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

Jack Kornfield
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 1 1993
Beloved Western Buddhist master Kornfield makes known his personal, practical wisdom, garnered from 25 years of practicing and teaching the path of awakening, as he guides self-searchers to a simplicity of perception that brings alive spiritual practice, peace, and truth in their daily lives.

Frequently Bought Together

A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life + After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path + The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
Price For All Three: CDN$ 48.79

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Product Description

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In undertaking a spiritual life, we must make certain that our path is connected with our heart, according to author and Buddhist monk Jack Kornfield. Since 1974 (long before it gained popularity in the 1990s), Kornfield has been teaching westerners how to integrate Eastern teaching into their daily lives. Through generous storytelling and unmitigated warmth, Kornfield offers this excellent guidebook on living with attentiveness, meditation, and full-tilt compassion.

Part of what makes this book so accessible is Kornfield's use of everyday metaphors to describe the elusive lessons of spiritual transformation. For example, he opens with "the one seat" lesson taught to him by his esteemed teacher. Literally it means sitting in the center of a room and not being swayed or moved by all the people and dramas happening around you. On a spiritual level it means sticking "with one practice and teacher among all of the possibilities," writes Kornfield; "inwardly it means having the determination to stick with that practice through whatever difficulties and doubts arise until you have come to true clarity and understanding." The same could be said for this "one book." Among all the spiritual self-help books, this is a classic worth sticking with and returning to--a highly approachable teacher that can only lead to greater clarity and understanding. --Gail Hudson

