cover image Awakening the Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection Into Every Part of Your Life

Awakening the Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection Into Every Part of Your Life

Lama Surya Das, Author, Surya, Author Broadway Books $25 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0276-2

The ""Buddhist heart"" that Surya Das refers to in his third book turns out to be a good heart. Blending intimate anecdotes with wisdom gleaned from his decades of study with traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachers, the American-born author seeks to help readers to awaken this heart so that their everyday relationships may become a way to experience the meaningful interconnectedness and sacrednessness of life. Surya Das wishes to cut to the essence of Buddhist wisdom, while bolstering a general readership with a dawn-of-a-new-era pep talk: ""As we enter a new century and a new millennium... it seems increasingly important to awaken our Buddha-like hearts through spiritual connections."" Unlike in his first two books--Awakening the Buddha, an explication of Tibetan Buddhism, and Awakening the Sacred, an attempt to describe spiritual values in nonsectarian terms--here Surya Das initially seems to be trying to be all things to all people, and the advice he offers can feel flimsy or vague. He counsels readers to cultivate a more authentic presence, for example, by learning to be natural, simple and open. The disarming honesty of the many personal accounts he presents puts a friendly human face on an ancient tradition, yet the work as a whole lacks power and coherence. (Nov.)