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Open Heart, Open Mind: Awakening the Power of Essence Love Hardcover

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Open Heart, Open Mind: Awakening the Power of Essence Love + The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307888207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307888204
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Rinpoche’s infectious spiritual energy, enthusiasm and insight will still prove relevant for anyone with an open mind and a willingness to project peace and goodness inward and outward…Centered serenity from one of the greats.”--Kirkus

“Tsoknyi Rinpoche is a most wonderful teacher, warm-hearted, deep, honest and funny. This book captures his teachings and spirit beautifully, profound teachings offered in a kind, truly accessible and personal way.”
—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart

“Designed both for people new to meditation and those with long experience, Open Heart, Open Mind is a treasure trove of wisdom and love.
 It is a book filled with practical exercises, personal anecdotes, humor, compassion, clarity, and an expansive view
of how we can each have a better life.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

“Tsoknyi Rinpoche has a unique way of integrating heartfelt wisdom, brilliant clarity and playfulness on the path to awakening.  In these lively and profound pages we feel the pleasure of being with Rinpoche as his delightful stories evoke a path of practical psychological insights and spiritual methods. Open Heart, Open Mind offers anyone who wants a more joyous life a masterful guide to greater meaning, a more spacious mind, and the spark of a kind love.
—Tara and Daniel Goleman, authors of Emotional Alchemy and Emotional Intelligence

“Tsoknyi Rinpoche's Open Heart, Open Mind is amazing in a number of ways.  Tsoknyi Rinpoche grew up in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. His family is full of meditation masters and their energy surrounded him from an early age.  Yet he is also interested in and experienced
with Western neuroses and Westerners' minds.  The result is a refreshing, invigorating, and stimulating work: one that has the power
to awaken that essence we all seek.”
—Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts without a Thinker and Going to Pieces without Falling Apart

Tsoknyi Rinpoche is a rare gem—a teacher who combines a deep understanding of the Buddhist tradition with remarkable insight into the challenges we face in the modern world. In this book, he skilfully weaves together profound teachings on ‘essence love’ and the ‘subtle body’ with examples from everyday life to show how it is possible to overcome our fears and limitations, and ignite the boundless wisdom and compassion that we all have within us.”
—Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

About the Author

Born in 1966 in Nubri, Nepal, Tsoknyi Rinpoche is one of the most renowned teachers of Tibetan Buddhism trained outside of Tibet. Deeply versed in both the practical and philosophical disciplines of Tibetan Buddhism, he is beloved by students around the world for his accessible style, his generous and self-deprecating humor, and his deeply personal, compassionate insight into human nature. The married father of two daughters, Rinpoche nevertheless manages to balance family life with a demanding schedule of teaching around the world and overseeing two nunneries in Nepal, one of the largest nunneries in Tibet, and more than fifty practice centers and hermitages in the eastern region of Tibet. More information about Tsoknyi Rinpoche, his teachings, and his activities can be found at

Eric Swanson is coauthor, with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, of the New York Times bestseller The Joy of Living and its follow-up volume, Joyful Wisdom. A graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School, he is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction. After converting to Buddhism in 1995, he cowrote Karmapa, The Sacred Prophecy, a history of the Karma Kagyu lineage, and authored What the Lotus Said, a memoir.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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For anyone interested in personal growth and's a must have.
I would recommend Open Heart, Open Mind to those who are seeking to re-find or uncover the warm-hearted spark within, and to live life with love, joy and kindness.
Jeanne Lakso
At the age of eight, the Nepalese-born Tsoknyi Rinpoche was marked as the reincarnation of a well known Tibetan meditation master.
Bill Gallagher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John Makransky on May 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It is astounding how well Tsoknyi Rinpoche understands the cross-cultural dynamics at work when modern people try to internalize the deepest teachings of Buddhism, and how effectively he addresses those dynamics in his new book Open Heart, Open Mind.

