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Training In Tenderness: Buddhist teachings on Tsewa, the radical openness of heart that can change the world
A little guide to cultivating tsewa: the loving warmth of heart from which the awakened mind arises—from the popular Buddhist teacher and author of The Intelligent Heart.
The Tibetan term tsewa is difficult to define, but it can be translated, according to Dzigar Kongtrul, as "an open heart, a tender heart, or a warm energy that we express and receive in relation to others, especially those closest to us." This is his compact guide to developing this wonderful quality in yourself—it's a quality that leads not only to a transformation in our attitude toward ourselves and those around us, but that we can actually use to heal the world. According to Buddhist teaching, tsewa is, along with the perception of nonduality, one of the two elements of the heart-mind of enlightenment known as bodhicitta. Learning tsewa can be challenging, Rinpoche teaches, but if we want to be truly happy, there's no alternative, for tsewa is the purest and deepest form of happiness. The other kinds of happiness that we seek are more superficial. They don't mean much if we lack the joy of an open heart. The good news is that we all have the capacity for it, and it's a habit that can be cultivated.
DZIGAR KONGTR L RINPOCHE is a tulku in the lineage of Jamgon Kongtrul who's known for being particularly adept at making the Tibetan Buddhist teachings speak to us Westerners. He's also an abstract expressionist painter. He's the author of It's Up to You, Light Comes Through, The Intelligent Heart, and of the forthcoming, untitled commentary on the "Patience" chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara.