A Fearless Heart

I found the book for our next topic.  It is entitled A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate can Transform our Lives by Thupten Jinpa, PhD.  Mr. Jinpa was the English translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama for many years.  This book is based upon a revolutionary compassion cultivation course/training offered at Standford University that Mr. Jinpa helped to create.  I attended a book signing last month at the University of Washington where Mr. Jinpa discussed the research that went into creating the course and book.  (watch here – click and scroll down a little:  http://www.washington.edu/wholeu/videos/).  I really enjoyed Mr. Jinpa’s energy and presence.  He was such a selfless being.  A comment on the book says that A Fearless Heart shows us that compassion offers us a path through suffering, a key to robust health, and even an effective way to reach our goals.  In fact, compassion is probably the best-kept secret of happiness.  Yet we fear compassion…

Why do you think that is so?  The book begins with a great discussion around the question of whether mankind is innately selfish (as articulated by Darwin and followers of that and related theories) or innately selfless (as articulated by sages and followers of spiritual paths).  It feels to me like a great place to start an exploration into compassion. I have not read the whole book, but I have looked through it.  The reading is clear and understandable.  The book contains both the secular and sacred understanding of compassion.  There is a mixture of story and data.  I think we are really going to enjoy the topic/discussions.

Feel free to purchase a copy of the book or get it from the library.  I (or whomever is leading the sit) will read a section and post a bit about the reading.  I will give a synopsis of the section to orient and open the discussion.  We will start with the above question.  I will share some of Mr. Jinpa’s thought and we’ll share ours.  This week we’ll cover the Introduction and pages 1-11.  I bring the book with me to share.

See you Thursday…



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