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Becoming Enlightened

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  767 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Happily, we do not have to remain trapped by the past. His Holiness reveals how life-enhancing Buddhist practices, as relevant today as they have ever been, can help us break free from the cycles of suffering that ensnare us. He encourages us to broaden our outlook and to adjust our personal values. And he gives us the tools to deal with any negative emotions we may experi ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 7th 2010 by Rider (first published December 15th 2008)
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Mar 18, 2009 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Becoming Enlightened, His Holiness the Dalai Lama powerfully explores the foundation of Buddhism, laying out an accessible and practical approach to age-old questions: How can we live free from suffering? How can we achieve lasting happiness and peace?

Dalai Lama says that all religions are valid and each is suited well for a different group of people. It says Buddhists should never go around trying to convert others. Buddhism is not better than other religions. Each religion is a path, each o
Mar 07, 2010 Terence rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People looking for an antidote to Ayn Rand
Recommended to Terence by: New Book shelf @ library
The best vacation I've ever had was the three weeks I spent in Nepal in 1995 or '96. I was lucky. The military junta had been overthrown but the Communist insurgency hadn't begun; the Nepalese were enjoying what turned out to be an all-too-brief peace. Of those 21 days, the best of the best were the eleven I spent at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery north of Kathmandu. I've always had an intellectual interest in Buddhism, and my week and a half of direct exposure to people who were living a version ...more
Jun 05, 2014 Rod rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was way too much fun - in a nasty way! Here goes:

Because of this book I now know about hungry ghosts, gods and demi-gods, HELL-beings??? and lama's. And here I was thinking that Buddhists are intellectual philosopher's that aren't really religious. (just kidding!) And yet they claim LOVE has priority. Says WHO?

I picked this book up because of the retarded comment on the back:
"It is very important to value all religious systems...since all religions share these goals, it is important to resp
Sep 11, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, philosophy
To my surprise and regret I find that I'm not yet enlightened after reading this book. No fifth star for you!

Of course it isn't that easy. The Dalai Lama describes three stages or levels of practice in detail, and in the course of 200 pages covers most of the major tenets and history of the Buddhism. He repeats key points and phrases so that the text at times reads like Buddhist scripture, but they are points that bear repeating and re-reading and deep thought.

He mentions toward the beginning
With no illusions about becoming a Tibetan Buddhist, I humbly review this book.

The Dalai Lama put together something excellent in Becoming Enlightened, a treasury of wisdom both ancient and set to the tune of modern science. Eschewing deeper philosophy for practical basics, one of the contemporary era's most respected religious leaders explains how anyone who wants it can taste a dash of Tibetan Buddhism's peace and compassion for humankind.

"Once when I visited Canada, several Christian demonstr
Not sure this fits into his usual "Art of Happiness" handbooks style. It seemed to be heavy on the reincarnation and religious side of Buddhism aspects. Although it did have a few of the expected, tasty, enlightened nuggets of wisdom that only bald people wearing pajamas can really provide.

Instead of taking a lot of the non-religous-specific advice to heart, I found myself thinking more often than not, "Yep, this is why I'm not officially a Buddhist." (Hint: it's not because I don't like wearin
Carmen Micsa
I have read most of his books, and they are, of course, filled with divine wisdom and graciousness. I enjoyed listening to this book, although he repeated some of the key conpcepts, such as the noble truths, and so on. One of his key concepts is loving and cherishing others before we cherish ourselves, which I think it's the leitmotif of the book well-worth repeating, as we constantly seem to forget these simple and noble truths.

Being selfless is also a recurrent theme in the book, which even t
Practice avoiding the 10 nonvirtues:

3 main physical nonvirtues: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct
4 main verbal nonvirtues: lying, divisive talk, harsh speech, senseless chatter
3 main mental nonvirtues: covetousness, harmful intent, wrong views

This alone makes the book worth reading.
Lolly K Dandeneau
I am not a buddhist but I like to pretend to be, no really.. this book is interesting so far. Some of it is hard to wrap my mind around, and while I don't quite follow most of the Dalai Lama's beliefs, I respect them and feel enlighted just reading.
Nov 14, 2014 Rrrrrron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mid-to
I liked buddism a lot more before reading this book.
Aug 15, 2010 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one may have convinced me to become vegetarian.
Jan 26, 2009 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much more specific than the last dali lama book I read which was sort of pop psychology or something, this is very specific explanation of the buddhist belief and the steps laid out to enlightenment.
Ben Tipper
Jul 07, 2017 Ben Tipper rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was well targeted at an American audience. I can’t judge it too much, because I didn’t get too far into it. It wasn’t very exciting and I didn’t feel like I was gaining much from it unfortunately. I do appreciate the additional research on Buddhism that this book inspired me to do. I haven’t read any of the Dalia Lama’s other works, but I have a feeling there may be better ones, or at least better Buddhism resources out there, than this one.
Jeannie Mancini
Tibet is famous throughout the Buddhist world for introducing in layman’s terms, the practice of enlightenment. The Dalai Lama shows us in a comprehensive yet simplistic way, the practical methods of learning to cope with daily stress from the complexity of today’s society, and the benefits these practices can reap once the ancient art of enlightenment is achieved. In this short but concise book, he outlines practical ways to end our suffering through promoting kindness & tolerance, and by p ...more
Shane Amazon
Over the years I have found myself looking for some sort of spirituality or connection to a higher plain. With many of the mainstream religions I've found an emphasis on following rules and less emphasis on guiding a person to inner strength and morality. After watching a documentary on BBC about Buddhism and the history of, I decided to do a little more research on the history and teachings.

