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Publisher's Summary

Translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins, PhD

As human beings, we possess one common desire: the need for happiness and a meaningful life. According to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the ability to find true fulfillment lies within each of us. Now, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, Nobel Prize winner, and best selling author helps listeners begin the path to enlightenment in a very special audiobook - an easy-access reference for daily practice as well as a stunning new illumination of the timeless wisdom of His Holiness.  

How to Practice will guide you toward nurturing compassion, refraining from doing harm, maintaining mental tranquility, and how to develop wisdom. Divided into a series of distinct steps that will lead spiritual seekers of all faiths toward enlightenment, this accessible audiobook is a constant and daily companion in the quest to practice morality, meditation, and wisdom. The Dalai Lama shows us how to overcome our everyday obstacles, from feelings of anger and mistrust to jealousy, insecurity, and counterproductive thinking. Imbued with His Holiness' vivacious spirit and sense of playfulness, How to Practice offers the Dalai Lama's own sage and practical insight into the human psyche and what binds us all together. 

©2002 His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins, All Rights Reserved (P)2002 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The Dalai Lama offers elegant clarity about the paradoxes at the heart of Buddhism." (Publishers Weekly)
"As a primer on living the good life, few books compete with How to Practice." (Amazon.com)

What listeners say about How to Practice

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This is a great book!

I have been studying Tibetan Buddhism for about three years, and I find that the books written by the Dalai Lama are outstanding. This book is no exception. I have listened to it at least two times, and I intend to come back to it again in the future.

How to practice contains explanations of many important Tibetan Buddhist practices and beleifs. It also contains brief summaries and the end of each chapter to help reinforce what you learned and to give you a roadmap for your daily practice. Although my Buddhist practice is not very advanced, I beleive that this book will benefit beginners as well as advanced practitioners. The Dalai Lama's writing style is clear and easy to understand. He is generally serious but he is not above telling a joke or two. Overall, I found this book to be extremely enjoyable.

120 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Dharma Flows Through Me Like A River

Maximum gain reading--the teachings about the nature of reality, clarity of explications on emptiness, the true nature of generosity and compassion, and practical to-do's--all rewards to the reader; but, the greatest reward from this book is the opening that correspondingly happens in the reader's heart as HH the 14th Dalai Lama carries you like a beloved child into the river of the Dharma. I'd say, D.T. Suzuki gave me a kick-start, Kaplau gave me a practice, and now the Dalai Lama has blessed me, initiated me, into a generosity of spirit, and helped my practice mature.
I find that I no longer notice the difference between "practice" and "non-practice" for HH has shown, or instilled, a new understanding of the integrated wholeness of each moment of life. All moments are practice. I no longer wait to "sit" to practice, no longer expect my mind to be a certain way before I am "practicing." It is like finding oneself swimming somehow when before one was only able to float clinging to a log.
Why do I try to put it into words? I believe the lessons of compassion are vital for our world, for our survival as a species, and for the survival of all sentient beings. This small easy to read book allows compassion to emerge.
The greatest gift to me from reading this book? I am quick to forgive, quicker to give, faster to recognize my delusions and entrapment in afflictive emotions, and without a doubt I now see those around me being more compassionate to one another.
Wisdom is a noble goal. Compassion a noble goal. This book sets out the way, like a child's chalk marks on a sidewalk--clear, simple, familiar already, and the periodic summaries at the end of chapters allow one to return to the lessons of the teacher over and over. You'll want to not only listen to this book over and over, but you will seek out the print version so you can have the three jewels handy beside your night table, beside your chair, your zafu!

95 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

How to Practice - Buddism, in Particular

I am a Christian who has studied and appreciated Buddist and Zen philosophies for their wisdom regarding living in the present and freedom from the tyranny of material desire. I found this work both light in such general wisdom and tiresome in its emphasis on Buddism-specific religious ideology, particularly reincarnation.

62 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Narrator problems

I loved the Dalai Lama's Art of Happiness and Karen Armstrong's Buddha, but have been disappointed in this one. The narrator speaks in a monotone and rarely shows enthusiasm for the material. While this has given me an opportunity to demonstrate compassion for a first time narrator, I also want to spare new listeners and recommend another of the Dalai Lama's works.

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

About last review...

Well, what a surprise, a book on practicing by the Dalai Lama has a lot of Buddhism on it!! I don't want to offend anyone, but if the Pope writes a book on practicing, it would be based on his tradition, no? The message is, tolerance... one God, many Ways...

