A Profound Mind: Cultivating Wisdom in Everyday Life
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A Profound Mind: Cultivating Wisdom in Everyday Life

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  175 ratings  ·  28 reviews
For the first time for general readers, the Dalai Lama presents a comprehensive overview of the most important teaching of Buddhism.

Perhaps the main difference between Buddhism and other religions is its understanding of our core identity. The existence of the soul or self, which is central in different ways to Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is actually denied...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Harmony (first published January 1st 2011)
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Cornerofmadness
I do enjoy reading the Dalai Lama’s works and this is no exception. It is, however, hard to review. It is, according to the dust jacket, a comprehensive overview of the most important teachings in Buddhism and that is exactly what it is.

Being raised Catholic and growing up in a culture a world away from Buddhist teaching, it is sometimes hard and yet delightfully challenging, to try and wrap my head around these teachings. The idea of emptiness, for example, the thing the Dalai Lama holds as the...more
Marla
I picked this book up mainly because it was mentioned again and again in another book, The Good Luck of Right Now (completely silly fiction which I am liking more and more as I look back, may have to change my rating up a star). I've read some of the Dalai Lama's work and I have to say that sometimes I consider it "Buddhist fluff." It's informative for basic concepts and great for getting someone initially interested. This is not one of those books. THIS IS NOT FOR THE BEGINNER. This is a book t...more
Roger Morris
Not profound. Rather confusing, conflicting, contradicting and counter-intuitive. One moment he is stressing the non-existence of self and the illusion of the existence of self. The next moment he's talking about the existence of the conscious self in the infinite past and infinite future. Very annoying. Not a good advertisement for the coherence and practical live-ability of Tibetan Buddhism.
Marjorie
Dec 25, 2011 Marjorie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Marjorie by: On new book shelf @ library
Anything the Dalai Lama writes is worth reading, but I found this particular book rough going. It deals with the idea of "dependent origination" -- or "emptiness" of the self. I've been puzzled by this idea in other reading I've done -- and it's still unclear to me after reading this book. I probably shouldn't beat myself up about that as, according to the Dalai Lama, it takes many years, or many lifetimes, of analytic meditation to fully grasp this point.

Buddhists themselves don't all agree on...more
Autumn
I've been practicing/studying Buddhism on my own for about six years. I have read many different books on Buddhism and have had a particularly difficult time grasping the ideas of emptiness and dependent origination on both an intellectual and spiritual level. I have much more studying and meditating to go before I fully understand these topics, but for some reason while reading this book, something just clicked in my head and those topics started making more sense. While there was some difficul...more
Long Nguyen
The book dives into the behind-the-scene metaphysics and philosophical structures of Buddhism, making it a pretty tough read if someone has not been exposed to similar works before. Despite that though, the book has patches of wisdom to walk away with even if one has no desire to completely embrace the Buddhist faith.

If someone is just digging into Buddhism, this book is a poor starting choice due to before-mentioned metaphysics. However, it could provide an excellent lesson to someone already...more
Camille Mccarthy
The Dalai Lama is very eloquent and this book is about the main teachings of Buddha. I found it to be very logically organized and it was easy to follow the order of the topics even if the topics themselves were not so easy to internalize. I like a lot of the ideas presented although I do not agree with all of them and I especially liked that in the beginning he starts by saying how switching to Buddhism may not be a great idea even if you are drawn by the ideas, because you might want to stay i...more
Louisa Wood
I enjoyed reading this book, because it required many pauses to contemplate, absorb, and understand some of the key concepts underpinning Buddhist philosophy / religion. I don't necessarily understand (yet I hope!) or agree fully with all of them, but it helped me get a much better grasp of the reasonings behind the main tenets of buddhism. I think many self-help books emulate some or all the general conclusions that naturally follow from Buddhist principles, but I enjoyed this book in particula...more
Amy Formanski Duffy
I picked this up to help me understand the basic teachings of Buddhism, but after reading it I feel more confused. I think the Dalai Lama gave me a headache. This is a collection based on talks he's given over the years, and that makes them seem kind of vague and as if he's talking in circles. I think I'd be better off with "Buddhism for Dummies" or some such thing for clueless Westerners like me!
Randy
Though there's certain aspects of Buddhism I disagree with/don't fully get, the ideas presented in this book really made me think.
Auronee Islam
The Buddhist philosophy simply explained through the great wisdom of his holiness, the Dalai Lama.
Susie
I guess I give this 4 stars? There was so much of this book that was over my head, I'm not really sure how to rate it. What I understood (65%?), made so much sense, and I really liked the book for that. I'd like to read more of the Dalai Lama's writings, though. Namaste, bitch.
Tracy
It was not what I expected. Though written in the simplistic style of the Dalai Lama, it was a bit hard to grasp all the concepts in such a small book. It gives an overview of the different kinds of Buddhism and how each one perceives reality. The chair exists. The chair does not exist. Only the idea of the chair exists. And so on. If I wanted a manual on "how to be a proper Buddhist" this would be it. Unfortunately, based on the title, I expected something else and was disappointed.
Tori
It was a really in depth look at Buddhism, and an interesting way to think about life and your "self" and how to reach happiness. I personally didn't vibe with it, but what was important was the book's adamant wording on not following this, or any, way of life if it doesn't work for you. So it turned out to just be a kind of inside look into how some people choose to live their lives.
It's a good book if you're into religions!
Lindsay
Difficult book to rate... Maybe it's because of the translation or the writer who quoted the Dalai Lama but this book is sometimes confusing, other times boring to read (I've been reading about a table for several pages)... and I was glad I've finished it. If you read this book you learn fragments, not details. For those who have read other books about Buddhism, also know there are better books out there.
Alissa
I have read a couple other books by the Dalai Lama and really enjoyed them. This book was vastly different. I expected the same story-telling type writing and was disappointed.
I actually became so confused at one point I had to put the book down for a few days. The writing just didn't flow, or wasn't explained well. I'm not sure.
Dana Larose
Quick introduction to buddhist practice. Some of the chapters on the differences between theravada and mahayana were a bit wibbly-wobbly but the chapters on how to practice were approachable. It's description of the Bodhisattva ceoncept -- one of the nicest religious ideas I've ever encountered -- was really interesting.
Richard
Dec 07, 2011 Richard marked it as to-read
While I usually like to hear what the Dalai Lama has to say, I did not want lessons in becoming a Buddhist. I have enough problems learning of my own faith...Christianity.

One of the most important things I read in the part I did read was that he considers it "important that we remain true to our own faith". (Page 12)
Jana Denardo
This was very interesting but at times a bit difficult to process the full meaning. It's one of those you need to ruminate on.
The
Not really written by HHDL--written by the Vreeland dude. Fairly academic look at the various schools of Buddhist thought.
Rubina
A good introduction to Buddhist teachings. The Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness is a good follow up book to read
April
Mar 25, 2012 April added it
Another "must read again" to fully understand if one can fully understand. Definitely makes you think.
Bradley
I lean more to Eastern religions as I grow older. This is a basic primer to Buddhism.
Lisa Fabian
read it to think about the principles. it was ok but a little odd
Jason Ruggles
This was a great intro to the Buddhist mind.
NicMc McRe
Not what i thought it would be but it was decent.
Joshua
Incredible. Philosophical. Truly profound.
Stevie Dean
Mind expanding...loved it
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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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