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The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1St Edition edition (August 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553802054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553802054
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Bestselling author Jack Kornfield has put together a how-to book--his most ambitious work yet--to encourage the best side of humanity. In The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace, Kornfield uses the evocative power of aphorisms to spark feelings and thoughts that can germinate and grow. After a chapter of aphorisms and quotations on each of the title's three topics, Kornfield offers a related series of meditations that show how to cultivate what the aphorisms have prepared. Whereas essays tend to be read through and forgotten, this book invites a deliberate pace, with the reader filling in the blanks, taking time away for meditation, then coming back for more inspiration. Never descending into triteness, Kornfield is realistic on tough issues, encouraging awareness and persistence over resignation and indifference. If you yearn to open your heart, open the pages of Kornfield's latest. --Brian Bruya

From Publishers Weekly

Over the centuries, many people have kept commonplace books, or repositories of personally meaningful quotations and reflections. Not a diary or a journal, a commonplace book was an individual's means of engaging with the world through the ideas of others. Here, Kornfield (After the Ecstasy, the Laundry and A Path with Heart) offers an uncommonly specialized form of commonplace book, this one focusing on the issues of forgiveness and peacemaking. He casts his net wide, drawing spiritual wisdom from the expected sources (the Dhammapada, the Diamond Sutra, the teachings of the Buddha and various masters) as well as some surprising newcomers for a Buddhist book: Mother Teresa, Thomas Merton, Meister Eckhart, the Tao Te Ching, the New Testament and the Bhagavad Gita. Such eclecticism works well in its context; Kornfield strives to demonstrate that forgiveness is a process, and that it is possible for flawed and ordinary people to forgive others and themselves. A concluding section on inner peace is a humble and wise primer; Kornfield makes the point that true inner peace does not arise from withdrawal from the world but from greater connectedness with it. Each section includes actual rituals to encourage readers to forgive, practice lovingkindness and know peace. While the book mines well-trod territory, it does so with perception and grace.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Jack Kornfield, Ph.D. co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, in 1975 and later, the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. His books include After the Ecstasy, the Laundry and the national bestseller A Path with Heart (over 100,000 copies in print).

Customer Reviews

Very comforting and wise!
Margaret B. Degraw
We begin the work of forgiveness primarily for ourselves. (p. 22) We may still be suffering terribly from the past while those who betrayed us are on vacation.
D. Benor
Because this book is divided into short paragraphs, you can read one and then meditate or reflect on it.
Michael P. Mossey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By JAW on November 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first flipped through it, I thought there was not much to this book - not just because of al the empty space. I have read it several times by now and what I started to like most about this book is just picking it up, at any time, opening it to a random page and to read a few lines. The book might not seem profound, but like focusing on the breath, it has a grounding effect. Plenty of other books on the shelve to learn about Buddhism - this one shows, very simply, how to live Buddhism. Thanks Jack.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is short yet profound. No wasted words. Each phrase is a short lesson to meditate on, full of meaning. There are modern quotes as well as ancient. A favorite was by Ben Franklin: "Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame". I was attracted to this book by its brevity and the resonance of the words.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By BigHeart on April 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Jack Kornfield has the voice of a deeply aware human being. It is extraordinary because you do not tire of hearing it. He exemplifies kindness. He demonstrates love. His compassion leaps off the page and into your heart. Energy is transmitted from the author to the reader in a very intentional and direct way.
The uniqueness of The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace is not so much in the message, but more in the artful way that the message is organized and presented. Kornfield is highly selective about his choice of material. He is very deliberate about the slow and mindful pace that it is relayed. And he is masterful at communicating in a cohesive, well honed way. The end result is a powerful and persuasive reading experience.
The spiritual reviewer (a/k/a Karen Bentley) gives this book an overall score of 8.5 on a scale of 10, which is very high and designates this book as a "classic." This book is a pleasure to read and a pleasure to recommend.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kara D. Lane on December 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jack Kornfield has written a small book that packs a powerful and inpirational punch. Forgiveness, lovingkindess and peace are three attributes that lead to a happy life.

The 3 attributes are explained through stories and quotes from people like the Buddha, Benjamin Franklin and Nelson Mandela. And at the conclusion of the writings on each of the attributes are meditations.

One comment on peace from Kornfield's book that really hit home with me was, "Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control. We can love and care for others but we cannot possess our children, lovers, family, or friends. We can assist them, pray for them, and wish them well, yet in the end their happiness and suffering depend on their thoughts and actions, not on our wishes."
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rhonda M. Gifford on September 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I like best the definition of "to forgive" - to let go of hope of a different past.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a spiritual chocolate truffle - you probably won't find profound enlightenment or to learn anything you don't already know, but a great book to pick up when you need a few moments of grounding and reconnection. It includes many wonderful quotes (my personal favorite was Mark Twain's: "My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.")
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill Butler on February 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Don't look for Buddhism in this book, at least not the Buddhism that can be contained in the mind. But you'll find great, simple wisdom that clearly shows that Buddhism in only one source of great wisdom.

This is a book to read slowly when you're at your lowest point -like after the death of a loved one. Many, many simple reminders that we hold peace in our hearts, even when our fear, anger, greed, and ignorance hide it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert McDowell on July 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jack Kornfield is one teacher who undeniably lives in my head. I first read this book over twelve hours of flying across country on three planes, and for one of the few times in my life, I looked up when finishing the book and felt disoriented! What? You mean, it's over? I wanted to keep on flying so I could find hidden pages and read some more! I wanted to read it again, front to back!

That's how good this book is. One needn't be a Zen student to "get" what Kornfield is talking about. Making nimble use of marvelous quotes and his own unique wit and humor, Kornfield offers beautiful meditations on the cornerstones of any worthwhile spiritual practice. He is an author/mentor who always inspires and provokes me. I hope to meet him one day, but for now I delight in knowing he is among us, keeping the Yak butter lamps burning.

--Robert McDowell, The Poetry Mentor ([...] is the bestselling author of POETRY AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE (July, 2008) from Free Press.
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