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Becoming Enlightened

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,024 ratings  ·  69 reviews

The wisdom, support, guidance, and inspiration we need to become successful and fulfilled in our spiritual lives.

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

Audio CD, Unabridged, 6 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published December 15th 2008)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Mar 07, 2010 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
Mar 18, 2009 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
Sep 11, 2009 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
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.
Aug 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one may have convinced me to become vegetarian.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mid-to
I liked buddism a lot more before reading this book.
Mert Topcu
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I assume his Holiness Dalai Lama is the best person from whom to hear what Buddhism is.
The language is very clear and the content is very structured, perfect for an analytical brain like mine (not that it's the best approach).
Caution warranted: Reading the book doesn't make you enlightened :)
Jun 05, 2014 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
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
I came to this book already having a pretty solid familiarity with Buddhism. The book's a bit dry and academic, so I can see how it would be difficult for a lot of people. If you really listen (I had the audiobook; if reading, then the word would be "focus") and think about what he's saying, you will get a good sense of the Tibetan branch of Buddhism; this Dalai Lama has really embraced science and reason and it shows, though there are definitely difficulties that come with bringing the language ...more
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.
Jan 26, 2009 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.
Max Rohde
I was really excited to get my hands on this book and used a free credit to get it on Audible. Unfortunately I found it difficult to keep my attention on the discussions. I listen to audio books while I commute and, admittedly, I am easily distracted while doing so. However a good book about a topic that interests me usually is enough to keep me engaged for the most part and Becoming Enlightened failed to do so. I caught myself time and again drifting in my thoughts and I think this is to some d ...more
This book was somewhat helpful but I don't think it was good for a beginner like me to start with. It doesn't explain things as well as I'd like and I found it to be organized weirdly.

I also wish that the Dalai Lama would follow the teachings in his book more, because in the book he states that "A beautiful internal attitude is more important than external beauty" but yet he has said that if there is a female Dalai Lama she would have to be attractive because otherwise it's "not much use" and n
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book for those looking for an introduction to the tenets of Buddhism and practices to help them move toward Enlightenment. For that purpose, the book is thorough, easy to follow, and contains plenty of references to primary sources, making further investigation into scriptural Buddhism particularly easy.

For those who are committed to another religion (or none, at all) and are simply looking for advice to follow on their spiritual path, I would highly recommend another of the Dali Lama’s b
John Giumanca
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice book, it explains the paths of buddhism and gives some good understanding about what is happiness and how to get it. It is written by The Dalai Lama, so you feel that the teaching is coming from a real monk, from someone who truly believes what he says. As the title suggest, this book is kind of a "how to", it is a practical book, it shows how to meditate and what to think about so you can understand better how your action affects others and yourself. Short say, it gives you good advices to ...more
Joel Schaefer
This book was a difficult read and I agree with other reviewers that I do not feel anymore enlightened for having read this book. It is more a how-to manual than a guide and was fairly repetitive. While I did pick up certain nuggets of insight and understanding, it is hard to take the writing and apply it. One observation of contrast that I observed is that the drive to be altruistic is often motivated for the attainment of enlightenment and to be reborn at at higher level. Does having a motivat ...more
Ben Tipper
Jul 07, 2017 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.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just found this so so, although I find the teachings interesting in some ways and Buddhists DO have some fair points and I can see the sense in their beliefs, a lot of the other tenets of the religion do not sit well with me.
Who the hell can LOVE their enemies who have hurt you and be grateful for them teaching them about life and wish them only wonderful things? Some of the morals are just bizarre for modern day living.
I don't think I will be converting from atheism any time soon!
Israel Morrow
I've never found the Dalai Lama to be the most readable Buddhist teacher, but sometimes that is an advantage. This is a good book for those hungry for more than breathing exercises; it explains difficult doctrines and also describes the structure of Tibetan Buddhism as a path or trajectory. It served as a useful reference when I was writing Gods of the Flesh.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm fine with a high-level approach to new subjects at a books beginning, but this one never dug any deeper. I finished knowing little more about Buddhism than when I began, details I could have gotten from a tri-fold pamphlet on a booth at a local religious conference.
Deb Sawdon
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book graces my shelf. We don't always give gratitude and due recognition to the spiritual leaders here on earth. It is a great gift to have access to the Dalai Lama's teachings. Namaste, Teacher.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!
Nevin Aurelio
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m a Muslim,this book help me understanding Buddhism and also help me open my eyes about how beautiful religions are.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
Cat spilled on it, need new copy ;)
Jul 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF the first couple of chapters were wonderful but it quickly went into too deep for me and became riddle like in places. Probably more to do with my lack of understanding than the actual book.
Raghav Kalra
The best part is the part 3 of the book. Altruism. It's a deep book not so easy to understand. But it gives very good insights.
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 putti ...more
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Buddhist: Dalai Lama and his Hungry Ghosts, Demi-gods, and hell-beings. 63 48 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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