Sunday, January 1, 2012

50. "Becoming Enlightened" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Becoming Englightened. New York: Atria Books, 2009. Translated by Jeffrey Hopkins, Ph.D.

254 pages

Reviewed by J. d’Artagnan Love

Becoming Enlightened is a very clear description of the various stages of Tibetan Buddhism. I love, love, love the way His Holiness writes. He is clear and logical and doesn’t confuse readers with abstract metaphors or poetics. Many times books about Buddhism become so abstract that they are nearly useless in application. That is not the case with this book. The tone of Becoming Enlightened is kind and unassuming.

The book is broken down into three sections based on the three levels of Tibetan Buddhist Practice. Chapters include titles such as “The Buddhist Framework,” “Identifying the Refuge,” and “Engendering Great Compassion.” Generally it recommends that you master one level before moving onto the next, but His Holiness also explains how each stage is interconnected with one another.

The descriptions of each level of practice make sense and it is clear how one can put the information to use immediately. This is a great text for Buddhists of the Tibetan persuasion (like myself) and is also a good introductory text to anyone wanting to know more about Buddhism in general. I highly, highly recommend Becoming Enlightened!

5 darts out of 5
Bookshelf Project Status: None (from the library)


Lynn Benoit said...

This sounds like a book for me! I'm not a Buddhist but enjoy reading about religions other than my own. Other books I've read about Buddhism were full of that uselessness you mention- they get too fancy and forget to explain what they're saying.

Must be that His Holiness is an enlightened man about writing too.

d'Artagnan said...

You should definitely give this book a go. It's written so clearly! I think you will like it. :)