Compassion - Sympathy for the suffering of others and the desire to free them from it - is wrestled with in all spiritual traditions. Yet how does one actually become a compassionate person? What are the mechanisms by which a selfish heart is transformed into a generous heart?
When His Holiness the Dalai Lama came to New York City in 1999, he spoke simply and powerfully on the everyday Buddhist practice of compassion. Weaving together the contents of three sacred texts - one by the eighth-century Indian master Kamalashila, another by the fourteenth-century Tibetan Togmay Sangpo, and a third by the eleventh-century sage Langri Tangpa - His Holiness showed that the path to compassion is a series of meditations. An Open Heart lays out this course of meditation, from the simplest to the most challenging, describing the mental training techniques that will enable anyone of any faith to change their minds and open their hearts. In this book the path begins with simple and clear ruminations on the advantages of a virtuous life and moves on to practices that can temper destructive and impulsive emotions. Such practices can be undertaken at odd moments of the day, at once transforming the aimless or anxious mind into a disciplined and open mind. Gradually, the book introduces the more challenging and sustained meditation practices. In these meditations the deepest and most profound insights of Buddhist practice become part of one's way of knowing and experiencing the world.
An Open Heart is a clear and simple introduction to the Buddhist path to enlightenment, by its greatest teacher, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.