Book Club: How to Practice — The Way to a Meaningful Life by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Sundays, Jan 24–Feb 28, 7:30–9pm EST ONLINE

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: January 24

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

Week 2: January 31

The Four Extraordinary Truths, 32-60

Week 3: February 7

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

Week 4: February 14

Aspiring to Enlightenment, Concentration, 95-134

Week 5: February 21

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

Week 6: February 28

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

Important Note

This is an online-only event that is administered using Zoom which is an interactive video-conferencing tool that allows participants to see one another and ask questions. You will need a computer, a tablet or a smartphone with the Zoom application to attend. If you are using Zoom for the first time, please login a few minutes earlier to allow any necessary installations on your device.

After registering, the system automatically sends you a confirmation email and a receipt email (if applicable) that contain the Zoom meeting link and other instructions if any. If you don’t immediately receive the email(s) with the Zoom information, or you have questions about Zoom or accessing the class online, please contact us at [email protected].

Registration / Schedule

Suggested: $20 per session, $108 for all 6 weeks.

Other offering option: free to $30

The suggested amount helps support teacher offerings and expenses, direct costs and rent. Shantideva member discounts or benefits will be applied automatically if you have a membership in MindBody. 

Shantideva Center may publish recorded sessions in the public domain (e.g., on YouTube). By registering for this event, you are agreeing to give your consent to this process. To protect your privacy, we recommend being conscious about any personal information you share during the sessions. To further enhance anonymity, you may want to consider turning off video or naming yourself using abbreviations.

Time zone: US Eastern Standard Time (GMT/UTC-5)

For questions regarding registration, please email [email protected] for assistance.

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 psychosocial disabilities. Janna began studying Tibetan Buddhism with Dharma Friends of Israel in 2005.