…bring about inner transformation

The key to genuine happiness is in our hands. To think this way is to discover the essential values of kindness, brotherly love, and altruism. The more clearly we see the benefits of these values, the more we will seek to reject anything that opposes them; in this way, we will be able to bring about inner transformation. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

Book Review: ‘Buddhism for Beginners’ by Ven. Thubten Chodron

Buddhism for BeginnersIn answering the most basic questions, this book will help new practitioners dispel confusion and gain a realistic, down-to-earth approach to the Buddhist path...”  Alexander Berzin, The Berzin Archives ~  I think that quote sums up my feeling on this book that I have gone back to numerous times during my fledgling practice.

The book is an overview of all the central concepts involved in Buddhist practice.  The book’s question and answer format made it very easy to return to again and again for answers that I was unclear on. Ven. Thubten Chodron‘s explanations are concise and easily accessible.

I find myself using it to answer questions that non-Buddhists ask me. Ven. Chodron explains the answers in such simple but thorough manner.  This book was recommended to me when I first started investigating Buddhism.  Since then I have found great wisdom in Ven. Thubten Chodron books and online resources. ~ Digging_the_Dharma

Never get angry…

Never get angry, even with someone who has deliberately and maliciously harmed you. You should be grateful to such a person for helping you to purify past negative actions, to increase your determination to be free from samsara and to develop love and compassion. ~ Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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I will say this is such great and true advice. Yet I cannot say I never get angry….but I do have less ‘reasons’ for anger which I attribute to reducing my ‘self’/ego.’

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