Archive for the ‘Health and Psychology’ Category

How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers by Toni Bernhard

Book Review by Jennie Spotila

Don’t let the title of How to Be Sick fool you. This book is not about sickness behavior or secondary gain. Author Toni Bernhard describes the spiritual practice of “how to live a life of equanimity and joy despite my physical and energetic limitations.” It might sound impossible. Who can live a joyful life when confined to bed? But Bernhard shows the way with compassion and mastery.

Bernhard understands the suffering and challenges of living with chronic illness, as she has been severely ill with CFS since 2001. Her career as a professor at a prestigious law school ended, along with her ability to participate in almost every other aspect of normal life. Bernhard is housebound – frequently bed-bound – and this suffering set her on the path to find joy within her harsh limitations.

Each chapter of this book addresses an emotional or spiritual challenge of being ill. Bernhard offers simple and practical ways to manage our sorrow, cultivate compassion, communicate clearly with doctors and family, and cope with isolation. While Bernhard’s approach is grounded in her spirituality and is a “Buddhist-Inspired Guide,” one does not need to be a Buddhist or follower of any religion to apply the practices described in this book.

Read it all here.

Read Full Post »

“This book has the power to change how you see yourself and the world. Andrew Olendzki has declassified the radical psychological insights of the Buddha and made them accessible to us all in a series of short, deftly-illuminating essays. It’s a remarkable read for anyone interested in the human condition.”—Christopher K. Germer, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

Both broad and deep, this eye-opening book is one of the best overviews available of the radical psychological teachings that underlie the Buddhist approach to living a life of freedom and peace. Sophisticated without being daunting, brilliantly clear without becoming simplistic, Andrew Olendzki’s writing is filled with rich phrases, remarkable images, and the fruits of decades of careful thought. Grounded in deep scholarship, psychological sophistication, and many years of teaching and personal practice, this much-anticipated collection of essays will appeal to anyone looking to gain a richer understanding of Buddhism’s experiential tools for exploring the inner world.

Unlimiting Mind is a rare treat. Highly recommended. Andrew Olendzki brings a unique and often brilliant perspective to core Buddhist teachings. He enlarges our understanding of basic principles and raises occasionally unsettling questions about familiar assumptions. An excellent introduction to Buddhism as well as an enlightening jolt to experienced practitioners.” —Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace

Andrew Olendzki, Ph.D., was trained in Buddhist Studies at Lancaster University in England, as well as at Harvard and theUniversity of Sri Lanka. The former executive director of the Insight Meditation Society, he is currently the executive director of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Barre, MA. He is editor of the Insight Journal.

Read Full Post »

Mirror of Beryl: A Historical Introduction to Tibetan Medicine.

Composed while its author was the ruler of Tibet, Mirror of Beryl is a detailed account of the origins and history of medicine in Tibet through the end of the seventeenth century. Its author, Desi Sangyé Gyatso (1653-1705), was the heart disciple and political successor of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama and the author of several highly regarded works on Tibetan medicine, including his Blue Beryl commentary on the foundational text of Tibetan medicine, Four Tantras. In the present historical introduction, Sangyé Gyatso traces the sources of influence on Tibetan medicine to classical India, China, Central Asia, and beyond, providing life stories, extensive references to earlier Tibetan works on medicine, and fascinating details about the Tibetan approach to healing. He also provides a commentary on the pratimoksha, bodhisattva, and tantric Buddhist vows. Desi Sangyé Gyatso’s Mirror of Beryl remains today an essential resource for students of medical science in Tibet. Mirror of Beryl is a fascinating and illuminating resource.

“Gavin Kilty is known to readers of The Library of Tibetan Classics as the translator of Khedrup Norsang Gyatso’s study of Kalacakra tantra. The present volume makes another highly significant contribution to our understanding of yet another domain of Tibetan knowledge, namely, the origin and development of the Tibetan health sciences. Desi Sangyé Gyatso, the author of the Mirror of Beryl, was the most powerful man in Central Tibet and had access to the very best library resources. His 1703 work is a tour de force, built as much on what earlier Tibetan scholars had written on the subject as on his immediate knowledge of the field. Gavin Kilty’s translation is as elegant and accurate as his earlier work and is a testimony to his fine understanding of the original Tibetan text. This is a truly wonderful book, one that I and others will no doubt consult with pleasure time and again for years to come.”—Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp, Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Harvard University

Order your copy here.

Read Full Post »

The perfect companion for teachers of all kinds: schoolteachers, after-school teachers, counselors, professors, religious educators, coaches, parents—anyone who teaches anything.

