Review of “A Profound Mind”

An easy to read book that is simultaneously illuminating and revealing; while it sheds light on Buddhism as a compassionate, religious and spiritual path, it also brings up inconsistencies and limitations of this ancient belief system.

For instance, whereas the author (His Holiness The Dalai Lama) states that “The existence of the soul or self…is not only firmly denied in Buddhism, belief in it is identified as the source of all our misery,” he goes on to indicate, a few pages on, his belief in “past lives” in his explanation for variations in our constitution: “…but our tendencies…which Buddhists believe to be inherited from past lives…” He admits that such beliefs came about… read the full review

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I happened to see an interesting movie recently – “A Monk with a Camera” – a tale of a dandy, playboy, and seeker as described on its cover. This is the continuing story of a very thoughtful and humble human, the editor of the book above, one who grew up in a life of displayed excess and moved into a purposeful life of asceticism.

I admire and respect Nicholas Vreeland’s commitment and devotion to a cause much greater than himself. He would perhaps say – as is the rule in Tibetan Buddhism – that there is no self. Yet what he has accomplished, in his personal transformation and commitment to a greater purpose, no other ‘self’ may have been able to!

Nicholas Vreeland edited a book, a collection of talks by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, a leader of the belief system he has committed his thoughts and efforts to, which I was compelled to read and review given Nicholas’s advancement in his adopted “faith.”

That review, which, while critical, intends no offense or harm to the authors who are eminent men of peace and learning, is in the principal link at the head of this post. It is rather long, and therefore not included in its entirety.

I’ll look forward to your thoughts and comments on the review


About Rian Nejar

Rian Nejar is an Indian-American author. He trained and worked as an engineer in India, lived briefly in the Middle East, and arrived in America in the early 90's. After a Master’s degree in electrical engineering in America, he worked as an academic instructor, engineer, entrepreneur, and technical writer over the two decades since. Humbling and Humility ( is his first mainstream nonfiction. He lives and writes in the Southwest United States.
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