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Ethics for the New Millennium

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,581 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
In a difficult, uncertain time, it takes a person of great courage, such as the Dalai Lama, to give us hope. Regardless of the violence and cynicism we see on television and read about in the news, there is an argument to be made for basic human goodness. The number of people who spend their lives engaged in violence and dishonesty is tiny compared to the vast majority who ...more
Paperback, 237 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Riverhead Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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Ken Rideout
Jul 23, 2011 Ken Rideout rated it it was amazing
This was required reading for a course I am taking which only makes me that much more impressed that I found it so profound. The Dalai Lama has somehow managed to outdo Joseph Campbell in religious sophistication. He has written a book for all of us that is, dare I say it, post religious. Post religious in a deeply spiritual way, in a all-embracing way, and in a conversational non-academic style. Clearly, he is primarily motivated by Buddhist beliefs but he is speaking to as wide an audience as ...more
Mar 07, 2014 Jason rated it liked it
In Buddhist thought, the distinction between altruism and self-interest disappears like the distinction between samsara and nirvana in the Heart Sutra:
If the self had intrinsic identity, it would be possible to speak in terms of self-interest in isolation from that of others'. But because this is not so, because self and others can only be understood in terms of relationship, we see that self-interest and others' interest are closely interrelated. Indeed, within this picture of dependently origi
Jul 26, 2011 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dalai Lama wrote this call for a spiritual revolution in 1999, and it represents the encapsulation of his thinking about ethics, an ethics not dependent on a particular religion or indeed any religion at all. Rather, it grows out of his conviction that the way to a fulfilled and meaningful life depends on the recognition that all people desire happiness and freedom from suffering. All phenomena in the world are interdependent, the nature of reality being that no one exists alone or by and fo ...more
Theresa Leone Davidson
Apr 02, 2015 Theresa Leone Davidson rated it really liked it
Quick story: I recently had dinner with a friend who, for whatever reason, made the comment that NO ONE works unless they have to work (for the paycheck), period. This is someone with adequate intelligence who does not often make asinine comments but who is probably unhappy with her own chosen profession, so I did not argue, but it would have been simple to do so, by pointing out that not every physician or attorney or Wall Street honcho, or CEO, or business owner, quits after the first million, ...more
Feb 27, 2013 Ariadna73 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, self-help
Check out my spanish review on my blog:
This is such an extraordinary book! Everyone should read it! Despite it was written more than a decade ago; the topic is clearly current and alive. I am so touched and moved for what I have just read; that I can only transcribe the last few paragraphs of this fantastic book:

Therefore; with my two hands joined; I appeal to you the reader to ensure that you make the rest of your life as meaningful as possible. Do this by engaging in spiri
B.t. Newberg
Dec 06, 2011 B.t. Newberg rated it really liked it
The Dalai Lama reaches past religious boundaries in this call for a new ethics practical for peoples of all beliefs, religious and secular. Although religions have provided ethical instruction in the past, they are losing their hold. Therefore we need an ethics which does not depend on religions, one which is at home in both religious and secular contexts. This he seeks to provide in Ethics for the New Millennium.

To begin, the Dalai Lama urges the need to ground all actions in positive mental st
Jan 30, 2009 Will rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
As a brief and necessarily general work, this book isn't exactly revelatory, but its simplicity is soothing and its message always welcome, however familiar. After all, there's a difference between being familiar with and remaining aware of ethical principles, not to mention the difference between remaining aware of and acting on them. For the duration of the book, I was at least aware.

Ultimately, I'd prefer a more specific discussion of how the Dalai Lama's experience and belief are relevant to
Feb 21, 2015 Ahmed rated it really liked it
كتاب جميل و مريح جدا....يعطيك طاقة معنوية هائلة عوضا عن العلم والرياضة الاخلاقية البوذية...الدلاي لاما ( تينزن غياتسو) او القائد الروحي للتبتانيين انسان فعلا رائع حاصل على جائزة نوبل للسلام...
يجول بك الدلاي لاما بين فلسفة الحياة المعاصرة والواقع المر المليئ بالقتل والانانية والبغضاء....محللا افعالنا والطبيعة النفسية السائدة عند المجتمع البشري ككل....منتقدا حياة الرفاهية المفرطة التي يعيش فيها بعض البشر مقارنتا بالجياع الذي يكونوا نصف سكان الارض...حلول اخلاقية يقدمها الكاتب واضعا بين عينيه التعدد
Feb 03, 2015 Dave rated it it was ok
Are there moments of insight? Of course. But this book largely disappoints. I expected someone with the measured and thoughtful attitude of the Dalai Lama to provide a more rigorous explanation for his ethics for the new millennium.

