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Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices Paperback – Oct 16 2012

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  • Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (Oct. 16 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611800307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611800302
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #162,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Students’ Reactions to Not for Happiness:

“Having a map of the path that shows where each practice is headed helps me to see what each stage is preparing me for. Even the chapters that at first didn’t seem relevant to my current practice contained such great gems of teaching that they turned out to be extremely relevant and very helpful.”—Catherine Fordham

“To me, this book is like the world’s best kind of GPS! I feel that by following its guidance, even though I am not a skilful driver, I will have the confidence to drive through my Ngöndro practice—and may even end up feeling quite good about it!”—Helena Wang

About the Author

<p class="MsoNormal">Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse (Khyentse Norbu) is a Tibetan Buddhist lama who travels and teaches internationally and is also an award-winning filmmaker. He is the abbot of several monasteries in Asia and the spiritual director of meditation centers in Vancouver, San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Taipei. He is also head of a Buddhist organization called Siddhartha’s Intent.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 64 reviews
65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively, thought-provoking, and profound April 19 2012
By sobepeace - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has accomplished quite a coup: a text on the Ngondro preliminaries that simultaneously brings the Ngondro overachiever down to earth, provides a swift quick in the bum for the Ngondro slacker, and fosters greater enthusiasm and understanding in those already in the thick of the practices. The book is strong on context and the visceral, lived experience of the practices, less so on the detail, which Rinpoche repeatedly suggests is best to obtain directly from a teacher. The practice descriptions present the Longchen Nyingthig preliminary practices of the Nyingma lineage, and are quite sufficient to lay out the mechanics, particularly if accompanied by more specific commentary for those who want to pin down intricate points. The context and background explanations, however, apply to any Ngondro--indeed to any Tibetan Buddhist practice.

More importantly, the text provides insight and straight-to-the-heart purpose for engaging in the practices themselves. Rinpoche speaks with one foot solidly grounded in the traditional theory and methodology of practice, another in an open and kind understanding of practical challenges modern practitioners face. He is a recognized incarnation of a great Tibetan master, yet is thoroughly modern in his approach and life (he is also well known as the film maker behind "The Cup" and "Travelers and Magicians.") The combination of tradition and modernity provides for a vivid description of the meaning behind the practices, and a lively approach to actively encountering it in our own experience. The English editing is superb--the language is elegant, fluid, and rich without getting in the way of the substance.

As a Kagyu practitioner who remains an active fan after having completed one Mahamudra Ngondro, I found much to carry into my ongoing practice at all levels. As a student and translator of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy in traditional monasteries in Nepal and India, I recognized the scholarly vein of the monastic training in Rinpoche's delivery. Rinpoche peppers the text with seminal and relevant quotes and advice from genuine teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the Nyingma and Kagyu schools emphasizing the Ngondro as a foundational practice. The result is a text inlaid with nuggets of practical wisdom available for the reader to mine, contemplate, and apply to their practice. Much food for thought on many levels, practical and profound. Rinpoche is particularly effective in demystifying the central role of devotion to all practice.

I would highly recommend this thoroughly engaging book to those who wish to bring their spiritual practice to life. Sound, pragmatic advice that will get you reflecting on your motivation and approach in positive ways throughout the day, and send you to the cushion with fresh and enlivening insight to fuel your practice of awakening. I, for one, foresee returning to its inspiring and grounding blessings again and again. May all beings develop and suffuse their mindstreams with genuine devotion and understanding, bringing it to the complete perfection of buddhahood for the sake of all that lives!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching for real happiness March 15 2013
By Carmen Adorno - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for "comfort food" do not buy this book! The author say in his introduction: if you want to feel happy go get a massage! This book is for buddhists that know how dangerous it is to be happy with yourself, to be satisfied with your life and with your religious path.This is not a good for one that wishes to fell good. On the other hand, if you want to enter the path of ego taming this is the right book for you. Taming the mind is a huge challenge and it is wonderful to have Dzongsar Rinpoche as a guide. It is a real blessing! Great book, not recommended for sissies! It is a book for the bold ones that have the courage to search their true nature, cut all illusions and be rewarded with real happiness - enlightenment!
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid but accessible intro to ngondro Aug. 4 2016
By Xanthippe - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Phenomenal, easy-to-understand but thorough intro to the ngondro practices from a Nyingma perspective but with valuable insights relevant to all sects of Tibetan buddhism. This was a great read for me and dispelled much of the confusion as well as my urges to ask overly-analytical questions instead of just getting down to the practice. Highly recommended for Buddhist practitioners.
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and well explained. Oct. 8 2016
By Annie - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clear and well explained...something difficult to find in many books written by Tibetan masters - it will clear up so many questions about finding a teacher etc. I have the audio and book. One of most treasured dharma books. Dzongsar Khyentse is always a great teacher and communicator.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 14 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best Book for westerners to understand more about Ngondro