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How to See Yourself As You Really Are (edition 2006)

by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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3741228,918 (3.83)6
Member:ImperfectCJ
Title:How to See Yourself As You Really Are
Authors:His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Info:Atria Books (2006), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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How to See Yourself As You Really Are by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I just can't agree with his philosophy, but it was a helpful how-to of meditation and self awareness.
  marti.booker | Dec 2, 2013 |
Tibet.

Well. There's got to be a Buddhist joke in the fact that I read this in February but forgot to write a review.

I admire the 14th Dalai Lama's skill at explaining complex concepts by starting with simple, observable phenomena that build to more abstract and seemingly inevitable principles. This book is denser than many of his writings. However, I found his analysis and explanations both clear and clarifying, and appreciated the demonstration of the more rigorous, empirically-grounded expression of Buddhist thought. I now have a better understanding of several concepts that I previously could describe but not explore, notably dependent-arising and its relationship to emptiness.

I would recommend others if the reader is looking for a basic volume on Buddhist philosophy or meditation instructions. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
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. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Dec 31, 2012 |
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. ( )
  LCoale1 | Feb 3, 2012 |
"To overcome the misconception that things and people exist as self-sufficient entities, independent of consciousness, it is essential to observe your own mind to discover how this mistake is being conceived, and how other destructive emotions arise with such ignorance as their support. Given that lust, hatred, pride, jealously, and anger stem from exaggerating the importance of qualities such as beauty and ugliness, it is crucial to understand how persons and things actually exist, without exaggeration.
"The only way to gain this understanding is internal. You need to give up false beliefs you are superimposing on the way things really are; there is no external means of removing lust and hatred. If you are pierced by a thorn, you can remove it forever with a needle, but to get rid of an internal attitude, you must see clearly the mistaken beliefs on which it is based. This calls for using reason to explore the true nature of phenomena and then concentrate on what has been understood."
Kindle location 410 - 419

"In all areas of thought, you need to be able to analyze, and then, when you have come to a decision, you need to be able to set your mind to it without wavering. These two capacities - to analyze and to remain focused - are essential to seeing yourself as you really are.... All these improvements are made in the mind by changing how you think, transforming your outlook through analysis and focus. All types of meditation fall into the general categories of analytical meditation and focusing meditation, also called insight meditation and calm abiding meditation."
Kindle location 784 - 795

"When you advance toward understanding that people and things cannot be found under analysis but take to mind that they do indeed exist, you may begin to feel the impact of the statement that they exist through the power of thought. This, in turn, will challenge you to consider further how people and things appear to your mind and will undermine your confidence in the goodness or badness of these appearances, which you previously automatically accepted as intrinsic to the objects. You will will begin noticing how you assent to the appearance of objects and how you latch on to them.
"In this way, meditation is a long journey, not a single insight or even several insights. It gets more and more profound as the days, months, and years pass. Keep reading and thinking and meditating."
Kindle location 1451 - 1459

"If you understand that, no matter what appears, whether to your senses or to your thinking mind, those objects are established in dependence upon thought, you will get over the idea that phenomena exist in their own right. You will understand that there is no truth in their being set up from their own side. You will realize emptiness, the absence of inherent existence, which exists beyond the proliferation of problems born from seeing phenomena as existing in themselves and provides the medicine for removing delusion."
Kindle location 1730 - 1736
  maryoverton | Apr 2, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743290461, Paperback)

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. Through illuminating explanations and step-by-step exercises, His Holiness helps readers to see the world as it actually exists, and explains how, through the interconnection of meditative concentration and love, 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 that can be read and enjoyed by anyone seeking spiritual fulfillment.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:11 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

His Holiness provides step-by-step exercises to help readers shatter their false assumptions and ideas of the self and see the world as it actually exists, which is a prelude to right action.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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