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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  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,458 Ratings  ·  219 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 2002)
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Mar 26, 2008 Rustam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 19, 2008 Tess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Jun 05, 2012 Z rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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
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
Dec 01, 2009 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual-self
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. :-)
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
May 18, 2010 Callie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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."


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
Aug 20, 2011 Alissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Clark Hallman
How To Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life by His Holiness the Dalai Lama - His Holiness gives advice and explanations about how to develop a more meaningful life and move toward enlightenment in this informative but complex book. Of course he covers compassion and holding the happiness and welfare others before oneself. He also presents some meditation advice and complicated explanations of emptiness. It’s a worthwhile read that provides some useful information about Buddhism to any interest ...more
Brian Wilkerson
Jan 20, 2015 Brian Wilkerson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, backstory. When I was a teenager, I experimented spiritually. I was fortunate enough to go to a high school that both showed respect for all religions and also promoted Christian compassion. There was a class called "World Religions" that sampled major ones like Buddhism, Judaism and Islam. Because of that, I bought "How to Practice" when browsing a store. It was only a month or so ago that I finished reading it.

It's about the Dalai Lama lecturing about how to live a "meaningful life". I
Dans Mon arbre
Jan 07, 2016 Dans Mon arbre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent guide to a beginner in the practices of Buddhism.

The Dalai Lama, while not always able to convey perfectly what he wants to due to language barriers, does an excellent job of giving you a basic guide down this path.

Buddhism for me is not something that I hold to spiritually, but as way of making myself better. The practices involved make sense to me, and practicing them make me feel better about myself and have helped with how I view and treat other people. It helps with an
Lisa LaMendola
Mar 06, 2010 Lisa LaMendola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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....
Sep 20, 2007 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 26, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 28, 2010 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
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.
Jan 01, 2013 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jenny Stringham
A lot more Buddhist teachings than I expected so I was a little lost at points since I've never thoroughly studied this religion. Overall interesting though and some gems through out that made me look at life, emotions, etc from a different perspective. One of my favorite quotes was "You should not neglect a greater purpose for the sake of a smaller one."
Of course the essence of Buddhism is beautiful and would be beneficial if more people had compassion for all living beings. The Dalai Lama poi
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
I read this for the Rainbow Challenge in one of my groups as the pick for a self-help/relaxing book. It was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I really loved it. I'm interested in learning about other religions, as I only ever really learned about Christianity while growing up, and I bought this book at a used book sale years ago and never got around to it. I took a star off because the last third of the book did get a little complicated (he discusses a lot of terms I wasn't really familiar with, ...more
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
Sheila Guevin
Oct 12, 2013 Sheila Guevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 14, 2012 Doug rated it did not like it  ·  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
Jan 05, 2012 David rated it really liked it
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
Feb 03, 2010 Roger rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 14, 2012 Paulette Jaxton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epub
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
Mar 09, 2013 Mark rated it liked it  ·  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
Dec 26, 2008 Ladan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Sep 03, 2013 Suzanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
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
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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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“True change is within; leave the outside as it is.” 151 likes
“My earnest request is that you practice love and kindness whether you believe in a religion or not.” 5 likes
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