Read The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus by Dalai Lama XIV Robert Kiely Dom Laurence Freeman Online


In this landmark book of interfaith dialogue, the Dalai Lama provides an extraordinary Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus, commenting on well-known passages from the four Christian Gospels including the Sermon on the Mount, the parable of the mustard seed, the Resurrection, and others. Drawing parallels between Jesus and the Buddha--and the rich traditions fromIn this landmark book of interfaith dialogue, the Dalai Lama provides an extraordinary Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus, commenting on well-known passages from the four Christian Gospels including the Sermon on the Mount, the parable of the mustard seed, the Resurrection, and others. Drawing parallels between Jesus and the Buddha--and the rich traditions from which they hail--His Holiness delivers a profound affirmation of the sacred in all religions. Readers will be inspired by the Dalai Lama's discussion of the endless merits of each tradition and uplifted by the common humanity between them....

Title : The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus
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ISBN : 9780861711383
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus Reviews

  • Jsarno49
    2019-05-09 14:06

    This book provides an insight into the thinking of the Dalai Lama when he spoke at the 1994 John Main Seminar where he read and reflected upon selections from the Gospels. The major point that stays with me is that every individual seeks some spiritual guidance and that while there may be some similarities in religions, the differences are important to maintain so people have choices. A few of my favorite quotes are as follows:p. 80 "It is also crucial to recognize that both spiritual traditions share the common goal of producing a human being who is fully realized, spiritually mature, good, and warm-hearted person." p. 124 "A life bereft of a spiritual dimension generally leaves less room for inner tranquility." p. 130 His concluding remark: "My appeal to all of you is this. Please ensure that you make the precious human life you have as meaningful as possible."

  • Bryce Wilson
    2019-05-09 09:01

    An intelligent and spirited debate, that respects both Buddhism and Christianity while being steadfast and honest about their differences. A perfect model of interfaith communication, something that is desperately needed.

  • Mattheus Guttenberg
    2019-04-30 12:15

    An interesting and informative book. This is a transcript of the Dalai Lama giving commentary on excerpts of key Gospel passages from the New Testament (Sermon on the Mount, the Transfiguration, the Resurrection, etc.) from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective to a group of contemplative Christians. The event also included silent meditation, chanting, and Q&A. I learned a lot about both traditions and came away with a better appreciation for the value of sincere religious dialogue.

  • Lee Harmon
    2019-05-01 05:46

    The premise for this book is fantastic! Talk His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, into speaking before a Christian audience in Middlesex University, London. Call it The Good Heart, emphasizing the humanitarian aspects of both Christianity and Buddhism. Give him eight passages of Gospel scripture to read in preparation for the seminar, and hear what he has to say.The eight chosen passages are:Matthew 5:38-48, Love Your EnemyMatthew 5:1-10, The BeatitudesMark 3:31-35, EquanimityMark 4:36-24, The Kingdom of GodLuke 9:28-36, The TransfigurationLike 9:1-6, The MissionJohn 12:44-50, FaithJohn 20:10-18, The ResurrectionFrom the outset, The Dalai Lama assured his listeners that he had no intention of sowing seeds of doubt, and instead encouraged listeners to "experience the value of one's own religious tradition." He taught that the authentication of all religion is the realization of a good heart. He acknowledged similarities between Christianity and Buddhism, especially in regards to compassion, brotherhood and forgiveness, and strongly encouraged meetings between people from different religious traditions (not scholars but "genuine practitioners" interested in “sharing insights”). Yet he feels it does a disservice to both religions not to acknowledge their uniqueness. The Dalai Lama would rather we remain Christian than try to "put a yak's head on a sheep's body" and call ourselves Buddhist-Christians.He spoke, as always, with insight and humility, and his take on Christian scriptures was wonderfully fresh and simple. My respect for the Dalai Lama increased even more. Yet I was a little disappointed; invariably, the discussion of Christian scriptures steered into comparisons with Buddhism—to be expected, I'm sure—but Buddhist thought is so ingrained in the Dalai Lama that much of the discussion felt foreign to me. Not that I couldn't follow his thinking, and not that I don't appreciate the similarities between Christianity and Buddhism and their common goal of compassion, but Eastern thinking is just ... well ... different.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-05-07 08:07