Mindfulness has gone mainstream, and author Deborah Schoeberlein pioneers its practical application in education. By showing teachers how to tune into what’s happening, inside and around them, she offers fresh, straightforward approaches to training attention and generating caring both in and outside of the classroom. Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness emphasizes how the teacher’s personal familiarity with mindfulness plants the seed for an education infused with attention, awareness, kindness, empathy, compassion, and gratitude. The book follows a teacher from morning to night on a typical school day, at home, during the commute, and before, during, and after class.

“A gift for educators, helpful in any classroom, for any teacher and with every student.” —Goldie Hawn, children’s advocate and founder of the Hawn Foundation

“A wise and sensible guide, a generous gift to teachers and students alike.”—Ara Guzelimian, provost and dean of The Juilliard School

“A treasure-trove of practical strategies, and an exceptionally important contribution to the field!” —Richard C. Brown, chair of the Contemplative Education Department, Naropa University

Order your copy here.

Read Full Post »

Mindfulness Yoga author Frank Jude Boccio will be leading a 5 day program at Kripalu center for yoga and health from September 27 – October 2, 2009.

Everyone who explores the stillness of meditation must deeply enter the experience of the body. Only by becoming intimate with the physical body can we free ourselves from identification with the body as “self,” and access the profound peace that yogis like Patanjali and the Buddha assert as our true nature.

This 5-day program will incorporate the Seven Factors of Awakening (mindfulness, inquiry, energy, joy, ease, concentration, and equanimity) with slow movement, vinyasa, and restorative and yin posture practices designed to open stiff hips, strengthen sore backs, and relax tense shoulders and necks. We’ll explore the principles of alignment, relaxation, and resiliency necessary for meditation, yoga asana, and living a life of freedom.

Through the practice of Mindfulness Yoga, we can enter the stillness at the heart of movement, and experience the energy that moves in the stillness of sitting meditation. Cultivating the inspiring and supportive atmosphere of sangha, we will explore ways to bring mindfulness into daily life.

Read Full Post »

Visit Shambhala Sunspace to participate in an online discussion with Mindfulness Yoga author Frank Jude Boccio.

Read Full Post »

“Remarkably clear and straightforward.”–Joseph Goldstein

Using hands-on exercises, journal entries, guided meditations, and lively vignettes, The Meditator’s Workbook will help you:

* Live more deeply and joyfully in the moment o Uncover the true source of stress

* Resolve grief o Explore and express forgiveness

* See through the inevitable distortions of the mind o Recognize and actualize your goals

* Find real inner peace and a thorough-going well-being.

“This is the kind of book that can change a person’s life and point the way to peace and happiness.”-Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, author of Mindfulness in Plain English and Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English

Order your  copy here.

Read Full Post »

“I love this book. It’s an indispensable tool for all who love language and all who want to live more mindfully, happily, humorously, and poetically.
Drowning in thought. Her ship has sailed. We’ll all float on ok. I’m in the flow today. We literally can’t speak without metaphors. It’s the way we’re wired. You may think you already know this, but reading Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants illuminates in a clear, simple way, how the story-telling, metaphorical mind actually works, and how we can use it skillfully to promote contentment rather than letting the stories crash down on us from all directions (to use one of my favorite metaphors).”

Read the entire review here.

Read Full Post »

By Wendy Hatoum
The Essex Reporter

The times you find yourself bored, lost in your thoughts while standing in line at the grocery store, waiting in traffic, or adrift in a long meeting might be the perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness and meditation, according to Essex author Arnie Kozak, Ph.D.

Kozak, a licensed psychologist in Burlington who teaches psychology at the University of Vermont, has just published a book on mindfulness called “Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants, 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness.”

“Mindfulness is a way of paying attention, where as meditation is a way of training that attention,” Kozak said in an interview. “Many people may have a misapprehension of what meditation is … meditation may be done sitting cross-legged on a cushion, or outside walking, or washing dishes or doing laundry. It’s about moving into the present.”

Kozak, who also offers workshops on mindfulness and is a clinical instructor at the UVM College of Medicine, has been practicing meditation for over 25 years, and is eager to share its benefits. “It can be used to deal with stress, and negative emotions,” he said. “It helps people tolerate pain better; it improves their relationships; it helps them be more concentrated, to be more connected to their experiences.”

Read it all here.

For a list of author events and opportunities to meet Dr. Kozak, visit his website at 108metaphors.com

Read Full Post »

by Phurbu Thrinley, Palyul, April 6, 2009

Dharamsala, India — Leading western scientists and noted academics are once again in the Northern Indian town of Dharamsala, home to the exiled 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, for five days of presentation and dialogues as part of a “Mind and Life” conference series.

The dialogue meeting with the Dalai Lama, including other Buddhist scholar-practitioners, which commenced at a hall in his residential complex this morning, will continue till April 10.

For more check out Mindscience.

Read it all here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »