A Simple Path : Basic Buddhist Teachings by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

A Simple Path : Basic Buddhist Teachings by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

A Simple Path : Basic Buddhist Teachings by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. This is a must have book for admirers of the Dalai Lama and is an ideal gift. A lecture that H. H. the Dalai Lama gave on the 4 Noble Truths in England. This book was just so lovely! It is nicely bound, on superb high quality glossy paper, with stunning photographs of Tibet. Everything about it just makes you want to cradle, or worship, it.

Then there’s the text. They took a lecture that H. H. the Dalai Lama gave on the 4 Noble Truths and cut it (thank heavens) and put it in the book. The result is weird. The extremely philosophical treatise makes an odd accompaniment to scenes of Tibet. On the one hand, you’re reading about how all the world is suffering and we are ignorant louts for getting so caught up in this illusion, and then we glance at the photograph (every pair of pages has one, so you’re always looking at something wonderful). I thought, “Gee, if I’m not supposed to care about the world, or I’m not supposed to delight in its pleasures and glories, then what is all this color and visual drama? Illusion?” Thus, the book highlights in an unwitting way one of the paradoxes of Buddhism… we try to disentangle ourselves from the grosser life of merely sensate pleasure but we can and should still love the world. Who says Christianity has a corner on the market of paradox?!

Still, there are some real textual gems and pearls scattered in the pages, and it is quick reading because of all the pictures. Occasionally you’ll have to slog through a passage on Tibetan cosmology and physics, which sounds pretty medieval, but then you come across a glorious section that makes your heart sing. It’s a fun ride!

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