    I need to read because of this:Norway said on Friday (25.04.2014) that its government would not meet the Dalai Lama during his visit to Oslo in May, in a controversial decision aimed at warming up icy relations with China.(28.04.2014) Oslo lawyer has slammed Norway's government for its 'capitulation' to China over the Dalai Lama. "My attitude is that it is a capitulation to China not to meet a human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner when he comes to Norway." The Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, is in Norway on 7 and 8 May to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize award.And whilst I am on a shaming and naming, check out this stance from Lars Christian Bacher on 15.04.2014, head of international development and production at the STATOIL, told Reuters in an interview that the Ukraine crisis has not yet affected Statoil's relations with Rosneft, the Russian state oil giant which Sechin heads.

  • Ed Smiley
    2019-05-16 07:15

    The fascinating thing about this book is that it touches on one of the aspects of wisdom, empathetic understanding of another engendering multiple simultaneous perspectives and respect.The story is a simple one. A group of Christian meditators with contacts with Tibetan Buddhists invites the Dali Lama to discuss the Christian gospels. This is an unusual request, as the Dali Lama has not been exposed to them very much. So a group of passages such as the sermon on the mount are chosen, translated to Tibetan, and the Dali Lama studied them, and gave talks on them. In it, with full respect and empathy he discusses what he found in them of his own, extremely rich, tradition, where there are inexact, but meaningful correspondences, and where there would be either differences belief or emphasis. This suggests to me that the largesouled attitude is not so much to focus on disputes of doctrine, but rather on the underlying humane and expansive spirit.

  • Eileen
    2019-05-09 09:59

    The Dalai Lama was asked to be the main speaker at a conference of The World Community for Christian Meditation and to comment on eight passages from the Gospels. They meditated together each day before looking at the scriptures. I learned a lot about Buddhism, and saw what the 2 traditions have in common and where they differ. The Dalai Lama was willing to engage in some conversations and not others -- where he knew the disagreement was too great to make dialog profitable. Yet his attitude toward these differences was calm, respectful, sensible. Reading this book convinced me of the value of dialog between religions.

  • Amy Terhorst
    2019-05-01 12:52

    This book is a discussion with the Dalai Lama and Christian/Catholic priests and teachers. I loved the comparisons between Buddhism and Christianity and the commonality found in the teachings. Truth is truth, no matter where it is found.

  • Rolfern
    2019-05-03 06:05

    Her er en bokide jeg tente på! Vil ikke lese den for fort....

