For the first time for general readers, the Dalai Lama presents a comprehensive overview of the most important teaching of Buddhism.
Perhaps the main difference between Buddhism and other religions is its understanding of our core identity. The existence of the soul or self, which is central in different ways to Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is actually denied in Buddhism. Even further, belief in a “self” is seen as the main source of our difficulties in life. Yet a true understanding of this teaching does not
lead one to a despairing, cynical worldview with a sense that life has no meaning—Far from it, a genuine understanding leads to authentic happiness for an individual and the greatest source of compassion for others.
In 2003 and in 2007, the Dalai Lama was invited to New York to give a series of talks on the essential Buddhist view of selflessness. This new book, the result of those talks, is now offered to help broaden awareness of this essential doctrine and its usefulness in living a more meaningful and happy life.
While the Dalai Lama offers a full presentation of his teachings on these key philosophical points for contemplation, he also shows readers how to bring these teachings actively into their own lives with recommendations for a personal practice. It is only by actually living these teachings that we allow them to bring about a genuine transformation in our perception of ourselves and our lives A Profound Mind
offers important wisdom for those committed to bringing about change in the world through developing their own spiritual capabilities, whether they are Buddhists or not.
“The teachings of the Buddha are of vast benefit to us. Like effective medicine, they address our own personal issues in a specific way. And of course they share striking resonances with teachers and teachings of other spiritual paths. Love, compassion, charity, honesty, kindness, generosity, altruism, joy, and forgiveness are qualities most if not all beings recognize and admire. Buddhism puts great emphasis on developing these wonderful qualities to their fullest…. None of this is easy. It all takes effort. The Buddha himself almost died with the effort. But the rewards are great. Beyond measure. I find it incredibly moving that these great beings like His Holiness the Dalai Lama still do the heavy lifting, still do the hard work on themselves every day, all day. Even with the vast wisdom and compassion His Holiness has generated over countless lifetimes, still he arises from sleep each day at 3:30 a.m. to set his altruistic motivation and begin his hours of practices before engaging in another full day of being of benefit to others. What an inspiration!”
—From the Afterword by Richard Gere