Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships
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.
How To Expand Love, Widening The Circle of Loving Relationships, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Jeffrey Hopkins (tr and ed), Atria, 2005, Paperback, 212 pp.
His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was born in 1935 to a peasant familiy in northeastern Tibet and was reocognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of his predessor, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. The world's foremost Buddhist leader, he travels extensively, speaking eloquently in favor of ecumenical understanding , kindness and compassion, respect for the environment, and above all, world peace.
Jeffrey Hopkins, Ph.D., served for a decade as the interpreter for the Dalai Lama. A Buddhist scholar and the author of more than thirty books, he is a professor of Tibetan and Buddhist studies at the University of Virginia, where he founded the largeest academic program of Tibetan Buddhist studies in the West. He lives in Charlottesville, Virgina.
Foreword by Jeffrey Hopkins
1. My Outlook
2. Stages of Development
3. Basic Purity of the Mind
4. Foundational Step: Viewing Friend and Foe
5. The First Step: Recognizing Friends
6. The Second Step: Appreciating Kindness
7. The Third Step: Returning Kindness
8. The Fourth Step: Learning To Love
9. The Difference Between Love and Attachment
10. Love as the Basis of Human Rights
11. Widening the Circle of Love
12. The Fifth Step: The Power of Compassion
13. The Sixth Step: Total Commitment
14. The Seventh Step: Seeking Altruistic Enlightenment
15. The Enormous Power of Altruism
16. Acting With Love