Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav
The Present Heart by Polly Young-Eisendrath
Add The Present Heart to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

The Present Heart

Best Seller
The Present Heart by Polly Young-Eisendrath
Hardcover $24.99
Oct 07, 2014 | ISBN 9781609613600

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Oct 07, 2014 | ISBN 9781609613600

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Oct 07, 2014 | ISBN 9781609613617

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


The Present Heart asks the question “present for what?” and the answer is “all of it.” Caring for two ex-husbands with dementia, one of whom has cashed in her lifesavings, Polly Young-Eisendrath tests her training as a Jungian analyst and Buddhist meditator against the hard rocks of reality. Bypassing self-pity altogether, she finds an immense and surprising capacity for loving without delusion and seeing without blame. Unflinching yet hopeful, her story is an inspiring study in courage.” —Kay Larson, author of Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists

“Polly Young Eisendrath’s brilliant new book skillfully blends Buddhist sensibility with depth psychology to illumine the human heart’s deepest longing for love. Besides shining the bright light of these two wisdom traditions on love in all of its mystery, she also makes her own personal path toward love and its loss transparent. Her well-honed craft, self-awareness through love and loss, and profound understanding of human nature make this book useful to all of us engaged in seeking meaning and relationship.” —Grace Schireson, Ph.D., Zen Abbess, Central Valley Zen, author of Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens, and Macho Masters

“Polly Young-Eisendrath illuminates love as a path–not a goal–of self and mutual discovery that goes to the very heart of our nature.” —Barry Magid, author of Ending the Pursuit of Happiness

“This is a book for anyone who has encountered catastrophic change in a relationship. It is a story of love broken open–the unvarnished account of how a well-known psychoanalyst uses her Buddhist path and community of friends to make room in love for every other emotion–and to thrive again. THE PRESENT HEART left me thinking of May Sarton’s observation: “I am lavish with riches made from loss.” —Deborah Anna Luepnitz, Ph.D., author of Schopenhauer’s Porcupines

“Polly Young-Eisendrath’s wise, exquisite, heart-opening book will renew your faith in the power of love as a transformative gift and a path of personal awakening. Informed by decades of analytical practice and spiritual inquiry, this intimate story of one woman’s journey through love and loss–and what lies between–deserves a place on your bookshelf next to Elegy for Iris, A Three Dog Life, and About Alice. Read this book!” —Mark Matousek, author of Sex Death Enlightenment and When You’re Falling, Dive

“In this provocative and daring memoir, Polly Young-Eisendrath has mined her inner landscape more than most people will ever even dream. Her digging yields surprising gems that will be precious to anyone interested in transforming hardship into wisdom–and even joy.” —Jaimal Yogis, author of Saltwater Buddha and The Fear Project

“I have rarely seen love articulated so clearly and honestly. What Polly shares with readers will be of inestimable value to everyone in a loving relationship. Such an untrammeled and open-hearted account of love’s journey is a gift to us all.” —Toinette Lippe, author of Nothing Left Over: A Plain and Simple Life and Caught in the Act: Reflections on Being, Knowing, and Doing

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates from Polly Young-Eisendrath
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top