With stories from south central LA to the jungles of Peru, A Fierce Heart offers deep and honest reflections on compassion and suffering by one of the country's most powerful mindfulness teachers.
Spring Washam is a founder of the East Bay Meditation Center, the most diverse and accessible meditation center in the United States. In A Fierce Heart, she shares her contemporary, unique interpretation of the Buddha's 2,500-year-old teachings that get to the heart of mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion.
Woven throughout the book are stories from her life, family, and community, along with soulful and unexpected stories of compassion in action from all over the world. The life-saving teachings of this charismatic teacher are universal; her honesty, enthusiasm, and energy are a balm.
About the Author
Spring Washam is a visionary meditation and dharma teacher based in California and South America. She is a founding teacher of the East Bay Meditation Center and a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. She is the founder of Lotus Vine Journeys, blending indigenous healing practices with Buddhist wisdom. She is a healer, facilitator, spiritual activist, and writer, leading workshops, classes, and retreats worldwide. A Fierce Heart is her first book. Learn more at springwasham.com
"Washam brings considerable gifts for conveying her vision of personal change and offers vivid, inspiring testimony to the power of Buddhism (and other wisdom traditions) to help heal suffering." - Publishers Weekly
"I believe A Fierce Heart will be read and loved by millions of earnest seekers. That it will find its way where no book of Buddhist thought in the Western world has gone before: into the homes and hearts of those who have doubted whether the teachings of the Buddha would ever brighten their obscure doors, or open and uplift their challenged souls. A Fierce Heart is a book whose time is an eternal now: sacred help, made beautifully accessible, by the wild and determined spirit of a no-nonsense female teacher, a bodhisattva, brown as Earth, real as oxygen." - Alice Walker, National Book Award-winning author of The Color Purple
"Spring Washam offers us wise medicine through courageous storytelling, transmuting suffering into faith and beauty. A Fierce Heart is earthy, practical, heartfelt, and humanizing. A must read for those of us who want to become more intimate with the gifts that suffering makes possible." - Ruth King, author of Healing Rage and Mindful of Race
“Spring’s personal tale is also universal. Like the most beloved accounts of sages and shamans, ancient lamas and wise mamas, Spring leads us through the trials and revelations of her own life, to show in intimate and personal ways how the mud we are given can give birth to the lotus. . . . Amidst uncertain times, we need strong and inspiring medicine. In A Fierce Heart, you will find this medicine: beautiful teachings and heartfelt stories that can transform your day and change your life.” — from the Foreword by Jack Kornfield, author of No Time Like the Present
“My own personal journey hit a ‘Go Very Fast’ button recently, and I started reading A Fierce Heartright away. It’s powerful and inspiring. I will pass this book on to other librarians and thus into the hands of others in need of a fiercer heart.” — Deborah Dutcher, Youth and Adult Services Librarian, New Hampshire State Library
“With the growing awareness of the many benefits of mindfulness—enhanced emotional well-being, improved concentration, and the reduction of stress and anxiety—more people are turning to meditation. As a long-time meditator, I find myself returning to certain books as part of my daily practice. [A Fierce Heart is one] of my favorites, . . . . accessible to beginners and can also deepen the practice of experienced meditators. . . . [It’s] a welcome addition to the canon of mindfulness texts from a pioneer in bringing mindfulness practices to diverse communities.” — Marti Paschal, OZY.com
“Teachings and stories to awaken us to the calling of our own hearts.” — Andrea Miller, Lion’s Roar
“In A Fierce Heart, Spring Washam includes personal stories, stories from her family/ancestors, and anecdotes from people around the world to express the teachings of the Dharma to the widest audience possible. This book is a nice mixture of stories and practical advice, both with the intention of leading the reader toward mindfulness, wisdom, loving kindness, and compassion.” — Emily Martin, bookriot.com
“I read this gem of a book on a long plane ride, arrived at my destination somewhat changed, and have repeatedly gone back to my highlighted passages for re-reading. It’s both memoir and instructional/inspirational, and while the passages related directly to being a woman of color are insightful, she is clearly just a warm, genuine, and talented teacher and writer.” — Katherine Aaker Salant, medium.com
“This challenging national moment must be met with exactly the kind of ‘fierce heart’ that Spring Washam reveals in this book. If you are someone looking to find ways to merge the voices of social justice work (for real) and mindfulness/meditation practice, then Spring is someone you should know and follow. It is with such gratitude that I continue to read and re-read her book, and it is with earnest love that I recommend it to others.” — Heather Hackman, co-editor, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice
“Spring Washam beautifully illustrates key Buddhist teachings in a way that I find so much more accessible than other, more traditional writings. This is a book for real people who are immersed in the good, the bad, and the ugly of everyday work and life.” — Yali Bair Ruiz, Strategic Planning Consultant