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How to See Yourself As You Really Are

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  2,430 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
Like the two wings of a bird, love and insight work cooperatively to bring about enlightenment, says a fundamental Buddhist teaching. According to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we each possess the ability to achieve happiness and a meaningful life, but the key to realizing that goal is self-knowledge. In "How to See Yourself As You Really Are, " the world's foremost Buddhis ...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published December 5th 2006 by Atria
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Lorina Stephens
Apr 16, 2009 Lorina Stephens rated it did not like it
I'm sure I'm about to be damned for writing this, but if this is supposed to be a book about discovering yourself, I'm afraid that for me it failed completely. Perhaps I'm guilty of all the things the Dalai Lama says most of Western Society is guilty. But, to be honest, I found the book not particularly well-written. It was repetetive, unclear, even non-sensicle in parts, and much of it smacked very much of the tired-old Christian harangue of guilty, guilty, guilty, which I found startling for a ...more
Trey Sullivan
Oct 11, 2013 Trey Sullivan rated it it was amazing
The book “How to See Yourself as You Really Are” by the Dalai Lama, is good book that talks a lot about human nature. It goes through chapters of how the human mind sees itself. Then he goes on to tell you helpful ways of understanding yourself, or “how to see yourself as you really are.” He explains all of this from a Buddhist perspective, and helps to give good tips on how you can reach the proper state of mind.

The theme of the book was mostly based around perspective. It is explained in this
Mar 09, 2008 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Don't recommend as first book on Buddhism for the uninitiated. Very abstract and conceptual, and other authors have explained same concepts better. But this will definitely bend your mind about reality, especially if you're used to Westernized/ego/material-driven concepts of self and reality.
Jul 02, 2008 Joanna rated it did not like it
I really tried to grasp the concepts in this book, but it just scrambled my brain. Only very rarely do I ever shelve a book that I've started, and I really hate to do this to the Dalai Lama, but I just can't keep going with this one. I give up.

Original review:
I am the first to admit, I place very little faith in self-help books - it's a genre that I traditionally ignore. But, this book sort of leapt off the shelf at me. I am naturally drawn to Buddhist theory, and would certainly be open to any
Aug 13, 2009 Mark rated it liked it
Shelves: personal-growth
His Holiness shares a universal humanist philosophy. Simple concepts: discipline and altruism. The delivery, however, is cumbersome. Simple concepts become heady and abstract. My favorite part of the book? the meditational exercises that close each chapter.
"You are living amidst the causes of death."

The writing is abstract, vague, repetitious, and somewhat contradictory.
It would have been possible to say what he's trying to say better formulated and explained and in fewer pages.
Reifications such as "morality/moral values" and "cyclic existence" weren't defined, so it took me almost the whole book to figure out most of them. While I may have thought somewhere at the beginning "Oh, ok, he means that", later on I got confused again about how the t
James Perkins
At one point the author appears to have proved you do not exist. However, that would be missing the point. Of course we exist, but we do not exist in the way we think we do. Our perception through physical senses has created an illusion, like a magic act, where the magician appears to have pulled a rabbit out of a hat. It did not really come from the hat, but it appears to have done so. In the same way, we all appear to be separate from each other, but we are not. Nobody exists wholly independen ...more
Jan 21, 2014 Blanka_S rated it it was amazing
If you want to start with buddhism, this is one of the books you should read at first because it introduce you to the basic terms of buddhism and helps you to understand them through meditation suggestions.
If you are exhausted from this modern world, the pressure and the way of living today, you should read it as well, it could help you sort out your thoughts and relieve the anxiety and you may start to perceive the world from another angle.
Read it. It is healing in a way.
Zarathustra Goertzel
Jun 11, 2017 Zarathustra Goertzel rated it really liked it
Good book. Is a bit repetitive and moralizing with too much stressing how life is suffering and all.
Nonetheless, quite a good explanation of what Buddhists mean by selflessness:

That is, selflessness is actually a refutation of soul as independent of mind-body and a refutation of homunculus like theories of self. Taken a step further, one encounters an ancient description of the phenomenological realization that we don't know that 'reality' inherently exists but only our sensory observations.

