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Endorsements for From Mindfulness to Heartfulness

From Mindfulness to Heartfulness is a rare gem -- beautifully written, deeply engaging and filled with valuable and authentic teachings about practical and spiritual paths toward balance and understanding.  As Murphy-Shigematsu embraces his vulnerability, he opens up to and reflects upon his life stories, and that can inspire us to do the same -- encouraging us toward knowledge and understanding.  Just what is needed to bring the increasingly popular mindfulness approach back to its reality core -- the blending of heartfulness with mindfulness.


Richard Katz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, First Nations University of Canada; author: Indigenous Healing Psychology


Through tender teaching-stories and an insightful narrative, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu shows us the ways we can weave together mindfulness and compassion into what he terms “heartfulness.” As master educator, he leads us through the stages of heartfulness from vulnerability and connectedness to acceptance and gratitude. This is an important book. I “heartfully” recommend it to all who want to join their own personal journey of self-discovery to selfless service and the care for others.


Arthur Zajonc, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Amherst College. Former president of Mind and Life Institute

This book has the potential for radical change in the way we live together, and I loved reading it! Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu takes us beyond mindfulness as it is often currently taught—as an instrument for cognitive changes like focus, attention or stress relief—to the truths of the gentle, appreciative, nurturing heart.  He shows us through stories and practices how to expand our contemplative lives from being self-focused to being inclusive, connected, compassionate, and responsible. Immense heartfulness shines through every story he tells, drawing on experiences from teaching children and college students to being with his dying grandmother to his own biracial childhood.  Each story is a jewel, opening the heart.  He connects heartfulness to social justice, leadership, and education and offers simple, direct instructions for seven heartful practices.


Mirabai Bush, Senior Fellow, Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Author, Compassion in Action (with Ram Dass) and Contemplative Practices in Higher Education (with Daniel Barbezat)


Shigematsu is a master of storytelling. By artfully weaving together personal threads of his bicultural upbringing with accessible spiritual practices informed by Buddhism and modern psychotherapy, Shigematsu becomes our friend and sherpa, guiding us to reaching our highest human potential. Heartfulness is a life-changing philosophy of life, intended to heal not only individuals but communities at large. Reading this book will make you a better person.


Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, hospice worker and co-author (with Anabel Stenzel) of The Power of Two.

This powerful book is full of love and intimate wisdom.  Full of rich stories and deep guidance, it is also a map of the human heart and the best in all of us.


Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, Upaya Institute and Zen Center


Resonant with Stephen's kindness, heartfulness and wisdom and filled with excellent exercises and practical guides, this lovely volume will be a friend and guide to all those intent on creating and sustaining thriving lives, workplaces, relationships and communities.


Dan Barbezat, Professor of Economics, Amherst College


A profound and wise book written by a respected colleague and friend...this book humbly reminds us that mindfulness without the heart is lacking and shows the way to live our lives with awareness compassion and responsibility. 

Frederic Luskin PhD, Co-founder, LifeWorks, Stanford University and Author of Forgive for Good


I couldn't put this book down! Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu’s From Mindfulness to Heartfulness is a profound exploration in heartful connection with ourselves and others. Through moving storytelling, Murphy-Shigematsu offers several integral components to cultivating a heartful way of being. Drawing on examples from his college teaching, his many talks to corporations and public audiences, and vulnerable moments from his own life, Murphy-Shigematsu illustrates what this heartful journey might look like—he is in it with us. He models the vulnerability heartfulness calls for, exploring the fraught experience of living a biracial identity in the racial contexts of both the U.S. and Japan. The insights that result offer a model of compassionate transformation that are applicable in a variety of contexts, including social justice, education, health care, corporations, and community work.


This book is accessible, mesmerizing, and practical, offering both deep insights to ponder for days and practical tips to enact right now. It promises to become a classic mindfulness resource.


Beth Berila, Ph.D, RYT-500, Director of the Women's Studies Program, St. Cloud State University


Master Listener, Dr. Murphy-Shigematsu, demonstrates his attunement to the needs of a multi-cultural and stress-filled world by distilling wisdom stories from a range of perspectives to illuminate the holistic dynamics of heartfulness. His intimate stories exemplify how to live with heartfulness. They inspire and empower us to heal through a mindful awareness that plumbs the personally and socially transformative power of heartfulness.


Paula Arai, Ph.D., Harvard University, Author of Women Living Zen and Bringing Zen Home


The focus is not about how you can reduce stress through mindfulness, but a book of teachings that sensitively and carefully show us a valuable way that humans can live good lives.


Roshi Nanrei Yokota, Enkakuji Zen Temple Master


A moving testament and sharing of the lessons learned from the grandmother, the daughter of a samurai, who taught him the art of living with heartfulness.  The book is the  distillation of many years of search for authenticity, making peace with his vulnerabilities, his connectedness with others, and finding his unique purpose in life.  I am deeply moved by his stories of integrating the American and Japanese values and his insights on achieving mindfulness.  The exercises in the book are helpful guide for us to find our own meaning in our lives.


Reiko Homma True, Professor Emerita, Alliant International University


Murphy-Shigematsu, through vivid and insightful storytelling, shows how our connections to our ethnic and cultural heritage, can guide and enrich our search for both enlightenment and social justice. The beautiful stories here bring vivid color to the practice of mindfulness, that may seem like a world of whiteness in which race and culture are dismissed as worldly distractions on the spiritual journey.


Satsuki Ina, Ph.D., filmmaker, psychotherapist, community activist


Dr. Murphy-Shigematsu’s book offers an insightful new perspective on mindfulness to cultivate heartful interconnections instead of just using it for stress reduction. This book is a timely and a much needed intervention/response to corporate mindfulness. Using cultural and personal stories, Dr. Murphy-Shigematsu offers a moving narrative account of cultivating compassionate wisdom by opening our heart to listen to stories in and around our lives. The book is moving, wonderful and heartfelt and an excellent guide to fully engage with our lives with our heart.


Ramaswami Mahalingam, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Wisdom of the heart. Murphy-Shigematsu’s gentle storytelling deftly illustrates a compassionate centering to the mindfulness movement sweeping across the country. In sharing the wisdom of his grandmother, he reminds us that outward-focused love and compassion are the complements to inward-focused peace and clarity. Significantly, this re-centering is developed through stories that are cross-cultural and inter-cultural, illustrating how heartfulness provides compassionate pathways for navigating increasingly diverse societies. A valuable book.


---anthony lising antonio, Associate Professor of Education, Stanford University