"The only way forward is for people to bind themselves closer together than ever before. The glue that will bind us has to be our common tenderness of heart. If we learn how to cultivate tsewa, we can see each other as members of a large, wonderful extended family. With that view, our diversity will only be an advantage, an aid to our individual and collective growth. It will give us more to embrace, more occasions for opening our hearts."
— Dzigar Kongtrul
Dzigar Kongtrul is the founder of Mangala Shri Bhuti, an organization established to foster the practice of the Longchen Nyingtik lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. His previous books include Light Comes Through, It's Up to You, and The Intelligent Heart.
In this accessible little paperback, the author celebrates tsewa as "the most valuable resource human beings possess." He is referring to that "tender, affectionate heart we are all born with." It is not shy and manifests itself as "kindness, compassion, vicarious joy, generosity, tolerance, mental clarity, courage, resilience, unshakable cheerfulness, and in many other internal ways. It also manifests outwardly in our positive actions."
Keeping our hearts open means not being fixated on our own agendas, and trying to live in harmony with the world, with other beings, and with ourselves. For Kongtrul, the tender heart can be seen as a seed and as water, and the fruit of this rich spiritual practice is the well-being and benefit of others. Our constant contact with others enables us to diligently practice removing impediments to tsewa, to deal with the injured heart, and to make good use of discernment in our daily activities. Another useful practice is positive thinking and making the best of anything that happens in our lives.
In the last chapter, Kongtrul asserts that our future will depend on how much we put our trust in the goodness and effectiveness of tsewa. For him it is more than a spiritual practice; it is "a way we can enhance our relations with the world and with each other. It has social, economic, and environmental benefits. It is a way of navigating the world. It is a survival skill."