  • Constantino Casasbuenas
    2019-05-17 05:59

    Chía, 27 May 2015The Good HeartHis Holiness the Dalai LamaWisdom Publications 1996I liked a lot the text because it shows how an inter-religious dialogue happens. The experience happens because of several reasons. First of all there is mutual trust and even some degree of admiration among the participants, most of them Christians and Buddhists. All of them meditating, reflecting and praying. They had different traditions and beliefs and there was mutual respect. Coming from different origins, they were not finding a unique way to truth.I had no idea about who is Laurence Freeman (Catholic priest), but it is clear that the Dalai Lama plays a central role. Second relevant matter was using the key texts of both religions as a point of reference. This gives the participants and the readers to share a common ground on key topics. Finally, the whole exercise seems to be done in order not to find a unique truth, but to get approximations between different beliefs. In the coming paragraphs I am quoting and giving a few comments. 1. Presence is one of the most important lessons The Good Heart has to teach us if we are to learn a better way to respond to the contemporary challenge of dialogue. Comment: my impression is that this is applicable to religions, but also to civil society dialogue or in countries where people from different origins are building political alternatives. How are we perceived by each other? The success of the verbal dialogue depends upon and builds directly upon this foundation of mutual presence. P.52. When people of different faiths are in experiential dialogue with one another, the truth can be experienced through their willing suspension of exclusivity toward one another. P.63. To be friends is to trust and to be valuable.p.74. The Dalai Lama did not know much “about” the Gospels. But he did know a great deal through his Buddhist learning, his monastic training, and his own spiritual evolution. P.135. Benedict, he said, had dropped out off school in Rome and betaken himself to a hermitage in a state of wise ignorance. P.146. Does acknowledging the truth of the Buddhist’s taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha compromise our belief in the nature of Christian faith as a call to discipleship of Jesus? P.177. You go back over it many times, homing it more and more until you are left with a single word or short phrase, simultaneously arresting and awakening the mind to meaning. In this way, as the mind is stilled, one is brought to the threshold of meditation. P.268. Concentrating on the swirling patterns of scriptural meaning can also be seen as a practice of focusing consciousness that is similar to the visual attention employed to center the mind with a mandala. 289. Reading the Gospels is an artistic activity of the heart. 2910. Others who have been reading Scripture for many years become aware of a substantial change in the quality of the reading, in the way they are now read by Scripture. 2911. We read the Gospels, the sutras, and all the sacred scriptures of humanity with the eyes of faith. 29 The word faith may make some Buddhists uncomfortable. 3012. We meditated each in our own way. 3013. Ramana Maharshi, a great Indian sage of this century, once said that silence is not turning off the tap of communication but turning it full on. 3114. The dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism can be a model of how it is possible for human beings to love each other because they are different, not just despite their differences. 3115. …two great religious traditions came together. 3516. Meditation enriches us in so many ways.3717. Dalai Lama indicates: But during all those years he meditated simply on love. And he was not meditating on just the word. When I looked into his eyes, I saw evidence of profound spirituality and love – as I had during my meetings with Thomas Merton. 3918. Explaining on meditation, he says: Traditionally in India, there is samadhi meditation, “stilling the mind”, which is common to all the Indian religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. And in many of these traditions, certain types of vipasyana, “analytical meditation”, are common as well. 40 Samadhi = ability to direct the mind to a particular object in a single-pointed way. 40 It is my belief that if prayer, meditation, and contemplation – which is more discursive and analytic – are combined in daily practice, the effect on the practitioner’s mind and heart will be all the greater. 4019. His Holiness closed his eyes and intoned an ancient Tibetan prayer:Replete with excellence like a mountain of gold, The triple worlds’ saviors, freed from the three taints, Are the buddhas, their eyes like lotuses in bloom; They are the world’s first auspicious blessing.The teachings they imparted are sublime and steadfast, Famed in the triple worlds, honoured by gods and humans alike.That holy teaching grants peace to all sentient beings;This is the world’s second auspicious blessing.The sacred community, rich with learning, is honouredBy humans, gods and demi-gods.That supreme community is modest, yet the site of glory;This is the world’s third auspicious blessing.The Teacher has come into our world;The teaching shines like the sun’s rays;The teaching masters, like siblings, are harmonious;Let there thus be auspicious blessings for the teachings to remain for a long time.All shall be well. All shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well.20. One of the most effective approaches to deal with suffering is found in A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life: If the problem is such that there is a way out, a solution, there is no need to worry about it. If, on the other hand, there is no way out or no solution, there is also no point in worrying about it. 5421. It ids a Christian belief that when Scripture is read by someone with a good heart, it comes to life for all of us again. 5722. Another similarity that I see is that in both the lives of Jesus Christ and the Buddha, it is only through hardship, dedication and commitment and by standing firm on one’s principles that one can grow spiritually and attain liberation. 5823. So if you relate to Buddha as a fully ordained monk then that means you relate to him as a historical, human person. 6124. There is a Tibetan expression that states, “Someone whose faith is not grounded in reason is like a stream of water that can be led anywhere”. 6525. Apart from the psychophysical aggregates or the skandhas that constitute the being, there is no separate, autonomous, external abiding soul-principle. That is a doctrine that is common and universal to all schools of Buddhism. 65 26. The Three Jewels –Buddha, Dharma and Sangha- as a foundation for practice27. In the Buddhist tradition, there is an emphasis on a sense of personal responsibility rather than on a transcending being. 8028. … this is very different from what religions have said in the past!8129. …we can have a conception of truth that is multidimensional. 8130. I feel there is tremendous convergence and a potential for mutual enrichment through dialogue between the Buddhist and the Christian traditions, especially in the areas of ethics and spiritual practice, such as the practices of compassion, love, meditation, and the enhancement of tolerance. 8131. The entire world Buddhist worldview is the principle of interdependence. 8232. For me, as a Buddhist, my attitude toward Jesus Christ is that he was either a fully enlightened being or a bodhisattva of a very high spiritual realisation. 