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  • Tên sách : A Heart as wide as the world
  • Tác giả : Sharon Salzberg
  • Dịch giả :
  • Ngôn ngữ : Anh
  • Số trang : 190
  • Nhà xuất bản : Shambhala
  • Năm xuất bản :
  • Phân loại : Sách tiếng Anh-English
  • MCB : 1210000003678
  • OPAC :
  • Tóm tắt :

A heart as wide as the world

Stories on the path of lovingkindness


           I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL to His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, and all of my teachers, many of whose stories appear on these pages.

           I would like to thank Sam Bercholz, who suggested I write another book, and Peter Turner, who made it real in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.

         The direction of this book was inspired by several impor­tant conversations, most notably with Alice Walker. Ongo­ing dialogues about spirituality and social action with Tara Bennett-Goleman, Mirabai Bush, Gary Cohen, Ram Dass, Carol Densmore, Amy Elizabeth Fox, Joseph Goldstein, Dan Goleman, Paul Gorman, Enid Gorman, Colin Greer, Joan Halifax, Charlie Halpem, Susan Halpem, Kedar Har­ris, and Jai Lakshman have changed my understanding in many ways.

           Shoshana Alexander’s visionary and editorial direction on the book were essential; plus, to whatever degree I am learning how to write, it is because she is teaching me. I also want to thank Kate Wheeler for revealing to me the point of some of my stories; and David Berman for so very many things, among them: telling me the middle path was like a fractal, turning out to be a computer genius, and staying up most of the night to make the disk. Also Hal Ross for the same late night, for turning out to be a wonderful editor, and for having a beautiful sense of service throughout.

        Many people have helped me in significant ways during this period of writing, including: Seymour Boorstein, Amy Schmidt, Martha Ley, Sarah Doering, Sunanda Markus, Chris Desser, Anne Millikin, and John Friend. Eric McCord offered great service’ in clarifying text and creating a sequence to my flow of ideas. More people than can possi­bly be named helped in searching for a title for the book, but especially Steve Armstrong and Myoshin Kelley. There are friends named in my stories, including Joseph Gold­stein, Kamala Masters, and Sylvia Boorstein, who gave me permission to write about them. Stories also appear about other, unnamed friends, the legion of which includes, but is not limited to: Susan Harris, Maggie Spiegel, Gina Thomp­son, David Berman, Ram Dass, Kate Wheeler, Catherine Ingram, Daeja Napier, Ashley Napier, Wayne Muller, Larry Rosenberg, Ann Buck, Mitch Kapor, and Meg Quig­ley. It is wonderful to be able to share this lifetime with all of them.


         From my earliest days of Buddhist practice, I felt powerfully drawn to the possibility of finding a way of life that was peaceful and authentic. My own life at that time was characterized largely by fear and confusion. I felt separate from other people and from the world around me, and even oddly disconnected from my own experience. The world I experienced was sharply dualistic: self and other, us and them. This view increased my fear, which of course also increased my suffering.

           Stepping onto the Buddhist path, I saw that it was possi­ble to be free of feelings of separation and defensiveness— that one could live with a seamlessness of connection and an unbounded heart. The life of the Buddha embodied this. Wisdom and compassion consistently guided his actions, whether he was alone or with others, whether wandering through India or being still, whether teaching or silently meditating, whether with those who admired him or those who slandered him. There seemed to be no circumstance that limited his compassion; he truly had a heart as wide as the world.

          The essence of the Buddha’s teaching is that we all have this same capacity for compassion and for peace. This po­tential is not abstract or distant, not something available only to those who lived long ago in another land. A life of connection and authenticity can come completely alive for us, now. We can make it our own. Discovering that our hearts are indeed wide enough to embrace the whole world of experience—both pleasurable and painful—is the basis of the spiritual path, and with it comes an extraordinary free­dom and happiness. This way of living is beautifully de­scribed by the poet Rilke:

            I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world.

            I may not ever complete the last one, but I give myself to it.

          As we give ourselves to the practice of mindfulness, wis­dom, and compassion, our habitual patterns of attachment and separation are seen for what they are: painful and unnecessary mistakes. This realization lifts the heaviness from our hearts, so that we can encounter anything without getting deeply lost in fear, anger, or clinging. We can en­counter anybody without being engulfed by feelings of es­trangement and separation. We can begin to live in a way that enables our hearts to include rather than exclude, to open rather than constrict, to go forward with the energy of lovingkindness rather than be held back by the illusion of separation. We can begin to live in a way that is commen­surate with our own extraordinary potential—the potential of being truly awake. This potential is the truth that lies at the center of the Buddha’s life and teaching. This truth is also our truth. The unbounded heart of the Buddha can be our own as well.

          My hope is that this book may encourage you to bring mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion to life through prac­tice, so that you may learn that your own heart can become as wide as the world. To paraphrase Rilke: you need only give yourself to it.




Part One. The spirit of Meditation

“I Have What You Need”

Coming Alive

For the Love of a Buddha

Transforming Suffering

Natural Caring

The Blessing of Right Effort

In the Beginning

Reclaiming Our Power

Happy to Concentrate

The Awareness of Breath

The Heavenly Abodes

Just the Way It Is

Returning Home

The Heart of Practice

Drop by Drop

The Object of Our Desire


Waiting to Live



Seeing Our Way through Doubt

Resting the Exhausted Mind

The Torment of Continuity

Daily Liberation

Part Two. The Practice of Transformation

Like the Presence of the Sky

Never Alone

Seeing Pain


Personality Types

Tidal Wave

The Greatest of Powers

Your Last Apple

Moments of Liberation

The Web of Connection

Changing Seasons

One Thing Only

Facing Suffering

Faith—To Place the Heart Upon


The Bridge of Empathy

No Pizza in Nirvana

Practicing for Dying

The Transparent World

Chili Peppers

Knowing the Deathless

Compassion Is a Verb

Part Three. Living with Wisdom and Compassion

The Buddha’s Revolution

Caught Up

The Mistake

Greedy, Grumpy, Sleepy, Anxious, and/or Dubious

The Middle of the Middle Way

Prayers at the Western Wall

Something and Nothing

Precepts for Smart People

Joyful Compassion

The Opportunity of Imprisonment

The Heart of Forgiveness

The Blessing of Presence


The End of the Path


Ready to Die

Step by Step

Seeing Deeply

Very Happy

The Presence of Patience

The Happiness of Giving


Going Forward

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