message of unbiased compassion brings peace and happiness. If everyone practiced what is taught in this book, everyone would be happy and there would be world-wide peace. Seriously. Add to cart. :) :) I am inexpressibly grateful to this wonderful Dalai Lama.
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on July 29, 2017
The book is inspiring overall and includes some excellent meditation techniques. But the latter half of the book explores Buddhist concepts on a level that may be difficult for persons who are not already deeply involved with Buddhism and/or comfortable with the concept that nothing inherently exists. I realize that quantum physics supports the Buddhist belief in the essential “nothingness” of all physical beings and things. But even though true, from the Buddhist perspective as well as scientifically, the concept of "nothing inherently exists" may be a tad challenging for some of us to fully embrace as a core philosophy.
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on June 12, 2012
In this short text the Dalai Lama directs his words towards Western readers and goes into a good amount of detail concerning vast topics, the most important of which I think is his explanation of dependent-arising. He fails in his layout and overall rhetoric and I believe this book would be best suited for either the those new to Buddhism that are not apt to question much, or for those who have had a satisfactory introduction to Buddhism already.

After some introduction to the Four Noble Truths which is quite good, he begins his treatise with the imperative of selflessness as the key to greater inner peace. I think that many Westerners who have grown beyond the traditional morality of their societies and are looking for something deeper will find this initial framing of Buddhism rather hard to swallow. For many it is the logic and reason that gives Buddhism it's inner light and wisdom that draws them to it, and yet the Dalai Lama's instruction here has no strong rationality behind it - he expects you to accept his words as wise, and continue reading. For those of you who purchase this book and find this to be true, I implore you to continue reading, for the best parts of the book at near the end! After meditating on what is said in later portions of the book, I cannot say that any of the Dalai Lama's words are inherently untrue or misleading. However, he then goes on in great detail about the stages of death and the special meditations one should do - this should be placed in the end of the book, or perhaps have it's own book, since the majority of this text is aimed at recruiting those of all faiths and those with no faith to essentially add to their depth of understanding of reality.

I recommend beginning with Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom for the more intellectually curious and/or logical thinker. It will give you a good grounding from which the Dalai Lama's words may take root, and through your own practice, grow to great heights.
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It would be easy to remove oneself to a monastery and life a meaningful life without the trappings of the modern world, or at least it seems so. Most of us cannot do that. We have to live in this world of unending troubles and obstacles that beset us daily. By offering his timeless wisdom, His Holiness the Dalai Lama points a way to navigate the tribulations that mark our passages. Easy to read and digest.
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on September 16, 2017
Good book. Anything by the Dalai Lama, or the teachings of Buddha, or Gandhi, or Deepak Chopra, has my attention. I'm always on the hunt for the best self help books I can find, because we all need a little help at times to put things into perspective and get back on track internally. This book did not disappoint. I bought a new copy, and it arrived promptly and in good condition. Highly recommend!
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on June 8, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. Its very well written. Easy to read and comprehend. A great How To for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the practice of Buddhism. Also, you don't have to be Buddhist to get something out of reading this. There is something in this book for everyone who strives to be the best person they can be.
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on November 30, 2011
Buy and read this book, if you haven't already.

I separate this book into two parts - the first half and the second half. (see what I did there?)

The first half is practical, universally applicable perspectives on happiness that none of us should live without. If you've lost your happiness, read this book (the first half, at least). It changed my life. After 12 years of Catholic school and an ideal family, I had strong faith, but not a practical understanding of how that faith related to personal happiness. It seemed that there was a relation for some, but I never got it. This book helped me understand my own role in my personal happiness and helped me appreciate the world around me more dearly. This is one of the most highly recommended books when I encounter someone who's run into some personal distress in life, as it really helps you accept suffering and directs you to change your attitude to be one that generates peace and happiness for yourself and the world around you.

The second half of the book deals more with the techniques of practicing meditation. If you've got the ability, inclination or time for that, more power to you and this book should provide some rudimentary explanations of how to meditate and some themes to consider when you are.

If you've never read the Dalai Lama, this is a great place to start. Not too long, not too deep ... just right and should provide benefit to any reader, of any age or faith.
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