8333. Father Laurence asks: Could you comment, from your own experience, about the process of discernment? The Dalai Lama responds: I think this is fairly obvious. When you face a problem and try your best to overcome it, and yet at the end you find that the problem is still there, then that is an indication that it is insurmountable. In this sort of discernment, you do not begin with a clairvoyance that allows you to determine that a particular suffering can be overcome or not. That is not the way. 8434. From the Madhyamaka point of view, which is the worldview that I personally embrace, the idea that everything is created by consciousness cannot be accepted. 8535. “The Eight Verses of Thought Tranformation” by Geshe Langri Thangpa. This short text belongs to the teachings on lo jong, or thought transformation, and was composed during the period of Buddhist history when the Kadam school was flourishing in Tibet. The translation is based on a rendering by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche.Regarding all sentient beingsas excelling even the wish-granting gemfor accomplishing the highest aim, may I always hold them most dear.When in the company of othersI shall always consider myself the lowest of all, And from the depth of my heartHold them dear and supreme.Vigilant, the moment a delusion appears,Which endanger myself and others, I shall confront and avert it Without delay.When I see beings of wicked natureOverwhelmed by violent negative actions and sufferings,I shall hold such rare ones dear, As I have found a precious treasure.When others, out of envy, treat me with abuse, Insult me or the like, I shall accept defeat, And offer the victory to others.When someone I have benefitedAnd in whom I have great hopesGives me terrible harm, I shall regard him as my holy spiritual friend.In short, both directly and indirectly, do I offerEvery benefit and happiness to all sentient beings, my mothers;May I secretly take upon myselfAll their harmful actions and suffering.May they not be defiled by the conceptsOf the eight profane concerns, And aware that all things are illusory,may they, ungrasping, be freed from bondage.8836. The visions of the two prophets: …Such contacts can take place. 9037. A passage in one Buddhist text states that emanations created by a fully enlightened being will also enjoy a very high degree of autonomy. However, this is not to say that emanations are real, living beings. 9038. In the Tibetan Buddhist context, the imagery of the rainbow performs two functions. First, the rainbow is often associated with signs of auspiciousness, of good luck and good fortune. In addition, the rainbow is often used as an image to illustrate the illusory and non-substantial nature of all things and events. 9339. Read Jataka Tales: Buddha, in the emanation form of a human being, may have ceased; but he is still present in the form known as his sambhogakaya, the state of perfect resourcefulness. 11941. He stated that all things and events are transient, impermanent, and non-enduring. 12042. What do you think makes a place holy? The Dalai Lama: I feel that a place initially becomes holy by the power of the individual spiritual practitioner who lives there. The power of an individual’s spiritual realizations in some sense ‘charges’ that place, provides it with certain energy; then in turn, that place can ‘charge’ the individuals who visit it. Secondly, these holy places play another important function, especially those sites that are associated with the lives of the founding masters of the major religious traditions. When followers of a particular religion visit these sites, they have an opportunity to reflect deeply upon the example set by these good masters and, with this inspiration and motivation, a chance to follow their example. 12243. If a person has a really deep interest in spiritual growth, he or she cannot do away with the practice of meditation. We need to develop a constant, persistent approach based on a long-term commitment. 12344. The main point is how to be good during one’s lifetime. 12545. Finally, Jesus tells his followers of their importance to the world – to be the salt of reality and the light of Truth. Their mission is to be seen and heard for the works that result from consciousness of the essential goodness of human nature – the good heart, 13646. This unknowability of God, who can be known only through love, is the essence of all Christian mysticism. 14247. As for those who will not receive you, when you leave their town shake the dust off your feet as a warning to them. 14248. This also assumes that people specially charged with teaching have a right to be supported by the wider community.14449. Read Thomas Merton’s (15-68) best selling autobiography “The Seven Storey Mountain” (1948). 50. Praktike: a Greek term in Christian mystical theology used by the Desert Fathers to describe the practical work and discipline necessary to follow the path of self-transcendence and discipleship. It is an essential prerequisite for teaching the spiritual life. 160Talking about the Buddhist context51. When asked to summarize the essence of the Buddhist teachings, His Holiness the Dalai Lama always has a simple answer: “Help others if you can; but if you cannot, at least refrain from harming others”. 166 52. Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Buddhism53. Learning and reflection  general attitudes toward existence. 16654. According to the Buddha, the principal cause of our own perpetual cycle of suffering is our deeply ingrained clinging to the sense of a permanent “self”. 16755. The true path to freedom lies in the development of insight into the absence of such a permanent “self”. 16756. The Buddha taught the path of “no-self” (anatman).57. The principles sketched above appear in the Four Axioms, a traditional formula that is said to summarize Buddhist thought: (1) all conditioned thins are transient; (2) that which is defiled by negative mental states necessarily produces suffering; (3) all things are empty of any fixed essence or self; (4) nirvana is true peace. 16858. Four Noble Truths: (1) suffering exists; (2) there is an origin of suffering; (3) there is a cessation of suffering; and (4) there exists a path leading to that cessation. 16859. One crucial element must also be mentioned: great compassion. Important for the practice of Mahayana (the “Great Vehicle”). 16860. For the full awakening (bodhi) of Buddhahood, the Mahayanist’s practices consist of the six perfections and the four means.a. The six perfections are i. Generosityii. Moralityiii. Patienceiv. Joyous effortv. Concentrationvi. Wisdomb. The four means arei. Giving what is urgently neededii. Always using gentle speechiii. Giving ethical guidance to othersiv. Demonstrating these principles through the example of one’s own lifeThis set of perfections and means is the bodhisattva ideal61. In Tibetan culture, perhaps the most famous depiction of this infinite compassion can be found in the legend of Thousand- Armed Chenrezig. 16962. Perhaps the most well-known and certainly the most influential is Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.17263. Because of Tsongkhapa’s profound admiration of the Kadam teachings, this new school adopts in its practical aspects of the path a category of instructions collectively known as lo jong, “mind training” or “thought transformation”. A key characteristic of these teachings is advice on how to turn even the most adverse circumstances into conditions favourable to the enhancement of compassion and altruism.17364. The famous religious historian Paul Tillich said that from the meeting of Christianity and Buddhism would come a spiritual revolution. Perhaps he was right. 175

