The Dalai Lama shares his wisdom, humor and insight into a variety of topics in Many Ways to Nirvana: Reflections and Advice on Right Living. But if you are seeking earth-shattering revelations, don’t look here. Much of what this unusual man says is very straightforward and direct and might just surprise those seeking more complex answers to life’s complex problems.
The book, edited by Renuka Singh, is part of the Dharma Celebration lectures and reads like an interview, with real questions posed to the Dalai Lama by people who attended the Tushita Mahayana Meditation Centre. Questions range from the four seals or axioms of Buddhism to overcoming negative emotions, dealing with tragic events in the world, developing the self through the six perfections, and many other Buddhist concepts that are designed to shed light on how we can find peace in a world filled with war, bad news, poverty and other negative forces.
Always, the Dalai Lama answers with deep insight mixed with childlike wonder and often humor, and sometimes he answers with very brief statements that leave the reader wanting. He is often ambiguous, and even occasionally not sure of the truth, which he willingly and openly admits. This may not sit well with readers searching for a savior who has the power to change everything in the blink of an eye, but when the Dalai Lama says he thinks evil “is very powerful, but only temporarily,” you at least feel you are getting an honest answer, which in its own strange way, provides comfort and strength.
The book discusses the dangers of ego, living by the Four Noble Truths, seeking right action and right thinking, freeing ourselves from addictions and cravings, and other ways to live with more peace, serenity and faith in ourselves and the world around us.
Many Ways to Nirvana is a small book filled with warmth and truth, and thought it may not contain any codes or secrets to life-altering transformation, it will transform your life - by showing how the closest pearls of wisdom, so to speak, exist within.