Jack Kornfield was trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India and has taught meditation worldwide since 1974. He also holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. He is a founder of the Insight Meditation Society and of Spirit Rock Center. He lives with his wife and daughter in northern California. His previous books include After the Ecstacy, the Laundry, A Path with Heart, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom (with Joseph Goldstein), Teachings of the Buddha, Living Dharma, A Still Forest Pool (with Paul Breiter), and Soul Food (with Christina Feldman).
“We could all stand a little of this kind of inspiration before
starting or ending our day.”
Over the centuries, many people have kept commonplace books, or repositories of personally meaningful quotations and reflections. Not a diary or a journal, a commonplace book was an individual' s means of engaging with the world through the ideas of others. Here, Kornfield (After the Ecstasy, the Laundry and A Path with Heart) offers an uncommonly specialized form of commonplace book, this one focusing on the issues of forgiveness and peacemaking. He casts his net wide, drawing spiritual wisdom from the expected sources (the Dhammapada, the Diamond Sutra, the teachings of the Buddha and various masters) as well as some surprising newcomers for a Buddhist book: Mother Teresa, Thomas Merton, Meister Eckhart, the Tao Te Ching, the New Testament and the Bhagavad Gita. Such eclecticism works well in its context; Kornfield strives to demonstrate that forgiveness is a process, and that it is possible for flawed and ordinary people to forgive others and themselves. A concluding section on inner peace is a humble and wise primer; Kornfield makes the point that true inner peace does not arise from withdrawal from the world but from greater connectedness with it. Each section includes actual rituals to encourage readers to forgive, practice lovingkindness and know peace. While the book mines well-trod territory, it does so with perception and grace. (Aug. 27) Forecast: The small trim and hardcover format will appeal to Kornfield fans who are interested in passing this book along as a gift. Bantam plans national publicity and advertising in target publications such as Utne Reader, Shambhala Sun and Tricycle. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"We could all stand a little of this kind of inspiration before
starting or ending our day."