  • Lauren
    2019-05-13 05:50

    This was a comfortable read, and really just made me realize how much I enjoy reading about religion. Not because I am religious myself, but because there is something comforting reading about individuals at such peace in their beliefs. This book made me wish for more tolerance between religions, and even hopeful that this could be possible, based on this inclusive and open-minded gathering of buddhists and Christians. This book is essentially a documentation of a seminar featuring the Dalai Lama, who reflected on a series of bible passages or key themes in the Christian belief and compared them to the Buddhist belief. I found it to be an interesting read, but I realized while I read how lacking my knowledge of Buddhism really is. I would recommend to those looking for an open-minded religious read, particularly as it relates to inclusiveness for all religions. I would especially recommend a solid background in BOTH Christian and Buddhist beliefs, NOT just one of the other. I think you'd take more away from this short read.

  • Matthew
    2019-05-07 13:14

    This book, like any book read, but especially those of a spiritual nature, will carry different meanings for the reader.I can share similar thoughts to others who mention that this book provides an excellent model for interfaith communication as the Dalai Lama reads 8 different passages from the gospels, shares his perspective on these passages, and enters discussion with the other Christians who are present.As for my key personal takeaways from this book: I'm not sure if it was explicitly mentioned, but there was a moment where it dawned on me that Jesus led a life of complete non-attachment, a key principle within Buddhism. Thus, there is a commonality there for me between how Christian's look to the way Jesus lived as an example, and how Buddhists undertake their practice. The other thing which I enjoyed within this book was that that heaven and hell were reaffirmed through both the Christian and Buddhist perspectives as experiential rather than spatial, which I think is a very important distinction to make.

