The Magnanimous Heart
Compassion and Love, Loss and Grief, Joy and Liberation
By Narayan Helen Liebenson
Book Club Dates: Thursdays, May 6, 13, and 20, at 7 PM ET.
May 6: Compassion and Love
May 13: Loss and Grief
May 20: Joy and Liberation—a conversation with Matthew Hepburn
About the Book
The magnanimous heart is a heart of balance and buoyancy, of generosity and inclusivity. It allows us to approach each moment exactly as it is, in a fresh and alive way free from agendas and shoulds, receiving all that arises. It has the capacity to hold anything and everything, transforming even vulnerability and grief into workable assets.
In writing evocative of Pema Chödrön’s, Narayan Liebenson shows us exactly how it is possible to turn the sting and anguish of loss into a path of liberation, moving from the “constant squeeze” of suffering to a direct experience of enoughness—the deep joy, peace, and happiness within our own hearts that exists beyond mere circumstances. She teaches how to skillfully respond to painful human emotions, and teaches the art of meditative inquiry, questioning wisely—showing us how to live from a compassionate love that guides our lives and warms whatever it shines upon.
With metta and compassion as companions and allies, we discover how our own magnanimous hearts can gently allow the inner knots to untie themselves.
Narayan Helen Liebenson is a Guiding Teacher at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has been teaching there since its inception in 1985. Narayan is also a Guiding Teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass., where she offers residential retreats. She leads retreats as well in other parts of the country and world, including Cuba.
Her training over the past 40 years includes study in the US and in Asia with meditation masters in the Theravada, Zen, and Tibetan traditions. She was a student of the late Chan Master, Master Sheng Yen for over 10 years. Asked by Master Sheng Yen to teach, Narayan decided to integrate her understanding into her already existing Vipassana lineage.
At CIMC, Narayan teaches meditation classes for beginners and senior students. She offers non-residential retreats, and workshops on a variety of meditative topics. Narayan also provides spiritual guidance to individual practitioners. She guides the policies at the Center and cares for the spiritual health of its participants. Narayan is a minister and conducts marriages and bereavement ceremonies for members of the center.
Matthew Hepburn caught fire with the Dharma through retreat practice in his early twenties. He began offering vipassana instruction in 2012 at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, where he is continually inspired by the deep Dharma of daily living. He is a participant in the 2017-2021 IMS Teacher Training Program.
About the IMS Book Club
Each month, the IMS Book Club brings together authors and readers for a facilitated discussion on the featured dharma-book-of-the-month. Our book club offers participants a deeper experience and engagement with early Buddhist teachings and practice through the lens of the selected book.
- The IMS Book Club is entirely free of charge.
- All Book Club meetings will be held online via Union and Zoom.
- Each monthly Book Club event will feature a new book and three group discussions, including at least one session with the author.
- Featured authors will lead at least one of the three group discussions. If the author/teacher does not participate in all three sessions, a trainee in IMS’s Teacher Training Program will moderate those discussions in place of the author.
- Beyond these basic guidelines, authors will be able to tailor their book club meetings as they see fit, so the structure of book club gatherings may vary from month to month.
Want to Join?
Step one: register for The Magnanimous Heart’s three book club meetings here.
Step two: join the IMS Book Club here,if you haven’t already. This registers you for our monthly newsletter which announces new programs and allows you to sign up for the book-of-the-month discussions that interest you.
Step three: order your copy of The Magnanimous Hearthere. Although there is no charge to join the book club, participants will need to secure their own copies of the books prior to the start of the monthly discussion group.
A note on dana (generosity)
One of IMS’s deepest aspirations is to share the Buddha’s teachings with all who are interested, regardless of their ability to pay. We count on your generous support to operate our centers, to provide affordable rates and to give financial assistance to retreatants. Whenever you are inspired to offer a donation, you join a community directly engaged in alleviating suffering and bringing greater wisdom and compassion to the world. (Click here to learn more about the dana practice.)