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Paperback A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life Book

ISBN: 0553372114

ISBN13: 9780553372113

A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

"This important guidebook shows in detail and with great humor and insight the way to practice the Buddha's universal teachings here in the West. Jack Kornfield is a wonderful storyteller and a great teacher."--Thich Nhat Hanh "Jack is helping to pave the path for American Buddhism, bringing essential basics into our crazy modern lives. And the language he uses is as simple and as lovely as our breath."--Natalie Goldberg Perhaps the most important...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Personal and Universal

I read this book when it was first published and recognized immediately that Jack Kornfield's path was also 'my path'. It inspired a deepening of my spiritual practice and a truly happier and more peaceful life. I re-read it whenever I need a boost. This book is very personal, and also universal. Jack uses stories from his own experience to illuminate the path of a more general spiritual journey, and to entertain us. It's a must for anyone seeking guidance for a spiritual journey or inspiration to begin one. A Path With Heart speaks to the heart, the mind, the body and the soul. It is accessible, it is not religious, it is not heavy duty philosophy. Read it.

One of the very best books available on spiritual practice.

About two-thirds of the way through this extraordinary book, I can only add to the 5-star accolades accumulating here. I've read several other wonderfully erudite and inspiring authors on Buddhism, meditation and spirituality lately, but Kornfield's gentle pragmatism (particularly his advice on meditation and mindfulness in daily life) makes this one of the most endlessly useful books I've ever read, as well as one of the most affecting. If you're vacillating over the abundance of titles in this field, don't hesitate for a second over A Path With Heart.

"Be Here Now" for the 90s

Twenty years ago, when I was a college student, I got turned on to spirituality largely by reading Ram Dass' "Be Here Now." Kornfield's book could do the same thing for thousands of people today (to the consternation of apologists for other religions!).A Path with Heart is pretty much my favorite book on spirituality. It contains both useful practical advice on living a spiritual life and amazing esoteric descriptions of super-normal states. Numerous pages contain "gems" that speak directly to my personal struggles and experiences. And Kornfield has a great sense of humor with deep compassion.One of the things that attracts me to Buddhism is its relative lack of superstition and dogmatism. The essential teaching is practical, down-to-earth, and perfectly acceptable to a scientifically minded person. Still, many Buddhists believe in reincarnation, and Kornfield describes some pretty far out experiences involving, for example, reincarnation, angelic beings, and psychic powers.Kornfield is a wonderful writer, and I hear that he is such a good teacher that one has to enter a lottery to get the chance to go to one of his retreats. He seems to be a charismatic, highly advanced being (though, who am I to judge?). But he would be the first to warn against starry-eyed adulation of him. An oft-repeated theme throughout the book -- and the topic of one whole chapter -- was the need to beware of unhealthy, exploitative relationships with teachers. Every spiritual seeker has one or more fallings-out with a teacher, he says. These fallings-out can be painful and damaging, but we must learn to learn from such events.Many people get the impression that Buddhism is an austere, impersonal, ascetic religion, with little of the bhakti (devotion) found in many Christian and Hindu faiths. This book challenges that perception. Indeed, it's amazing how loving Buddhists can be, considering that they tend not to believe in God! One thing that impresses me is his apparently complete lack of cynicism and pessimism. Kornfield has only good things to say about every major religion.In fact, another theme of the book is that Buddhism too should not be treated as a dogmatic teaching that we should grasp on to. Rather, it is a tool to be used to get where we want to go. Teachings and paths should be left behind when no longer needed, like a boat used to cross a river. (I'm reminded of Kornfield's story about a retreat in which two of his students, a married couple, were struggling hard to relax into meditation. Kornfield advised them to stop being so serious and to make love. They started to show up in the meditation hall smiling.)I'm still not completely convinced that a spiritual seeker can get by without faith and trust in some sort of divine being or essence. But this books goes a long way to showing how an atheist can have faith and hope.If you're on a spiritual path, or even if you're just curious and open-minded, read
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