Author(s): Tulku Thondup
A new, four-stage approach to the popular Buddhist practice known as loving-kindness meditation, with the aim of finding unconditional love in our own hearts, in our relationships, and in our perception of the world around us. The unconditional love that we all long for--in our own lives and in the world around us--can be awakened effectively with this unique approach to the Tibetan Buddhist practice of loving-kindness meditation. Tulku Thondup gives detailed guidance for meditation, prayers, and visualization in four simple stages that can be practiced in as little as thirty minutes a session. The four-stage format is a brand-new approach being presented for the first time in English, distilled from the author's lifelong study and practice of authentic, traditional teachings. What if we could experience not only our own body, mind, and heart as a boundless source of loving-kindness, but every particle of the world around us as a beautiful realm filled with the blessing energies of the Buddhas and their celestial abodes? The whole environment would become a miraculous display of unconditional love, wisdom, and power, accompanied by the sweet music of holy prayers and inspirational teachings. This is not just a dream or a fantasy but an effective meditation practice that can bring relief from stress, healing to mind and body, healthier relationships, and a positive new outlook on the world around you. Loving-kindness meditations are a highly effective way to generate positive causation, bring true peace and love into our lives, and release ourselves from habitual suffering. When we train ourselves to desire the happiness and well-being of others, with the unconditional love of a mother who cares wholeheartedly for her little ones, we find our whole world pervaded by the positive qualities of joy, peace, and beauty. The training can be compared to sunbathing. As our body absorbs the sun's heat, it becomes warm and gradually emanates that warmth into our surroundings. In the same way, through devotion and trust in the Buddha of Loving-Kindness, we immerse our mind in his unconditional love, which we then radiate to those around us. "The Heart of Unconditional Love" presents this meditation in a new, four-stage format distilled from the author's lifelong study and practice of authentic, traditional teachings. The meditation can be practiced in as little as thirty minutes a session: - In the Outer Buddha Stage, we open our heart with trust and devotion to the Buddha of Loving-Kindness and enjoy his unconditional love. - In the Inner Buddha Stage, we experience the Buddha's unconditional love within and for ourselves. - In the Universal Buddha Stage, we learn to see, hear, and feel the world around us as a blessed realm of unconditional love. - In the Ultimate Buddha Stage, we rest in the awareness of unconditional love free from conceptual thinking. Designed to be accessible to newcomers as well as experienced meditators, this presentation is a brand-new approach to loving-kindness meditation, being published in English for the first time.
TULKU THONDUP was born in eastern Tibet and moved to India in 1958. He came to the United States in 1980 as a visiting scholar at Harvard University. For the past three decades he has lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, engaging in translation, research, and writing under the auspices of the Buddhayana Foundation. He also travels in North America, Europe, and Asia to give talks on Buddhism and lead meditation workshops.