The Heart of Unconditional Love: A Powerful New Approach to Loving-Kindness Meditation

The Heart of Unconditional Love: A Powerful New Approach to Loving-Kindness Meditation

by Tulku Thondup


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A new, four-stage approach to the popular Buddhist practice known as loving-kindness meditation, with the aim of finding unconditional love in our own hearts, in our relationships, and in our perception of the world around us.

     The unconditional love that we all long for—in our own lives and in the world around us—can be awakened effectively with this unique approach to the Tibetan Buddhist practice of loving-kindness meditation. Tulku Thondup gives detailed guidance for meditation, prayers, and visualization in four simple stages that can be practiced in as little as thirty minutes a session. The four-stage format is a brand-new approach being presented for the first time in English, distilled from the author's lifelong study and practice of authentic, traditional teachings.

What if we could experience not only our own body, mind, and heart as a boundless source of loving-kindness, but every particle of the world around us as a beautiful realm filled with the blessing energies of the Buddhas and their celestial abodes? The whole environment would become a miraculous display of unconditional love, wisdom, and power, accompanied by the sweet music of holy prayers and inspirational teachings. This is not just a dream or a fantasy but an effective meditation practice that can bring relief from stress, healing to mind and body, healthier relationships, and a positive new outlook on the world around you.

Loving-kindness meditations are a highly effective way to generate positive causation, bring true peace and love into our lives, and release ourselves from habitual suffering. When we train ourselves to desire the happiness and well-being of others, with the unconditional love of a mother who cares wholeheartedly for her little ones, we find our whole world pervaded by the positive qualities of joy, peace, and beauty. The training can be compared to sunbathing. As our body absorbs the sun's heat, it becomes warm and gradually emanates that warmth into our surroundings. In the same way, through devotion and trust in the Buddha of Loving-Kindness, we immerse our mind in his unconditional love, which we then radiate to those around us.

The Heart of Unconditional Love presents this meditation in a new, four-stage format distilled from the author's lifelong study and practice of authentic, traditional teachings. The meditation can be practiced in as little as thirty minutes a session:

   • In the Outer Buddha Stage, we open our heart with trust and devotion to the Buddha of Loving-Kindness and enjoy his unconditional love.
   • In the Inner Buddha Stage, we experience the Buddha's unconditional love within and for ourselves.
   • In the Universal Buddha Stage, we learn to see, hear, and feel the world around us as a blessed realm of unconditional love.
   • In the Ultimate Buddha Stage, we rest in the awareness of unconditional love free from conceptual thinking.

Designed to be accessible to newcomers as well as experienced meditators, this presentation is a brand-new approach to loving-kindness meditation, being published in English for the first time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611802351
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 594,787
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

TULKU THONDUP was born in East Tibet and trained from childhood at the famed Dodrupchen Monastery. He was a visiting scholar at Harvard University from 1980 to 1983. Since then, he has lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he writes and translates under the auspices of the Buddhayana Foundation. His books include The Healing Power of Mind and Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

Opening Verse 11

Part 1 View: What Is Loving-Kindness and How to Develop It 15

1 The Importance of Training Our Mind 17

2 Essential Tools for Meditation 29

3 Devotion and Trust: The Keys to Loving-Kindness 41

4 The Essence of Loving-Kindness 53

5 The Four Buddha Stages 71

Part 2 Practice: Meditations on Loving-Kindness 87

6 Meditation on the Outer Buddha 89

7 Meditation on the Inner Buddha 113

8 Meditation on the Universal Buddha 121

9 Meditation on the Ultimate Buddha 127

10 Enhance the Effects 137

11 Move Forward Step by Step 141

12 Dedications and Aspirations 157

13 Benefits of Loving-Kindness Meditation 159

Part 3 Loving-Kindness in Daily Life 165

14 Healing Physical and Mental Ills 167

15 Dealing with Challenging People 179

16 Daily Activities as Training in Loving-Kindness 183

17 Compassion Meditation 191

18 Rebirth in the Pure Land 193

Part 4 The Practices in Brief 199

19 Prayer Texts 201

20 The Four-Stage Meditations in Brief 209

Closing Verse 215

Notes 217

Glossary 229

Bibliography 247

Index 255

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