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The Compassionate Life

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  163 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
"The key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion." --His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Giving and receiving affection is the key to happiness, and compassion is the key that opens our hearts to affection. Illuminating themes touched upon in The Good Heart and The Art of Happiness, this generous and gentle book contains some of the most beloved teachings
Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 15th 2001 by Wisdom Publications (first published 2001)
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David Nichols
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
While much of this book is of a piece with Mssr. Tenzin Gyatso's book LIVE IN A BETTER WAY, it is written in more readily comprehensible prose. The Dalai Lama's teachings here are conventional enough, but it's useful, in our Ayn Rand-inflected age, to remind ourselves of them: show compassion for others, regard anger and "strong attachment" (I assume he means obsession or jealousy) as one's greatest enemies, and "rejoice in the success of others" (83), especially one's foes. This latter attitude ...more
In The Compassionate Life, the Dalai Lama XIV describes a method for honing one's capacity for compassion for all sentient beings. If you have spent time around Buddhists trained for much of their lives in the monasteries of the East, you will have noticed the tremendous joyful equanimity with which they face the world, in sharp contrast to our typical Western irritability. This peaceful approach to the world is the product of tremendous concentrated efforts to retrain the mind.

Much of the wisdo
Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
I had to read this for a World Religions class and I just remember thinking that there was good principles in this book but it seemed too fuzzy and warm and "let's all hug" and bleh. I don't know. Sometimes I'm too cynical. I'm sure this is a good. I just wasn't feeling it.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saggi scritti da Tenzin Gyatso, quattordicesimo Dalai Lama, possono sembrare banali ma in realtà le parole di questo grandissimo padre spirituale sono profonde e destinate a lasciare un segno nel cuore di coloro che le sanno accogliere. Il nostro mondo è segnato sempre più da divisioni tra i popoli per questioni economiche, politiche e religiose. Tuttavia ciascun essere umano persegue il grandissimo desiderio di raggiungere la felicità, rifuggendo dal dolore e dalla sofferenza. Il Dalai Lama g ...more
Andres Vargas Elizondo
Necesitamos darnos cuenta de las similitudes que tenemos con otras culturas y otras personas, entenderlos por medio de sus ideales y motivaciones, mas que, por los juicios preconcebidos o recibidos de otros. El Dalai Lama en este libro recalca la importancia de la compasión, y como debemos de vivir con ella en nuestros corazones y como debemos usarla para poder ver con ese marco a todos quienes nos rodean, y tratar de evitar les el dolor, y darles paz, especialmente a nuestros enemigos, que el b ...more
Kathy Jackson
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I know what you are thinking – this is a book on Buddhism so not one someone like Charles Stanley would approve of. Well, boo hoo for him. This book is more than a book on a religion – it is about compassion, joy, and finding our happiness within. The Dalai Lama tells us that all religions are beneficial and worthwhile – as long as we commit ourselves to them. Religion doesn’t work if one isn’t committed.

Our purpose in life is to find happiness within ourselves by showing others compassion in ev
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone on the Planet
Recommended to Chelsea by: Ward Hauenstein
The Dalai Lama amazes me. He is unbelievably and genuinely a good person. There are not many people out there in the world like that. This book is actually written by him (unlike the last Dalai Lama book I read) and it gives good instruction and insight on how to be compassionate towards other people, regardless of differences, backgrounds, past experiences, etc. It allows you to get a private lesson from his Holiness on how to put your issues aside and feel compassion for people, even when you ...more
Kristina Wojtaszek
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is deceivingly simple. It is too easy to gloss over insights that reveal deep truth about our lives. I had to read it slowly so as not to miss anything. I greatly appreciated the Dalai Lama's personal examples that allowed his character to shine through the pages. I am only just beginning to learn about Buddhism, but I finally understood the idea of nothingness after reading It isn't that everything is meaningless and truly doesn't exist, but that everything is dependent on something e ...more
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A comfortable read. Like Goldilocks' porridge, everything was just right. As an introduction, I found it both his tone and language appealing. The concepts were explained clearly and in a personable way without being over-bearing for someone new to the ideas, history and philosophy of Buddhism.
The Dalai Lama makes efforts to keep concepts to their key points and focuses on the practical reasons and applications of living compassionately.
Marissa Clark
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it was fitting that this book was given to me as a gift by a visiting Tibetan monk. I tried to "pay" him for it, he wouldn't let me. It was with this same sense of simple humanistic giving that The Compassionate Life teaches about kindness with straight-forward and sincere dialogue from His Holiness. This was a true gift in every sense of the word.
Bertha Leal
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a freshman in college I attended a lecture given by the Dalai Lama on "The Significance of World Religions." His messages of tolerance, compassion, and harmony are also themes for this deceptively simple book. Regardless of being Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, or tomato, tomatoe, anyone reading it can agree on an unanimous belief: humanism.
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Finding the key to happiness is the focus of this short book. The Dalai Lama teaches that compassion is the key to finding true happiness. You do not have to be Buddhist in order to receive the simple, straight forward lessons that this very astute teacher brings. I enjoyed this book and will read it again and again.
Jun 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The Compassionate Life a short and simply written overview of the Dalai Lama's views on compassion. He makes the case for a disciplined mind as an essential element in eliminating suffering. The last chapters are especially strong as the Dalai Lama intoduces the bodhisattva way and explains eight verses for training the mind.
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Accessible overview of critical aspects of Buddhism. it's a good well grounded look at Buddhism and H.H. the Dalai Lama refers back to important Buddhist scholars and texts. For practitioners its a nice quick review.

Aug 30, 2011 added it
Shelves: 2011
I have been craving Buddhist books and wanted to read about compassion. I love the Dalai Lama's books, but this was not the best one of them. Still, it reminded me to read more of his work.

Food for thought.
Dec 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book opened my eyes to many things. It looks like a glossy little coffee book, but it's probably the book that convinced me to turn a corner. Very easy to read, makes sense, and breaks down the concept of compassion to little pieces. I highly recommend.
Sirpa Grierson
Listened to him speak in Vancouver this past summer and again wanted to read more about his ideas. He is a truly peaceful man and one whom I wish leaders in the world would look to. Compassion and reason are the way.
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Wonderfully inspiring book.
Beck Laus
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-me
I love the Dalai Lama.
Jun 27, 2008 rated it liked it
B+ Beautiful lessons for living.
Serena Andrews
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book
Randolph Breschini
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring book!
Yuki koj
Jun 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, favorites
Gives good advice :) The practice of respecting and having compassion for other sentient being sounds like a good plan!
Jigme Tsering
Dec 01, 2009 rated it liked it
this book is really hard but when you read really closely you can understand every word. I happen to read this book because, my mom told me to.
May 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
In a quest to become more compassionate, I picked up this book... It had some pretty good tips for dealing with everyday and difficult people.
Conner Motzkus
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An introduction to practical Buddhist philosophies; ones that can be applied to all humanity, despite religious affiliation.
Suzanne Gibson
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved it! very inspirational.
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Mar 23, 2015
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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 about Dalai Lama XIV...
“Ultimately humanity is one, and this small planet is our only home. If we're to protect this home of ours, each of us needs to experience a vivid sense of universal altruism and compassion.” 4 likes
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