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The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry

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Printed in two colors throughout, this superb collection of poetry chosen from the world's religious and literary traditions is the perfect companion to Mitchell's bestselling Tao Te Ching. Printed in two colors throughout, this superb collection of poetry chosen from the world's religious and literary traditions is the perfect companion to Mitchell's bestselling Tao Te Ching.


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Printed in two colors throughout, this superb collection of poetry chosen from the world's religious and literary traditions is the perfect companion to Mitchell's bestselling Tao Te Ching. Printed in two colors throughout, this superb collection of poetry chosen from the world's religious and literary traditions is the perfect companion to Mitchell's bestselling Tao Te Ching.

30 review for The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kimber

    Contains snippets from mostly longer works--more valuable to read them in their entirety, but a nice introduction to some that are lesser known. So many verses about rain on the day that I read this! Synchronicity!

  2. 4 out of 5

    John McCreery

    Better than the Bible. This is Jesus' textbook. Better than the Bible. This is Jesus' textbook.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    A small collection of poetry and mystical writings that show the universal truth.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Nelson

    "Ten thousand flowers in Spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life." Wu-Men "The man pulling radishes pointed the Way with a radish." -Issa "Ten thousand flowers in Spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life." Wu-Men "The man pulling radishes pointed the Way with a radish." -Issa

  5. 4 out of 5

    Edward Kidder

    Always going back to this one. Good for waiting rooms and as an aid to a search for meaning.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Daven

    Found this in my son Connor's and my favorite old dusty used book/DVD/CD store, The Frugal Muse in Downers Grove, IL . . . It's a gem. I'll likely be carrying this around in my work backpack, etc. permanently. Beautiful and sacred texts transcending many faiths and sets of beliefs, including both obscure and well-known. For example, St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of the Sun" -- wonderful. This copy was originally a gift in its past life: "Ron, Merry Christmas! -- Angela, '89" Sorry to see that Found this in my son Connor's and my favorite old dusty used book/DVD/CD store, The Frugal Muse in Downers Grove, IL . . . It's a gem. I'll likely be carrying this around in my work backpack, etc. permanently. Beautiful and sacred texts transcending many faiths and sets of beliefs, including both obscure and well-known. For example, St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of the Sun" -- wonderful. This copy was originally a gift in its past life: "Ron, Merry Christmas! -- Angela, '89" Sorry to see that Ron gave his copy up, but so happy that it landed with me. Even more meaningful having found it while with Connor, doing one of our favorite things together. Can't say I'm really "finished" reading this - as I've been digging back into it nearly every morning, and will continue to do so.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    "If we attain something, it was there from the beginning of time. If we lose something, it is hiding somewhere near us." - Ryokan Ancient wisdom for the next time you lose your car keys. "If we attain something, it was there from the beginning of time. If we lose something, it is hiding somewhere near us." - Ryokan Ancient wisdom for the next time you lose your car keys.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mckinley

    Lovely poetry; a wide variety of pieces covering the divine/sacred from worldwide sources.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Doherty

    Good way to end a day and begin the month of April- National Poetry Month. Gorgeous writing throughout.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This was a relaxing read between commute or stressful situations. I recommend this book as a gentle escape or meditation on life's beauty and mystery. This was a relaxing read between commute or stressful situations. I recommend this book as a gentle escape or meditation on life's beauty and mystery.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    It’s hard to rate anthologies- I adored some of these poems and others were just okay. But, the collection included enough gems to make it a very worthwhile read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Luke Shuffield

    What a beautiful little collection. There's something here for everyone, whether you're a devout mystic or someone simply interested in existing. What a beautiful little collection. There's something here for everyone, whether you're a devout mystic or someone simply interested in existing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anne Holly

