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A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
Reviewed by The Editors on June 1, 2008
Yes, there are many books on Buddhism being published these days, but Kornfield is a part of the generation of Buddhist elders, which includes Pema Chödrön, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, Thich Nhat Hanh, and others, that has helped to introduce Buddhist teachings to the West. In his new book, Kornfield makes the teachings of Buddhist wisdom accessible to all through storytelling (including his own reckoning with a violent family history), explication of both core Buddhist principles and complementary insights from Western psychology (Kornfield holds a doctorate in clinical psychology), and Buddhist practices that encourage us to explore our own minds. “It is an urgent task for the psychology of our time to understand and foster the highest possibilities of human development,” he writes. “The suffering and happiness in our world, both individual and collective, depend on our consciousness.” With compassion, clarity, and humor, The Wise Heart holds out the possibility of healing our hearts and freeing our minds for the benefit of all beings.