  • Anita
    2019-04-26 13:05

    I felt that I gained some understanding of Buddhism seeing 5 readings from the Gospels being experienced by the Dalai Lama. Much of the book was basically a transcript of a seminar. I believe that actually being present at the seminar would have been much more enlightening. I think it is impossible to get the dynamic of spiritual connection that would have happened with these diverse people meditating together in silence and then listening deeply. Reading what was said was pretty much a let down for me. This is one of those things that I think you really had to be there to get it.

  • Donald
    2019-05-17 13:00

    The source material for this book is a pretty good dialogue and certainly credible and unique. However this book is pretty much just a transcript for a seminar. I would have rather just listened to the podcast or watched it on youtube. Nonetheless its a short passable read.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-14 11:59

    Important reading for Christians and Buddhists. His Holiness captures the essence of Christian faith and reflects it back to Christians in a compassionate, intelligent, and mature way. In some ways, he makes the Christian take responsibility for his religion, to inquire into it, to explore nature of Christian teachings and to commit more fully to it. He clarifies the Buddhist perspective on spiritual matters, making the book a useful reference guide for students of Buddhism. I have some concerns about Laurence Freeman's comments on page 138 of the Random House version of the book, published 2002: ‘…Presumably, they do not come in to him because of their disapproval or fear of what he is doing. His reply is not a rejection of them as his kin but a rejection of their misunderstanding of his teaching and mission.’ His comments are in relation to why Mary and his brothers do not come into the house where Jesus is teaching. As I understand them, his comments on this event dismiss the significant part Mary plays in Jesus’ work. My concern here is the impression that they give of Mary not being an awakened spiritual person, who is instead a disapproving or fearful person who misunderstands Jesus’ mission. We do not know why Mary did not enter the place where Jesus’ was teaching. It may have been out of respect for his work. It may have been to assist him to practically demonstrate his teachings. When I consider the facts as we have been given them, the facts point to Mary as a highly evolved being. The Father certainly thought so when he chose her womb to hold the Divine Child. Her heart contained sufficient purity for her to receive a physical visitation from Archangel Gabriel. If purity of heart correlates to spiritual awareness and wisdom, then Mary must have been very close to enlightenment. When we look at the facts, it is more likely that Mary had a divinely guided or higher reason for her actions, as did Jesus. Further evidence we have to support Mary as a nearly enlightened being, if not enlightened, is her appearance at Lourdes in France, to name just one appearance. If we apply the definition of the sambhogakaya (The Good Heart page 189), which has been proposed as a possible parallel to the Holy Spirit and therefore must have some validity in the Christian understanding, the Lady of Lourdes, for example, is ‘a subtle embodiment of an enlightened being’. By her appearance to Bernadette and others, she like ‘the buddahs have to assume physical embodiments that resemble our own existence.’ Mary must have attained enlightenment in that life with Jesus in order to return to Earth as an emanation (unless one subscribes to the Buddhist belief in reincarnation where it may have taken her many lives to reach that point). For Mary to attain enlightenment in her life of Mother of Jesus, it is more likely that she was already highly spiritually evolved at the time of Jesus’ teachings, and less likely that she was disapproving, fearful or misunderstanding of her son. Mary's status as a highly evolved spiritual being needs to be acknowledged here, as His Holiness acknowledged on page 84 when talking about his own pilgrimage to Lourdes.

