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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, presents a clear and simple guide to finding compassion and happiness in these often troubling and challenging times. The writings in this book are drawn from his enthusiastically received visit to America in 1999 and form a good introduction to the spiritual traditions of Buddhism.
The methods outlined in An Open Heart -- which include a series of meditations, ranging from the simplest to the most difficult -- are taken from the three most sacred texts of Buddhism: Kamalashila's Middle-Length Stages of Meditation, which "contains the essence of all Buddhism"; Togmay Sangpo's The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas; and Langri Tangpa's Eight Verses on Training the Mind. In all of these texts, the author states, the goal is the same: to seek refuge in the Buddha's doctrine (known as the Dharma) and in the spiritual community of Buddhists known as the Sangha. Indeed, the triumvirate of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha are known as the Three Jewels of Refuge.
The student is instructed to meditate on such topics as: karma; "afflictive emotions," such as anger and hatred; compassion and empathy; equanimity; the enlightenment of "bodhicitta"; and the concentrated method known as "calm abiding." By doing this, one can move closer to Buddhism's ultimate goal: the Buddhahood embodied in the Three Jewels.
Those seeking a helpful guide to the basic tenets of Buddhism would be hard pressed to find a simpler or more accessible resource. (Nicholas Sinisi)
Nicholas Sinisi is the Barnes&Noble.com Religion Editor.