Book Club
How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life  by His Holiness the Dalai Lama 

In How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life, His Holiness the Dalai Lama lays out practices we can apply to free ourselves from our suffering, stress-laden minds and attain inner relief or freedom from suffering.

His Holiness describes the necessary ingredients—morality, concentration, and wisdom (understanding how self and phenomena exist)—that enable us to attain inner peace. The book also includes a chapter on a rapid path for practitioners who are well-grounded in compassion and wisdom.

How to Practice belongs to a genre of Tibetan Buddhist literature known as lam rim, or the graded stages on the path to enlightenment.

The Buddha himself was not a Buddhist but a scientist who explored the workings of his own mind, and an educator who then shared his methods for inner transformation with others.

His Holiness explains the teachings of the Buddha: “In Buddhist terms, this is the path to enlightenment. However, anyone can make use of particular steps toward self-improvement as they see fit.”

Since we all have minds, there is something here for everyone, whether we have a religious practice or don’t follow any religion at all. 

Weekly meetings will include discussion and practices for cultivating morality, concentration, and wisdom.

Please purchase the book “How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins before class begins on January 24, 2021, and, if possible, complete the Week 1 reading prior to our first online meeting.

Reading Schedule

Week 1: 

Foreword by Jeffrey Hopkins, Introduction, The Basics, vii-32

Week 2: 

The Four Extraordinary Truths, 32-60

Week 3: 

Morality: Refraining from Harm, Extending Help, 61-94

Week 4: 

Aspiring to Enlightenment, Concentration, 95-134

Week 5: 

Wisdom: How Things Exist, The Middle Way, Mind & the Deep Nature of Mind, 137-181

Week 6: 

Tantra, Overview of the Path to Enlightenment, 185-213

About the Facilitator

Janna Weiss currently practices acupuncture and teaches mind science in New York City. She holds a PhD from the University of Texas Austin in Biological Sciences – Botany (ethnobotany). Janna is also a human rights activist and blogger, for peace, for Tibet, and for the rights of people with developmental and psychosocial disabilities, or those perceived to be so. Janna began studying Tibetan Buddhism with Dharma Friends of Israel in 2005.