Review

"A warm, inspiring and, above all, practical book" Pride Magazine 20021125 "It's encouraging to find Westerners who've sufficiently assimilated the traditions of the East to be able to share them with others as Jack is doing. May such efforts further the peace of all beings." -- His Holiness The Dalai Lama "This important guidebook shows in detail and with great humour and insight the way to practise the Buddha's universal teachings here in the West. Jack Kornfield is a wonderful storyteller and a great teacher." -- Thich Nhat Hanh "Jack Kornfield is a remarkable and thoughtful teacher." -- Sogyal Rinpoche --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In the summer of 1972 I returned to the home of my parents in Washington, D.C., head shaved and robed as a Buddhist monk, after my first five-year study in Asia. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Introduction Aug. 16 2002
Format:Paperback
Jack Kornfield's "A Path With Heart" is both an introduction to Buddhism and a spiritual workbook, since chapters examining Buddhist principles are followed by specific meditation practices. I read a chapter a day, which I recommend to people new to Buddhism because it allowed the information to sink in.
Some information --like sections on karma, chakras, and lovingkindness meditation-- will be familiar to a general audience (it's interesting how many of these concepts have permeated the New Age and mainstream culture, e.g. Gary Zukav's "Seat of the Soul"--- read by Oprah's audience-- covers the same karma concepts.) Other parts -- like a section on mind altered states-- may surprise some.
It doesn't surprise me that Buddhism has become popular in the States, particularly in the Western States... it is a de-institutionalized religion with a practical approach to problem solving. Its emphasis on individual power and responsibility aligns with the rugged individualism that informs much of the American character.
A gracefully written book, well worth a look.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one book on Buddhism . . . Sept. 3 1999
. . . let it be "A Path With Heart!" With wise and skillful words, Jack Kornfield is a master of teaching Buddhist practices including insight meditation (known as vipassanna) to Western students for over 20 years. Being a former Buddhist monk with a PHD in psychology, as well as a husband and father, he is able to communicate the practice of Buddhism in everyday life in a way that makes sense to Western minds. Kornfield embraces the stuggles and hindrances that are common to the spiritual path as well as offering timely and useful meditations for awakening, opening the heart and clear and humorous insight into basic Buddhist principles such as the 5 precepts, the Buddhist view of self (or lack thereof) and karma. With open arms and a deep understanding of the Western psyche and it's tangles, Kornfield delivers a book that is a love song, a workout and a survival manual for anyone committed to the spiritual path.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, and rightfully so! Nov. 30 2002
Format:Paperback
What would American Buddhism have done without Jack Kornfield? It wouldn't have come so far so fast, that's for sure. In A Path With Heart, Kornfield once again proves he is the master of gentle spiritual learning. It is a book for every person who wants to become enlightened, or even "just" a better person!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Personal and Universal June 18 2003
Format:Paperback
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all spiritual seekers Nov. 4 2002
Format:Paperback
This book is written in a clear flowing compassionate style that is easily accessible to all levels of seekers. While Kornfield is Buddhist, this book embraces all wisdom traditions. For those new to the path, no matter what tradition, this book presents invaluable information on how to walk the path and avoid the costly detours and potholes. He deals sensitively and expertly with issues such as finding a teacher, how teachers go astray, how to deal with problems and complications that arise on the path and how to avoid them in the first place. The Bible says "Straight is the path, narrow is the gate, few find it." Kornfield's book enables many more to find it.
I found this book after many years of spiritual study and meditation. I wish it had been available earlier. I recommend it to all my beginning students.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
. . . let it be "A Path With Heart!" With wise and skillful words, Jack Kornfield is a master of teaching Buddhist practices including insight meditation (known as vipassanna) to Western students for over 20 years. Being a former Buddhist monk with a PHD in psychology, as well as a husband and father, he is able to communicate the practice of Buddhism in everyday life in a way that makes sense to Western minds. Kornfield embraces the stuggles and hindrances that are common to the spiritual path as well as offering timely and useful meditations for awakening, opening the heart and clear and humorous insight into basic Buddhist principles such as the 5 precepts, the Buddhist view of self (or lack thereof) and karma. With open arms and a deep understanding of the Western psyche and it's tangles, Kornfield delivers a book that is a love song, a workout and a survival manual for anyone committed to the spiritual path.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars There are no enlightened people Dec 7 2000
Format:Paperback
BUY THIS BOOK! READ THIS BOOK!
This is one of the greatest books on spiritual practice. The writing is clear, the anecdotes and quotes are priceless and the advice is really down-to-earth and sensible. You'll really benefit from it.
Towards the end of the book, I came across an absolutely brilliant quote by Suzuki Roshi that the author included: "There are no enlightened persons, just enlightened actions." How liberating!!!!
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars havn't got it yet, shipping from the State really takes long time
havn't got it yet, shipping from the State really takes long time. I want to buy used book, but I wont' recommond it if you are in a urgent to use. Read more
Published on Oct. 11 2011 by jojo
2.0 out of 5 stars get the tapes instead
Jack Kornfield is responsible for inspiring me to start my daily practice 8 years ago. I got a set of tapes, I think it was _The Inner Art of Meditation_ from the library and... Read more
Published on March 2 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Complicated Book
For those of you who are lazy to mow your lawn, this book is not for you. It's thick and too complicated. I personally find the exercises between each chapters obnoxious. Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2002 by Expedient Being
5.0 out of 5 stars A Path with Heart
After reading this book (which was required for yoga school) I must say that there are many markings and folded over corners! Jack Kornfield is a man of true integrity. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness isn't out there
But it is difficult to imagine that if you listen to this book, you won't be happier when you finish.
Published on May 23 2002 by Edward Canler
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book ever!
When I read this book, i can feel jack kornfield's heart in every page illuminating the spiritual journey which is found in each moment. Read more
Published on March 2 2002 by Vanessa
5.0 out of 5 stars Soothing and Satisfying
After buying the book and reading through it once, I find myself going back again. It's one of those books where the content is inspiring, I enjoy re-reading it. Read more
Published on June 29 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells it like it is
An excellent book that explains how to meditate, potential problems to avoid, how to deal with some of the negative side effects of meditation, and many of the promises of the... Read more
Published on March 18 2001 by Patrick Galvin
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
I've read read several books on Buddhist meditation, and I highly recommend this one. While a little wordy in spots for me, the book is comprehensive and accessible to western... Read more
Published on March 14 2001
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