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How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulnessby Jan Chozen Bays
Synopses & Reviews
A growing body of research is showing that mindfulness can reduce stress, improve physical health, and improve one’s overall quality of life. Jan Chozen Bays, MD—physician and Zen teacher—has developed a series of simple practices to help us cultivate mindfulness as we go about our ordinary, daily lives. Exercises include: taking three deep breaths before answering the phone, noticing and adjusting your posture throughout the day, eating mindfully, and leaving no trace of yourself after using the kitchen or bathroom. Each exercise is presented with tips on how to remind yourself and a short life lesson connected with it.
"Amid the current spate of books on mindfulness, Bays's distinguishes itself with 53 simple practices tested through 20 years at the Great Vow Zen Monastery in Oregon. A pediatrician as well as the center's abbess, Bays (Mindful Eating) has found 'one reliable remedy for the relief of recurrent discomfort and unhappiness.... It is regular mindfulness practice.' Bays, a student of Maezumi Roshi and Shodo Harada Roshi, brings gentle compassion to the task of integrating mindfulness into a busy life. Practices include leaving no trace, eliminating filler words, waiting, mindful driving, saying yes, silly walking, and noticing dislike. Each practice includes reminder tips, 'discoveries' members of her community have made, and 'deeper lessons' that might be drawn. The introduction clearly defines mindfulness and outlines its benefits in calming the mind that habitually dwells in the past, anticipates the unknown future, or creates fantasies. Bays's insights are frequently astute. This encouraging book serves as a guide for incorporating mindfulness into the most mundane of daily activities in the spirit of Zen. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"This warm, welcoming, and wise book invites us to practice mindfulness now, right in the midst of life. The weekly exercises are illuminating, immensely practical, and fun." Diana Winston, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, co-author of Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness
"A delightful collection of simple, down-to-earth exercises anyone can use to live each day more mindfully. Rich with wisdom, psychological insight, and fresh perspectives, this is a great resource for anyone wishing to live a fuller, saner, happier, more conscious life." Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD, assistant clinical professor, Harvard Medical School, author of The Mindfulness Solution
"In a brilliant, practical, and elegant way, Bays has answered the question most frequently asked by students of meditation, ‘How do I bring this practice into my daily life?&r" Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
About the Author
Jan Chozen Bays, MD, is a Zen master in the White Plum lineage of the late master Taizan Maezumi Roshi. She serves as a priest and teacher at the Jizo Mountain-Great Vow Zen Monastery in Clatskanie, Oregon. She is also a pediatrician who specializes in the evaluation of children for abuse and neglect.
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