How to Expand Love: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships

Dalai Lama, Author, Bstan-'Dzin-Rgy, Author, Jeffrey Hopkins, Editor
Dalai Lama, Author, Bstan-'Dzin-Rgy, Author, Jeffrey Hopkins, Editor , trans. and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins. Atria $20 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7432-6968-1
Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005

In this simple primer on compassion and kindness, the Dalai Lama teaches that "if we really want happiness, we must widen the sphere of love." The book draws on many of the same principles found in His Holiness's other works, most notably The Art of Happiness , but it presents them in a seven-step process that is both practical and wise. Readers are encouraged to use the warm feeling they have for their best friends as a model of how they can regard all people and extend their circle of loving relationships to include others, even enemies. Then they can proceed to the next steps: developing a "heroic intention" to further their personal enlightenment, having compassion for the suffering of others and committing to a life of altruism. Although the last few stages of this plan can be blurry and indistinct, the overall effect is valuable. This is a generous and sensible road map to not-so-random acts of kindness. (July 6)