Nominated for “Best Spiritual Book of the Year: Advance Pick for 2003”
Spirituality & Health, May 2003

“Through the power of personal experience, Cynthia Kneen clearly radiates the awakening quality of the Shambhala Buddhist teachings.”
—Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, author of Turning the Mind into an Ally

“These teachings on how to live with dignity, kindness, and a sense of celebration may be the antidote we need to the depression and aggressiveness of this age.”
—Melvin McLeod, editor-in-chief of the Shambhala Sun

“This troubling world is in great need of many more open-hearted, compassionate people who can honor and defend human goodness. Cynthia's book is a pure gift in service to this need. I personally benefited enormously from reading it, and as I read it, I could feel how many hearts and minds will be awakened to service by this gracious and wise gift.”
—Margaret J. Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World and Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future

“Cynthia Kneen’s Awake Mind, Open Heart reveals a well articulated understanding of the newly emerging Shambhala teachings as taught by the late Trungpa Rinpoche. Kneen’s book clarifies this tradition, which is at once fresh and ancient, modern and traditional, articulating a practical process of moving from confusion and toward an awake and courageous way of being in the world.”
—Tsultrim Allione, author of Women of Wisdom and founder of Tara Mandala

“An inspiring synthesis of teaching and practice. Ms. Kneen’s use of situations in which we may apply the teachings make the practice real; yet it is her compassion, her gentle humor and acknowledgment of the human condition that shine through. This is a wise and eloquent work. Since reading Awake Mind, Open Heart, my practice has clearly deepened. What more can one ask?”
—Douglas Cooper, M.D. author of Doctors are Dangerous

“Cynthia Kneen has written an important book about living our daily lives with courage, compassion, and dignity. Filled with personal anecdotes from her own life and imbued with uncommon openness and clarity, Awake Mind, Open Heart invites us to view our world with fresh eyes. Kneen writes with great heart and passion.”
—John S. Bennett, executive director of The Garrison Institute, former mayor of Aspen, Colorado

“These lessons are not designed for ascetic living in remote mountain caves, but rather they are for those of us who have to face the daily challenges of living in the modern world. Under Kneen’s tutelage, every event in life becomes an opportunity to discover one’s genuine, human dignity. Kneen’s clear explanation of these ancient principles helps the reader to confidently face the challenges of their personal, business, and spiritual lives.”
—Lloyd Sargeant, executive vice president of Full Spectrum Lending/Countrywide Inc.

Awake Mind, Open Heart is a brilliant, compelling, and inspiring description of the journey toward courage and dignity. To read it is to take the journey.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience and Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

“So many walk this earth missing the fullness and richness of this great adventure we call life. Cynthia Kneen awakens the mind, opens the heart, and touches the soul. It is a must read.”
—Barbara Grogan, CEO of Western Industrial Contractors, former chairman of Federal Reserve Bank, Kansas City/Denver Branch

“Cynthia Kneen's book is an extraordinarily clear, artful, and elegant presentation of the Shambhala teachings. In prose that is at once plainspoken and profound, she opens our sight, touches our hearts, and shows the way to a genuinely transformed life. For an understanding of Shambhala, there is no better or more accessible place to begin than here.”
—Reginald A. Ray, professor at Naropa University, teacher in Residence at the Shambhala Mountain Center, and author of Indestructible Truth and Secret of the Vajra World

“Cynthia Kneen is a feminine warrior, a meditation teacher, a Westerner who has opened for me new vistas of the East. Cynthia Kneen reminds me of a verse by Mary Oliver, because she ‘is as common as a field daisy, and as singular.’ And by reading her book I’ve discovered that so am I.”
—Fred Kofman, CEO Leading Learning Communities, author of Conscious Business

“Cynthia Kneen presents a heartfelt expression of walking the path of practice. As dharma is planted in the West, newer students can be encouraged by such examples of taking the ancient wisdom traditions to heart. Transformation is not only possible, but much needed in this world. Cynthia has provided a gateway to this journey.”
—Venerable Khandro Rinpoche

“In Awake Mind, Open Heart, Ms. Kneen skillfully introduces the vision and methodology of the Shambhala path … first introduced in North America by the renowned Buddhist meditation teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Cynthia, a close student of Trungpa Rinpoche, demonstrates how we can apply these profound teachings in the most ordinary activities of our daily lives, in both difficult and favorable circumstances.”
—Judy Lief, author of Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality

“Cynthia Kneen has always been a teacher for me. I met her first in the late 1980s …. Cynthia’s composure, elegance, and wordliness impressed me immediately; but there was something more. One had the feeling that here was someone who had done real work, here was someone who had looked straight at herself, worked on what she saw, and accepted herself in an uncompromising way. I think you will feel this directly as you read through these stories.”
—David Schneider, author of Street Zen, from the Foreword to Awake Mind, Open Heart

“This is the most accessible, clear-headed, plainspoken introduction to an Eastern wisdom tradition I have ever read, and that’s an enormous accomplishment. She has an incredible gift for opening up these teachings, making them available to readers not immersed in the tradition—yet not cheapening them one bit. I’m delighted and excited to be publishing this. She is the real thing.”
—Matthew Lore, publisher of Awake Mind, Open Heart, personal communication

“Cynthia Kneen has blown my mind. I had no idea anyone could transmit the wisdom of the ages so simply and elegantly, without a trace of self-congratulation or ownership. Her writing is like the rain. It just comes down and touches us, and replenishes the well. I cannot speak highly enough about this book.”
—Amazon.com customer review, Roger Tucker

“…Ms Kneen wonderfully sets forth the image of the Shambhala warrior, Buddhist yet imbued with that proactive spirit that distinguishes itself from the admittedly stereotypic image of the monk in the cave or even the layperson going about their daily Buddhist business. Ms Kneen’s writing possesses the intellectual clarity found in academic treatises with the ecstasy and compassion found in art and poetry. The discussion of mindfulness-awareness in particular, a concept that continues to confuse and lose me, is the best I’ve read.”
—Amazon.com customer review, Doug Cooper

“If books are ‘food for the mind’, this is not MacDonalds. It is a five-course Cordon Blue feast! Cynthia Kneen has a clear mastery of the topics of Buddhism and Shambhala. More importantly, she has translated this knowledge into insight and tools that can help passersby to implement these teachings and improve our approach to problems in everyday life.”
—Amazon.com customer review, Marcus and Amanda Brady

“…By all means, take a long, hard look at Shambhala as a way of developing gentleness and tenderness in your heart. Think what a world we would have if these warriors were leading the way!”
—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, book review, Spirituality & Health Magazine