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Daily Meditations

by Dalai Lama & edited by Renuka Singh

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1999
ISBN: 0-670-88759-5
Publisher: Viking

A mezzo-mezzo book from the Dalai Lama (Ethics for the New Millennium, p. 1044). 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.