“"Love and compassion are most important, most precious, most powerful, and most sacred. .... With practice they become effective and benficial driving forces for life."
With these words the Dalai Lama finishes this little book of wisdom. Good words for living.
And probably the main thing he needed to say, here. The book does go into some depth with repetitive meditation practices, but unfortunately (and with respect) it does not prove so useful, at least for me. The inspirational words were helpful but not enough. Other people may get more out of this book.
And I have two main criticisms, at least for me (and again, with respect). One is the working assumption throughout that "noone" wants bad things for other people, that all want good things and that just gets twisted along the way. While I understand there is that of God in everyone, I also see that some people actually enjoy seeing others suffer: just look at S&M afficianatos and ruthless dictators, for a couple of examples.
The other thing presented throughout, here, is to take on faith that each and every sentient being lives over and over in an endless cycle of lives. That may be fine as a belief and may indeed be true (who knows?). But there is not evidence as proof, given here. One might just as well say (and believe) that people live and then go to heaven or hell when they die. Likewise, that may be fine as a belief and may indeed be true (but who knows?). Again, where's the definitive evidence?
What I like about Buddhism (and specifically the Dalai Lama's usual approach to it) is that you "don't have to believe it, just try it." Well, I am afraid he is asking for belief here, at least with the two assertions I quibble with, above.
Two stars, maybe try some of his other books ...”
Jay R wrote this review Sunday, July 28, 2013.