The book that really touched my heart was The New Heart of Wisdom. I bought the audio book from my local Kadampa Meditation Centre in Sydney. I put the CDs in my car and it was playing all the time when I was driving around. At the time I was teaching at the University of Sydney. I had this class that was so rowdy. I would facilitate these tutorials and there were about 40 people, including quite a few people who didn’t really want to be there. They would arrive late and spend the whole time cracking jokes and I found that quite difficult to deal with.
I was listening to that CD in the car, the section on the first profundity on the aggregate of form. I was analysing things around me; to see how they exist. There was this big tree and I was looking at this tree and analysing it based on the instructions in that section and I realised that the tree depended completely on my own mind. It was quite shocking for me; at that time I was like wow this is nuts! I looked at the other things around me I was thinking oh my god everything is like that, how am I going to teach this class if it depends on my own mind?
Then I thought: but Geshe-la he knows this obviously much better than me, and he teaches and cherishes others the whole time with this knowledge. So I went to class and everything was so much lighter, so much more space in my mind. And I remember not feeling bothered when people turned up late or weren’t that interested. It was something that stayed with me throughout the semester, which was my first semester teaching. I still had this book in the car going over and over and it seemed as my mind got calmer, and my world became a little bit less solid, and I understood a little bit better the role of my mind in creating that world. And then also that class got calmer!
I remember someone saying to me at the end of the semester, ‘I am going to miss having you as a teacher because you are always so calm and you never get angry’ and I laughed because I thought that’s not me, because it had not been me historically. I realized that was the impact that this book had on me as a person and that has made me into the teacher that I wanted to be.
So that’s my story of how The New Heart of Wisdom is the book that touched my heart.