November 28, 2008

Book review: A Truthful Heart: Buddhist Practices for Connecting With Others (Jeffrey Hopkins)

A Truthful Heart is not for spiritual materialists seeking New Age platitudes of “I’m okay, you’re okay, and the world is wonderful.”  That being said, this is a book for more sincere practitioners, or for those willing to face certain realities about themselves and others, and who are willing to do the work involved in creating and maintaining healthy, successful, and meaningful relationships with themselves and with other people.  Hopkins offers the reader a series of practices and meditations that move from equanimity to compassion in a gently confrontational way designed not to make his audience feel warm and fuzzy, but instead to make them feel genuinely and sincerely connected (as the best Buddhist texts often do).  Hopkins admits that he struggled living up to the ideals presented by his gurus and offered in this book, which only lends power to his words.  This is likely one of the most outstanding books on human relationships to come along in a while; it’s at least one of the most honest. Printed in the USA on acid-free recycled paper by Snow Lion Publications.  Pick it up at your local, independent bookstore.  (Tell ’em you saw it on ElephantJournal.com.)

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