The Heroic Heart: Awakening Unbound Compassion (Paperback)
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A guidebook to making life meaningful by cultivating compassion, embracing adversity, and training the mind—from one of the foremost living Buddhist nuns.
Freeing ourselves from our habitual emotional patterns starts with taming the mind. Why is this so important? Because a wild mind tends to hurt rather than heal. Taming the mind helps us uncover our true nature and connect with those around us from a grounded place of self-awareness. Through caring for others you can walk the Buddhist path of bodhisattvas, becoming a spiritual hero of compassion.
Based on the classic fourteenth-century mind training text of Tibetan Buddhism called the Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva, this guidebook shares pithy advice on how to act as bodhisattvas in our everyday lives, enabling us to possess compassion in an authentic way. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, an exemplary spiritual teacher who spent over a dozen years meditating in the Himalayas and one of the first Buddhist nuns to be ordained in the West, shares her reflections on this famous teaching and how to live a life of mindfulness and selflessness.
About the Author
JETSUNMA TENZIN PALMO was raised in London and became a Buddhist while still in her teens. At the age of twenty she traveled to India, becoming one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a Buddhist nun. The international bestseller Cave in the Snow chronicles her twelve years of seclusion in a remote cave. Deeply concerned with the plight of Buddhist nuns, she established Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in India. In 2008 His Holiness the Twelfth Gyalwang Drukpa, head of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage, gave her the rare title of Jetsunma (Venerable Master).
“The tradition of mind training, or lojong as it is known in Tibet, focuses on real-world experience and is filled with practical strategies to help us live with awareness, compassion, and wisdom. For centuries, these pithy teachings have provided inspiration and guidance to countless meditators. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo has done a great service by sharing these teachings. Her deep practice, coupled with her understanding of the challenges we face in the modern world, has brought these teachings to life. This book will be of great interest to anyone who is sincerely interested in training and transforming their mind.”—Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, author of Turning Confusion into Clarity
“Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is a very inspiring yogini and has devoted herself for many decades to accomplishing the Dharma and benefiting beings. I am delighted she is offering these teachings on mind training, such a fundamentally important topic. Mind-training teachings are underappreciated in the modern world but crucial for spiritual development. At some point, we have to roll up our sleeves and actually work to tame our egos, our habit patterns of self-centeredness, and narrow mindedness. One of the most treasured texts on mind training is The Thirty-Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, beloved by all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. This is an important text, and I sincerely hope the meaning of its teachings benefits and inspires many beings to deepen their spiritual practice.”—Tsoknyi Rinpoche, author of Open Heart, Open Mind
“I have known Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo since we were fellow nuns in the Indian Himalayas in the early 1970s, and I know how important these teachings have been for her. The Heroic Heart offers core Mahayana teachings that have been at the center of her own practice and teachings for many years. These are instructions to open our hearts to compassion, including stories and anecdotes that provide further enrichment. What a deep and practical resource The Heroic Heart is! This is a timeless book you will want to have with you always.”—Lama Tsultrim Allione, author of Feeding Your Demons
“[Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s] compassionate voice and lucid explanations are a winning combination.”—Publishers Weekly