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Editor’s Note

“Timeless Wisdom...”

The Nobel Prize-winning Dalai Lama reveals that meditations on self-awareness & realization reveal love, compassion & a singular happiness within each of us.
Scribd Editor
Like the two wings of a bird, love and insight work cooperatively to bring about enlightenment, says a fundamental Buddhist teaching. According to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we each possess the ability to achieve happiness and a meaningful life, but the key to realizing that goal is self-knowledge. In How to See Yourself As You Really Are, the world's foremost Buddhist leader and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize shows readers how to recognize and dispel misguided notions of self and embrace the world from a more realistic -- and loving -- perspective.

Step-by-step exercises help readers shatter their false assumptions and ideas and see the world as it actually exists. By directing our attention to the false veneer that so bedazzles our senses and our thoughts, His Holiness sets the stage for discovering the reality behind appearances. But getting past one's misconceptions is only a prelude to right action, and the book's final section describes how to harness the power of meditative concentration to the service of love, and vice versa, so that true altruistic enlightenment is attained.

Enlivened by personal anecdotes and intimate accounts of the Dalai Lama's own life experiences, How to See Yourself As You Really Are is an inspirational and empowering guide to achieving self-awareness that can be read and enjoyed by spiritual seekers of all faiths.

Topics: Guides, Inspirational, Spirituality , Meditation, Zen, Mindfulness, Love, and Philosophical

Published: Atria Books on
ISBN: 9780743298698
List price: $11.99
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This book is deceptively complex.

I started out with the audiobook version, but after listening to the first two CDs about three times and not really taking in any of it in, I checked out the hardcover from the library. That worked somewhat better, but the book was still quite confusing.

In a way, it seemed like a very long koan. If the self doesn't inherently exist---although it does, in fact exist---what is its nature? If you can't locate it in the mind or the body, where is it?

One thing that I found frustrating (beyond the basic incomprehensibility of the book) was that the Dalai Lama asks these questions and then gives the answer while insisting that the process of exploring the questions is more important than just having the answer. I don't doubt this is true, I would just kind of prefer if he kept the answer a secret and let me figure it out on my own. Or at least gave a spoiler alert. Having an endpoint for my contemplation makes the contemplation itself less satisfying.

The sensation I had reading this book kind of reminded me of when my then-five-year-old asked me where we were before we were in our mommy's bellies.

"Where do you think we were?" I asked, thinking that, since she'd been there more recently than I had, she might have a better idea than I did. ("Nowhere," was her matter-of-fact answer, incidentally).

I'm not at all sure I get the book, although what I think I get is fairly liberating, if I'm actually understanding it correctly. Of course, the fact that I use the word "I" so often is probably evidence that I'm not getting it at all being that it's all about the emptiness of existence of the self.

A quote from the book:

"Ordinary happiness is like dew on the tip of a blade of grass, disappearing very quickly. That it vanishes reveals that it is impermanent and under the control of other forces, causes, and conditions. Its vanishing also shows that there is no way of making everything right; no matter what you do within the scope of cyclic existence, you cannot pass beyond the range of suffering. By seeing that the true nature of things is impermanence, you will not be shocked by change when it occurs, not even by death."

At any rate, this book seemed to fit well with the daily meditation practice in which I've been engaged for the past five and a half weeks. And contemplation of the nature of the thing I think of as "I" has been...interesting. I'd read it again.more
This book was intense. I'm not sure if I was ready for something so deep, and it took me a long time for the length, which really got on my nerves. I ended up speed reading the last 80 pages just to be done with it. I have two impressions of the book: a, it was ridiculously reduntant, and b, it was ridiculously vague. I'm not a big fan of either of those characteristics. I'm glad to be done with it, actually.more
Hard to follow and he seemed to be jumping from concept to his mission. Gave up after the second disk.more
I'm sure I'm about to be damned for writing this, but if this is supposed to be a book about discovering yourself, I'm afraid that for me it failed completely. Perhaps I'm guilty of all the things the Dalai Lama says most of Western Society is guilty. But, to be honest, I found the book not particularly well-written. It was repetetive, unclear, even non-sensicle in parts, and much of it smacked very much of the tired-old Christian harangue of guilty, guilty, guilty, which I found startling for a book written by the head of one of the most sacred of Buddhist sects.But perhaps this is to be expected from a reader who feels that without passion (something the Dalai Lama puts forward as a 'sin' and undesireable), while causing many of the world's problems, has also created some of the world's finest moments in art, science, literature, social reform and more. Without passion there would be no impetus to create, to achieve a state closer to the divine.So, for me, because of a fundamental difference in essential paradigms, and the lack of quality writing, I'm going to give a thumbs down to this book, and likely give a pass to other of the Dalai Lama's works.more
Read all 6 reviews

Reviews

This book is deceptively complex.