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

What a Blessing!

At first, I gave this title only 4 stars, but then I found myself listening to it everyday in the car. Suddenly, my life has changed,
my practice has risen several notches and my behaviour has been modified. What a Blessing in the truly Buddhist sense.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Great Book, Awful Narration

This is a great book. It's probably not for beginners, but if you're serious about Buddhism, you'll definitely want to read this. Note the word READ. The narration of this book is TERRIBLE. Do you self a favor and pick up the old-fashioned paper copy.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not the best book for those new to Buddhism

Although I found this book provided me with a greater understanding of Buddhism and some valuable insights, the majority of the text was overly theoretical and complex for a beginner such as myself. It may mean more to someone more advanced in their understanding of the concepts discussed.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Book

This book changed my life.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama can transcend the divides that exist between humans and show us our tue nature.
Much of our personal experience has taught us lessons; some that we would rather forget. But this book shows us how the difficult lessons in life can be brought together with the beautiful aspects we recognize but cannot internalize.
This book shows us how to develop compassion for ourselves and others so that we can overcome the internal struggles that often lead us to a cynical view of life.

The insights provided by a tibetan monk to a caucasian everyman are astonishingly valid and beneficial.

While much of buddhism is, on it's surface, difficult for westerners to access, this book provides an introduction to the major philosophical insights of buddhism in a manner which is easily understood by anyone.

If you are contemplative and desire to understand more about yourself and a world which seems cruel and confusing I urge you to get this book.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Very deep!

I have to admit that I am pretty new to this type of book and have never before read anything even remotely related to Buddhism. This book quickly became very confusing for me to the point of loosing interest. Definately not a beginners book on 'practicing'.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Terence
  • 09-13-09

I found this book very hard to understand

I found this book very hard to understand a little bit beyond my intelligence.
But what I can understand is that he has a very special wisdom.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Toffs
  • 09-10-20

Meditation

Meditation as a way of Life, start slowly for ten minutes and try to do it at least for 3 times a day, it will be difficult and keep on bringing yourself to your breath in and out. I enjoyed the Audible as it progressed it showed what it is like to be a monk and showed what things to concentrate on after you have done the Meditation and gave different thoughts to think about and consider it. The narrator was superb and had been involved with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and worked as a Translator for the Dalai Lama. I will listen to this Audible again as I try to Meditate for myself.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 04-06-20

Let down by endorsement of Tantra

I am profoundly disturbed by the references to Tantra in this audiobook especially mention of eating human feces and urine as “ambrosia”, this in the context of when the Dalai Lama states sometimes being okay for a Monk to have sex with a “consort”. On researching this Tantric teaching I discovered such Buddhist “consorts” have at times be non-consensual sexual partners, which is horrific: one can only imagine the social pressures brought to bear in a Buddhist developing country and even in the West in context of vulnerable people drawn into a religious setting, which the Dalai Lama has indeed been slow to condemn: pressure both on the “consort” and perhaps also the initiate, who has now gone too far in agreeing to undergo such a Tantric ceremony and does not wish to lose face by refusing to participate once they understand what is at stake since they are by means of the ceremony in a position of complete obedience to their Lama. Such Tantra is in shocking opposition to the advice to respect all beings - but such contradictions should not come as a surprise in the context of Tantra which may involve learning acceptance of otherwise shocking experiences as a way of teaching. The Dalai Lama’s endorsement of Tantra profoundly undermines this book’s other more ethical advice and actually raised questions about his personal integrity. It’s eye-opening once you understand the implications of what he is saying.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • aclambart
  • 03-12-16

How to practise

loved it and will be taking what I have listened to into my daily life.

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  • Ann
  • 02-24-16

Clear, concise and practical

I found it helpful to have the book to follow and highlight the important passages as they related to my practice. A very clear, precise explanation of how to get the most from your efforts and to assist yourself and/or others.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • vishal thakur
  • 03-12-21

Great book to start with.

What a great book! Couldn’t have picked a worse narrator though.. at times it feels like you’re listening to one this early computer narration software from the 90s. Dry as cardboard.
The content makes up for the poor narration. The book not only goes into Buddhism but also gives you great context on why things should be done the way they should be done. Also, there are a lot of easy to practice guidelines on meditation. The best part is that this book looks at meditation from many different angles. A very good book to start looking into and practicing Tibetan Buddhism.