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Publishers WeeklyMehrotra assembles a Buddhist primer in this small collection of the Dalai Lama's thoughts on meditation, suffering, karma, enlightenment and other issues. Brevity is the book's greatest strength and greatest weakness: it is accessible, certainly, but the tiny topical sections do little more than scratch the surface of complex issues. His Holiness dispatches with compassion, a foundation of Buddhist thought, in a mere five pages; karmic consequences merit just three. And while the book aims for some practicality-including a chapter on how to meditate, for example-the approach is less hands-on than other Buddhist introductions. Although there are some gems scattered throughout, including a beautiful rumination on death as a spiritual practice, the book's unfocused structure does not make the most of these. All of the chapters have been cobbled together from the Dalai Lama's previous talks (with almost no information about where and when those talks occurred), meaning both that there is no truly original material here and that there is often little connection or flow between one chapter and another.
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