Using the traditional Buddhist allegorical image of the Wheel of Life and the teaching of the twelve links of dependent origination, the Dalai Lama deftly illustrates how our existence, though fleeting and often full of woes, brims with the potential for peace and happiness. We can realize that potential by cultivating a wise appreciation of the interdependency of actions and experience, and by living a kind and compassionate life. A life thus lived, the Dalai Lama teaches, becomes thoroughly meaningful for both oneself and for others.
This book was originally published under the title The Meaning of Life.
“Studded with jewels. The Wheel of Life points out how to bring together the theory of the Buddhist teachings and the practice of ordinary life. The central topics treated here in traditional fashion are absolutely fundamental in Buddhist thought. The Dalai Lama's exposition—thorough, gentle and precise—reflects the depth and breadth of his training, communicating the living quality of the tradition.”
– Shambhala Sun
“The Dalai Lama's kindness and wit make this journey into the inner psychic environment highly accessible. His Holiness presents the basic world view of Buddhism while answering some of life's most profound and challenging questions.”
– Branches of Light
“The Dalai Lama's responses to questions convey a sense of his personal warmth and compassion. Libraries with an interest in Buddhism or Asian religions should own [this book].”
– CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
“Here, the Dalai Lama has very skillfully examined the existential questions of meaning, purpose, and responsibility in life, basing his explanations on the Buddha's teaching of dependent arising, showing how every aspect of our suffering—unhappiness, pain, even old age and death—can be ultimately uprooted through a profound understanding of our true nature. There is also an excellent introduction on the law of dependent origination—which explains the nature of cause and effect—by Jeffrey Hopkins.”