Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation” as Want to Read:
Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,339 ratings  ·  43 reviews
In Seeking the Heart of Wisdom Goldstein and Kornfield present the central teachings and practices of insight meditation in a clear and personal language. The path of insight meditation is a journey of understanding our bodies, our minds, and our lives, of seeing clearly the true nature of experience. The authors guide the reader in developing the openness and compassion ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published March 6th 2001 by Shambhala (first published 1987)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Seeking the Heart of Wisdom, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Seeking the Heart of Wisdom

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,339 ratings  ·  43 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book with many new insights for me. Interesting to read the mixture of two western practitioners. Quotes from all over the place including Christian mystics, Hindu, Islam and of course Buddhist thinkers; really bringing together deep thinking from many traditions.

It is an older book, the foreword is by the Dalai Lama and is date April of 1987. Though it did not seem dated in the least when reading, it could of just as well been written and released this year.

I would recommend thi
Marc Perry
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be a great book for not only beginners, but also seasoned practitioners. I love to go back and re-read bits here and there, gaining new insights each time (even though I know I have read that sentence at least 10 times previously). To me, the messages seem to speak in different ways to different people (or in my case, speak in different ways at different times on the path). This is my most used (and most useful) book on Theravadan Buddhism
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jack Kornfield has the gift of teaching, he is an excellent communicator, he will give you everything you need to know about living mindfully, fully awake, without ever getting bogged down. He speaks on everybody's level but he is also raising us to a higher level so that we can develop ourselves and become the better people we long to be, so that we can have real quality to our life.
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Inspired by Joseph Goldstein's leadership of a silent retreat I attended in St. Louis last summer, I got this book to read slowly, and there is much to take in. It's been 9 months since I began, and it will be re-read. The book is a collaboration between Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, both American Buddhist teachers. In one of the early chapters, this ancient poem is written:

"The world is entangled in a knot.
Who can untangle the tangle.

It is to untangle the tangle that we begin meditation practic
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
As I've read more detailed works about Buddhism over time, the more I grow dissatisfied with it, even to just borrow ideas from. This book will probably be the last, as it is one of the more disappointing books on the subject (mostly because I found a lot of the subject matter disagreeable, especially the section on Karma). It's probably hard to take a bunch of lectures from retreats, where you have a live audience, and condense them into a single coherent book. The book is easy enough to follow ...more
Steve Woods
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Often in embarking on practice of meditation and exploring Buddhist teachings a person can become overwhelmed in the foreign nature of the concepts and the peculiarity of language. This is probably the clearest and most succinct explanation of what it's all about. It encapsulates the purpose of it all and serves as a reinforcement of my own commitment and an assurance that all is well. Inspiring to say the least. Has to be among my top five dealing with the issue.
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Since I started getting really interested in concentration practices earlier this year, I've gotten into the habit of lurking around the Buddhism section of the Redmond Half Price Books, looking for whatever Shambhala Publishing castoffs they might have floating around, and there are generally quite a few. The quality varies, but this one I can recommend without hesitation.

The authors, Goldstein and Kornfield, are two of the most well-known antecedents of the Mindfulness craze in the West, havi
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’ve never been fond of self-help books; most of them seem glib and shallow. And Insight Meditation is clearly something that can only be learned through experience. I’ve toyed with meditation on occasion for years, using it as a stress reliever. But now my interest is growing, and I needed a systematic introduction. The challenge of this kind of book is to write logically about a type of understanding that is not grounded in logic. Paradoxically, this is a self-help book aimed to help the reade ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Comprehensive roundup of different facets of secular Buddhist meditation and a glimpse into some religious facets as well. I loved the simplicity with which abstract and deep concepts are expressed, along with the accompanying exercises where you can test your understanding of the said concept in action. The entire premise of Buddhism is scientific - there is empirical evidence supporting each of the principles and meditation practitioners are instructed to verify each principle via their own ex ...more
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great introduction to Vipassana meditation. It successfully explains the practice in the broader context of Buddhism and its principles, thus clarifying a lot of misunderstandings I had previously. For instance, the question: why even bother with mindfulness? Hint: not only to be Calm, or to get some more Headspace.