I started out with the audiobook version, but after listening to the first two CDs about three times and not really taking in any of it in, I checked out the hardcover from the library. That worked somewhat better, but the book was still quite confusing.

In a way, it seemed like a very long koan. If the self doesn't inherently exist---although it does, in fact exist---what is its nature? If you can't locate it in the mind or the body, where is it?

One thing that I found frustrating (beyond the basic incomprehensibility of the book) was that the Dalai Lama asks these questions and then gives the answer while insisting that the process of exploring the questions is more important than just having the answer. I don't doubt this is true, I would just kind of prefer if he kept the answer a secret and let me figure it out on my own. Or at least gave a spoiler alert. Having an endpoint for my contemplation makes the contemplation itself less satisfying.

The sensation I had reading this book kind of reminded me of when my then-five-year-old asked me where we were before we were in our mommy's bellies.

"Where do you think we were?" I asked, thinking that, since she'd been there more recently than I had, she might have a better idea than I did. ("Nowhere," was her matter-of-fact answer, incidentally).

I'm not at all sure I get the book, although what I think I get is fairly liberating, if I'm actually understanding it correctly. Of course, the fact that I use the word "I" so often is probably evidence that I'm not getting it at all being that it's all about the emptiness of existence of the self.

A quote from the book:

"Ordinary happiness is like dew on the tip of a blade of grass, disappearing very quickly. That it vanishes reveals that it is impermanent and under the control of other forces, causes, and conditions. Its vanishing also shows that there is no way of making everything right; no matter what you do within the scope of cyclic existence, you cannot pass beyond the range of suffering. By seeing that the true nature of things is impermanence, you will not be shocked by change when it occurs, not even by death."

At any rate, this book seemed to fit well with the daily meditation practice in which I've been engaged for the past five and a half weeks. And contemplation of the nature of the thing I think of as "I" has been...interesting. I'd read it again.more
This book was intense. I'm not sure if I was ready for something so deep, and it took me a long time for the length, which really got on my nerves. I ended up speed reading the last 80 pages just to be done with it. I have two impressions of the book: a, it was ridiculously reduntant, and b, it was ridiculously vague. I'm not a big fan of either of those characteristics. I'm glad to be done with it, actually.more
Hard to follow and he seemed to be jumping from concept to his mission. Gave up after the second disk.more
I'm sure I'm about to be damned for writing this, but if this is supposed to be a book about discovering yourself, I'm afraid that for me it failed completely. Perhaps I'm guilty of all the things the Dalai Lama says most of Western Society is guilty. But, to be honest, I found the book not particularly well-written. It was repetetive, unclear, even non-sensicle in parts, and much of it smacked very much of the tired-old Christian harangue of guilty, guilty, guilty, which I found startling for a book written by the head of one of the most sacred of Buddhist sects.But perhaps this is to be expected from a reader who feels that without passion (something the Dalai Lama puts forward as a 'sin' and undesireable), while causing many of the world's problems, has also created some of the world's finest moments in art, science, literature, social reform and more. Without passion there would be no impetus to create, to achieve a state closer to the divine.So, for me, because of a fundamental difference in essential paradigms, and the lack of quality writing, I'm going to give a thumbs down to this book, and likely give a pass to other of the Dalai Lama's works.more
A book about the essence of being, well and concisely written. Every word counts. The quotes are well-selected and appropriate, and help clarify complicated/confusing concepts. He makes difficult ideas make sense in a gentle and wise manner. I look forward to reading more of his books.more
This book is DEEP. I love His Holiness's writing style and his insight is amazing. I have to say I am only 1/2 through it, but I haven't gained very much personal insight so much as insight into my view of the world and how it works within the Buddhist philosophy. I recommend any of His Holiness's writings/books to anyone who wants to understand Buddhism from one of the greates Buddhist figures in the world.Misomore
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