  • Bob Buice
    2019-05-11 12:13

    History did not permit the early followers of Jesus (1st century CE) to mingle with the early followers of the Buddha (5th century BCE), but the Dalai Lama XIV of Tibet sees as similarities in the teachings of the two. The Kingdom of God (Mark 4:26-34), a refuge for believers, may be related to Buddhists’ refuge in the Three Jewels — the Buddha, Dharma (teachings), and Sangha (community), although Buddhists, emphasize a sense of personal responsibility rather than a dependence on a transcendent being. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5: 1-10) resembles the Buddhist concept of “karma”: those who do good will be rewarded with good. The Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36) - The vision of the two prophets Moses and Elijah relates to mystical incidents in Buddhist literature of individuals coming face to face with certain historical figures. The Resurrection (John 20: 10– 18), in a spiritual sense, is similar to the Buddha’s teachings, which lived on after his death.In “The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus”, the authors review the proceedings of the 1994 John Main Seminar. The Dalai Lama not only gave his perspective on passages from each of the four Christian canonical gospels, he exemplified the value of dialogue between the two faiths. He believes that, “the proof and authentication of all religion is the realization of a good heart, a human being’s innate qualities of compassion and tolerance, … the same standard can be applied to dialogue, which has today become an important work and activity of all religions”. The 1994 John Main Seminar was just such a dialogue, as the Dalai Lama spoke to a panel comprised primarily of Christian representatives.The Dalai Lama feels that there are similarities between Buddhism and Christianity in the areas of ethics and spiritual practice, such as the practices of compassion, love, meditation, and the enhancement of tolerance. However, when it comes to a philosophical or metaphysical dialogue he feels that “we must part company”. In the Buddhist tradition, things happen because of “interactions between causes and conditions”.The Dalai Lama does not support the concept of a universal religion, but respects each individual religious tradition. Nor does he advise anyone to change his/her religion, but rather suggests that everyone rediscover the “deeper meaning and power” of his/her own religious tradition.For those interested in similarities, differences, and potential relationships between Christianity and Buddhism “The Good Heart” is a highly informative read.

  • Ietrio
    2019-05-08 13:04

    The New Age mumble of a pop queen regarding a barbaric text. Well, you lose something, you polish other parts, enough to please the most.

  • Carly
    2019-05-08 08:53

    I really enjoyed this book. Not only did I get to see the Bible from a Buddhist perspective, I also got to see that even devoted Christians are beginning to be more open-minded in interpretation. In reading this book, I began to realize just how much the individual churches have influenced my opinion of Christianity in general. I realize I have been a bit closed off to the idea of embracing Christianity in any form. I found it interesting that the Dalai Lama kept emphasizing that he didn't think anyone should change religions, but delve deeper into the religion they were brought up in. I'm not sure I agree wholeheartedly, but I do think it is important not to throw away everything from one religion to go to another. I have begun to think of religion as a flowing, ever-changing process rather than a hard fast rule system. I feel I can take the things I have learned from Christianity (a religion I have both wholeheartedly embraced and rejected, one that my whole upbringing was fashioned around) and combine them with all the things I am still learning about other religious ways and adapt the ideas to a more open-minded view.I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially to those who have rejected Christianity based on their experiences with the church. I feel like seeing a more open world view of the teachings helped me come to terms with some of my negative attitudes toward the church.

  • Ali
    2019-05-15 07:58

    I gave this book 2 stars because I wanted more from it. This book is basically the transcript of the John Main Seminar in 1994 when the Dalai Lama attended and commented on select Gospel passages in conversation with other seminar participants. The book also includes an extensive a introduction, glossary, and two sections giving background on Buddhism and Christianity. Because this book is based on an event where meditation was a key part I think the book can only communicate so much. It intrigued me and made me want to read more by the Dalai Lama but I would not recommend this for others.

  • Lavinia
    2019-05-09 11:15

    I would not know where to start from. It has so many aspects and it made me think about so many things. If you ever feel good about yourself, just read this book and you will understand how far along are you on the way to being "good". And yet, despite this, I was happy to read it, to get a chance of questioning myself and my actions and my attitudes from a "religious" point of view.I have the deepest consideration for Dalai Lama with respect to everything: his peaceful combat, his compassion and his wisdom (though it is true that sometimes his compassion, forgiveness and tolerance just drive me mad - I am far from having achieved any level of personal illumination). I was happy to get the tiniest glimpse on the boudhism and their traditions and beliefs. However, I must admit that I was a lot more confortable reading the parts related to christianism - in the end we are raised, educated, cultivated in a certain spirit and a certain tradition and it is that tradition that, through its being "familiar" makes us belong there, be "home". Which is exactly what Dalai Lama says - or at least what I understand.

