Bliss More: How to Succeed in Meditation Without Really Trying

By Light Watkins Ballantine Books This is Watkins’ “how-to guide” for a successful meditation practice. It includes his experiences and struggles with practicing and teaching meditation since 1998. Because of those experiences, he developed E.A.S.Y. (Embrace, Accept, Surrender, Yield), a technique everyone who wants to have a meditation practice will find valuable. Watkins explains how he developed the principles and provides his own and students’ stories. All of which help the reader realize that meditation really can be E.A.S.Y. If you have a book you’d like reviewed or have an old favorite you’d like to share with others, please contact … Continue reading

Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Every Day of Your Life

By M. J. Ryan Conari Press Ryan states, “Research has confirmed the emotional and physical benefits of giving thanks.” When we are thankful, fear and anger disappear. Additionally, she believes that more gifts come to us when we are grateful; it is a powerful change agent. She provides 60 essays to help readers identify and incorporate gratitude in their lives. Practices of gratitude include daily exercise and being grateful “in spite of.” Included are anecdotal stories of how people have opened themselves to the fulfillment of gratitude and become more alive in the present moment. Are you ready for more … Continue reading

Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom of Life’s Hard Questions

By Lori Deschene Conari Press This book began as a quote–a–day tweet. Deschene tells the story of how she moved to New York City and the lessons she learned. She shares her insight and wisdom to help readers “live mindfully, in the present and connected to others.” In her essay on pain, Deschene describes how one can learn from pain to make positive changes. Other essays include how to find the meaning of life and her thoughts on fate, happiness, and love. Deschene is honest in her reflections and answers. For example, when writing about the question “What’s the meaning … Continue reading

Mastering the Addicted Brain: Building a Sane and Meaningful Life to Stay Clean

By Walter Ling, MD New World Library How the brain gets and stays addicted is described by Ling, a neuropsychiatrist with 30 years of clinical practice and a pioneer in research. He begins by describing how the brain works and how addiction is a brain disease. Ling also provides information on detoxification and explains what happens during the detox process. Relapse and relapse prevention techniques, including holistic methods, are also described in the book for readers who want to establish new patterns to create a substance-free life. Ling suggests the strategy S.T.O.P. (Stop, Take a few deep breaths, Observe, and … Continue reading

The Power of Love

By Osho St. Martin’s Press Osho is a spiritual teacher known for his contribution to the study of inner transformation. Regular readers of this publication may remember a previous review of Trust, another book in the OSHO Life Essentials series. He states in the introduction of this book, “My whole effort here is to release your love sources, to ignite your love flame. And once that is there, then it takes care; then your life will become creative of its own accord.” Searching for love? Widen your view. If you have a book you’d like reviewed or have an old … Continue reading

Life Lessons: 125 Prayers and Meditations

By Julia Cameron TarcherPerigee Julia Cameron does it again. She is an accomplished artist and active in advocating the exploration and development of creativity. She encourages everyone to improve working on their spiritual path. Readers know her for writing The Artist’s Way and Finding Water. This book provides readers who want to improve their conscious contact with a Higher Power a variety of short prayers and meditations to facilitate that action. Cameron says, “God is not distant and different; rather, God is near and easy.” Stop struggling and enjoy a deeper relationship with your HP. If you have a book … Continue reading

The Self-Love Experiment: Fifteen Principles for Becoming More Kind, Compassionate, and Accepting of Yourself

By Shannon Kaiser TarcherPerigee Kaiser offers readers 15 Self-Love Principles such as Be Who You Needed to Be When You Were Younger and Things Don’t Happen to You, They Happen for You. She shares her personal story of how she changed her relationship with her body and healed it. She gives loving advice to sufferers of depression, addiction, eating disorders, and corporate burnout. This includes journal prompts and a free audio mediation. The self-love experiment encourages readers to put themselves first and live a passion-filled life. If you have a book you’d like reviewed or have an old favorite you’d … Continue reading

Beyond The Imprint: A New Modality for Mental Health Practitioners and Those Seeking Their Help

By Kate O’Connell This book is an introduction to the science of epigenetics and how our DNA and environment influence thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. O’Connell uses her own family tree to describe how she was influenced by familial behaviors and patterns. Mental health professionals may find value in this approach to understanding how individuals are imprinted by their family and dysfunctional patterns are formed. Each chapter concludes with a summary such as O’Connell’s statement regarding the Therapeutic Relationship and compassion fatigue, “Fatigue, exhaustion and second-hand trauma develops from the conscious and unconscious identification that what is occurring in the moment … Continue reading

Overcoming Your Difficult Family: 8 Skills for Thriving in Any Family Situation

By Eric Maisel, PhD New World Library Maisel is an author and retired family therapist. In the first part of the book he provides eight strategies to deal successfully with family life and “survive difficult family life and sometimes even improve it for everyone involved.” He describes how to focus on being smart, strong, calm, clear, aware, brave, present and resilient. He includes a variety of individual’s stories to demonstrate the process. Each chapter closes with a ceremony suggestion and “Food for Thought” questions for reflection. The second part of the book includes ten difficult family types and how to … Continue reading

The Wisdom of the Universe: Essential Truths from the Beloved Conversations with God Trilogy

By Neale Donald Walsch Tarcher Perigee Walsch is well known for his previous books on “contemporary spirituality and its practical application in everyday life.” With full-color photographs and quotes from Walsch’s Conversations with God Trilogy, this book is a wonderful example of how combining short essays and beautiful photos can help a reader explore and contemplate the deeper meaning of life. The reader is provided a question for reflection and its correlating answer for consideration. The book closes with the message: “I will not leave you. Call on Me, therefore, wherever and whenever you are separate from the peace that … Continue reading

Compassion is the Key to Everything: Find Your Own Path

By Alexandra Chauran Llewellyn Chauran describes how she tried to live for one full year and “harm none.” This book is the results of a New Year’s resolution to do that. She describes her struggle to create her own personal code of ethics. For example, she refrains from reading blogs and accessing other media sources of “snark and rudeness” for three days before each of the sacred holidays she observes. Readers will find well thought out practical suggestions for increasing compassion, kindness, generosity, humility, and trust. She encourages readers to find peace and make the world a peaceful place. If … Continue reading

The Heart and Science of Yoga: Empowering Self-Care Program for a Happy, Healthy, Joyful Life

By Leonard T. Perlmutter with Jenness Cortez Perlmutter AMI Publishers In this revised and expanded edition, readers will find a well-documented introduction to Yoga Science and how it can benefit one physically and mentally as well as emotionally and spiritually. For example, it can help relieve stress, enhance the immune system, lower blood pressure and reduce pain. Additionally, practitioners may learn how to love themselves, cultivate loving and nurturing relationships, as well as learn their life’s purpose. Perlmutter describes the basic tools needed and step-by-step instructions for a practice to help reduce distractions by stretching (pictures showing how are included) … Continue reading

Emotional Rescue: How to Work with Your Emotions to Transform Hurt and Confusion into Energy That Empowers You

By Dzogchen Ponlop Tarcher Perigee Do you use your emotions and harness their power or are you at their mercy? Rather than letting emotions control you, Ponlop, a Buddhist teacher, recommends that readers learn to relate to their emotions so they can benefit from that knowledge. He shares his own experiences as well as those of students and teachers he has worked with. He suggests writing mindfully and reflectively. At the end of each chapter there are short mindful practices with an Ask Yourself Questions to reflect on, such as “How do my thoughts and feelings interact?” There are also … Continue reading

The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness

By Culadasa (John Yates), and Matthew Immergut, with Jeremy Graves Dharma Treasure Press The authors believe that anyone can learn to meditate and improve their lives. They encourage the reader to use meditation to practice mindfulness and describe what the body and mind go through during the process. They provide the ten stages of meditation to help a meditator advance from the novice meditator to the skilled meditator to the adept meditator. Their step-by-step process is easy for anyone who wants to start or improve their meditation practice. The first steps to prepare to meditate include: “Fire up your motivation, … Continue reading

Trust, Living Spontaneously and Embracing Life

By Osho St. Martin’s Press Osho, deceased since 1990, was a philosopher and writer known for his provocative and inspiring spiritual teachings. This is the 11th volume in the Insights for a New Way of Living series. In this text, Osho discusses the history of trust and re-evaluates the idea of trust. He encourages the reader to identify and think about trust and faith and then question those definitions and beliefs. He uses anecdotal stories and quotes to help with the process. Readers who respond to Osho’s revolutionary way of questioning things will enjoy this book. If you have a … Continue reading

The Call of the Day

By Jodi Hershey Hershey encourages readers to always ask, “Am I coming from love or fear?” She helps readers connect through self-reflection with who they really are and how to move forward in their lives. The most important practice, in Hershey’s mind, is connecting daily with Universal Source. This can be done by meditation and prayer. Hershey states, “Act ‘As if’ while you are becoming, then one day you wake up and you are!” Readers may be interested in transitioning from the Third Dimension to achieving the Fourth Dimension which means going from being dense in feeling to light in … Continue reading