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An Introduction to the Teachings and Philosophy of the Dalai Lama in His Own Words

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  339 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is celebrated as Buddhism's preeminent spiritual master and teacher, embodying the highest aspirations of this rich tradition that is more than 2,500 years old. With both profundity and simplicity, he has carried the nuanced teachings of the Buddha to the far corners of the globe, and in the process has touched and transformed millions of lives. ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Hay House (first published April 1st 2001)
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Dec 07, 2010 Splendy rated it liked it
How dare a common human like me give only 3 stars to a book written by “His Holiness,” an internationally renowned spiritual leader!? Damn! Let’s just jump right into the parts that I’m struggling with, rather than dwell on the fact that I’m stepping to a teacher who is spiritually as great as the ocean.

The Dalai Lama explains again and again that, “achieving the perfection of ethics means that you attain a state of mind that refrains from harming sentient beings in any way at all.” Non-violence
Sujata Sahni
At the Society of Neuro Science, Dalai Lama mentioned that the scientific understanding of the human brain, study of individual genes at the subtlest level and the developments in genetics has resulted in unforseen technological possibilities of manipulating the very codes of life thereby giving rise to the likelihood of creating entirely new realities for humanity.

Mordern neuro science has developed a good understanding of brain mechanism associated with attention and emotion. Buddhism offers
Brian Welsch
Jan 25, 2016 Brian Welsch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm no expert on Buddhism, but from my brief readings so far, I believe the Dalai Lama covers the basic aspects of Buddhism. He covers it from a Tibetan traditional view point, which I'm not certain is the correct path for me. The chapters are logically broken up and simply enough written to get a general overview. I wish he would use more and better examples/analogies during his explanations. In trying to stick with abstract generalities, it sometimes took a while to struggle through certain co ...more
Don Moman
Dec 01, 2014 Don Moman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This book is a collection of pieces that H.H. the Dalai Lama has written elsewhere edited together to form an introduction to Buddhism. It is the first Buddhist book I've read, and I think it succeeds as an introduction to Buddhism. Where it is good, it is amazing. His Holiness obviously deserves to be considered among the great practitioners of moral and philosophical spirituality (with folk like Epicurus or St. Francis or Mr. Rogers). His writings on happiness and compassion are inspiring, esp ...more
Sep 03, 2014 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book for those who wants to read about Buddhism from the basics.
His Holiness The Dalai Lama is nothing is not prolific. His website lists over 100 books he has written or co-written since the 1960s, ranging from autobiographies to scientific essays on particle physics, instructions on meditation, and a Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus. In My Own Words provides a brief explanation of his foundational beliefs and opinions on how they apply in various circles of influence.

The very essence of Buddhism, according to the Dalai Lama, is “interdependen
Jul 01, 2013 Darrell rated it really liked it
Shelves: mine
Profound, deep. Nothing short of a philosophical mind and a good understanding of Buddhism would be needed to understand the work of His Holiness, and unfortunately, I am nowhere near that level.

But it is still enlightening to read through and grasp the tiny little fragments of his thoughts every little now and then. Here's one of my favorite extract from the book:

"Every world religion, no matter what its philosophical view, is founded first and foremost on the precept that we must reduce our se
Besides it's beautiful message and path to controlling one's mind, Buddhism is the religion of lists and sub-lists! I began taking notes of every list (The Four Noble Truths, The Eight-Fold Path, The Three Jewels, the Four Buddhist Seals, The Six Sentient Beings, The Five Desirous Attributes...etc.) and found that there were too many (with the sub-lists) to keep order on my paper. Clearly, one must absorb the Dharma slowly.

