Hello world! First of all, I just wanted to say that I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the strong response my last blog post received. It is humbling to know how many people out there can relate to me in all of my Steve-Urkel Drama-Queen-Angst-O-Rama glory. Anxiety has a way of making one feel isolated, alone, freakish. Let this be a reminder to you that this is not the case, you are not shouting into the void. There are so many other humans out there who have walked those same paths and can connect to what you are going through. So big, giant virtual hugs to all my readers out there, whether you’re new or you’ve been around for a while, I am so very glad that you’re on this journey with me.
In the spirit of spreading the love, I’d like to share some resources with y’all. If you’ve been reading for a while you know that mindfulness is a center point in my life. It isn’t simply a tool for relaxation for me (although that’s great), it’s mindset, a lens through which to view this human adventure, and a beacon for navigating all of life’s winding roads. I am by no means a master practitioner, in fact, I’m constantly falling off the mindfulness wagon and recommitting myself. To me, even that falling off is an essential part of the process. I have had so many wonderful teachers and experiences along the way, but what happens when you move away from that great teacher or community, or simply want to extend your learning? I hit the books. Here they are, gentle readers, three of my favorite books on the subject. Maybe you’ll dig them as much as I do…
The Rebel Buddha, by Dzochen Ponlop
Ah, Buddha, the ultimate punk rocker! Modern life can feel anything but Zen at times and a lot of traditional Buddhist advice doesn’t always feel genuine beyond the Ashram doors. This is a relatable guide to Buddhist teachings that will help you unlock the rebellious act of simply being and set your inner rebel Buddha free!
The Not So Big Life by Sarah Susanka
This is a practical and down to earth guide to simplifying your life both inside and out. It’s a great example of applying Buddhist principals to the modern lives we live. I did a deep read of this at a period when I was releasing a lot of physical and psychic clutter I no longer needed from my life, and it really helped. Now that it’s been almost two years since I’ve turned a new page on the next chapter of my life, I feel like I’ve accumulated some new gunk and I’d be well served to give it another read…
Hardwiring Happiness, by Rick Hanson, P.hD
This book isn’t directly about mindfulness, but it has probably had the biggest effect on how I live my everyday life of the three, and the ideas about neuroplasticity are fascinating. The whole idea is about creating deeper contentment by nurturing the positive feelings of connection, love and value in your life as you experience them. It has changed the way I interact with other people and the world for the better. When you practice these techniques along with regular meditation, your entire outlook on life will change for the better. Heck, even when I’m not meditating regularly, I use these principals and notice a difference in what I’m putting out and receiving from the world around me.
So what about you? What are your favorite books about mindfulness?