Review: “The Magnanimous Heart”

We review “The Magnanimous Heart: Compassion & Love, Loss & Grief, Joy & Liberation” by Narayan Helen Liebenson.

Andrea Miller
25 October 2019

The Magnanimous Heart: Compassion & Love, Loss & Grief, Joy & Liberation

By Narayan Helen Liebenson
Wisdom Publications 2019; 224 pp., $17.95 (paper)

Narayan Liebenson’s Buddhist teaching is informed by four decades of training with meditation masters in the Insight, Zen, and Vajrayana traditions. I attended a talk by her several years ago, and my strongest memory is of the calm yet deeply compassionate way she spoke to everyone. That wonderful warmth is apparent in the pages of The Magnanimous Heart, Liebenson’s first book. It was born out of a difficult period in her life. All at once, her marriage fell apart, her father died, and she faced professional uncertainties. Though she grieved heartily, she also realized what an incredible grounding her many years of Buddhist practice had given her and decided to share her insights. The Magnanimous Heart takes us from recognizing the truth of suffering, to practicing with painful emotions, to—finally—experiencing “the nirvana of enoughness.”

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller is the editor of Lion’s Roar magazine. She’s the author of Awakening My Heart: Essays, Articles, and Interviews on the Buddhist Life, as well as the picture book The Day the Buddha Woke Up.