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 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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781101982921
ISBN-10: 1101982926
Publisher: Avery Publishing Group
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Pages: 304
Language: English