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An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life

An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life
Author: The Dalai Lama
ISBN 13: 9780316930932
ISBN 10: 316930938
Edition: 1 Reprint
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: 2002-09-04
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
List Price: $15.00

COMPASSION--SYMPATHY FOR THE suffering of others and the desire to free them from it--is wrestled with in all spiritual traditions. Yet how does one actually become a compassionate person? What are the mechanisms by which a selfish heart is transformed into a generous heart?

When His Holiness the Dalai Lama came to New York City in 1999, he spoke simply and powerfully on the everyday Buddhist practice of compassion. Weaving together the contents of three sacred texts-- one by the eighth-century Indian master Kamalashila, another by the fourteenth-century Tibetan Togmay Sangpo, and a third by the eleventh-century sage Langri Tangpa--His Holiness showed that the path to compassion is a series of meditations. An Open Heart lays out this course of meditation, from the simplest to the most challenging, describing the mental training techniques that will enable anyone of any faith to change their minds and open their hearts. In this book the path begins with simple and clear ruminations on the advantages of a virtuous life and moves on to practices that can temper destructive and impulsive emotions. Such practices can be undertaken at odd moments of the day, at once transforming the aimless or anxious mind into a disciplined and open mind. Gradually, the book introduces the more challenging and sustained meditation practices. In these meditations the deepest and most profound insights of Buddhist practice become part of one's way of knowing and experiencing the world.

An Open Heart is a clear and simple introduction to the Buddhist path to enlightenment, by its greatest teacher, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Publishers Weekly

A paperback reissue of last year's hardcover makes His Holiness the Dalai Lama's wisdom a bit less expensive: "Just as musicians train their hands, athletes their reflexes and techniques, linguists their ears, scholars their perceptions, so we direct our minds and hearts." And so with his characteristic deftness, here he builds bridges from the realities of everyday life to sublimely spiritual pursuits. This compilation, based on teachings delivered by His Holiness in New York in 1999, is founded upon a weaving of two ancient Buddhist texts. These are made accessible here in part by Vreeland's skillful editing and in part by the unflagging style of the Dalai Lama, who continues to spread his message of loving compassion beyond the borders of Buddhism. Readers who savored his The Art of Happiness and Ethics for the New Millennium will likely be ready to take these next steps into practical approaches for everyday living that are supremely grounded in Buddhist philosophy, but extend an open heart to all types of believers and nonbelievers as well. While not a manual in the traditional Western sense of highly sequenced steps, this book is a treasury of teachings that point clearly to a better way to live. Exquisite, perfectly matched photographs round out such chapters as "The Desire for Happiness," "Karma," "Compassion," "Calm Abiding" and "Wisdom." Many books today receive the Dalai Lama's blessing, but this one issues a special invitation to receive ancient wisdom through the mind and heart of a modern spiritual master. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.