Westerners live in a world dominated by science, instrumental rationality, and competition. Our eighteenth century Age of Reason taught us to put faith only in our thinking ("I think, therefore I am"), not to explore the fuller embodied awareness that Buddhism points us to. Many of us harbor the thought of ourselves as intrinsically unlovable, perhaps due to the socio-economic competition that ties our worth just to our current usefulness or success, instilling fear from a young age that we can never be reliably worthy of love.

Such socially conditioned anxiety and self-dislike, as Tsoknyi Rinpoche points out, becomes embedded in our minds and psycho-physical energies, inhibiting access to the heart of awakening, the recognition that oneself and all others are primordially pure, deeply worthy of love, and endowed with vast potential. Unless the ingrained patterns of our social conditioning are directly addressed (and Asian pedagogies were not designed to do so), we may be hindered from fuller access to the liberating power of the Dharma.

The brilliance of Tsoknyi Rinpoche's book lies in his crystal clarity on these dynamics, and the effectiveness of his methods for cutting through them to reawaken the innate spark of awareness and loving energy that is hidden in our being.

Rinpoche teaches through personal stories of struggles and inspirations, his own and others'.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Voracious Reader on April 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Tsoknyi Rinpoche distills wisdom from his many years of study with some of the greatest meditation masters of our time. He also brings his unique experience as a Rinpoche who is also a husband and father. He understands what it means to balance family, work, and spiritual practice. His writing is accessible and funny, full of deep insight into core Buddhist teachings. I earmarked all the meditation exercises (there are many!) and will come back to them often. So simple and profound. A refreshing addition to the very best books on Buddhism and meditation, by a teacher who believes we can all become "virtuosos in the art of living."
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bill Gallagher on April 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What could be more important than increasing the amount of love and openness we experience and pass on to others. This is the focus of Tsoknyi Rinpoche's Open Heart, Open Mind. Written with a humility that makes his words resonate and helped by the skillful writing of Eric Swanson (co-author/ghost writer of The Joy of Living) who has a way with words that makes the pages go down easy.

At the age of eight, the Nepalese-born Tsoknyi Rinpoche was marked as the reincarnation of a well known Tibetan meditation master. By twelve, he started the rigorous training Tibetan monks under go. Later he renounced his vows, marrying and becoming a family man. After writing about his training in the monastery and life as a global teacher, he encourages us to realize we can all be "virtuosos" -- able to "recognize within ourselves an astonishing capacity for brilliance, kindness, generosity, and courage." And we can help develop these qualities in everyone. At the heart of this practice is "essence love" which is "unconditional kindness, gentleness, and affection born of openness."

In Open Heart, Open Mind Tsoknyi gives us stories, teachings and exercises directed to developing essence love and other spiritual qualities. Opening with a story about his fear crossing a bridge, he builds on that analogy through out the book, gently trying to help us cross our own bridges from reactive patterns to greater openness and love.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JimWilton on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tsoknyi R. is one of the most profound Tibetan Buddhist teachers teaching in English in the West. His books Fearless Simplicity and Carefree Dignity are books based on transcripts of talks given to long time meditation practitioners. They are among the clearest and most insightful books ever written in English for understanding the stages of the mediattion path. But they are not books for beginners.

Open Heart, Open Mind is different. Co-written with Eric Swanson, the book is tighter, more coherently organized and oriented to beginning meditation students or those who are simply curious about Buddhism and spirituality. The book contains many autobiographical anecdotes as well as stories and examples gleaned from Tsoknyi R.'s years of teaching in the West. The autobiographical details, in particular, make the book accessible and present the path of meditation as practical and doable. Tsoknyi, R. is willing to present honest stories of his own path as a student and as a teacher and does not hide behind the mystique of a monks robes.

The substance of the teachings are very traditional and authentic, presenting the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and the Six Paramitas of the Mahayana path. But Tsoknyi R.'s style and sense of humor are unique. And his understanding of Western students and their strengths, hestitations and hang ups are unusual. In particular, Rinpoche focuses on Buddhist teachings on what he translates as "essence love", loving-kindness toward oneself and spontaneous compassion toward others that is both an outcome cultivated through meditation practice and also the inspiration for the practice path. Because of the high degree of literacy and education of Western students, Tsoknyi R.
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