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How To Practise: The Way to a Meaningful Life
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How To Practise: The Way to a Meaningful Life

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  4,525 ratings  ·  193 reviews
How To Practise is a major inspirational work, by one of the world's greatest spiritual teachers. It is broken down into the basic steps to enlightenment: how to practise morality, how to practise meditation, and how to practise wisdom - at the same time, delving deeper into His Holiness' more general Buddhist teachings, his spirit, wisdom and sense of humour. The book, me ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 7th 2008 by Rider (first published January 1st 2002)
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Rustam
I find this man really fascinating, but this book didn't quite get there for me. I wonder if what he preaches is too simple to be interesting in a literary format. I would be interested in reading his auto-biography. His English isn't all that hot, but his occasional anecdotal digressions are very interesting.

I can't believe I'm giving the Dalai Lama TWO stars!? The good news is, I'm not going to Hell, but rather, I may be reborn as a desert rodent.
Z
Although I have immense respect for the Dalai Lama's teachings and for traditional Buddhist doctrine, I would not recommend this book as a primer for someone who wants to learn more about Buddhism and/or meditation. The first half of the book is very general, very lightly describing basic Buddhist tenets and advising on concentrated meditation. The second half focuses on the concepts of 'emptiness,' 'inherent existence' and 'dependent-arisings' - and I came away feeling like none of these were r ...more
Tess
I still read this book. Recently, I needed something to bring me peace during a small conflict. I opened the book arbitrarily and found just what I needed. I love this little book. It can be a wonderful guide to living peacefully and spreading peace among others.
Melissa
The Dalai Lama is such a witty character. He cracks me up and surprises me with every page of this book! It's so refreshing to read the words and advice of a religious leader that isn't stuffy and in your face about beliefs and religion.

He offers great wisdom and tips on living more peacefully and happily with an open heart and mind. I came away from this feeling lighthearted and motivated to be a better person, live more fully, and experience one day at a time, with grace. I respect him so much
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Jackie
This was my first real introduction to Buddhism.

Since the purpose of this book is teaching how to achieve enlightenment, it doesn't cover things like Buddhist history or explanations of the basic concepts and so I realize I have a lot to learn to understand this religion.

There are essentially 3 steps to enlightenment: Practicing Morality, Concentrated Meditation and Practicing Wisdom. These are the steps to totally enlightenment and becoming a Buddha, as such they go beyond the layperson. My goa
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Callie
A bunch of quotes from this book I need to get down, because they are valuable.

"By greeting trouble with optimism and hope , you are undermining worse troubles down the line."

CONTENTMENT REGARDING FOOD< CLOTHES< SHELTER:

SHELTER "Lay people can reduce the neverending quest for a better home and for the funiture and decorations in it." Imagine! This is an outright unequivocal, unapologetic suggestion that we just stop acquiring things and be happy with what we have.

"Examine your attitudes
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Froztwolf
This is an odd book that seems to span the entirety of Buddhist practice from beginning to end.

The first third of the book was easy to connect with. It talks about things in our daily lives, what the tenets or Buddhist practice are, how these two relate, and basically what Buddhism encourages people to do and why. Having studied Buddhism a little before, there were few surprises there for me but it was yet a welcome reminder and well structured.

The middle part of the book tackles subjects that
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Alissa
This book is a good introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. It is generally set up to provide specific daily practices (visualizations, thoughts and meditations). I enjoyed the chapters on the basics and practicing morality, but after that, I found that the descriptions became less coherent. That could either be a translation issue or perhaps I'm not at the understanding level yet. Either way, the most meaningful parts of the book were nearer the beginning. Portions of the book are redundant in that a ...more
Dan Bartholomew
The first half of the book was illuminating and offered some practical application that Is valuable regardless of religious background. The second half was a tougher read, and honestly lost me at certain points. Some of the deeper theory of the practice uses language in ways that is not always consistent with definitions I am used to (such as "emptiness"), and also digs into deeper Buddhist theory about the nature of existence...ideas that aren't consistent with my beliefs. All in all, a helpful ...more
Lisa LaMendola
For anyone looking to find a simple book on the "how to's" of every day life as a Buddhist this is the book! I wish I had found this long before I read all the other books I've been through in my search for enlightenment....
Pete
It expanded my view of nothingness; I can now understand emptiness as inherent without indulging in nihilism. I've also come to believe that the Dalai Lama has infinitely pinchable cheeks.
Sarah
I don't (yet?) practice the kind of meditation and visualization talked about in this book, so it wasn't as helpful to me as some of his other books. There was a little bit of language/cultural confusion I think in some portions, but readers are still capable of understanding the gist of what's being said. All in all, I think he has some better books out there, and I'd only recommend this to those who meditate. That said, I did learn a couple things-- about Buddhism, its practice, and its school ...more
Angie
I Love this book from H.H. The Dalai Lama and use it as a reference guide. If you're ever feeling "out of sorts," then this is a great book to help you find your center/balance. :-)
Alicia
One of my favorite books, very inspiring and makes me strive to live a more compassionate life. I have read many books by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and I love them all.
Sara
I really enjoyed the first part of it, which focused on benevolent intent. The later part with "inherent nothings", "spontaneous arisings", etc - I just did't get.
Michelle Pei
I bought this book thinking it would be filled with nuggets of wisdom imparted by the Dalai Lama and provide me with some spiritual enlightenment. I was wrong. It literally is a general step-by-step guide outlining exactly what you should do to live meaningfully, presented in a fairly dry and matter-of-fact manner. There were a few quotes scattered here and there that were quite philosophical and did really make me think, beyond the scope of the topic at hand, but the majority of the book was ju ...more
A
Having finished this book over 3 months ago and not having the book with me, it's hard to go into detail about why I gave this book 3 stars. I can say that 3 stars doesn't mean it's a bad book by any stretch; I "liked it," after all.

