"Life is about relationship - the relationship we have with ourselves, with each other, with the world, as well as the connection to that which is beyond any of us yet imminent in each of us. When our relationships are good, we feel good; when they are bad, we feel awful. Let's accept it: We need each other. We need to feel connected; we need to feel each other's presence and love."
What is the "Buddhist heart", and how do we awaken it in ourselves? Lama Surya Das, author of the best-selling Awakening the Buddha Within, defines the Buddhist heart as our own inner goodness - our most tender, compassionate, and caring self, our innate Buddha-nature. The Buddhist heart, called Bodhicitta by Tibetans, beats within each and every one of us and is awakened through meaningful connections - connections to our families, romantic partners, our colleagues and work, our neighbors, society, and extending out to all living creatures, including ourselves. This book tells us how we can use relationships as a vehicle for a sacred life.
Everyone needs to feel connected, to love and feel loved, to reach out to others and communicate in order to overcome alienation, loneliness, and a feeling of being disconnected. In Awakening the Buddhist Heart, Surya Das shows you how to reach inward and outward.
By developing spiritual intelligence, a sense of compassion that helps us be more sensitive, more aware of our own feelings and the feelings of those around us, we become more intuitive; we relate better and love better. Cultivating spiritual intelligence and learning how to connect will improve our capacity for intimacy, making us better mates, friends, parents, and coworkers; it helps all of us to become more giving and brings us fulfillment, meaning, and love.
Using down-to-earth, everyday experiences and stories, as well as specific ancient Buddhist practices and meditations, Surya Das illustrates how to develop authentic presence, how to connect to our own life experience, build deeper relationships, embrace life's lessons, as well as learn how to love what we don't like. With tremendous insight he explores specific ways in which we can more fruitfully relate to our own experiences as well as each other in today's fast-paced, complicated, and often confusing world.
Surya Das also includes his translation of the rare and invaluable Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva - a timeless, legendary Tibetan text, along with his commentary. These practices for self-reflection help us think about how we live our lives and the lessons we can learn from mindfulness, love, and compassion.