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A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives Paperback – April 12, 2016
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“An inspirational read that not only demonstrates the power of compassion, but also reveals how kindness and self-compassion are within our reach.”
—Kelly McGonigal, author, The Upside of Stress and The Willpower Instinct
“Embracing compassion enables us to step into our own natural capacity for creativity and empathy. I highly recommend this extraordinary book and this path to anyone who seeks to have more meaningful connections to people and the world.”
—David Kelley, Founder of IDEO, co-author, Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All
“A Fearless Heart is a rare book that shows how the meeting of contemplative insights and practices with modern science can lead to offerings that are beneficial for everyone interested in deeper personal spiritual transformation. The book shows how such practices can have positive impact in our daily lives. I applaud my long-time English translator Thupten Jinpa for writing this timely book on compassion and its cultivation.”
—His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“I love Jinpa’s sense of the practical, of bringing compassion down from the pedestal of high ideals and into the messy reality that is every day human life. A Fearless Heart may prove to be one of the important books of these difficult times.”
"Brilliantly clear and heartfelt, a potentially life changing work offering inspiring training. A Fearless Heart is personally moving, eminently practical and visionary in scope."
—Jack Kornfield, author, The Wise Heart
“Jinpa shows why compassion is not a given within some yet not possible for others, but rather is a quality of the heart that we all can cultivate and expand. If we do that, our lives transform, our families and relationships transform, and our world transforms.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Loving Kindness and Real Happiness
“Firmly grounded in the latest scientific studies, and hugely invitational and convincing in its inspiration, its reasoning, its heartfulness, and its guidance in a broad range of powerful practices, A Fearless Heart is the bravest, clearest, and most engaging book I know on why we need to cultivate compassion, and on how to bring it more widely and deeply into our lives and into the world.” —Jon Kabat-Zinn Founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction; Author of Full Catastrophe Living
“Thupten Jinpa speaks from his expertise as a monk turned family man, and a topflight scholar, who draws on his remarkable background and range of knowledge to offer each one of us a practical tool kit for becoming a better human being. A Fearless Heart can help anyone nurture the compassion that lies within every heart.”
—Daniel Goleman, author, Emotional Intelligence
“Part autobiography, part a training manual for a wholesome life and part a beautiful tapestry woven between ancient Buddhist thought and modern science, this book has something for everyone. At its fundamental core, it makes the case for why compassion is so essential for the modern world and offers detailed helpful advice on how it can be cultivated.”
—Richard J. Davidson, co-author, The Emotional Life of Your Brain, Founder, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison
About the Author
Thupten Jinpa is a former monk and holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, where he also worked as a research fellow. Jinpa has been the principal English translator to H. H. the Dalai Lama for more than twenty-five years and has translated and edited numerous books by the Dalai Lama. Jinpa is an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal, and Chairman of the Mind and Life Institute, which is dedicated to promoting dialogues and collaborations between the sciences and contemplative knowledge, especially Buddhism.
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By Mary E. Latela, M.Div
If you’ve ever viewed His Holiness the Dalai Lama giving a lesson on Buddhism, compassion, or science, you have seen Thupten Jinpa, his closest translator, nearby. Sometimes there are phrases which the Dalai Lama does not understand, and Mr. Jinpa takes the phrase apart or translates into Tibetan, and the inevitable “Aha!” moment comes. For many years Thupten Jinpa was a Buddhist monk, becoming a professor, and also an expert on the intersection of the sciences and contemplative knowledge. He recently helped to create a vibrant program on Compassionate Cultivation Training at Stanford University.
The discussion of his difficult decision to leave the monastery enables the reader to understand the anxiety in returning to the lay community, because he really wanted to have a family. Descriptions of his discomfort in telling his parents, and even the Dalai Lama, are heartwarming. Here is a down-to-earth and helpful lesson for those who must leave the service to humanity to become a single person in the real world, including to get a job. The author earned a Ph.D in World Religions and became a professor. He met his life partner, they married, and now are raising their two daughters.
Mr. Jinpa realized that a certain area was particularly difficult for himself, and – it turns out – for many others. The chapter “May I Be Happy?” addresses the exhaustion of people doing good work and forgetting to take care of themselves, leading to emotional harm and even burnout. The author and his students worked through the two pronged essence of compassion – cultivating compassion for ourselves and cultivating loving-kindness toward others. He helped to create a vibrant program on Compassionate Cultivation Training at Stanford University.
The discussion of his difficult decision to leave the monastery enables the reader to understand the anxiety in returning to the lay community, because he really wanted to have a family. Descriptions of his discomfort in telling his parents, and even the Dalai Lama, are heartwarming. This is a down-to-earth and helpful lesson for those who must leave their service to humanity to become a single person in the real world, including to get a job. The author earned a Ph.D in World Religions and became a professor. He met his life partner, they married, and now are raising their two daughters.
The book is a delight to read; the writing is clear and rich. The many short exercises and the true-to-life illustrations of real people make reading very fruitful. This is a must-read book. I recommend it to my many colleagues in service to humanity, and to all who wish to experience a fuller life, wherever they are on their life journey.
There isnt only "religious" ideas in this book. Jinpa really does well at explaining to us why and HOW we can learn to love ourselves and therefore become better and more well rounded people.