Open Heart, Open Mind
Awakening the Power of Essence Love
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
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In Open Heart, Open Mind, Tsoknyi Rinpoche—one of the most beloved of the contemporary generation of Tibetan Buddhist meditation masters—explains that a life free of fear, pain, insecurity, and doubt is not only possible, it’s our birthright. We long for peace, for the ability to love and be loved openly and freely, and for the confidence and clarity to meet the various challenges we face in our daily lives.
Within each of us resides a spark of unparalleled brilliance, an unlimited capacity for warmth, openness, and courage, which Rinpoche identifies as “essence love.” Timeless and imperishable, essence love is often layered over by patterns of behavior and belief that urge us to seek happiness in conditions or situations that never quite live up to their promise.
Drawing on rarely discussed teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, Rinpoche describes how such patterns evolve and offers a series of meditation exercises to help us unravel them and, in the process, reawaken an energy and exuberance that can not only bring lasting fulfillment to our lives but ultimately serve to enliven and inspire the entire world, as well.
With great humor, intelligence, and candor, Tsoknyi Rinpoche also details his own struggles to reconnect with essence love. Identified at an early age as the incarnation of a renowned Tibetan master and subjected to a rigorous monastic training, he ultimately renounced his vows, married, and is now the father of two daughters.
As he recounts his own efforts to strike a balance between the promptings of his heart and an obligation to preserve and protect the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, Rinpoche provides a bridge between ancient wisdom and modern life, and encourages each of us to rediscover the openness, fearlessness, and love that is the essence of our own life.
Born in 1966 in Nubri, Nepal, Tsoknyi Rinpoche is one of the most renowned teachers of Tibetan Buddhism trained outside of Tibet. Deeply versed in both the practical and philosophical disciplines of Tibetan Buddhism, he is beloved by students around the world for his accessible style, his generous and self-deprecating humor, and his deeply personal, compassionate insight into human nature. The married father of two daughters, Rinpoche nevertheless manages to balance family life with a demanding schedule of teaching around the world and overseeing two nunneries in Nepal, one of the largest nunneries in Tibet, and more than fifty practice centers and hermitages in the eastern region of Tibet. More information about Tsoknyi Rinpoche, his teachings, and his activities can be found at www.pundarika.org.
Eric Swanson is coauthor, with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, of the New York Times bestseller The Joy of Living and its follow-up volume, Joyful Wisdom. A graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School, he is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction. After converting to Buddhism in 1995, he cowrote Karmapa, The Sacred Prophecy, a history of the Karma Kagyu lineage, and authored What the Lotus Said, a memoir.
“Rinpoche’s infectious spiritual energy, enthusiasm and insight will still prove relevant for anyone with an open mind and a willingness to project peace and goodness inward and outward…Centered serenity from one of the greats.”--Kirkus
“Tsoknyi Rinpoche is a most wonderful teacher, warm-hearted, deep, honest and funny. This book captures his teachings and spirit beautifully, profound teachings offered in a kind, truly accessible and personal way.”
—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
“Designed both for people new to meditation and those with long experience, Open Heart, Open Mind is a treasure trove of wisdom and love.
It is a book filled with practical exercises, personal anecdotes, humor, compassion, clarity, and an expansive view
of how we can each have a better life.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
“Tsoknyi Rinpoche has a unique way of integrating heartfelt wisdom, brilliant clarity and playfulness on the path to awakening. In these lively and profound pages we feel the pleasure of being with Rinpoche as his delightful stories evoke a path of practical psychological insights and spiritual methods. Open Heart, Open Mind offers anyone who wants a more joyous life a masterful guide to greater meaning, a more spacious mind, and the spark of a kind love.
—Tara and Daniel Goleman, authors of Emotional Alchemy and Emotional Intelligence
“Tsoknyi Rinpoche's Open Heart, Open Mind is amazing in a number of ways. Tsoknyi Rinpoche grew up in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. His family is full of meditation masters and their energy surrounded him from an early age. Yet he is also interested in and experienced
with Western neuroses and Westerners' minds. The result is a refreshing, invigorating, and stimulating work: one that has the power
to awaken that essence we all seek.”
—Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts without a Thinker and Going to Pieces without Falling Apart
“Tsoknyi Rinpoche is a rare gem—a teacher who combines a deep understanding of the Buddhist tradition with remarkable insight into the challenges we face in the modern world. In this book, he skilfully weaves together profound teachings on ‘essence love’ and the ‘subtle body’ with examples from everyday life to show how it is possible to overcome our fears and limitations, and ignite the boundless wisdom and compassion that we all have within us.”
—Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying