"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 bestselling 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.


From the Hardcover edition.
Advance Praise For Awakening the Buddhist Heart

"Surya Das's book brings to life the timeless wisdom of Buddhism in traditional teaching stories and heartfelt everyday examples.  Anyone on a spiritual path will recognize themselves in these pages and find both inspiration and practical advice."
--Sharon Salzberg, author of A Heart as Wide as the World and Loving kindness

"This brilliant, amusing, and wise book is the perfect distillation of ancient spiritual wisdom for our times. Practical and down-to-earth, written by one of the greatest American dharma teachers, it has the power to awaken you to an ever-deepening relationship with all of life. What a precious jewel you hold in your hand. Use it with joy."
--Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Mending the Body, Mending the Mind and A Woman's Journey to God

"Awakening the Buddhist Heart contains about as much wisdom as any book I know. It will help you in the lifelong path of becoming more wise, more compassionate, and more joyful."
--Sam Keen, author of Learning to Fly

"When we come to the end of our lives, what will matter most are the relationships we've shared with loved ones.  In his new book Awakening the Buddhist Heart, Lama Surya Das takes you on a spiritual journey that will return you to this important priority-a deep connection with yourself, others, and the Divine. It is written with grace and love, and you'll not only want to read this book again and again, you'll want to share it with those who matter most."
--Cheryl Richardson, author of Take Time for Your Life and Life Makeovers

"Lama Surya Das makes the Buddha nature seem very real and accessible.  I feel lighter, I feel calmer, I feel more peaceful. This book is a blessing on my bookshelf and a blessing on my heart."
--Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love


From the Hardcover edition.