An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life

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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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About the author

He is the grandson of fashion guru Diana Vreeland, is a practicing Tibetan Buddhist monk & presently acts as the Director of The Tibet Center, New York's oldest Tibetan Buddhist Center.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Back Bay Books
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Published on
Nov 16, 2008
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9780316045834
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Religious
Religion / Buddhism / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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For the first time for general readers, the Dalai Lama presents a comprehensive overview of the most important teaching of Buddhism.
 
Perhaps the main difference between Buddhism and other religions is its understanding of our core identity.  The existence of the soul or self, which is central in different ways to Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is actually denied in Buddhism.  Even further, belief in a “self” is seen as the main source of our difficulties in life.  Yet a true understanding of this teaching does not lead one to a despairing, cynical worldview with a sense that life has no meaning—Far from it, a genuine understanding leads to authentic happiness for an individual and the greatest source of compassion for others.
 
In 2003 and in 2007, the Dalai Lama was invited to New York to give a series of talks on the essential Buddhist view of selflessness. This new book, the result of those talks, is now offered to help broaden awareness of this essential doctrine and its usefulness in living a more meaningful and happy life.
 
While the Dalai Lama offers a full presentation of his teachings on these key philosophical points for contemplation, he also shows readers how to bring these teachings actively into their own lives with recommendations for a personal practice.  It is only by actually living these teachings that we allow them to bring about a genuine transformation in our perception of ourselves and our lives
 
A Profound Mind offers important wisdom for those committed to bringing about change in the world through developing their own spiritual capabilities, whether they are Buddhists or not.
*Why do seemingly rational, intelligent people commit acts of cruelty and violence?

*What are the root causes of destructive behavior?

*How can we control the emotions that drive these impulses?

*Can we learn to live at peace with ourselves and others?

Imagine sitting with the Dalai Lama in his private meeting room with a small group of world-class scientists and philosophers. The talk is lively and fascinating as these leading minds grapple with age-old questions of compelling contemporary urgency. Daniel Goleman, the internationally bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence, provides the illuminating commentary—and reports on the breakthrough research this historic gathering inspired.

Destructive Emotions

Buddhist philosophy tells us that all personal unhappiness and interpersonal conflict lie in the “three poisons”: craving, anger, and delusion. It also provides antidotes of astonishing psychological sophistication--which are now being confirmed by modern neuroscience. With new high-tech devices, scientists can peer inside the brain centers that calm the inner storms of rage and fear. They also can demonstrate that awareness-training strategies such as meditation strengthen emotional stability—and greatly enhance our positive moods.

The distinguished panel members report these recent findings and debate an exhilarating range of other topics: What role do destructive emotions play in human evolution? Are they “hardwired” in our bodies? Are they universal, or does culture determine how we feel? How can we nurture the compassion that is also our birthright? We learn how practices that reduce negativity have also been shown to bolster the immune system. Here, too, is an enlightened proposal for a school-based program of social and emotional learning that can help our children increase self-awareness, manage their anger, and become more empathetic.

Throughout, these provocative ideas are brought to life by the play of personalities, by the Dalai Lama’s probing questions, and by his surprising sense of humor. Although there are no easy answers, the dialogues, which are part of a series sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute, chart an ultimately hopeful course. They are sure to spark discussion among educators, religious and political leaders, parents—and all people who seek peace for themselves and the world.


The Mind and Life Institute sponsors cross-cultural dialogues that bring together the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist scholars with Western scientists and philosophers. Mind and Life VIII, on which this book is based, took place in Dharamsala, India, in March 2000.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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