Mary Overton
"To overcome the misconception that things and people exist as self-sufficient entities, independent of consciousness, it is essential to observe your own mind to discover how this mistake is being conceived, and how other destructive emotions arise with such ignorance as their support. Given that lust, hatred, pride, jealously, and anger stem from exaggerating the importance of qualities such as beauty and ugliness, it is crucial to understand how persons and things actually exist, without exag ...more
Kylie Young
Apr 01, 2016 Kylie Young rated it it was ok
An honour to read and be a part of Dalai Lama's teachings however I felt like I needed to be on some good drugs to understand what he was getting at. I don't do drugs so I didn't understand. Perhaps my mind is not yet open enough.

I felt like there was way too much recycling of whole pages. The "I" segment could have been explained in one paragraph perhaps even in one sentence, not half of the book.
Plus it was a very simple subject and hardly worth being the main subject. I was expecting to rea
Jan 21, 2010 Kevin rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
Based on the precept that when we give objects, beings, ideas, etc, inherent qualities, it leads to suffering and unhappiness. He speaks of how nothing is inherently anything. Any definitions or qualities we give to something is based on what it is made of/depends upon. I.e. A table depends on a tabletop and legs to be a table. Let go of the idea of inherent qualities and you will suffer less.
Some of the reasoning used is probably a bit too metaphysical for non-Buddhists. Taking the foundational
Petter Nordal
Jun 10, 2010 Petter Nordal rated it it was amazing
It's been many years since a book really changed the way I see the world and my life. What is matter? Who are we? Big questions. It took me about five months to read this book, because after every few pages there's a meditation to do and mostly i wouldn't go on until i felt that i had satisfactorily completed the meditation. Eventually i realized that this is actually the work of several years; in the chapter on single-point meditation, The Dalai Lama shows nine stages: i made it from stage one ...more
Jun 11, 2008 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
How to See Yourself As You Really Are is a simply written book full of very complex, even daunting, ideas. The Dalai Lama discusses Buddhist beliefs relating to inherent existence, compassion, love, and impermanence. This isn't a theoretical treatise, though; there are instructions on mediation and meditation exercises (helpfully compiled in an appendix).

You don't need to be a Buddhist, or even religious, to get something out of this book. The Dalai Lama invites the reader to engage in analysis
Jul 21, 2008 La-Shanda rated it it was amazing
According to the book: How to See Yourself As You Really Are - there are four general concerns known to mankind. The first focuses on a universal concern for all humanity which is essential to solving global problems. The next, is that love and compassion are the pillars of world peace. Another is that all world religions seek to advance world peace, as do all humanitarians of whatever ideology. The final, is that each individual has a responsibility to shape institutions to serve the needs of t ...more
Daniel Seymour
Oct 25, 2010 Daniel Seymour rated it it was amazing
HH The Dali Lama demonstrates how our misguided notion of self keeps from us from living and loving and feeling compassion as deeply as we should.

While he is exploring some very lofty ideas, he does so in a very non-esoteric manner; as if he teaching a lesson one-on-one over tea. I have rarely found a writer whose compassion and love for his fellow man comes through so strongly in his writing.

Buy this one because you will want to read it over and over.
Jul 25, 2012 David rated it liked it

High Concept stuff from the Dalai Lama. The concepts given are too vague and difficult to understand.If you have not practiced yoga or mediation the concepts given in the book about the emptiness of human existence will scramble your brain. I recommend that you take time to mediate for about 10 minutes as shown by the lama in the book. It will help to calm the mind.

