Mother Theresa. The Dalai Lama. Nelson Mandela. Gandhi. Some admire such figures from afar and think, "How special they are; I could never be like that." But, as John Makransky has learned, the power of real and enduring love lies within every one of us. Awakening Through Love is his guide to finding it.
In Awakening Through Love, he pioneers new ways of making Tibetan meditations of compassion and wisdom accessible to people of all backgrounds and faiths. Drawing from Tibetan teachings of compassion and the Dzogchen teachings of innate wisdom, and using plain, practical instruction, he helps readers uncover the unity of wisdom and love in the very nature of their minds. Then Lama John describes how to actualize those qualities in every aspect of family life, work, service and social action.
John Makransky is a professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College and a teacher in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the co-founder and guiding teacher of the Foundation for Active Compassion, a Buddhist contemplative social service organization. A practitioner of Tibetan meditations of compassion and wisdom for four decades, John has pioneered new ways of making these accessible to people of all backgrounds and faiths.
"Awakening Through Love is a root text in a lineage of applied social intelligence, offering us practical methods for cultivating our capacities for empathy and compassion--not in some remote mountain hermitage, but in the midst of life. John Makransky's wisdom will benefit anyone who yearns to become a more loving human being."
– Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence
"The title here says it all. This very readable book by scholar-practitioner John Makaransky teaches us how to uncover and practice a boundless love and compassion that leads to 'awakening,' or enlightenment. The meditations originate from the Nyingma/Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, which Makransky has studied and practiced for twenty-five years. All the same, Makransky's heartfelt enthusiasm and the concrete methods he offers cross boundaries of spiritual affiliation. From a practical standpoint, Makransky says, any practice that undercuts self-cherishing will bring us closer to the 'pure perception' described in Dzogchen literature. In this sense, meditations on love and compassion are particularly potent, and Makransky promises that they will 'generate tremendous karmic power for progress in spiritual awakening.'"
– Shambhala Sun
"Awakening Through Love: Unveiling Your Deepest Goodness illustrates how people of all backgrounds and faiths can access the Tibetan Buddhist practice of compassion and wisdom. Each chapter includes step-by-step guided meditations. [...Author John] Makransky equally wants to communicate the heart of those traditions to non-Buddhists and ordinary folks, as he does in his latest book release."
– Boston Globe
"Awakening Through Love is an uplifting and joyful reminder of our human potential. As a manual for practice, it wonderfully supports our shift from a contracted self-centeredness to the profound expansiveness of connection with others."
– Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness
"Awakening Through Love presents a message of compassionate wisdom that is greatly needed in today's world. In this book Dr. John Makransky offers readers of all faiths and persuasions a profound guide to experience the deep and limitless love that has inspired and awakened Buddhist practitioners throughout the ages. Being both a learned scholar and an experienced practitioner, Dr. Makransky is well positioned to present the deep meaning of the Buddhist teaching to a contemporary audience. This book is an important contribution to the modern understanding of Buddhism that will serve as an inspiration and a friend for anyone who wishes to experience the great qualities of love, compassion, and wisdom that we all possess as our innermost being."
– Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, author of Medicine and Compassion
"Awakening Through Love is that rare combination of fine Buddhist scholarship and deep meditative understanding. John Makransky has done us all a great service."
– Joseph Goldstein, author of One Dharma
"If 'All you need is love,' what does love need? How can we put love into actual practice, where it really counts and is often the most difficult? Perhaps there are no more important questions than these, and not only our happiness, but our very survival depends upon the answers. That's why John Makransky's book is such a treasure. He's that rare guide that you intuitively trust, leading the way through even the most dark and challenging places. At the end of his book we emerge wiser, lighter, and newly inspired to live the truth of our innermost hearts. Awakening Through Love distills the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism into a practical manual for contemporary life. It's a must-read if you yearn for freedom, peace and healing, not to mention unshakeable joy."
– Raphael Cushnir, author of Setting Your Heart on Fire and The One Thing Holding You Back: How Emotional Connection Breaks All Barriers
"This book is an extended meditation on love, but also so much more. Makransky manages, in simple and straightforward words, to capture the essential insights of the Tibetan tradition, delivering it, as the Tibetan saying goes, 'into the very palm of our hand.' Written from the heart, it is bound to affect the heart of all who read it... Practical, profound and deeply moving."
– Jose Ignacio Cabezon, XIVth Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism, UC Santa Barbara
"John Makransky communicates a deep sense of Tibetan wisdom in an eminently accessible and engaging style. The book itself performs an act of attention, awareness, meditation and therapy. Reading becomes a transformative event. The writing is deft, compassionate and highly compelling."
– Richard Kearney, Charles B. Seelig Professor of Philosophy at Boston College
"A treasure of ambrosia-like wisdom, Awakening Through Love offers profound and clear instructions and meditations for realizing compassionate love, the essence of our pure human heart that awakens the awareness of universal peace and ultimate wisdom."