  • Ruth
    2019-04-30 08:09

    In 1994 the John Main Seminar (The World Community for Christian Meditation) invited The Dalai Lama to join with them, to read and teach selected passages from the four Gospels. I enjoyed studying these passages from a slightly different perspective. The Dalai Lama was very gracious and careful to explain the parallel he saw between Buddhism and Christianity. He was equally careful to explain the differences and why those difference can be good. I'm finding that I'm comfortable with most Buddhist ideas. To develop a peaceful, loving nature. The importance of Buddha/God, Dharam/the law and the prophets, Sangha/the community of saints or church. The path to follow to end suffering. I like this. But meditation? I can ponder, and pray, and get up and serve. But, whenever the conversation turns to meditation I get anxious in a crazy sort of way.

  • Bryan
    2019-05-18 12:04

    An enlightening read. The Dalai Lama has a pretty good grasp of the spiritual lessons to be had from the Gospels, even though he is not a Christian and does not know a lot about Christianity. In spite of the large differences in theology between Buddhism and Christianity, some of the spiritual principles are extremely similar. In fact, certain spiritual principals dealing with things like compassion and love are universal, to some extent, and are prominent in the teachings of all the major religions.

  • Emily O.
    2019-04-23 13:49

    My friend gave this to me for Christmas. She knows my love for Christianity and Buddhism too well. The Dalai Lama is one of my heroes, and reading his take on Christian principles was incredible. My favorite parts were the discussion of the "seed of perfection," which I likened to the light of Christ, and the very last line of the book, which alluded to my favorite quote in the world, which is also by the Dalai Lama.

  • Bridget
    2019-05-19 12:50

    This book had very interesting points to ponder, but it wasn't the catalyst for any revelations, at least for me. I always enjoy hearing (or reading, in this case) what the Dalai Lama has to offer, so I was particularly interested in reading this book to learn his interpretations of the Bible readings. His insightful interpretations didn't disappoint, however it wasn't a quick read as there were many points to digest. I wouldn't call this light reading.

  • Jen
    2019-05-09 06:51

    This book was interesting, but not really what I expected.The Good Heart was a conference for Christians, and they invited the Dalai Lhama to come speak on certain passages from the Bible. I'm not sure what I was looking for... it was kinda like they were trying to print the feeling they had at this conference, and it just didn't work.

  • Arlene
    2019-05-07 11:55

    An interesting premise. The Dalai Lama was invited to comment on passages from the Gospels, with a group of Christian meditators. While interesting, I found the format of the book to be repetitive, with a lot of extraneous commentary.I did find the small portion of the book which actually contained the Dalai Lama's comments very interesting.

  • Matt Root
    2019-05-05 07:46

    I was a little disappointed with this book. I was hoping for some creative readings of the Gospel texts in question, but all too often (and understandably so) the reflections were simply pointing out similar ideas in Buddhist writings. The most helpful take always for me were the discussions on the possibilities and limitations of interfaith dialogue.

  • Keith Bell
    2019-05-19 06:46

    Thanks to a great friend that re-discovered this book for me. (Go Abigail!)I lent this out 12yrs ago and it never came back. Amazing insight. The dignity and respective that the Dalai Lama gives the text is evidence of his great openness and compassion. I hope Christians can read this with the same openness he demonstrates.

  • Jon Tupper
    2019-05-02 10:09

    Although the bridge work of two different traditions was for me, a bit daunting at times, the love and compassion herein at the conference with Christian mystics and the Dalai Lama is wonderful. The in depth perspectives on scripture, culture, and spiritual practice is enlightening.

  • Jeannine
    2019-05-18 14:16

    I loved this book. I gained new understanding from reading the Dalai Lama's perspective on these scriptures, and I also found much truth and beauty in the introduction and other commentary in the book.