If you really want to understand what the lama is talking about I would recommend A new earth by EckHart tolle.
Jocelyn Gretz
Dec 22, 2013 Jocelyn Gretz rated it liked it
Well, this isn't Buddhism 101, not as easily digestible as The Art of Happiness. I wouldn't recommend for an easy feel-good-before-bed read, as the ideas complex and meditations take some time (perhaps a lifetime) to work through. It seemed to jump around a bit in a non-logical way for my western mind, but it wouldn't call it poorly written. If you are willing to put in some time, pick it up!
Aug 03, 2010 Christian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book by the Dalai Lama that directly deals with meditation practices. All of his books are wonderful, and extremely diverse, but this one is definitely a handbook for practical application. Highly recommended.
Nov 10, 2011 Rk rated it it was amazing
This is more than a book. it is direct instruction by HHDL. Reading it daily, I am still at the beginning. I think many people dont like it cuz it's very deep tibetan buddhist practices. I am amazed and honored he put such secret and pith instructions out there for us all.
Jason Johnson
Jul 25, 2010 Jason Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is awesome!!! It can possibly come off as complex, but it forces you
to think. The gift in this book is it allows you to see through the vail of Life's
illusions. The first step to contemplating you true nature.
Abhishek Upadhayay
Jun 10, 2016 Abhishek Upadhayay rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. But this is not for starters. Its difficult to understand and relate to unless you have previously practiced meditation for good length of time. Highly recommended.
Feb 23, 2017 Joycelyn rated it it was amazing
Skimming through some reviews of the book How To See Yourself as You Really Are and after finishing the book myself, I can say that:

1. The book will not be understood at first read, or in one sit. It contains many esoteric Buddhist teachings and therefore will be hard to grasp initially, for both those who are and are not really familiar with Buddhism I believe. Having said so, the book can be read by the chapters it has already been divided into. I think the author does this on purpose so as to
I got some decent ideas out of this but in the end it was just too advanced. It relies on the Buddhist notion of rebirth so if you're not a believer in that this is going to mean very little. It's a book that requires time and practice, so to get the most out of it be sure you have plenty of patience. I'm not big on the self-help stuff that gives me 'activities' at the end of every chapter so that probably added to why I felt so lost. I think in order to properly appreciate this book you'll need ...more
Anno Nomius
May 12, 2017 Anno Nomius rated it liked it
ok book. Found it to be preachy. Steps were provided on how to meditate and what to meditate on, explanation of cause and effect. Some of the inferences beyond that was hard to swallow, everyone was your brother, mother, sister, father at some point in a past life so love everyone (maybe even ISIS!!!).... The Dalai Lama possibly is a good man (ask China) and wants good things for the people of this world however the path to enlightenment he is suggesting seems a bit shaky at least in my opinion ...more
Jun 05, 2017 Stephanie rated it liked it
This book might be excellent, or it might be horrible. I'm not really able to tell because I am not a person overly familiar with Buddhism. This is not an introductory work. It is not a primer for the uninitiated. I find the Dalai Lama to be warm and inviting, his sentiments broadly appealing and enriching to anyone who chooses to read them but the basis of this book is beyond my simple understanding of Buddhist philosophy.
Mohini Dahiya
Mar 07, 2017 Mohini Dahiya rated it really liked it
Love , compassion , positivity and insight can help you calm down . Being kind to yourself and others brings peace and harmony . A quick guide on self knowledge and Buddhist teachings..
Stephanie Keil
Jun 14, 2017 Stephanie Keil rated it liked it
"Being the Dali Lama I am just *so* nice that I just *couldn't* tell that g**damned psychiatrist to f* off."
Feb 25, 2017 Miyuki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Life is fragile. Everyone wants to be happy. Let's be kind to each other.
Justin Miller
Dec 07, 2013 Justin Miller rated it liked it
Even though this is a short book, it is not an easy read. It is all about the Buddhist concept of emptiness.

To me it's all semantics. Emptiness to the Dalai Lama doesn't mean non-existent, it means nothing exists inherently. So, for example, a book is considered empty because it doesn't exist on its own. It requires pages, ink, cover photo, and other elements. The book is empty, it isn't independent, it doesn't have inherent existence. It doesn't mean it isn't real, just that it is dependent.

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Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub), the 14th Dalai Lama, is a practicing member of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism and is influential as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the world's most famous Buddhist monk, and the leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India.

Tenzin Gyatso was the fifth of sixteen children born to a farming family. He was proclaimed the
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“An eye for an eye....we are all blind” 25 likes
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