A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives (Paperback)

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The lovely refrain of A Fearless Heart is: just like me, everyone desires happiness and wishes to avoid suffering. This elementary observation is the basis from which "compassion cultivation training" begins. Compassion is not something new we must learn or add to ourselves, it is always within us but may require refining. "Through training...we can make compassion our basic stance, the very outlook with which we perceive ourselves and the world around us, so that we engage with the world from that place." Eminently practical, the text is full of meditative exercises to help make compassion the basis for all of our interactions. The book contains a deeply insightful diagnosis of the detriments of putting a premium on individual glory; the most poignant chapters were those diagnosing our endemic lack of self-compassion and the exercises to alleviate this unnecessary suffering. Though its roots are in Tibetan Buddhist contemplative practice, "the exercises are spiritual practice[s] that can be embraced by everyone, those of different faiths as well as of no faith." Many Western studies of meditation are cited to underscore the utility of the practices. Both East and West agree on the paradoxical result: being kind to someone else will make you happy, too.

— Andy

The lovely refrain of A Fearless Heart is: just like me, everyone desires happiness and wishes to avoid suffering. This elementary observation is the basis from which "compassion cultivation training" begins. Compassion is not something new we must learn or add to ourselves, it is always within us but may require refining. "Through training...we can make compassion our basic stance, the very outlook with which we perceive ourselves and the world around us, so that we engage with the world from that place." Eminently practical, the text is full of meditative exercises to help make compassion the basis for all of our interactions. The book contains a deeply insightful diagnosis of the detriments of putting a premium on individual glory; the most poignant chapters were those diagnosing our endemic lack of self-compassion and the exercises to alleviate this unnecessary suffering. Though its roots are in Tibetan Buddhist contemplative practice, "the exercises are spiritual practice[s] that can be embraced by everyone, those of different faiths as well as of no faith." Many Western studies of meditation are cited to underscore the utility of the practices. Both East and West agree on the paradoxical result: being kind to someone else will make you happy, too.

— Andy

Description


The highly acclaimed thought leader and English translator of the Dalai Lama shows us how compassion works as a powerful inner resource that can yield surprising and compelling benefits—not just for others, but for ourselves.
 
The Buddhist practice of mindfulness first caught on in the West when we began to understand its many practical benefits. Now Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D., introduces a practice with even greater life-changing power: compassion. Based on the revolutionary course in Compassion Cultivation Training at Stanford that Jinpa helped to create, A Fearless Heart shows us that compassion can be a path through suffering, a key to robust health, and even an effective way to reach our goals.
 
Yet we fear compassion. We worry that if we are too compassionate with others, they will take advantage of us, and too much self-compassion will make us slackers. Pulling from the latest Western research as well as traditional Buddhist psychology, Jinpa offers simple daily practices that will help readers train their compassion muscle for a greater meaning, connection, and fulfillment.

About the Author


Thupten Jinpa is a former monk and holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, where he also worked as a research fellow. Jinpa has been the principal English translator to H. H. the Dalai Lama for more than twenty-five years and has translated and edited numerous books by the Dalai Lama. Jinpa is an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal, and Chairman of the Mind and Life Institute, which is dedicated to promoting dialogues and collaborations between the sciences and contemplative knowledge, especially Buddhism.

Praise For…


“An inspirational read that not only demonstrates the power of compassion, but also reveals how kindness and self-compassion are within our reach.”
—Kelly McGonigal, author, The Upside of Stress and The Willpower Instinct
 
“Embracing compassion enables us to step into our own natural capacity for creativity and empathy.  I highly recommend this extraordinary book and this path to anyone who seeks to have more meaningful connections to people and the world.”
—David Kelley, Founder of IDEO, co-author, Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

A Fearless Heart is a rare book that shows how the meeting of contemplative insights and practices with modern science can lead to offerings that are beneficial for everyone interested in deeper personal spiritual transformation. The book shows how such practices can have positive impact in our daily lives. I applaud my long-time English translator Thupten Jinpa for writing this timely book on compassion and its cultivation.”
—His Holiness the Dalai Lama
 
“I love Jinpa’s sense of the practical, of bringing compassion down from the pedestal of high ideals and into the messy reality that is every day human life.  A Fearless Heart may prove to be one of the important books of these difficult times.”
—Richard Gere

"Brilliantly clear and heartfelt, a potentially life changing work offering inspiring training. A Fearless Heart is personally moving, eminently practical and visionary in scope."
—Jack Kornfield, author, The Wise Heart 
 
“Jinpa shows why compassion is not a given within some yet not possible for others, but rather is a quality of the heart that we all can cultivate and expand. If we do that, our lives transform, our families and relationships transform, and our world transforms.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Loving Kindness and Real Happiness
 
“Firmly grounded in the latest scientific studies, and hugely invitational and convincing in its inspiration, its reasoning, its heartfulness, and its guidance in a broad range of powerful practices, A Fearless Heart is the bravest, clearest, and most engaging book I know on why we need to cultivate compassion, and on how to bring it more widely and deeply into our lives and into the world.” —Jon Kabat-Zinn  Founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction; Author of Full Catastrophe Living
 
“Thupten Jinpa speaks from his expertise as a monk turned family man, and a topflight scholar, who draws on his remarkable background and range of knowledge to offer each one of us a practical tool kit for becoming a better human being. A Fearless Heart can help anyone nurture the compassion that lies within every heart.”
—Daniel Goleman, author, Emotional Intelligence
 
“Part autobiography, part a training manual for a wholesome life and part a beautiful tapestry woven between ancient Buddhist thought and modern science, this book has something for everyone.  At its fundamental core, it makes the case for why compassion is so essential for the modern world and offers detailed helpful advice on how it can be cultivated.”
—Richard J. Davidson, co-author, The Emotional Life of Your Brain, Founder, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Product Details
ISBN: 9781101982921
ISBN-10: 1101982926
Publisher: Avery
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Pages: 304
Language: English