When His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited New York in August 1999, over 50 000 people flocked to hear him speak in Central Park. For over two hours these New Yorkers, a group of people noted more for their cynicism and indifference than their devout spirituality, listened in rapt silence. It was one of two public appearances by the Dalai Lama, which encompassed the whole of Buddhist practice, delineating the path to be followed in the pursuit of enlightenment. The Dalai Lama s commentary in An Open Heart provides profound and practical guidance on how to develop qualities of compassion and loving kindness, as well as generosity, patience, perseverance, concentration and wisdom, in striving towards the ultimate goal, the state of Buddhahood.
The book has been edited by Nicholas Vreeland, a Buddhist monk who now directs New York s Tibet Centre, co-sponsor of the Dalai Lama s visit. It features approximately 40 photographs, from the Dalai Lama s descent to the tarmac at Kennedy and greeting from host Richard Gere, to his bowing before Central Park s huge crowd. With the enormous success of The Art of Happiness and Ethics for the New Millennium, both New York Times bestsellers, this more conventionally Buddhist book by the Dalai Lama will serve the public s growing interest in the profound wisdom he embodies.