How to See Yourself As You Really Are
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How to See Yourself As You Really Are

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,628 ratings  ·  135 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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Trey Sullivan
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...more
Barbara
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.
Lorina Stephens
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
Mark
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.
Joanna
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...more
Blanka
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.
Petter Nordal
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
Dan
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...more
La-Shanda
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
David

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.
Daniel Seymour
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.
Rk
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
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.
Christian
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.
Mark
The thing about having to practice over time to attain spiritual awakening makes it hard for me to say whether I will really get it from what the Dalai Lama sets forth here. I get some of his reasoning on an intellectual level, but I haven't become enlightened yet.

I did particularly enjoy reading this book. I will pick up this book from time to time to review the reasoning/mindful approach he sets forth. Who knows if I will ever get anything out of it. From what I've read of the Zen schools, I...more
M Pereira
This is my first introduction to Eastern thought, and Buddhism. This book has parts which are interesting, and others which are genuinely insightful and that may well be true. But as these things go, the intresting parts weren't insightful. There is a beginning chapter on the role of inter religious dialogue and shared experience and tolderance with those of other beliefs. There was an interesting insight on the way that the modern world can work against us.

The stuff that just went weird and th...more
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
Justin Miller
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.

T...more
Meena
Jun 29, 2011 Meena rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: philosophically minded Buddhist practitioners
I picked this book 'How to See Yourself as You Really Are' because I wanted to do just what the title said with a step-by-step guide. I found that this book did have a guide, which ended up being very difficult, but so is the process of seeing yourself as you really are. I did not completely understand some of his arguments, which may be lost in translation. This book took me awhile to read just because of that; I spent a while thinking and re-thinking through some of the arguments in order to u...more
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
Charity (CJ)
This book is deceptively complex.

I started out with the audiobook version, but after listening to the first two CDs about three times and not really taking in any of it in, I checked out the hardcover from the library. That worked somewhat better, but the book was still quite confusing.

In a way, it seemed like a very long koan. If the self doesn't inherently exist---although it does, in fact exist---what is its nature? If you can't locate it in the mind or the body, where is it?

One thing that I...more
Alex
I did not find this book to be particularly eye opening. It's provided me with an introduction to some of the concepts and teachings of the Dalai Lama, and some practical pointers for developing meditation skills.



For me, the book has two major components.



The first, is an explanation of the importance of self reflection, and meditation. I enjoyed drawing parallels between the teachings in this book, and what I've learned from Alfred Korzybski and the study of E-prime. There is a lot of repetitio...more
Alex
I did not find this book to be particularly eye opening. It's provided me with an introduction to some of the concepts and teachings of the Dalai Lama, and some practical pointers for developing meditation skills.



For me, the book has two major components.



The first, is an explanation of the importance of self reflection, and meditation. I enjoyed drawing parallels between the teachings in this book, and what I've learned from Alfred Korzybski and the study of E-prime. There is a lot of repetitio...more
Sam
This was a gift to me by one of my dearest friends. We also started reading it and discussing it together. Once again something came up so we had to pause our diolgue. It is a wonderful book. I did not fully understand the begining until well into the book. I think I will need to go back and reread the beginning. I did not at first see how it connected to the book, but after reading some more I understood it really as justification for why to write the book. As such I now understand how it conne...more
Elly Sands
This is an important book on Buddhism but a very difficult book to read. The Dalai Lama discusses the three principal characteristics of human existence; impermanence, emptiness and suffering, particularly emptiness. Doesn't sound like fun does it? But these aspects of existence are not as gloomy as they sound. Quite the opposite is true if we understood what they truly are. I do not consider myself a Buddhist but have been attracted to it's philosophy for a long time. I appreciate the Dalai Lam...more
Melody
I guess I have quite the nerve to give the Dalai Lama 3 stars! Look out, Pope, I'll be reviewing your books next.

Truthfully, I just don't accept the logical arguments presented in the book. For example, there is a discussion about whether "I" and the mind/body complex are the same thing. Here's one argument against:

A second problem is that, since mind and body are plural, one person’s selves also would have to be manifold.

There are several places where he asserts that a thing that is composed of...more
Katrina Sark
p.ix – The Dalai Lama shows us how, in the absence of true self-knowledge, we hurt ourselves through misguided, exaggerated notions of self, others, external events, and physical things. Even our senses deceive us, drawing us into attachment and negative actions that can only come back to haunt us in the future.
Miranda
I'm not a Buddhist, but I like to read different things to see what they're about. This book was really repetitive, but maybe it's how people meditate. I'm not sure. Anyway, I learned some things and it's good to be reminded about basic universal truths.
Nick
I studied a bit about Buddhism back towards the end of high school and the early part of college
but my ego was too hard to shake then, and it's even harder now.

Not sure I understood all of the concepts, but then again who is there to understand it?
; )

This book really raised a lot of questions for me.

I'm wondering about the 'purpose of life' could be in the confines of this philosophy,
and other things of the sort....
Alas need to organize my thoughts a bit better before I start seeking answe...more
Kevin
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...more
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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...more
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“Some people think that cultivating compassion is good for others but not necessarily for themselves, but this is wrong. You are the one who benefits most directly since compassion immediately instills in you a sense of calm (nowadays medical researchers have shown in scientific studies that a calm mind is essential for good health), inner strength, and a deep confidence and satisfaction, whereas it is not certain that the object of your feeling of compassion will benefit. Love and compassion open our own inner life, reducing stress, distrust, and loneliness.” 2 likes
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