I found this book simply amazing. It takes a look at one of the central sutras in Mahayana Buddhism and goes into a good bit of detail. The Dalai LamaI found this book simply amazing. It takes a look at one of the central sutras in Mahayana Buddhism and goes into a good bit of detail. The Dalai Lama also covers how it fits into the wider Buddhist context, and sort of does a Buddhism 101 along the way from his unique perspective and vast experience. I find his translations more careful and easier to understand at a deep level than others who try to give more precise translations of the Sanskrit or Tibetan, ending up with words that are awkward and turn a sutra into a tongue twister which is a bit unhelpful if you want to use it for recitation....more
This is an awesome book. I don't necessarily share his point of view sometimes, but that maybe because he is an 80 year old Vietnamese Buddhism monk wThis is an awesome book. I don't necessarily share his point of view sometimes, but that maybe because he is an 80 year old Vietnamese Buddhism monk who has learned much much more about life than I know, so I am inclined to listen to what he has to say rather carefully.
The book takes you on a journey through Buddhism and Thich Nhat Hanh's views on things, and how they relate to Christianity. It is quite helpful for people with a Christian background as he draw many parallels between Buddhism and Christianity.
As time passes, I feel like this book did not have the dramatic immediate impact on me that Zen Rinpoche's book did, but that it's effect was deeper an more profound, and is actually staying with me much more so. I have found myself trying to practice what Thay describes as mindful breathing. Just bringing youself back to the present moment by centering yourself on your breath. Many moments during the day, I just take a half a second and notice myself properly. I notice how tense I am and just relax a moment, and breath. It's amazing the effect it has.
I LOVE this book. I think it's utterly brilliant, a total eye-opener. I can't recommend this strongly enough. I think if you are in the right frame ofI LOVE this book. I think it's utterly brilliant, a total eye-opener. I can't recommend this strongly enough. I think if you are in the right frame of mind, this is a book that could change your life dramatically.
The book is a breakdown of the six perfections talked about in Vajrayana Buddhism, but don't let that put you off if you're not into Buddhism. It's presented in a very non-religious way by means of presenting through a story that parallels the book, and in reality, the six perfections are really bastions of Psychology anyway, and have very little to do with religion. Some people might find the presentation a little off-putting, but it's sort of like Bible parables, and I was very comfortable with it, and enjoyed the story a great deal. I felt like it drew me in and had me coming back for more every day.
My only regret is that I read it too fast and I'm going to have to read it over again to really absorb some of the lessons contained!...more
This book is an excellent, simply, well-written, clear-cut introduction to Buddhism. What are the basics. Buddhism 101. It's very wonderful, and I leaThis book is an excellent, simply, well-written, clear-cut introduction to Buddhism. What are the basics. Buddhism 101. It's very wonderful, and I learned a great deal from it. Some of the books is written in a question and answer style, and I found that very appealing based on the subject matter. Some of the sections seemed a bit odd to me, but I imagine that they are there for other people.
I would highly recommend this book to pretty much everyone. You should at least know about one of the world's major religions, even if you don't care to follow the tradition at all....more
I read this book as a new-commer to Buddhism. I am a Catholic for some value thereof, and it was fascinating. I have also looked at the Dalai Lama's 'I read this book as a new-commer to Buddhism. I am a Catholic for some value thereof, and it was fascinating. I have also looked at the Dalai Lama's 'The Art of Happiness', and I sort of wanted a book that would tell me how to meditate having been instructed thusly that meditation was part of the answer. From that perspective this book was perfect. It offered a detailed and in-depth guide on Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices that could actively help me to alter my mental attitude. The more difficult aspect of it was the metaphysics. I understand that in order to really grasp some of these meditations, such a discussion was important to bind the whole thing together, but it was not deep enough. I came away feeling like I've gained a lot of knowledge on meditation, but am left feeling like I wanted more discussion on the metaphysics of buddhism and of emptiness. There were several passages that left me wanting and just flat had me floundering, not understanding at all he concepts and ideas that were put forward. The book also has a link to the website which has some audio for the meditations which is absolutely excellent, and helps to give one a sense of rhythm for the meditations, a guide to how fast to progress through each step in the meditation. The mind does not focus instantly, and it's interesting to see how long she spends on each step. Overall I really liked this book and would recommend it....more