After looking over a plethora of books I came across Becoming Enlightened and read the product descriptio
Nov 11, 2015 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a calming philosophy I need to have returned by Thursday if I want to do without renewing. (I might very well have to renew and return it Saturday. No problem.)
Before one of my dearest friends put this into my hands, I only had a passing acquaintance with Buddhism through my longer history of learning about the Japanese culture through anime, then through everything I gathered through my grand trip to China in late spring 2013 (the Dragon Boat Festival time of year)... Let me see if I can g
Aug 01, 2012 Labyrinth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
In the spring of 2009, I was in a very bad place. I had left a job that I loved very much, teaching, because of very severe anxiety issues, but although I went through reading "deserts" as the accompanying depression interfered with my desire to do any activity whatsoever, reading has never left me altogether. Thank God. Barnes and Noble was pushing this book on one of their tables as literature appropriate for graduates, so it was an odd place to find it, or maybe not. Graduate literature is al ...more
William Southwell-Wright
This book is far less accessible than it is packaged to be. I have a reasonable familiarity with Buddhist concepts and found it relatively easy to process, but during my reading of it (having found this on the shelves of Waterstones rather than anywhere particularly esoteric) my main thought was that this would be pretty inaccessible and opaque to the general reader. There is a lot of specific Buddhist terminology deployed which isn't unpacked and can easily be misunderstood, potentially in a ha ...more
A very interesting book.

Having only read a little bit about Buddhism online, I was excited to read this to get more of a feel of the teachings. I found many things easy to agree upon and other aspects a little bit more faith-based, but in whole I found it fascinating. I think I came away from this book with more of an open mind towards certain things, and has led me to think about things a little differently. I enjoyed how he referenced modern psychology and science a bit, but I wish that had ma
Kevin Klukowski
Mar 12, 2014 Kevin Klukowski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is so inspirational i can't believe I've put off reading it for so long. I've always had an interest for buddhism and now, with reading this book, i definitely want to start my path to enlightenment. religion was never my thing and i always thought that believing in a "god" was just odd because you don't know that the god you believe in actually existed. as i got to the religion part of this book, i realized buddhism shares the exact same view that i have and even cleared up my own vie ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Z rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful and moving book, and a fabulous primer for anyone who is interested in Buddhism, as a practitioner or simply from curiosity. With its emphasis on universal benevolence and mortality, it is one of the most profound books I have ever read, and I found it useful and inspiring even though I am not Buddhist and do not plan on becoming Buddhist.

(If you are interested in the beneficial, practical, aspects of Buddhism and not so interested in Buddhist dogma, I would recommend The Art of Happ
Jon Evans
Jan 08, 2014 Jon Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great introduction to Buddhism. In this book the Dali Lama covers all the basics and gives you a broad and somewhat generalized understanding of Buddhism and the path to enlightenment. He lays down the groundwork for the path to enlightenment in simple yet profound steps that will leave any reader truly enlightened at the end. For those looking to expand their knowledge in Buddhism for the first time, this is a great book to start with. Even if your not looking to become Buddhist you w ...more
Karen Williams-Villanueva
If you believe in life after death this is a wonderful book. If you don't, it's still a wonderful book--but it's no-holds-barred instruction is very difficult to follow, at least for a person like me. Humility; morality; forgiveness; kindness; altruism; understanding why we suffer; and recognizing that the inner attitude is the key to happiness--or at least to being happier--is what this book is about. It's a tough road to refine oneself to become a better person and it is a journey without end. ...more
Victoria Durm
May 15, 2011 Victoria Durm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2011
I recently became a big fan of the notion of Karma. So I wanted to look more into it, and meditation. I came across this book at my library, and had to read it.

While it was a great read, there were some moments where I had to go back, and re-read. Now, I don't know if it was the concepts, or the way they were presented, but it was hard to comprehend at times. I eventually gave up after getting halfway through the book. Now, that doesn't mean I didn't like it. I just think it was a bit too compl
Sep 18, 2009 Mer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: add-to-library
This is a great beginner's book, not alot of Tibetan or Sanskrit words to memorize, he reiterates alot of the concepts and lists several times. It gives me several opportunities to let it sink in but may be too much for another person.

There was one section I really enjoyed and now have it written out as a morning intention. I'll definitely get a hard-copy to add to my library and make notes in.
Carlo Fernando
Jul 27, 2012 Carlo Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Respect, practice, the acceptance of death. Truly what are essential to build a relationship with the spiritual self and with humankind. A book of compassion and about the true virtue of life. This book made me realize how important it is to be morally upright, and how we should aim for greatness even without reward.
Chloé Meyer
The Dalai Lama is just a joy. There was a lot I loved about this book, at the same time it wasn't a lot of new information but rather just a lot more of added and supportive information for books I was already reading at the time. He also had a little more of his religious tradition tied in, which I couldn't personally relate to as much but was informative and cool to see.
Sep 13, 2010 Lloyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is valuable for anyone who is on the path of self realization, regardless of your previous knowledge of Tibetan
Buddhism, whether "beginner" or "accomplished" there is material
in this book that the reader can use to learn more about buddhism
and there mind and there current state of being.
Mar 31, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up when it came out in 2009, after having been very moved by the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I don't say that I "converted" to Buddhism around this time, but somewhere between 2008 and now, I realized that I just happen to be a Buddhist.
Feb 28, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! I really liked it! I didn't realize that I had already been practicing much of what he teaches in this book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a more deeper meditative life.
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Buddhist: Dalai Lama and his Hungry Ghosts, Demi-gods, and hell-beings. 63 32 Nov 11, 2014 04:59AM  
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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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