A Spirituality & Practice "Best Spiritual Books of 2010" winner.
First Invite Love In is a beautiful collection of exercises inspired by the ancient meditative arts of Tibetan Buddhism. Tana Pesso and the Penor Rinpoche work together to create a guidebook for anyone who would like to live more compassionately, wisely, and with an open and inviting heart.
Moment by moment, thought by thought, step by step we can transform our minds through time-tested compassion practices, and ultimately create a garden of delight out of any life history or current circumstance, regardless of how traumatic or difficult. There are countless examples of people from all spiritual paths, faiths, and religions who have experienced terrible hardships or even themselves created hardships and suffering for others, who have turned their minds towards love and compassion and found peace and happiness.
Those who read and, more importantly, try out the compassion exercises as outlined by Pesso and her teacher, the late Nyingma Buddhist leader Rinpoche, may find a marked increase in empathy and good will. Most of the practices are inner visualizations which involve bestowing possessions to others, acknowledging the pain of people and animals, or picturing strangers as nurturing mothers in a past life. The authors emphasize that a belief in reincarnation isn't a prerequisite; these are simply thought exercises aimed at expanding the heart. Building on the compassionate inner meditations are chapters that apply the practices to strangers encountered in daily life. These are very simple gestures limited to a friendly smile or, at the most, some kind words. Prior to undertaking each of the 40 exercises readers are instructed to "first invite love in," an elegant opening sequence which involves identifying and accessing a spiritual support figure. Many of the meditations are quite similar, the authors' intention being to grow compassion gradually and systematically. This careful repetition may instead cause skipping around to find a particular exercise.