Virtuous Heart: Twelve Buddhist Stories to Awaken and Inspire

Virtuous Heart: Twelve Buddhist Tales to Awaken and Inspire debuts at #1 on the Amazon charts! Thanks to everyone for your support.


Published July 2019
$19.99 | 88 pgs.

The Three Jewels in One Book

We all know how powerful the three jewels–buddha, dharma, sangha–are. In modern terms, we could call these our teachers, the teachings, and the community. All three have been life-saving tonics in these troubled times. And what a great joy when all three come together in life. 

Fifteen years ago, my dear friend Amanda Giacomini (10,000 Buddhas) told me about her visit to India’s sacred Ajanta caves, and how inspired she was by the animal drawings there. She’d started to paint them, and invited me to collaborate with my own creative offering, retelling the ancient Jataka tales. I was honored to join her, and privileged now to share with you the result: a beautiful book of Buddhist wisdom perfect for reading, sharing and gifting to others. 

Virtuous Heart: Twelve Buddhist Stories to Awaken and Inspire,” offers a beautiful selection of ancient wisdom tales of the Buddha updated for our times. In these stories, Buddha is incarnated as the devoted elephant, the patient ox, the compassionate snake, the sorry sun, and more, to teach humans about devotion, kindness, honesty, loyalty, forgiveness, compassion and self-sacrifice. These beautiful stories appeal to the soft heart within each of us—the virtuous heart that radiates truth, beauty, love, and connection in its care for all beings on this fragile earth.

Praise for Virtuous Heart: Twelve Buddhist Stories to Awaken and Inspire

In this evocative retelling of these classic Buddhist morality tales, each fable starts with the relatable, all- too-human cravings of the villain—a twist that makes all the more touching the transformations wrought by the compassion of the awakened animal teachers. Pairing Leza Lowitz’s deft prose with the delicate brushstrokes of Amanda Giacomini’s illustrations, these stories are tuned to delight seekers of all ages.

Anne Cushman, author of "The Mama Sutra: A Story of Love, Loss, and the Path of Motherhood"

These simple, beautifully written and illustrated folk tales, based on stories from the Pali scriptures, are among some of the oldest recorded stories in the world. If you are not already familiar with them—as I wasn’t—I promise you will find them delightful. While charming in their own right, they also embody everyday wisdom (the Buddha reportedly used them to illustrate his teachings) that will inspire all of us, of any age or spiritual back- ground, to endeavor to become our best selves.

Nina Zolotow, co-author of "Yoga for Healthy Aging: A Guide to Lifelong Well-Being" and Editor-in-Chief of the “Yoga for Healthy Aging” blog

VIRTUOUS HEART will make you remember the wisdom of animals with very human lessons you’ll never forget. So powerful, resonant and needed today!

Jennifer Pastiloff, author of "On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard"