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Pay Attention, for Goodness' Sake: The Buddhist Path of Kindness Paperback – September 30, 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A beautiful, funny, wise book, full of understanding,
gentle direction, brilliance, and heart.”
—ANNE LAMOTT


“Sylvia Boorstein has written the definitive guide for Westerners to the Buddhist practice of the Perfections of the Heart. Pay Attention, for Goodness’ Sake is delightfully clear, accessible, and immediate, as wise teachings should be, and it is surely destined to be a classic.”
—JACK KORNFIELD


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

According to the Buddha, the path of kindness is the path of happiness. Now Sylvia Boorstein, nationally bestselling author of "It's Easier Than You Think, has taken the 2500-year-old practice of developing the qualities of a compassionate heart--the core of the Buddha's own practice--and made it accessible to all. "Pay Attention for Goodness' Sake is the first book ever to guide Western readers on the path of the Buddha's Ten Paramitas, the Perfections of the Heart. Boorstein combines traditional Buddhist teachings and parables with stories from her own life, as well as easy-to-follow meditations, to show how the practice of Mindfulness--paying attention in everyday life--can lead to these perfections that all of us strive for, including Generosity, Morality, Wisdom, Energy, Patience, Determination, and Equanimity.
When we take on this practice, Boorstein notes, "our vision becomes transformed. We see, with increasing clarity, the confusion in our own minds and the suffering in our own hearts. . . . And we also see the extraordinariness of life, how amazing it is that life exists." Boorstein's lively and practical lessons about everyday generosity, morality, making and mending mistakes, the bliss of blamelessness, and other human concerns and frailties, help to clarify our distractions and connect us with our own goodness, "the part of ourselves that wishes it had done differently."
For Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike, "Pay Attention for Goodness' Sake is a cheerful, inspiring book that offers the possibility of a transformed life.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345448111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345448118
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you know nothing about Buddhism or Mindfulness practice, this might not be the best place to start. I would recommend reading Boorstein's "It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness" first. It is basically a primer on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, and it would probably be good to read it first.

However, if you have even a cursory knowledge of the basics and want to explore them further, this is a wonderful book to read. I finished it, and then immediately read through it again to soak it up some more.

It outlines the Ten Paramitas, or heart perfections. These are the qualities that the Buddha perfected in his prior incarnations, before reaching enlightenment.

Boorstein lays them out in a straightforward manner, even sharing a chart she created illustrating the flow from each Paramita to it's ultimate result. For example, one section shows how the practice of Generosity leads to contentment through the realizations that meditation on generosity can provide. The chapters are laid out easily, as well. Each Paramita is explained, a meditation exercise for that Paramita is given, backed up by stories, and bookended with an everyday practice that the reader can incorporate into their daily lives to bring them closer to perfecting that Paramita.

Anyone interested in furthering their Mindfulness practice should definitely give this a read. Boorstein's books, in general, are extremely accessible to Westerners, and provide a calm, warm, welcoming read.
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Format: Paperback
This is a well written instructional book on Vipassana meditation. It might best be utilized by someone who is not entirely unfamiliar with the practice; there are more readily accessible how-to books available. But the value of this particular one lies, in my opinion, in the global perspective of having a regular meditation practice.
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Sylvia Boorstein is a Jewish grandmother teaching Buddhist mindfulness. She has an engaging, simple style; the book is full of personal stories about mindfulness, and also meditations on the various Buddhist perfections of the heart&. I've read this book several times, and it is always helpful and calming.
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Boorstein's book is about the ten paramis (Sanskrit paramitas), written from a Theravadan perspective. She is a practicing psychologist and vipassana teacher, hanging out with folks like Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg. This would seem to stand her in good stead, though I confess I was less than blown away by her book. It had a rambling, chatty, fluffy feeling to it, almost like she sat down at her computer with a cup of coffee and just started writing whatever came to mind. Often the stories she told to illustrate her "points" did not seem particularly connected to the virtue under discussion, be it loving kindness, renunciation, generosity, or whatever. They could go on a bit too-a not particularly illuminating conversation with a cab driver concerning whatever covered three pages (pp. 117-9)! Similarly, the quotes at the heads of the chapters often didn't seem related to the chapter subject.

The most instructive and original part of her book was the "periodic table of virtue" (pp. 28ff). This was not only insightful but helpful. A few of her stories were also quite good. I especially recommend the one about Bret and his retreat experience (memories of getting mugged) from pp. 236ff, and Boorstein's musings on her own ten year long grudge against a fellow meditation teacher (168ff). Then there is the hilarious-though totally irrelevant-piece about Seung Sahn and Kalu Rinpoche. I once met the former and am familiar with his book titles, every one of which prefaces his name with the self-styled title "Zen Master." He never impressed me and Boorstein's story (on p. 196) not only confirmed my opinion of him but also put me on notice that it really is possible to be too Zen.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am just a novice in the study of Buddhist philosophy. I have listened to many of Ms. Boorstein's Dharma talks. She is funny and down to earth. Her writing is the same. She teaches the Dharma with a since of humor and an ease so as to relate the words of the Buddha to everyday life. I enjoyed every word.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the first Sylvia Boorstein book I ever read. When I finished it, I set out to read everything else she wrote that I could get my hands on. She is grounded, insightful, and offers up her wisdom with humor. When you read Sylvia Boorstein you feel like you
really get to know her, the real person. And she's somebody we'd would all like to know!!!
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