Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism

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$22.95  $21.34
North Atlantic Books
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.9 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Married couple Kittisaro and Thanissara are the founders of Dharmagiri Hermitage in South Africa, from where they support several HIV/AIDS Outreach Programs and help guide and fundraise for Kulungile Care Center for orphaned and vulnerable children and teenagers. They have taught meditation internationally in Europe, the U.S., Canada, South Africa, and Israel for over 25 years.

Kittisaro (Harry Randolph Weinberg) grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he was valedictorian at Baylor School and winner of the National Prep Tournament before graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton and becoming a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. In 1976, he ordained with Ajahn Chah in Thailand and during his fifteen years as a Buddhist monk he helped found Chithurst Monastery and Devon Vihara in the U.K., teaching extensively throughout this time.

Thanissara grew up in an extended Anglo-Irish family in London, attending Southampton College of Art and traveling extensively in Asia in the 1970s. Also inspired by Ajahn Chah, she spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun in Thailand. She holds an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from Middlesex University and the Karuna Institute in the U.K. and cofacilitates the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California.


"Listening to the Heart takes us on a liberating journey. Kittisaro and Thanissara inspire us with their personal stories of struggle and insight and share their deeply lived understanding of the Buddha's teaching. A beautiful book."
--Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness

"Genuine and insightful, Listening to the Heart is both a memoir and a clear guide to authentic practice. Kittisaro and Thanissara unfold the layers of their experience to share their understanding, from deep inner processes to vital social and relational aspects of living a good life."
--Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

"From Oxford to Thailand to South Africa, from monastery to frontline work in the crying heart of Zulu country, Thanissara and Kittisaro share their amazing journey. Written with honesty, courage, and deep wisdom, Listening to the Heart shows how to free the mind and open the heart. Even more, the deep caring and love that permeate the pages inspire the reader to want to make a difference in the world--and the book provides the map to do it. Highly recommended."
--James Baraz, cofounder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and coauthor of Awakening Joy

"This is a wonderful and profound book, deeply researched, written with illuminated elegance; it challenges us all both to deepen our sacred practice and to act for compassion in the world."
--Andrew Harvey, founder of the Institute for Sacred Activism and author of The Hope

"This book is luminous in clarity and depth. Let these teachings turn you toward the jewel of your own awakening heart."
--Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

"True spirituality is like a diamond with many facets: it has the facets of love, compassion, wisdom, courage, responsibility, devotion, and ethics. Thanissara and Kittisaro have done a superb job illuminating all of them."
--Anam Thubten, author of The Magic of Awareness, and founder of the Dharmata Foundation

"Thanissara and Kittisaro are the embodiment of Buddhist wisdom. Their teachings are clear, simple, elegant, and profound. They have a way of cutting through jargon and reaching to truth without resorting to dogma. We are blessed to have two such teachers among us."
--Satish Kumar, editor in chief of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine

"I'm not sure there is anyone who can strip away our naive illusions about the spiritual life as deftly and elegantly as Thanissara and Kittisaro. As we witness their sacred pilgrimage unfolding, we are awakened to the timeless noble truths of our precious human condition and set free."
--Sharda Rogell, teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and author of Pressing Out Pure Honey