This quick read is an excellent introduction to Buddhism and to the thoug
Alec Justice
May 02, 2016 Alec Justice rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
After reading "How To See Yourself As You Really Are", which mostly served as a introduction to the Buddhist view of the self, and disagreeing with it, this book was a refreshing, more practical introduction to Buddhist thought and practice. The chapters all build on each other, laying the foundations for compassion and universal altruism, and moving on how shaping the mind, and how it looks in our own daily lives. The final few chapters relate to how this looks in society and the world/universe ...more
Tom Gaetjens
Aug 13, 2016 Tom Gaetjens rated it it was ok
An interesting read. If anything, this book just makes me aware of how little I know about Buddhism and how large the philosophical gulf between Zen and mainstream Buddhism seems to be. From what I've read so far, I prefer Zen, though that's definitely a subjective opinion. The book does a good job of communicating His Holiness's philosophies, and therefore can hardly be faulted for doing exactly what it says on the dust jacket.
Austen Waite
If you're looking for a crash course in some of the main theological ideas of Buddhism then this isn't a bad place to start. I found this book did go quite fast at times, some things may have required a more comprehensive explanation, but overall a decent book which I may re-read at a later date. (One thing I did enjoy about this edition was the amount of sentences which finished at the bottom of the page...)
Sep 24, 2010 dario rated it it was amazing
Recommended to dario by: Michelle
Lejos de los dogmas, está el resultado de una filosofìa milenaria.
Sentido común a más no poder, rechazo total (alguna vez el príncipe Gauthama del clan Sakya se permitió uno) a los milagros.
Religión basada en la libertad y principalmente, en la fortaleza mental, la compasión, el amor al otro, el respeto al enemigo (tu enemigo es tu mejor amigo, señala el Dalai Lama).
Se puede estar o no de acuerdo con esta religiòn (lo es?), pero cuando uno se compromete con ella, uno termina siendo otra persona
There are some beautiful little pearls of wisdom in this book. My personal favorite is, "Your future self is determined by your present state of mind." I love reading about different religions. So often their truths are the same as mine, but worded in such a way that it seems new again.
Jan 19, 2015 Bailey rated it liked it
Shelves: read-recently, 2015
As someone who does not know much about Buddhism, I appreciated the straight-forward, simple writing style. It has a good overview of the basic beliefs of Buddhism and how to practice those beliefs. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in meditation or learning about different religions!
Feb 15, 2013 Melissa rated it liked it
The writing was interesting, as was the topic. I was very surprised by the number of elements that I strongly disagree with. I thought Buddhism was more of a philosophy than a religion but there were so many parts of this book that seemed more like an organized religion, from a behavioral perspective, than I had hoped. It's certainly thought-provoking though so although I don't necessarily agree with a lot of it, I still appreciated reading it.
Oct 14, 2008 Jean-Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-time-faves
An easy to read introduction to the tenants of Tibetan Buddhism, this book is a collection of the Dalia Lama's most accessible works on topics ranging from "compassion" to "karma." For those folks curious about just what makes the 14th Dalia Lama such an engaging media/historical figure, this particular translation and presentation allows for his world-view and attitude to come alive in a way that matches his public persona.
Jan 11, 2012 Rubina rated it liked it
Shelves: spiritual
A good basic introduction to the teachings of Buddhism. The Dalai Lama explains the history, concepts and intentions of Buddhism before proceeding to teach about the Four Noble Truths, how to transform the mind, practice mindfulness and an awakening mind. There are still aspects of the teachings on Emptiness that I am trying to understand though.
Renn J
Jan 10, 2015 Renn J rated it liked it
I was pretty let down by this read. It had great info and insight i just found myself bored reading it very often. Im almost tempted to rate it 2 stars but i respect the author so much i would feel bad! I usually highlight like crazy while reading and found myself highlighting very seldom and just couldn't get into this. :(
Johnny Stork
Jul 24, 2014 Johnny Stork rated it it was amazing
Another exceptional introductory book from the Dalai Lama. Great first-read for anyone interested in his basic philosophies and teachings. Highly secular and applicable, or of value, to anyone with an interest in living a spiritual and harmonious life.
Jun 26, 2010 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: thought-religion
A decent introduction to the Dalai Lama's beliefs. I found his thoughts on human nature, policy, science, and the modern world more clear and useful than his explanation of Buddhist religious traditions.
Feb 10, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without regard to one's religion this book offers an insight into becoming a better human capable of showing compassion to others.
May 14, 2012 Amber rated it really liked it
A really easy read. Basic introduction from the world's number one authority on his views, Buddhism in general, and meditation guidance.
Feb 03, 2009 Ruth rated it really liked it
I love reading about the Buddhist's and their religion. They are such a peaceful group of people. I try to live by their words.
Apr 13, 2009 Pat rated it it was ok
Remarkable man but I did enjoy his earlier books a little better. Nice to have a reminder of what is really important...
Jan 04, 2011 Patty rated it liked it
I liked it. The beginning was the best and then it just seemed a bit repetative.
Jul 05, 2012 Christine rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
A bit inaccessible and heavy-handed, but interesting. May revisit it another time.
Nov 20, 2008 Lisa rated it it was ok
It would have garnered another star if a few chapters weren't over my head. :)
Apr 09, 2011 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure where I went wrong, but my review is under comments...?
Mar 18, 2012 Kei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because the purpose of life truly is to be happy.
Dec 29, 2015 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
just needed to read it very slowly.
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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 about Dalai Lama XIV...

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“Because we all share an identical need for love, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister. No matter how new the face or how different the dress and behavior, there is no significant division between us and other people. It is foolish to dwell on external differences, because our basic natures are the same.” 19 likes
“I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars, and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but—at the very least—it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.” 4 likes
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