The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus

The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus

by Dalai Lama
     
 

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In this landmark book of interfaith dialogue, the Dalai Lama provides an extraordinary Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus, commenting on well-known passages from the four Christian Gospels including the Sermon on the Mount, the parable of the mustard seed, the Resurrection, and others. Drawing parallels between Jesus and the Buddha--and the rich traditions

Overview

In this landmark book of interfaith dialogue, the Dalai Lama provides an extraordinary Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus, commenting on well-known passages from the four Christian Gospels including the Sermon on the Mount, the parable of the mustard seed, the Resurrection, and others. Drawing parallels between Jesus and the Buddha--and the rich traditions from which they hail--His Holiness delivers a profound affirmation of the sacred in all religions. Readers will be inspired by the Dalai Lama's discussion of the endless merits of each tradition and uplifted by the common humanity between them.

Editorial Reviews

Terry C. Muck
...[T]he Dalai Lama is charismatic, dedicated, and wise. His celebrity is earned....his book...merits consideration by Christian readers.
Books & Culture: A Christian Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The result of the Dalai Lama's decision to lead the 1994 John Main Seminar sponsored by the World Community for Christian Meditation, this book is a record of the seminar. It is refreshing to read the Dalai Lama's meditations on the New Testament selections, many of which he had never read before this seminar but which are among the most familiar for Christians. As His Holiness thinks about famous passages like the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-10) and Jesus' resurrection appearance to Mary (John 20:10-18), we see them from the entirely new perspective of Tibetan Buddhist spiritual knowledge and understanding. Consequently, familiar passages are renewed and opened to unexpected insights. In his readings and his dialogues with other seminar participants, the Dalai Lama establishes himself as an authentic presence respectful of Christian traditions. Indeed, he insists that his purpose in the dialogues is not to cast doubt on Christianity but to help others rediscover the deeper meaning and power of the Christian tradition. This is a fascinating book which deserves a great deal of attention in these times of multicultural exchange. (Oct.)
Library Journal
In 1994, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhism, participated in a series of conversations with Christian leaders in London about the relationship between Buddhism and Christianity. With his typical modesty and eloquence, the Dalai Lama here looks at selected Gospel accounts of Jesus' life and work through the lenses of Buddhism. For example, reading a passage in which Jesus requires his disciples to take nothing with them on their journey, the Dalai Lama compares this command to the Buddhist monk's vow of simplicity and modesty. Sparkling wit and compassionate understanding mark these penetrating insights of the Dalai Lama into spiritual foundations of two of the world's great religious traditions. Highly recommended.
Robert Kiely
"[The Dalai Lama's] reading of the meeting between Mary Magdalene and Jesus in Saint John's account of the Resurrection brought many to tears. It would be hard to say exactly why. Some said later that it was as if they were hearing the words for the very first time, as though their tenderness and mystery and beauty had been taken for granted and were brought to life again, like a gift from an unexpected courier."
Huston Smith
"Arguably the best book on interreligious dialogue published to date. One does not say such things lightly, but in a very real sense this is a holy book."
Timeline
"One hopes for more interfaith dialogues such as this one."
Tricycle
"Models the elements of a meaningful interfaith dialogue."
Booklist
"Stirring and revelatory commentary on the Gospels."
Shambhala Sun
"A fine addition to the growing body of literature on Christian-Buddhist discussion."
Utne Reader
"An illuminating handbook for the study of both religions."
Books & Culture: A Christian Review
"The Jesus who emerges from this exegesis is a person remarkably similar to the Dalai Lama himself: someone able to hold passionate commitments about the religious life, to advocate those teachings to others, but to do so in a way that unifies people around their common humanness rather than destructively promoting division."
UTNE Reader
“An illuminating handbook for the study of both religions.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780861719525
Publisher:
Wisdom Publications MA
Publication date:
06/10/2005
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
221,457
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. He passed his scholastic examinations with honors at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1959, the same year Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives.

His Holiness frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of interreligious harmony, and securing the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture, and religion. As a superior scholar trained in the classical texts of the Nalanda tradition of Indian Buddhism, he is able to distill the central tenets of Buddhist philosophy in clear and inspiring language, his gift for pedagogy imbued with his infectious joy. Connecting scientists with Buddhist scholars, he helps unite contemplative and modern modes of investigation, bringing ancient tools and insights to bear on the acute problems facing the contemporary world. His efforts to foster dialogue among leaders of the world's faiths envision a future where people of different beliefs can share the planet in harmony. Wisdom Publications is proud to be the premier publisher of the Dalai Lama's more serious and in-depth works.

Dom Laurence Freeman, OSB, is spiritual head of the World Community for Christian Meditation.

Thupten Jinpa Langri was educated in the classical Tibetan monastic academia and received the highest academic degree of Geshe Lharam (equivalent to a doctorate in divinity). Jinpa also holds a BA in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies, both from the University of Cambridge, England. Since 1985, he has been the principal translator to the Dalai Lama, accompanying him to the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has translated and edited many books by the Dalai Lama, including The World of Tibetan Buddhism, Essence of the Heart Sutra, and the New York Times bestseller Ethics for the New Millennium.

Jinpa has published scholarly articles on various aspects of Tibetan culture, Buddhism, and philosophy, and books such as Songs of Spiritual Experience: Tibetan Poems of Awakening and Insight (co-authored) and Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Thought. He serves on the advisory board of numerous educational and cultural organizations in North America, Europe, and India. He is currently the president and the editor-in-chief of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to translating key Tibetan classics into contemporary languages. He also currently chairs the Mind and Life Institute.

Robert Kiely, a Benedictine Oblate, is an emeritus professor of English and American literature at Harvard University. At Harvard, he served terms as associate dean of undergraduate education, chair of the English department, and master of Adams House from 1973-99. His current research interests center on narrative, storytelling, and the relationship between Christian literature and the visual arts.
Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. In 1959, Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives. He is the author of numerous books, including The Good Heart, The Meaning of Life, The World of Tibetan Buddhism, and The Compassionate Life.
Thupten Jinpa Langri was educated in the classical Tibetan monastic academia and received the highest academic degree of Geshe Lharam (equivalent to a doctorate in divinity). Jinpa also holds a BA in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies, both from the University of Cambridge, England. Since 1985, he has been the principal English-language translator to the Dalai Lama. He has translated and edited many books by the Dalai Lama, including The World of Tibetan Buddhism, Essence of the Heart Sutra, and Ethics for the New Millennium. Jinpa has published scholarly articles on various aspects of Tibetan culture, Buddhism, and philosophy, and books such as Songs of Spiritual Experience (co-authored) and Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Thought. He serves on the advisory board of numerous educational and cultural organizations in North America, Europe, and India. He is currently the president and the editor-in-chief of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to translating key Tibetan classics into contemporary languages. He also currently chairs the Mind and Life Institute.

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