The word "ethics" in the title would seem to promise some sort of systematic explanation of a moral worldview. Instead we find an attempt at deductive reasoning is based off of flawed, naïve, and simplistic "universal" definitions carelessly applied to clichéd partic
Molly Montgomery
Aug 07, 2014 Molly Montgomery rated it really liked it
I thought this book provided insightful guidelines for ethics, and I like how the Dalai Lama specifically directed his advice towards non-religious people and was very open to the possibility that one can lead an ethical life without religion. If you're looking for specific suggestions on how to act like a better person, you probably need to consult more specific philosophers or religious texts because this book does not give you them. The Dalai Lama appeals to the universal human desire to find ...more
Laura Aranda
May 20, 2015 Laura Aranda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw the Dali Lama speak at my university a few years ago and I found the same warmth, beauty, and positivity in his writing as he emitted in person.

This book could also be called "Happiness for the New Millennium" or "Love for the New Millennium," as it delves into these subjects with dedication. Ethics, he argues, will only be possible when society as a whole learns the importance of love and compassion above all else. That is, when we have found true happiness. He ties our individual happin
Ellie Taylor
May 10, 2015 Ellie Taylor rated it it was amazing
If I could hand a copy of this book to each person of the world I sincerely believe we would have a more prosperous society.

It's taken me a few weeks to complete this, in part due to the gravity of the subject, and in part due to illness, but this is one a very short list of books which have come to profoundly move and change my perspectives of the world. Certainly in a book regarding ethics there are many levels of discussion taking place, some religious, some political, some internal or exter
Aug 19, 2014 Ronan rated it liked it
The Dalai Lama is a great spiritual leader of the 20th and 21st centuries. In this book, he outlines his understanding of an ethical life, how to live in the world, and why compassion is the key to inner peace and world peace. While this point is convincing and profound, the message is repeated throughout the book, and the writing, presentation, editing, and readability all leave a bit to be desired. A useful message should be simple, but this book may not appreciate the complexities of this new ...more
Kristina Lee
Jul 03, 2014 Kristina Lee rated it it was amazing
Should be required reading for all humans
Jan 24, 2010 Alice rated it it was amazing
What the Dalai Lama writes in this book really reflects a lot of my own personal philosophy. His main belief is that all humans want to find happiness and aviod suffering. The best way to do this is by living a life of love, compassion, patience, forgiveness, tolerance, and humility. He beleives that religious practice often cultivates these in our lives, but he argues that it is not NECESSARY to be an active participant in a religious practice to live an ethically grounded life. I find this ver ...more
Scott Dinsmore
Jul 09, 2009 Scott Dinsmore rated it really liked it
Why I Read this Book: Who could pass up the opportunity to learn about ethics from the Dali Lama himself.


Ethics are an interesting concept. A set of rules or ways of life that guide us to live life in a positive way both for ourselves and for those around us. This is my definition and hopefully at this point in your journey towards success, you have developed your own definitions of ethics and values. The unfortunate fact of life is that there are too many people out there who do not have
Samantha Newman
Jun 27, 2007 Samantha Newman rated it really liked it
I wanted to find a way to simply be more peaceful in my daily life, and it seems to me that real Buddhists are pretty peaceful people, so the Dalai Lama seemed to be a good place to go to for some ideas on peace.

I enjoyed reading the book and it does give some really good ideas and ways to think. I found myself identifying with the people he described that I wish I wasn't like! This gave me ideas on how to change, or simple ways to think differently to be happier and kinder and more peaceful in
David Gross
I would recommend the newer Beyond Religion Ethics for a Whole World instead, as a more methodical, precise, and practical guide to ethics. I found Ethics for the New Millennium to be comparatively gauzy, vague, and platitudinous.

Still, there was some meat on the bone worth chewing on.

The key to Ethics for the New Millennium is the Dalai Lama’s assertion that the way to be happy and content is to develop and expand one’s own compassion. The purest and most universally-directed altruism is simult
Scott DeVogelaere
Mar 02, 2016 Scott DeVogelaere rated it liked it
Very simple ideas that make sense. I have a lot of respect for the philosophy behind Buddhism, but the book seems to spend too much time describing the ideas in too much detail. Such is the way of self-help books, of which I am rarely a fan. I give patience to the Dalai Lama, though, and the idea of limiting suffering in the world. Many others should heed him. He's a cool dude!
Erik Dabel
Nov 01, 2011 Erik Dabel rated it it was amazing
The Dalai Lama is a beautiful, caring, warm soul, one who we can all learn a great deal from. This book is simply his thoughts on what we as individuals can do to make the world a better place, just as the title suggests, in an ever changing world heading into a new Millennium.

There are many great guidelines on these pages, many that our political and social leaders should really take a look at.

There isn't really anything mind blowing or revolutionary, the ideas are rather basic, but he portray
Bryan Jaketic
Apr 03, 2014 Bryan Jaketic rated it really liked it
I would not have read this book, had it not been given to me as a gift. It was very readable and written in a humble voice. I am not religious, but the Dalai Lama writes about basic morality in a straightforward way. I didn't have an epiphany reading this book, but it is nice to be reminded of some of the basic things we learn growing up.
Jul 12, 2008 Tommy rated it liked it
The most impressive thing about this book is that it came out in early 2001 - months before our nation underwent an unprecedented tragedy - and the Dalai Lama's message of a roadmap for peaceful coexistence in our world resonates just as powerfully today as it did in what Americans would consider more 'peaceful' days.

I re-read this after 9/11 and felt like it was a handbook for the world's leaders to follow. I don't think any did - ours sure didn't - but the book also talks about our own person
Jun 05, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing
Compassion, love, and kindness. It's a pretty simple message. Although some parts can be a little dense for people who aren't philosophy geeks, most of it is straightforward and simple. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone and everyone regardless or your religious beliefs.
May 18, 2011 Don rated it really liked it
I've always enjoyed reading items written by the current Dalai Lama; I think he has a very easy and ascertainable writing style that brings forth the concepts of Buddhism, and his belief for its application in our world, in a manner that is very accessible to the reader. This book was no exception, and for any one familiar with his writings, his focus on compassion as the core of ethics is no surprise. I tend to agree with an ethics centered on compassion, but I think the book begins the discuss ...more
Scott Merkling
Nov 08, 2008 Scott Merkling rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best surveys of Buddhist thought available for westerners. In his lovable style and simple, straightforward prose, His Holiness provides people of all walks of life with what they have always wanted... the key to happiness.
Of all the books I have read by His Holiness the Dalai Lama this is the one that feels the most direct, not through an interpreter or narrator. Reading this is the next best thing to a conversation with the man himself.
Also of note is that the practice des
Feb 13, 2014 Johanna rated it it was ok
I have tried so hard to read this book. I keep putting it down and then picking it back up and reading some more. I can't get into it. He has a valid point but it seems maybe like an essay that tried to be a book
Laura K
Mar 05, 2012 Laura K rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Excellent and thought-provoking, this book presents "a moral system based on universal, rather than religious principles." Love, compassion, patience, tolerance, humility , forgiveness. I especially appreciated the fact that he discusses what's right with the world (hope based on a greater awareness of ecology, cooperation, awareness, ect.), and not just what is troubling. He deals with difficult issues (how can different religions co-exist, how can different religious practitioners still stay t ...more
Dec 28, 2014 Crystal rated it really liked it
At first I could only read one chapter a day, because as the author himself admitted, he wasn't saying anything that hadn't already been said beofre. However, as the book got into the specifics of living an ethical life, it got much better. The Dalai Lama's humility and understanding of human nature make his recommendations easy to accept.
Jim Lavis
Feb 23, 2016 Jim Lavis rated it it was amazing
I can't get enough of the Dalai Lama, and for that reason, I guess I'm a little bias. It's a good read. I'd read it more than once.
Dec 29, 2013 Chip rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me via my youngest daughter. Seems she had a few classes/lectures with his holiness and it blew her away. I found the book fascinating! I have always thought of the Dalai Lama as a great humanitarian & an incredibly intelligent human. This book should be a must read for every single person. I know that is a bit over the top but truly this book, chapter by chapter, is an amazing thought & action provoking outline to what we as human beings ought to be doing fo ...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
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