The Lost of Art of Compassion

Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology
Lorane Ladner

A psychologist in private practice and the director of the Buddhist Guhyasamaja Center in Virginia, Lorne Ladner has written a concise book that brings understanding to the Tibetan concept of compassion. In The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology, he has brought his years of Buddhist meditation and mainstream psychology together into a workable formula that seeks to help people become their own therapists and seek their own inner peace, allowing them to then look outward and do good in the world. Using the Buddha's Four Noble Truths, Ladner explains why most people are unhappy and then offers concrete tools to enable folks to get beyond their troubles and see what is really important in their lives.

In his introductory chapters, Ladner lays out the problem and begins to teach about how the practicing Buddhists' view of the world differs from Westerners'. He clearly explains who the Buddha was, what Buddhist practice is, and how it can be helpful to people who normally come to psychotherapists for help. The rest of the book deals with meditation practices that guide the practitioner to discovering the reality about the Four Noble Truths and ways to then bring their newly found compassion to others. Ladner realizes that this process will not be one for the person seeking a quick fix. These practices, however, are ongoing and will benefit the person seeking to discover true happiness and meaning in his or her life. That, he says, comes from being in the present moment and experiencing compassion, not only for others, but for yourself, as well.