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With a unique combination of ancient and contemporary wisdom from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, The Diamond Cutter presents readers with empowering strategies for success in their work and personal lives.
Geshe Michael Roach, one of the great teachers today of Tibetan Buddhism, has richly woven The Diamond Cutter in three layers. The first is a translation of selections from the Diamond Sutra itself, an ancient text comprised of conversations between the Buddha and his close disciple Subhuti. Considered a central work by Buddhists throughout the world, the Diamond Sutra has been the focus of much interpretation over the centuries. In the second layer, Geshe Michael quotes from some of the best commentaries of the Tibetan tradition. In the main text, the third layer, he uses both sutra and commentary as a jumping-off point for presenting his own teaching.
Geshe Michael gives fresh insight into ancient wisdom by using examples from his own experience as one of the founders of the Andin International Diamond Corporation, which was started with capital of fifty thousand dollars and which today has annual sales in excess of one hundred million dollars. Much of the success of Andin has come from applying the business strategies presented in The Diamond Cutter. Geshe Michael's easy style and spiritual understanding make this work of timeless wisdom an invaluable source for those already familiar with, and those unfamiliar with, Tibetan Buddhism.
In the vein of Richard D. Phillips's The Heart of an Executive: Lessons on Leadership from the Life of King David, this book offers a practical application of Buddhist teachings to managing business and life. A Buddhist monk and former diamond district executive, Roach says that the three Buddhist-inspired principles on which he built his success can be applied to other businesses and other circumstances. The principles stipulate that businesses should be profitable, that we should enjoy the money we earn, not working ourselves so hard earning it that we can't enjoy the nice home or relaxing trip it might provide, and that we should be able to claim, when all is said and done, that our years in business were meaningful. "To summarize," writes Roach, "the goal of business, and of ancient Tibetan wisdom... is to enrich ourselves." Roach's uncritical tendency to marry Buddhism and capitalism without so much as a raised eyebrow might give readers pause. (In the end, Roach redeems himself a little by suggesting that the Buddhist teachings of Limitlessness imply that everyone could have enough wealth.) The principles he propounds are appealing, indeed, but they tell us much more about current-day attitudes toward work and money than they do about "ancient Tibetan wisdom." Entrepreneurs seeking solid advice for worldly success may find this book helpful, but those interested in Tibetan Buddhism will likely consider it superficial.