    A quick read, and fairly breezy (for some; those who dwell on each poem may take a while). I selected this as a bit of a palette cleanser after finishing a terrific but rather dense book on Egyptian religion/myth. It was a decent choice, since it was something certainly different. Though I cultivate my spirit, I might be too pragmatic for this collection; though I could recognize the value of the poems collected here, not many of them moved me to any great extent. Still, it was a good review of A quick read, and fairly breezy (for some; those who dwell on each poem may take a while). I selected this as a bit of a palette cleanser after finishing a terrific but rather dense book on Egyptian religion/myth. It was a decent choice, since it was something certainly different. Though I cultivate my spirit, I might be too pragmatic for this collection; though I could recognize the value of the poems collected here, not many of them moved me to any great extent. Still, it was a good review of devotional literature from multiple traditions. The translations were most likely selected for sentiment or readability over accuracy, but if you are merely seeking inspirational reading, this is probably suitable to your needs. The selection was occasionally drab, with even some otherwise great poets I have enjoyed in the past not being exhibited to their best advantage here. I recommend using this as a stepping stone to seek out more work by the individual artists/traditions, either for greater reliability or to find more variety in their works. I am not leaving a rating, as this book is too subjective for me to quantify. Like most works categorized "Inspirational", in the right mood, with the right motivation, this book may work for you; or it may just be a friendly way to spend a few hours. Others may simply find it a bit on the Eat, Pray, Love side, and regret it. Thus, no rating. If this book sounds like your cup of tea, do try it; the most you will be out, aside from whatever it costs to read it, will be a few hours, and at least you can be exposed to a few different forms of devotional poetry (even if it doesn't transform your soul, etc).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    "This collection celebrates the radiance of the enlightened heart as it shine through the world's cultures and religious traditions. Beginning with selections from the earliest sacred masterpieces -- the Upanishads, the Books of Psalms, and the Bhagavad Gita (in new translations by the editor) -- this extraordinary anthology also contains poems by the Taoist and Buddhist masters; Rumi and other Sufi masters; Christian poets such as Francis of Assisi, Dante, and George Herbert; Blake, Whitman, Em "This collection celebrates the radiance of the enlightened heart as it shine through the world's cultures and religious traditions. Beginning with selections from the earliest sacred masterpieces -- the Upanishads, the Books of Psalms, and the Bhagavad Gita (in new translations by the editor) -- this extraordinary anthology also contains poems by the Taoist and Buddhist masters; Rumi and other Sufi masters; Christian poets such as Francis of Assisi, Dante, and George Herbert; Blake, Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Rilke, and other modern poets. Following on Stephen Mitchell's translations of the Tao Te Ching, The Book of Job, and Rilke, ... this unique and inspiring anthology is a further record of the highest points of human experience," ~~front flap I was excited to read this book. I often find inspiration and a deepening of my spiritual life in quotes or writings of many of the saints and masters included in this anthology. Perhaps I was just not in a spiritual place, but nothing in this book touched my heart of my soul. What a disappointment!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fungud

    Stephen never fails to impress me. Maybe he takes liberties?? But, it always comes across as very accessible and human. Only 4 stars because the first half of the book has lead me out of a darkness you ...well, I won't mention here. The second half was lackluster. Overall, if this means anything, I am 'gifting' this well worn copy to someone who pulled me out of a deep pit of despair. I recommend it. As always, results may vary, but I think he did a wonderful job. P.S. have his translation of the Bha Stephen never fails to impress me. Maybe he takes liberties?? But, it always comes across as very accessible and human. Only 4 stars because the first half of the book has lead me out of a darkness you ...well, I won't mention here. The second half was lackluster. Overall, if this means anything, I am 'gifting' this well worn copy to someone who pulled me out of a deep pit of despair. I recommend it. As always, results may vary, but I think he did a wonderful job. P.S. have his translation of the Bhagavad Gita, think that's how I was introduced to him, can't wait to get the others... Have read this many, many times. It gets better with more contemplation. Esp, the Basho and shorter works. Love this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    I have created a new -physical - bookshelf at home and placed on it books I will never "finish" reading. Several are Steven Mitchell collections and translations. These books have exposed me to perspective and awareness, insights and comforts and the long history of human's search for meaning. This book of collected poetry is also a spiritual journey, reflecting many of my personal stops along the way. Here is one of the the most illuminating (for me): RUMI Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and righ I have created a new -physical - bookshelf at home and placed on it books I will never "finish" reading. Several are Steven Mitchell collections and translations. These books have exposed me to perspective and awareness, insights and comforts and the long history of human's search for meaning. This book of collected poetry is also a spiritual journey, reflecting many of my personal stops along the way. Here is one of the the most illuminating (for me): RUMI Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. pg 59

