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In My Own Words by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  447 ratings  ·  37 reviews
In this challenging collection of the Dalai Lama's wisdom, the religious leader reflects on suffering, happiness, love, and truth, and emphasises the need to transform the human mind if we are to find real fulfilment. His Holiness the Dalai Lama was born in 1935, and enthroned as the reincarnation of the thirteenth Dalai Lama in 1940. Following the suppression of the
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 25th 2008 by Hay House UK Ltd (first published April 1st 2001)
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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
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 “
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book for those who wants to read about Buddhism from the basics.
Elliot Richards
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting read. It clarifies, in very simple terms, why problems exist in the world, and the ways to deal with, and ideally, eradicate them.

It all starts with the individual and radiates from there.

If you've read books on Buddhism, dharma, about compassion, love, and mindfulness, then this book won't be new, but it will be a good reminder, something I think we all need, of what we need to constantly do in our lives. And for that, I really appreciate this book.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent read but seemed a bit disjointed. The book had a myriad of topics and all were great! BUT - I don’t really understand what the overall theme or beginning and end were to encompass. That said, each topic had great content and nice to read straight from the Dalai Lama’s words.
Kate lindstrom
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, and thought the teachings of the Dalai Lama were interesting and align with my beliefs and values. Although I will say to open this book with an open mind
Jan 21, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Ubah Khasimuddin
Another good book on the Buddhist philosophies and religion - I'm trying to read more of these to be a better person. This book is a little tough to slog through because it does get into more deep analysis, and many a time I had to go back and re-read sections to try to understand the concept and practice but well worth the effort.
I enjoyed learning about the stages of Buddhism and the origins of the religion; particularly the ideas surrounding how Buddhist's look at death (not to be feared but
Brian Welsch
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Don Moman
Dec 01, 2014 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, ...more
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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...)
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.
Tom Gaetjens
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.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. :(
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.
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.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Johnny Stork, MSc
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.
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
just needed to read it very slowly.
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really easy read. Basic introduction from the world's number one authority on his views, Buddhism in general, and meditation guidance.
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Because the purpose of life truly is to be happy.
Mar 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure where I went wrong, but my review is under comments...?
Feb 10, 2014 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.
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it. The beginning was the best and then it just seemed a bit repetative.
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It would have garnered another star if a few chapters weren't over my head. :)
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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
“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.” 21 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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