The Wise Heart
The Wise Heart
A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
Bantam, Hardcover, 9780553803471, 448pp.
Publication Date: April 29, 2008
You have within you unlimited capacities for love, for joy, for communion with life, and for unshakable freedom—and here is how to awaken them. In The Wise Heart, one of the leading spiritual teachers of our time offers the most accessible and illuminating guide to Buddhism’s transformational psychology ever published in the West.
Trained as a monk in Thailand, Burma, and India, Jack Kornfield experienced at first hand the life-changing power of Buddhist teachings: the emphasis on the nobility and sacredness of the human spirit, the fine-grained analysis of emotion and thought, the precise techniques for healing, training, and transforming the mind and heart. In contrast to the medical orientation of most Western psychology and psychiatry, here is a vision of radiant human dignity, and a practical path for realizing it in our own lives.
The Wise Heart is the fruit of a life’s work that includes such classics as A Path with Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. Filled with stories from Kornfield’s Buddhist psychotherapy practice and portraits of remarkable teachers, it also includes a moving account of his own recovery from a violence-filled childhood. For meditators and mental health professionals, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, The Wise Heart offers an extraordinary journey from the roots of consciousness to the highest expression of human possibility.
Jack Kornfield is a Buddhist teacher and meditation master on internationally renown and a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society and of Spirit Rock Center in northern California. A former Buddhist monk, he holds a PhD in clinical psychology. His books include A Path with Heart, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, and After the Ecstasy.
“I love this gentle, brilliant, and incisive book. I read it slowly, with amazement at its richness and wisdom, relief at feeling so understood, pleasure in Kornfield’s beautiful writing and sweet humor, and gratitude that such understanding has been expressed in the written word. This Wise Heart changed me.” —Anne Lamott, author of Traveling Mercies and Grace (Eventually)
“What an extraordinary mind is Jack Kornfield’s. Curious by nature and brightly shining from birth, tempered by suffering, both personal and worldly, it guides us, in this profound and useful book, on a journey of consciousness unfamiliar to most of us born in the West. The Wise Heart is one of those books, more than a book, more like a companion, that encourages our bravery to meet whatever confronts us in life with a caring and tranquil heart. It is a transformative gift from one of the great spiritual teachers of our time.”—Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple
“The Wise Heart is Jack Kornfield at his most wonderful and illuminating. He brings to life a way to understand and cultivate mindfulness, compassion, lovingkindness and true wisdom that penetrates to the core of what liberation is all about.”—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses and Arriving at Your Own Door
“The Wise Heart offers more than remedies—it points the way to a life of flourishing.”—Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence
"This masterpiece of a dedicated life’s work unveils the principles of an ancient ‘science of mind’ that are woven seamlessly into a wondrous map of the human heart—one that is astonishingly consistent with the discoveries of modern neuroscience.”—Daniel Siegel, M.D., author of The Developing Mind and The Mindful Brain
"Warm, funny, moving, and tremendously inspiring, The Wise Heart brings Buddhist psychology to life. Reading it is, in itself, a transformational experience.” —Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts without a Thinker and Psychotherapy without the Self
“Jack Kornfield harvests a lifetime of experiences to create a masterful, clear, and moving picture of the human mind and heart, a picture whose hopeful healing power I find astounding.”—Norman Fischer, former abbot, San Francisco Zen Center; author of Sailing Home: Using the Wisdom of Homer's Odyssey to Navigate Your Spiritual Journey
“Through clear teaching and wonderful storytelling, Jack Kornfield inspires us to realize and embody the love, presence and freedom that is our very essence.”—Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance
"One of today's most compeling and inspiring guides to spiritual growth."—Science of Mind
“His best book yet…. Kornfield comes across as the therapist you wish you’d had…. Provides convincing and illustrative anecdotes and stories, and reaches into world traditions and literature as well as contemporary scientific research.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review