“No Ordinary Apple,” by Sara Marlowe and Philip Pascuzzo

September 3, 2013

no ordinary apple

Title: No Ordinary Apple: A Story About Eating Mindfully
Author: Sara Marlowe, Philip Pascuzzo (illus.)
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
ISBN: 1-61429-076-8
Available from: Wisdom Publications, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.com.

No Ordinary Apple is a variation on the famous “raisin exercise” that’s so popular in meditation classes. (If you’re not familiar with the raisin exercise it’s where we mindfully eat a single raisin, thoroughly exploring it with our senses.) But No Ordinary Apple is, of course, a children’s book — and a very welcome addition to the growing body of meditation resources for children.

The fruit is question is an apple rather than a raisin and the mindful eater … Read more »

“There Is No God and He Is Always with You,” by Brad Warner

August 27, 2013

no-godBrad Warner is an unconventional American Zen teacher, who seems sincerely to believe that he has found God, that God should be — or even is — an intrinsic part of Buddhist practice and realization, that others would benefit if they found God too, and who thinks that that believing in God might actually help us solve the world’s problems. He outlines all this in his latest book, There Is No God And He Is Always With You, in which he offers “straight talk about why this ‘godless religion’ [Zen Buddhism] has a lot to say about God.”

Some of the above will be as confounding for you as it was for me. After … Read more »

The value of guided meditations…

July 18, 2013

wildmind coverRecently I was interviewed by Hannah Atkinson of Windhorse Publications in the UK. I’m one of their authors, but she was curious to know more about the guided meditation CDs and MP3s that I’ve published through Wildmind.

Here’s the start of our conversation:

You have produced a large number of guided meditation CDs and you also run a huge online meditation teaching resource, Wildmind. What is the ethos behind your emphasis on audio and online meditation teaching and why do you think it is so important?

Well, it’s something I stumbled into really about 13 years ago when I was doing my Masters degree at the University of Montana. I was wondering about how to … Read more »

The power of appreciative words: “Mishan’s Garden,” by James Vollbracht & Janet Brooke

June 15, 2013

Mishans-Garden“The greatest gift you can ever give another is to see what is best and unique about them.”

This morning I stumbled downstairs, bleary-eyed, having got home late after teaching a class the night before. My six-year-old daughter gave me a running hug and a huge smile. She’s naturally affectionate, but I suspect there was an ulterior motive, because a few seconds later she came running back to me with Mishan’s Garden in her hands, asking that I read it to her. And so, I did.

Mishan is the titular heroine, a young girl who lives in The Village Above the White Clouds, where her father is the innkeeper. Misha is a special girl, whose … Read more »

The Dhammapada: “one of the greatest psychological works ever written”

June 12, 2013
Dhammapada Fronsdal
The Dhammapada, translated by Gil Fronsdal. Available from Amazon.
Jonathan Haidt, who studies morality and emotion, at the NYU-Stern School of Business, discusses the Buddhist classic, The Dhammapada, on Five Books:

The Dhammapada is one of the greatest psychological works ever written, and certainly one of the greatest before 1900. It is masterful in its understanding of the nature of consciousness, and in particular the way we are always striving and never satisfied. You can turn to it – and people have turned to it throughout the ages – at times of trouble, at times of disappointment, at times of loss, and it takes you out of yourself. It shows you that your

Read more »

Don’t Hesitate: Meditate

April 5, 2013

dont-hestitate-meditateThis isn’t a book review — it’s a book recommendation.

One of my long-term meditation students, life coach Tim Brownson, who is an all-round good guy and a very funny (and wise) blogger, has written an excellent little guide to meditation called Don’t Hesitate — Meditate.

It’s the perfect guide for people who don’t meditate because they think meditation is a bunch of hippy nonsense or who think they can’t possibly meditate because their minds are too busy or who think that meditation is religious.

Tim’s the perfect person to write a book for people like those, because he used to be one of them :)

One of Tim’s great virtues is that … Read more »

Wildmind on iBooks

March 18, 2013

My book, Wildmind: a Step-by-Step Guide to Meditation, is now available on iBooks.

I think you know what to do…

“Know yourself, Forget Yourself: Five Truths to Transform your Work, Relationships, and Everyday Life,” by Marc Lesser

February 25, 2013

Know Yourself, Forget YourselfAs a rule, I am not a fan of self-help books. They are often big on promises but small on practicalities; good at telling you what is possible but rarely willing to recognize that each of us has limitations. Self-help books, it seems to me, sell the lie that you can be whoever you want and have whatever you want (Can I really marry Scarlett Johansson?). However, a self-help book based on Zen Buddhist principles might be different.

The book rests on the contention that ‘embracing life’s paradoxes is a powerful skill’ (p.4). Lesser, a Zen teacher and executive coach, proposes that we explore five key paradoxes: First, ‘Know Yourself, Forget Yourself; second, ‘Be Confident, … Read more »

“Pilgrimage to Anywhere,” by Rijumati Wallis

January 24, 2013

Pilgrimage to Anywhere

As winter grips the northern hemisphere, many imagine heading south to warmer places. In this book, those of us unable to make a physical journey beyond our routine, can still make a journey of mind and heart alongside Rijumati; asking challenging questions of ourselves even if our bodies recline in an armchair or browse in bed.

Buddhism is quintessentially a journey of the mind and heart: an invitation to refine and purify our thinking and emotion, wherever and whenever we can build this awareness. It’s an inner journey, yet the metaphor of the outer journey remains as powerful for Buddhists as it does in theistic faiths. Throughout Rijumati’s accessible and very readable book Pilgrimage to … Read more »

Law professor to speak about Buddhist meditation and Christian spirituality

October 25, 2012

University of St. Thomas law professor Susan Stabile will present the lecture “Adapting Buddhist Meditation Practices to Christian Spirituality” at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in Quad 264 at Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota.

The lecture is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning and is free and open to the public.

Drawing from her book “Growing in Love and Wisdom: Tibetan Buddhist Sources for Christian Meditation,” published this month by Oxford University Press, Stabile will explore common values that underlie Christianity and Buddhism and how interreligious engagement can offer mutual enrichment for people of both traditions, giving special attention to how Buddhist meditation practices can enrich Christian spirituality.

After the program, Stabile’s … Read more »