An experiential guide for exploring the convergence of psychological healing and spiritual awakening that happens most clearly and powerfully in the depths of the heart
“The Deep Heartis what I call a living book, that rare gem of a book that is alive with the presence of its author . . . A book like this should befeltandexperiencedas much as it should be read.”—Adyashanti
The great human quest is to discover who we really are—a discovery that changes our lives and the lives of those around us. WithThe Deep Heart, spiritual teacher and psychotherapist Dr. John J. Prendergast invites us on a pilgrimage within, using the heart as a portal to our deepest psychological and spiritual nature.
The “deep heart” is Prendergast’s term for our heart center—a subtle center of emotional and energetic sensitivity, relational intimacy, profound inner knowing, and unconditional love. “The heart area is where we feel most deeply touched by kindness, gratitude, and appreciation, yet it is also where we feel most emotionally wounded,” writes Prendergast. “Whether we realize it or not, the heart is what we most carefully guard and most want to open.”
ThroughoutThe Deep Heart,Prendergast expertly combines the boundaried wisdom of psychotherapy with a spacious, embodied path to liberation, bringing attention to both the joys and pitfalls of each approach with the compassion of a friend who’s walked the path for decades.
In this experiential guide, Prendergast invites you to tune into your inherent wisdom, love, and wholeness as you journey into the deep heart. Through precise and potent meditative inquiries, insightful stories, and reflections drawn from Prendergast’s intimate work with students and clients, you’ll begin to open your heart, see through your core limiting beliefs, and discover the true nature of your being.
“Prendergast lays out a strategy…to make 'a spiritual pilgrimage from the head to the heart’ and escape the ego’s endless 'agenda for self-improvement' in this inviting inquiry. Readers...will appreciate (his) enthusiastic take on deconstructing self-imposed limitations.” —Publishers Weekly
“The Deep Heart is an invitation to discover our sacred calling and unveil the core of our very being. Tapping into our natural curiosity and wisdom, John Prendergast guides us on a transformational journey from head to heart—and to the full and pure essence of love.” —Tara Brach, PhD, author ofRadical Acceptance
“With tender clarity, John Prendergast draws us deeper on every page. A master teacher and beautiful writer, he lays out a clear path to our true home, and then walks it with us with practical heartfelt suggestions. This book is profound, powerful, and true. What a gem.” —Rick Hanson, PhD, author ofBuddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and WisdomandHardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence
“The Deep Heart is a beautifully written and masterful guidebook that eloquently shows us how to recognize and embody our essential wholeness in everyday life. Both profound and practical, this seminal work reveals the road we all must travel to embody our potential as fully alive and authentic human beings. A must-read!” —Richard Miller, PhD, author of The iRest Program for Healing PTSD: A Proven-Effective Approach to Using Yoga Nidra Meditation and Deep Relaxation Techniques to Overcome Trauma; iRest Meditation: Restorative Practices for Health, Resiliency, and Well-Being; andYoga Nidra: A Meditative Practice for Deep Relaxation and Healing
“The Deep Heart is a beautiful, wise, and practical guide to opening to our true nature, guiding us toward waking up, as well as down and in. Integrating and distilling wisdom teachings and his own insights and inner explorations, John Prendergast has translated complex information into a clear, accessible, and contemporary form. The meditations and inquiries are wonderful invitations to explore the depths of the heart for ourselves. I highly recommendThe Deep Heart for anyone who wishes to embody their true nature as loving awareness.” —Laurel Parnell, PhD,author ofRewiring the Addicted Brain with EMDR-Based TreatmentandAttachment-Focused EMDR: Healing Relational Trauma
“If, as you read this exquisite book, you feel into the depths from which the author writes, you will find yourself drawn into your own depths from which healing and wisdom arise.” —Roger Walsh, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology, University of California at Irvine, author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind
“The Deep Heart leads us on a journey of awakening from head to heart, where it becomes safe for the heart to freely shine. This book is a deep dive into the heart of who we really are. John Prendergast offers us beautiful words and unique forms of meditative inquiry, so that we can directly experience the deep heart, which is so needed in our world today.” —Loch Kelly, MDiv, LCSW, author ofThe Way of Effortless Mindfulness
“This is a wise, inspiring, beautifully written book. It points to our true nature, and to the love, compassion and acceptance that naturally arise in us when we experience who we really are. The deep love that motivated the writing is present on every page and has the gentle power to deepen and open the heart of the reader.” —Judith Blackstone, PhD, author ofBelonging Here,Trauma and the Unbound Body, andThe Enlightenment Process
“A book of great wisdom and heart from an authentic and experienced teacher of Presence. John’s wise, loving, and deeply insightful words about meeting our raw experience with honesty, courage, and grace will be of immense benefit to people all over the world.” —Jeff Foster,author ofThe Way of Rest andThe Joy of True Meditation
“The Deep Heart carries the taste and flavor of an author who has himself spent a lifetime immersed in the deep heart where soul and spirit meet. This book is a truly elegant and practical road map that seamlessly weaves soul work into the timeless wisdom of spiritual practice.” —Roger Housden, author of the Ten Poems series, andDropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have
“The spiritual journey does not end with awakening to the Infinite, but begins a life lived more and more consciously from the loving and immanent Presence that has awakened itself within. Writing with exquisite clarity and compassion, John Prendergast explores these two dimensions of the awakening process in his newest book,The Deep Heart. His intimate knowledge of the human psyche through his many years functioning as a gifted psychotherapist and educator deeply informs his work and writing as a spiritual teacher.”
“John writes from authentic experience of both the challenges of being a conditioned human being and the freedom of simplyBeing. Through numerous guided meditations and exercises, he invites the reader to deeply inquire into the truth of experience, and to allow the wounded heart to be touched and transformed by the Deep Heart that is undivided and whole. John approaches with great sensitivity the human experience through the single Eye that sees the inseparability of the Heart of Awareness and its expressions as life itself.” —Dorothy Hunt, spiritual director of Moon Mountain Sangha and author ofEnding the Search: From Spiritual Ambition to the Heart of Awareness
“Psychotherapist and spiritual teacher John Prendergast has devoted his life to exploring the intersection and intermingling—indeed, the inherent inseparability—of the psychological and spiritual dimensions of being. In this profound, practical, and potentially life-changing meditation on the Heart in all its subtlety and complexity, he guides us on the journey home to our essential nature, with meditations and inquiry that lead us into and through our trauma and pain to our deepest inner knowing. If you read only one book on the spiritual journey this year, let it be this one!” —Stephan Bodian, psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author ofWake Up Now andBeyond Mindfulness
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