What is also great is that there are not much practical meditation tips like most of the modern popular books on the topic. The book is not a page-turner though, especially for the
Phil Calandra
Jul 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Insight Meditation or Vipassana is a complex and elaborate philosophy into the nature of reality. In my opinion, the author has failed to provide a true sense of Vipassana and has failed to present its central tenets in a cogent and systematic manner. A few books that provide a better understanding of Vipassana are "An Ancient Path: Talks On Vipassana" by S.N Goenka, " The Quiet Man" by John Coleman and "Meditation Now: Inner Peace through Inner Wisdom" by S.N. Goenka
Amy Iverson
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Informative and practical

I appreciated the simplicity of the layout, the stories, the information, followed by the practices to help start and enhance the different aspects of my meditation practice.
Chris Duprey
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dharma-books
A truly inspirational dharma book.
Junaid Noor
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A totally new intro to Meditation and Buddhism

I have read a lot about Meditation and Buddhism but this book is the best intro to both. Highly recommended.
Anatta Home
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jun Chen
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'd give this book a seven star if I could. It is a book that I will come back to often.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
He presents some good concepts and outlines a few precepts
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Two of my favorite Buddhist authors make one great book. I find to really "get" Buddhist notions, I must read and re-read and re-read again whatever explains them in my language. Many of my spiritual books remain in my library for that reason. I have not found that I've put their entire wisdom in my heart yet but know that I really want to. So this will go on my shelves to take out again in the future and ingest a little more. Loved this book!
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gave me peace of mind, a lot of insights and covered some important subjects that are normally overlooked but that still play a big role in our lives.
Sep 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I was really impressed by how the initial chapters of this book are structured like a well-organized BarBri lecture: introduction, with basic rules/principles set out; further discussion of basic rules/principles; conclusion and review of basic rules/principles.

I liked the substance of the book as well -- well, actually only part one, which concerns the practice of meditation. Very insightful!
Sep 03, 2007 rated it liked it
This one is intense and interesting if you are interested in meditation. Unfortunately the section about karma and the different levels of existence that you may be born to depending on your state of mind at death just seemed silly but I found the rest of the book worthwhile. (May 13, 2006)
Apr 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
Like many spiritual books, it was pretty esoteric, but the message came through in the end. It is a book that anyone thinking of taking the spiritual path should take. Explanations of karma, Buddhism and meditation are excellent.
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theravada
A comprehensive guide to practicing insight meditation.
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
this book is sort of like a bible to me. It's about insight meditation but has a lot of other really great instruction, quotes, self-actualization info
Christy Hart
Mar 29, 2008 added it
Shelves: finished
Another favorite. I keep it on my nightstand.
Jan 28, 2009 marked it as to-read
May finish this one later...maybe not. I wasn't too impressed.
Hollis Fishelson-holstine
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
This is one I own and I was re-reading it. Each time, I get something new from it
Jean Marie Angelo
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Wonderful read. Important for anyone conducting spirtual practice.
Polly Glowatz
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought this was a very good combination mystery/romance.The interesting twist was the blind therapist and the deaf detective and how that worked. I liked it and it was a fast read...
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mindfulness
Practical, thoughtful- good for beginners and non-beginners.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Dharma Dive Book ...: Part One of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom 3 6 May 19, 2016 06:18PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path
  • A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life
  • The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
  • Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice
  • Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness
  • No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva
  • Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness
  • Nothing Special
  • Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
  • The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
  • It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness
  • Be Here Now
  • Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening
  • Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness
  • Everyday Zen: Love and Work
  • Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
  • The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness
See similar books…
Joseph Goldstein (born 1944) is one of the first American vipassana teachers (Fronsdal, 1998), co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) with Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg, contemporary author of numerous popular books on Buddhism (see publications below), resident guiding teacher at IMS, and leader of retreats worldwide on insight (vipassana) and lovingkindness (metta) meditation.


News & Interviews

Whether it’s magic schools, dystopias, paranormal love stories, or contemporary explorations of important real-life issues, young adult books a...
151 likes · 137 comments
“The willingness to empty ourselves and then seek our true nature is an expression of great and courageous love.” 7 likes
“When we feel anger toward someone, we can consider that he or she is a being just like us, who has faced much suffering in life.” 3 likes
More quotes…