I think my primary issue with the book is that its was not always clear about the intended audience. On the one hand it seems oriented toward the reader with a more general understanding of Buddhism, sometimes detailing certain precepts and practices, while on the ot
...more
Sheila Guevin
Early in the book the Dalai Lama encourages the practice of daily purposeful living. Getting up each day and focusing on an active participation in the world by: First doing no harm and secondly helping others when you can.

Think how much a community would change if just these two principles were applied by every capable human in that community.

The Dalai Lama takes each chapter to futher expound upon the practices of daily life on a path to enlightenment.

This is an excellent read for someone who
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Doug
Jan 14, 2012 Doug rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wouldn't
When I bought this book, I was looking for answers to the many questions that we seem to accumulate over the course of our lives {or so I imagine}. I was disappointed with where I was and with the way I was reacting to the situations in my life ... way too much anger, cynicism, confusion and emptiness.

I thought that I may be able to find a few "tricks" or "secrets" that I could put to immediate use to help bring back a sense of balance that I was sorely lacking.

Unfortunately, my expectations wer
...more
David
This was, as you would expect from the Dalai Lama, an insightful book. It is a guide to enlightenment. As you would also expect, that path is by no means an easy one.

I think it is a bit too hard going for the layman such as me. There are concepts within the book that have left me a little confused. I know I need to look up more on the Middle Way and the philosophical concept of the emptiness. His Holiness (HH) writes:

The understanding of emptiness is fantastic, is it not? [mmm, not sure I got
...more
Roger
Although I am fascinated by the study of Buddhism and by the amazing words of wisdom passed along by the Dalai Lama, I found the author to be a bit overbearing on the details of ritual practice rather than practical inclusion of Buddhist philosophy into everyday life. From beginning to end, the Dalai Lama lays out the foundations of Tibetan (Mahayana) Buddhist practice, from the cultivation of compassion for others, followed by methods of meditation, and finally acquiring wisdom to ultimately at ...more
Paulette Jaxton
I wouldn't quite call "How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life" by the Dalai Lama a primer on Buddhism, because I feel that someone with no foreknowledge of Buddhist philosophy and practice might quickly get lost amidst the vast amount of information contained in this little volume. However, if you understand the basics, His Holiness presents the details of how to practice, in the Tibetan way, in a very clear and concise presentation. I found myself coming to several new and exciting revel ...more
Mark Harris
Mar 09, 2013 Mark Harris rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in Tibetan Buddhism
The Dalai Lama presents the concepts and practices of Tibetan Buddhism in a matter-of-fact manner. In fact, it is surprisingly dry. I appreciate this, because it facilitates my preferred mode of initial contact with unfamiliar perspectives. When approaching any unfamiliar worldview, I tend to slowly assemble a mental model of it from the sources I'm consuming. I gain a sense of its structures and claims — which I believe can only be appreciated in this particular dispassionate way by an outsider ...more
Ladan
Owned this book for several years before I finally finished it. Though technically I lost it before I quite got to the last few pages. I'm taking that as a sign that my journey with this book is complete. Definitely not a book for beginning practitioners as some of the concepts are really subtle and difficult to grasp as laid out.

"First you realize that each and every sentient being wants happiness and does not want suffering, just like you; in this fundamental way you and they are equal. Then,
...more
Suzanne
This work is far more overtly proselytizing than the title suggests. I was expecting something more ecumenical, along the lines of Thich Nhat Hanh's works. It is a fascinating look inside the mind of Tibetan Buddhism and definitely authentic, if relatively simplistic. The work fails in that it attempts to move the reader from "The Basics," with an introduction to Buddhism, meditation and mindfulness, all the way through the concepts of "emptiness" and "dependent-arising" to Tantra and deity medi ...more
Don
It's been awhile since I've read a book concerning Buddhist practice, and this was a good book to reacquaint myself with the underlying belief structure, and meditative techniques. The Dalai Lama's writing style has always been easy to read, and this book is no exception. That said, a reader will have to have an interest in practicing certain tenets of Buddhism, as opposed to just learning about the religion, in order to find this book interesting and helpful.
Todd
I have always been fascinated by religions and spirituality. I find it interesting why one person chooses Mormonism, another Judaism and so on. This book gives a wonderful overview of Buddhism and the way to enlightenment through the practice. It is written in simple terms that most will be able to understand and make educated decisions about the practice and it's beliefs.
Kyley
This book was something of a challenge to connect to, but one I'm glad I undertook. I picked this up after seeing the Dalai Lama lecture about emptiness among other things, and I wanted to learn more. After reading this book, I realize I am much more drawn to Zen practices than the ritualized Tibetan Buddhism. After seeing His Holiness lecture, I was incredibly moved by his wisdom and presence, but this writing did not inspire me in the same way. Someone like Pema Chodron is perhaps a better fit ...more
Ralf Larisch
Der Buddhismus ist mir weniger Religion, viel mehr Ratgeber.
Wer über den Rand der hineingewachsenen Ideologie hinausblicken möchte, der ist im Einstieg mit diesem Buch gut beraten. Die Schriften des 14. Dalai Lama (Tendzin Gyatsho), darf man als Lehrbücher betrachten.
Cris
It was an excellent book for the purposes of interior examination, for the growing of virtues. It gives exact cataloguing of moral imperfection, including sexual which are very on the ball. I do think there are practical applications of meditation that would be helpful in changing attitudes and of course the idea of loving people in an expansive meditation is excellent. It is of course missing the christian aspect of acceptance of suffering rather than avoidance.....and the definition of hope is ...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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“True change is within; leave the outside as it is.” 135 likes
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