Book Review: ‘How to Practice’ by H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama

How to Practice : The Way to a Meaningful LifeIn How to Practice, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama presents the path to achieving enlightenment in these instructions for those seeking to follow the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.

The book is written for practitioners of all levels from those who are curious or just beginning with meditation to an explanation of the philosophy of mind and emptiness for those further along their path.

I thoroughly enjoyed every chapter.  This title will be one I return to on a regular basis for guidance and wisdom.  The book is separated into sections that correspond to a practitioner’s ability to gain understanding starting with morality.  Behavior and ethics are discussed as related to the Four Noble Truths, Refuge and the ethical precepts taken by Buddhists.  He then moves on to explaining meditation and the types and methods for cultivating your practice.

The final section expounds upon the essence of emptiness and wisdom with an explanation of the Heart Sutra and then briefly explains Deity Yoga and Tantra and their relationship to the path.  This to me is a must have title for everyone seeking to understand the teachings of Buddhism. ~ Review by Digging-the-Dharma

Unbearable or beneficial?

A given situation can be viewed as either unbearable or beneficial: it depends on how we look at it.

We must make certain that things don’t begin to seem unbearable. If we look too closely at problems we will see nothing else, and they will appear all out of proportion with reality; that is when they become intolerable.

If we can stand back from them, we will be better able to judge them, and they will seem less serious. ~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~ This quote from HH spoke to me today…and maybe it speaks to you too. There are times to look closely at a situation…and then the situation becomes clear. Yet at other times…if we look too closely…the situation becomes blurry, and we lose our ‘balance,’ our middle way.

Taking a step back from a problem or situation and relaxing our tight view can give us the ‘answer’ we seek.  ~ Debra

Sickness, old age, mishaps of one sort or another are the same for us all

I feel that an individual whose actions are motivated by the wish to bring others happiness necessarily meets with less misfortune that one who does not.

Sickness, old age, mishaps of one sort or another are the same for us all. But the sufferings which undermine our internal peace – anxiety, doubt, disappointment – these are definitely less. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

Book Review: The World of Tibetan Buddhism

The World of Tibetan Buddhism: An Overview of Its Philosophy and PracticeHis Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama gives a wonderfully complete overview of the entire scope of Tibetan Buddhism in his book The World of Tibetan Buddhism.

His Holiness begins by explaining the 3 turnings of the Wheel of Dharma, first explaining the Four Noble Truths, then an explanation of the concept of Emptiness, and finally a commentary on the essence of Buddha-nature. He further expounds on topics including selflessness, the Four Seals and the Mahayana Path.

The second section describes how to bring the altruistic attitude into your life through development of compassion and overcoming negative emotions.

The final section explores the Tantric traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.  He explains the process of empowerment and the different views of each sect as they relate to Tantra.

I enjoyed the questions and answer session that end each section.  The book was given to me as a suggested reading for my Intermediate Series classes at Drepung Monastery.  It was a great help in understanding the topics we covered in class.  I would recommend it for anyone needing a good overview of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice.