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An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life
     

An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life

4.2 18
by Dalai Lama
 

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An introduction to the core of Buddhism by its greatest teacher, "An Open Heart" is the successor to the bestselling "The Art of Happiness", the Dalai Lama's clear and simple guide to finding compassion and happiness. 25 photos. (World Religions)

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Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An Open Heart provides a simple yet comprehensive introduction to Buddhism. Its strength, however, lies in its ability to engage those of every faith to explore the depth of compassion. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a brilliant teacher and thinker-- this book (mostly pulled from a Central Park lecture) encourages the reader's quest to understand and eliminate his/her suffering.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I had to read this book for a project. I liked this book because it taught me a bit about Buddhism as well as the practices and beliefs. It also helped me realize some of the negative things I do such as provoke, be angry at others, and the cause and effect of not being angry. The steps to meditation helped make me feel enlightened and more relaxed. One of my favorite parts of the book is when he talks about different types of people regarding wealth and cultural backgrounds because of his reaction when someone says an African brain is inferior to the brain of a Caucasian because I could empathize with the teacher and how the Dalai Lama responds to this gives me hope and makes me happy. I also liked the part of the book where the Dalai Lama discusses anger directed towards a neighbor and what to do instead of fight back and let the neighbor get the satisfaction of upsetting you. Another chapter that I enjoyed was the chapter about compassion because of the teachings that helps others as well as yourself to be more happy and closer to enlightenment. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book because of how much I have learned from it and the little things we can all do to create a more peaceful world. Although I sometimes felt that he detailed some chapters too much, this book is very well written, insightful, and full of wisdom. 
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CJKilker More than 1 year ago
A fabulous addition to his other works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely amazing book.The Dalai Lama is such an amazing person.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This latest book by the Dalai Lama is a compilation of speeches he gave in NYC in the past. It lists the main traits one should practice to fulfill a healthy lifestyle: compassion, empathy, wisdom, and so on. If you have already read 'Ethics For The New Millenium' or 'The Art of Happiness' you will find that this book repeats much of the material in those books. The main difference I see in this edition is that some basic meditation techniques are covered. Overall, it is a book that reminds us of the most important qualities one should practice to create a centered life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want to learn to be more compassionate and focused on the meaning of and direction of your life, this is a perfect book. It explains the basics of buddhism and contains words of wisdom for anyone of any faith. Anyone reading this book can learn to have a more fulfilling and compassionate existence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sometimes adding a new spiritual perspective can help deepen one¿s understanding of one¿s own spiritual tradition and beliefs. Certainly, that was my experience in reading this heart-warming book. The book is structured into a series of brief essays, based on three days of teaching that the Dalai Lama did in New York City during 1999. The essays separated in time and space some very profound thoughts, in ways that made them easier to grasp. This is a book that you will want to reread many times, especially when you find your mind troubled or your compassion at a low ebb. The Dalai Lama expresses a timeless Buddhist perspective here, but in an inclusive way. ¿We are all the same, mentally and emotionally.¿ Our other differences are minor, and unimportant. In thinking about the current war on terrorism, I was struck by his observation that ¿In harming our enemy, we are harmed.¿ ¿Dialogue is the only appropriate method [for resolving disputes].¿ What harm are we doing now in this war to innocent people, to ourselves, to unborn generations, and to the environment of the world we inhabit? The Dalai Lama explains that ¿In Buddhism compassion is . . . the wish that all beings be free of their suffering.¿ Interestingly, he points out that ¿If we have a positive mental attitude, then even when surrounded by hostility, we shall not lack inner peace.¿ Have we looked enough within in mentally and physically responding to the attacks of September 11th? The book contains many worthy thoughts about how to create a ¿better balance between material preoccupations and inner spiritual growth.¿ An Open Heart will probably be most meaningful to those who are very interested in spiritual questions (of whatever religious persuasion or philosophy) and who pray or meditate regularly. If you are externally oriented, you may not find that the words and thoughts resonate within you. As a person who prays and meditates several times a day, I found his expressions of ways to improve the benefits of conscious (or analytical) meditation and settled meditation very interesting and helpful. I especially liked his invocation for how to be more humble. ¿We can always find some quality in someone else where we are outshone.¿ And ¿reflect upon the kindness of others¿ upon which we all depend. He advises beginning with strangers as a conscious object of compassionate meditation, so that we can strengthen our empathy with those we feel most distant towards. As we get better at this empathizing, we can move on to building compassion for those we dislike or fear. I was pleased to see that we are encouraged to practice the right things, and to focus away from the speed of our progress. Whether or not you agree with the concept of reincarnation as expressed here, this book can certainly help guide you to greater spiritual peace, more ethical actions, and achieving greater wisdom. I found it particularly freeing and fulfilling to think about creating a life dedicated to ¿the sake of all sentient beings¿ as part of my focus. May your heart, mind, and spirit constantly grow in openness and caring!