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Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practicesby Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse
Synopses & Reviews
Tibetan Buddhism is full of spiritual and cultural traditions, but which of them simply belong to a certain place and time and which are necessary for the twenty-first-century practitioner? This book thoroughly breaks down the commitments and necessities for Vajrayana practice in modern society before going into a step-by-step look at the most common Vajrayana practice known as "Ngondro." It also covers such topics as:
• What is dharma good for?
• Spiritual warm-up
• Why do we need a guru?
• Practice in daily life
Most commentaries on this topic were written for a different time and place, and follow a very specific and traditional structure that can be alienating and hard to relate to for a Western practitioner. Not for Happiness, while no less profound, was written with a Western audience in mind and speaks directly to the modern Buddhist. The material is fresh, interesting, and even humorous, managing to be both informative and entertaining while maintaining its traditional authenticity.
Do you practise meditation because you want to feel good? Or to help you relax and be “happy”? Then frankly, according to Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, you are far better off having a full-body massage than trying to practise the Dharma.
Genuine spiritual practice, not least the Ngöndro preliminaries, will not bring the kind of comfort and ease most worldly people crave. Quite the opposite, in fact. But if your ultimate goal is enlightenment, Ngöndro practice is a must, and Not for Happiness your perfect guide, as it contains everything an aspiring practitioner needs to get started, including advice about:
• developing “renunciation mind”
• discipline, meditation and wisdom
• using your imagination in visualization practice
• why you need a guru
About the Author
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse (Khyentse Norbu) is a Tibetan Buddhist lama who travels and teaches internationally and is also an award-winning filmmaker. He is the abbot of several monasteries in Asia and the spiritual director of meditation centers in Vancouver, San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Taipei. He is also head of a Buddhist organization called Siddhartha’s Intent.
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