In 1979 Maura O'Halloran left a waitressing job in Boston and traveled to Japan, only to find herself studying Zen at an old temple tucked into a Tokyo backstreet. There, and in the remote countryside of northern Japan, Maura began a compelling journey into the depths of her own heart and mind. Her journals and letters home reveal the gentle humor, compassion, and profound wisdom won only by intense hardship. Insightful and absorbing, Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind offers an unmediated glimpse into her endless commitment to awakening. Published nearly twenty-five years after Maura's tragic death, this commemorative edition includes her previously unpublished letters and unfinished novel, adding new insight and rich detail to what is already one of the most-loved dharma books of all time.
"Some of the most important lessons I've learned about Buddhism haven't come from the Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh. Rather, they came from Maura O'Halloran. [Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind] brought the Buddhist experience into my mind and psyche in a way that no dharma book or doctrine ever had.... For me, Maura's book is a gift, offering guidance and inspiration. Reading about her life, I'm able to reflect more clearly on my own experience, and to glimpse what I do not yet now or understand. While other books have helped me to appreciate the concept of enlightenment, reading Maura's account of her awakening made the possibility of it much more real. I come back PH, EM often. Every time I read it I break down into heaving sobs, unable to finish. To this day, I'm unable to explain why I'm moved so deeply."--Sumi Loundon, editor of Blue Jean Buddha, in Buddhadharma