The Path to Tranquility: Daily Meditations


The Dalai Lama, a living symbol of holiness and selfless triumph over tribulation, has shared his philosophy of peace with today's turbulent world. The Path to Tranquility, a fresh and accessible introduction to his inspirational wisdom, offers words of guidance, compassion, and peace that are as down to earth as they are rich in spirit. It covers almost every aspect of human life, secular and religious - happiness, intimacy, loneliness, suffering, anger, and everyday insecurities - with endearing informality, ...
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The Dalai Lama, a living symbol of holiness and selfless triumph over tribulation, has shared his philosophy of peace with today's turbulent world. The Path to Tranquility, a fresh and accessible introduction to his inspirational wisdom, offers words of guidance, compassion, and peace that are as down to earth as they are rich in spirit. It covers almost every aspect of human life, secular and religious - happiness, intimacy, loneliness, suffering, anger, and everyday insecurities - with endearing informality, warmth, and practicality.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This collection of daily quotations drawn from the Dalai Lama's writings and teachings offers wisdom and inspiration for every day of the year. Endearingly informal, these readings touch almost every aspect of human life and religious practice: from anger, suffering, and loneliness to compassion, meditation, and peace.
A year of excerpts from the writings, teaching, and interviews of the world head of Tibetan Buddhism. Urging compassion and peace, he touches on happiness, loneliness, enlightenment, suffering, anger, and other perennial features of earthly existence. The calendar is not year specific, so can be used over and over except by readers with overdeveloped memories. An index provides access to specific topics. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Kirkus Reviews
A mezzo-mezzo book from the Dalai Lama (Ethics for the New Millennium). This collection of excerpts from the the Tibetan leader's writings and speeches is organized like Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much—the reader is encouraged to meditate on a different snippet each day. The excerpts range from a description of a Calcutta hospital to a cautionary note about marriage, from a pronouncement that the media should worry more about the common good than ratings to musings on generosity. The Dalai Lama combats the deconstructionists, asserting that whenever one reads a book, one must consider the context in which the author wrote it. He trots out the cliché that "there is nothing like teaching to help one learn" and suggests that, in order to change the world, one should start with changing one's own behavior. One wishes for a more heavy-handed editor. The readings seem thrown together randomly, and too many of the selections are utterly banal. Do we really need to spend May 12 reflecting on the fact that when the Dalai Lama loses his temper with someone, he later apologizes? Dip into this book, but don't make it your daily companion for a year.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670887590
  • Publisher: Viking Adult
  • Publication date: 11/1/1999
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 7.54 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, religious and temporal leader of Tibet and winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, is recognized internationally as a spiritual leader and peace statesman. The recipient of numerous honorary degrees and humanitarian awards, he lives in Dharamsala, India.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



I love friends, I want more friends. I love smiles. That is a fact. How to develop smiles? There are a variety of smiles. Some smiles are sarcastic. Some smiles are artificial—diplomatic smiles. These smiles do not produce satisfaction, but rather fear or suspicion. But a genuine smile gives us hope, freshness.

    If we want a genuine smile, then first we must produce the basis for a smile to come.


If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then also there is no need to worry.


To be aware of a single shortcoming within oneself is more useful than to be aware of a thousand in somebody else. Rather than speaking badly about people and in ways that will produce friction and unrest in their lives, we should practice a purer perception of them, and when we speak of others, speak of their good qualities.

    If you find yourself slandering anybody, first imagine that your mouth is filled with excrement. It will break you of the habit quickly enough.


If you are mindful of death, it will not come as a surprise—you will not be anxious. You will feel that death is merely like changing your clothes. Consequently, at that point you will be able to maintain your calmness ofmind.


To foster inner awareness, introspection, and reasoning is more efficient than meditation and prayer.


Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents and then later on in our life when we are oppressed by sickness and become old, we are again dependent on the kindness of others.

    Since at the beginning and end of our lives we are so dependent on others' kindness, how can it be that in the middle we neglect kindness toward others?


Scientific research and development should work together with meditative research and development since both are concerned with similar objects. The one proceeds through experiment by instruments and the other through inner experience and meditation.

    A clear distinction should be made between what is not found by science and what is found to be nonexistent by science. What science finds to be nonexistent, we must accept as nonexistent; but what science merely does not find is a completely different matter.... It is quite clear that there are many, many mysterious things.


All of the different religious faiths, despite their philosophical differences, have a similar objective. Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people's suffering. On these lines every religion has more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal.


Physically you are a human being, but mentally you are incomplete. Given that we have this physical human form, we must safeguard our mental capacity for judgment. For that, we cannot take out insurance; the insurance company is within: self-discipline, self-awareness, and a clear realization of the disadvantages of anger and the positive effects of kindness.


In the case of one individual or person like myself, the practice of compassion and religion coincides. But another individual, without religion, can practice spirituality without being religious. So, a secular person can be spiritual.

    Compassion is compulsory for everyone to practice, and if I were a dictator I would dictate to everyone to do so.


I think religion, ideology, economy, and political systems are all man's creation. Since they are man's creation, they must relate with human feeling and the human spirit. If they are practiced with human feeling, they fulfill some basic human aspirations. The various religions and ideologies are meant for humanity and not the opposite.


Material progress alone is not sufficient to achieve an ideal society. Even in countries where great external progress has been made, mental problems have increased. No amount of legislation or coercion can accomplish the well-being of society, for this depends upon the internal attitude of the people who comprise it. Therefore, mental development, in harmony with material development, is very important.


The human level of mental development is not complete. Even in the ordinary sense, within our inner state there are still many things to explore. This has nothing to do with religious ideology; this is spiritual. Some part of the brain's capability may be fully utilized only through deep meditation. But in the meantime, things can be explored in the ordinary way. So from that viewpoint, the human being is unfinished.


Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.


All living beings, starting from insects, want happiness and not suffering. However, we are only one, whereas others are infinite in number. Thus, it can be clearly decided that others gaining happiness is more important than just yourself alone.


If during the dreaming state you direct your awareness and your concentration to the throat, this will make your dreams clearer. Whereas, if you direct your awareness to the heart, then it will make your sleep deeper. So here is a subjective sleeping pill.


It would be much more constructive if people tried to understand their supposed enemies. Learning to forgive is much more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it at the object of one's anger, the more so when the provocation is extreme. For it is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.


To develop patience, you need someone who willfully hurts you. Such people give us real opportunities to practice tolerance. They test our inner strength in a way that even our guru cannot. Basically, patience protects us from being discouraged.


Whether in remote places or densely populated cities, we work and struggle for the same fundamental purpose. While doing so, we fail to realize that it is important to follow the correct method in achieving our goal—for the method is all important.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Foreword ix
Editor's Note xi
January 1
February 35
March 67
April 101
May 133
June 167
July 199
August 233
September 267
October 299
November 333
December 365
Index 399
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2001


    Although I like the Dalai Lama, I was disappointed with this book. It doesn't leave me feeling tranquil, as the title suggests. Instead, it seems that the entries are thrown in rather randomly and without much editing. There are some that make no sense, and others are just too obvious to mention in any serious text. This book does not live up to the standards of the Dalai Lama's other books. If you want a really great book with daily snippets of Buddhist encouragement, I highly recommend 'Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: A Little Book of Eastern Wisdom' by Taro Gold.

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