review – a profound mind

Late to posting this, as it’s on some other sites already. But here ya go.

This particular set of teachings from the Dalai Lama is a very clear and straightforward introduction to the more complex aspects of Buddhist thought and practice. Covering the major topics like the Four Noble Truths, karma, the differing Buddhist schools of thought, as well as the central intertwining of emptiness and compassion and basics of meditation, the brief chapters contained within cover a very wide amount of material in a concise compilation.

What makes this book so effective in addition to its brevity is the care taken with translation and delivery. Not only are both well crafted for a western audience, but they are quite conversational in tone as well. Throughout the book HHDL takes great care to demystify Buddhism, focusing on the practicality of the concepts and advising the reader, as the Buddha himself would, to experiment with practice rather than strictly follow dogma. With an emphasis on approaching the understanding of emptiness, it’s certainly not light reading, but nevertheless its brevity makes it less intimidating than the more voluminous dharma texts available.

Apart from his more secular works focusing worldly ethics, A Profound Mind is a beneficial resource with surprising depth for those with a developing interest in Buddhism.

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