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas Shump

    Both of these anthologies, The Enlightened Heart and the Enlightened Mind, are edited by the scholar, poet, translator, Stephen Mitchell. For those of you interested in poetic and religious ecumenism, I would highly recommend these two works to you. The first is an anthology of world poetry with mostly religious and mystical themes. The second is a related collection of writings from sacred scriptures from nearly all of the major world religions. Both works demonstrate how much we all, as world Both of these anthologies, The Enlightened Heart and the Enlightened Mind, are edited by the scholar, poet, translator, Stephen Mitchell. For those of you interested in poetic and religious ecumenism, I would highly recommend these two works to you. The first is an anthology of world poetry with mostly religious and mystical themes. The second is a related collection of writings from sacred scriptures from nearly all of the major world religions. Both works demonstrate how much we all, as world citizens, share despite our national, cultural, ethnic, or religious differences.

  18. 5 out of 5

    G.

    There are choice poems in here. Blake's "Eternity in an hour"; Whitman's "...It is eternal life... it is happiness."; Chuang-Tzu's "Cutting Up an Ox"; The Bhagavad Gita's "I alone am real, Arjuna..."; Shakespeare's "We are such stuff as dreams are made on..." It goes on. Good collection, and the theme of "the center" as a stand in for "God" or "Enlightenment" is refreshingly plural in this book. There are choice poems in here. Blake's "Eternity in an hour"; Whitman's "...It is eternal life... it is happiness."; Chuang-Tzu's "Cutting Up an Ox"; The Bhagavad Gita's "I alone am real, Arjuna..."; Shakespeare's "We are such stuff as dreams are made on..." It goes on. Good collection, and the theme of "the center" as a stand in for "God" or "Enlightenment" is refreshingly plural in this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ivan Granger

    This is a compact anthology, but a wonderful collection that includes Li Po, Wu-Men, Rumi, Kabir, Mirabai, Rilke… And the added bonus of Stephen Mitchell’s way with words. One of my personal favorites.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mejix

    The first 2/3 of the book were sublime, pure ecstasy. The final 1/3 was not on the same level, it was kind of uneven actually. All in all, it was, I think, the right book at the right time. An unforgettable reading experience.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary Storm

    This is a wonderful book of sacred poetry. Taken from many traditions, it opens our eyes to the universal longing for the sacred. Sadly, I read the ebook edition from Amazon. It was so full of misspellings and typos as to drive me mad. The book deserves 5 stars, the ebook edition deserves 1 star.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    This is an excellent and versatile collection of ancient poetry.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    some of this work is great. some of this work is not so great. it's a good way to get into some good stuff though... some of this work is great. some of this work is not so great. it's a good way to get into some good stuff though...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rah~ri

    compilation of so many beautiful poets. Can't read just one. when I pick this book up my nights fly by. compilation of so many beautiful poets. Can't read just one. when I pick this book up my nights fly by.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I loved every one of Mitchell's prose and poetry selections. I loved every one of Mitchell's prose and poetry selections.

  26. 4 out of 5

    James Byron

    An Anthology of sacred Poetry with personal all time favorites. The book was gift from a friend that keeps giving every-time I pick it up.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    Lots of great works from zen poets, Rilke, Rumi, the Tao, the Bible and more.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sisdr

    I require it in World Lit I

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jes

    in the currently reading queue as a possible source for readings during my wedding.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Wrenn

    I keep on my bedside all the time.

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