Jean Smith is the author/editor of numerous successful books on Buddhism, including 365 Zen, A Beginner’s Guide to Insight Meditation, and Breath Sweeps Mind. A longtime associate of the Insight Meditation Society, she is the head of the executive board of the Mountain Retreat Center, in Taos, New Mexico, where she lives.
LIFE IS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Achieving Happiness with the Ten Perfections
Discover the ten perfections—qualities of the heart and mind that cultivate happiness, wisdom, and compassion—and learn how to bring them into your life with this in-depth practice manual. Life Is Spiritual Practice carefully lays out the perfections, or paramis: the Buddha’s foundational teaching for true happiness.
- Ethical Integrity
- Wise Effort
Drawing on her more than twenty years of teaching experience, Jean Smith teases out the subtleties of the perfections and offers helpful exercises, real-life examples, and instructions for an independent self-retreat for their practical application. With this book in hand, embody the ten perfections and achieve lasting happiness, regardless of your spiritual tradition.
As a special thank-you to our readers, we’re including a free gift with your purchase of Life Is Spiritual Practice (paperback only).
- 224 pages, .7 x 6 inches
- 224 pages
- ISBN 9781614291732
Calm Breath, Calm Mind
Discover ancient Tibetan breath practices for calming your mind and improving your health in this plain-English guide.
Over millennia, many Eastern traditions have developed practices that use the powerful healing energy of breath to treat physical, emotional, and mental problems. In Chinese, this energy is called chi; in Sanskrit it is called prana; and in Tibetan it is called lung.
Lung is life-giving energy that moves through our bodies. A lack or imbalance of lung can create illnesses of body and mind or cause emotional struggles such as confusion, anger, and sadness. In this book Geshe YongDong Losar, a scholar and monk in the ancient Bön tradition of Tibet, guides us through time-tested practices to help balance our lung. His deep knowledge—garnered through years of study and practice—renders the practices simple and achievable, creating a clear path for us toward greater calmness, strength, and clarity.
“Over and over I have personally witnessed, both in myself and in my students, the breath’s clear potential to heal and deeply transform lives. I truly believe that in the future such practices will play an important role as a medicine for preventing and treating physical, emotional, and mental maladies. I am glad that Geshe YongDong is making these practices widely available, and I’m sure that by doing so, he is bringing benefit to countless lives.”
—from the foreword by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
The mind can be a potent tool, used to guide extraordinary achievements, inspire good works, and incline your spiritual path toward peace and awakening. But the mind can also produce thoughts that lead to suffering. For many people, thoughts run rampant and seem to oppress or control their lives. Even the Buddha tells us that before his enlightenment, he sometimes found his mind preoccupied by thoughts connected with sensual desire, ill will, and harm. But he figured out how to respond to thoughts skillfully and developed a step-by-step approach to calm the restless mind. Now, Insight Meditation teacher Shaila Catherine offers an accessible approach to training the mind that is guided by the Buddha’s pragmatic instructions on removing distracting thoughts. Drawing on two scriptures in the Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Shaila shows you how to overcome habitual modes of thinking, develop deeper concentration, and discover the insights into emptiness that are vital for a liberating spiritual path.
Following the Buddha’s pragmatic approach, Shaila guides you through five steps for overcoming distraction and focusing the mind:
- Replace unwholesome thoughts with wholesome thoughts.
- Examine the dangers of distracting thoughts.
- Avoid it, ignore it, forget it.
- Investigate the causes of distraction.
- Apply determination and resolve.
Each chapter includes exercises and reflections to help you cultivate the five steps to deeper concentration. You’ll learn about your mind and develop your ability to direct your attention more skillfully in meditation and daily activities. And ultimately, you’ll discover for yourself how these five steps boil down to one key realization: In the moment you recognize that a thought is just a thought, you will find yourself on the path to a life of remarkable freedom.
A Peaceful Piggy’s Guide to Sickness and Death, Sadness and Love
When someone we love gets sick, we little piggies worry! It can feel scary when a person we care about is sick or in a hospital. Luckily, there is one good thing we peaceful piggies can do: meditate.
This is a story about love.
Experiencing a loved one’s illness or death is challenging for both children and their grownups. With three distinct sections to choose from—when someone we love is sick, dying, or has died—this guide will help you easily find soothing and practical mindfulness activities focused on what your young one needs in order to guide them through their big emotions and questions. These practices will help calm and empower children—and their grownups—as they discover they can still be with their loved ones through their heart connection, no matter where they are.
The Mindful Menopause Workbook
The Mindful Menopause Workbook will help you bring mindfulness into your day-to-day activities during menopause. The teachings, exercises, and meditations will show you how to recognize and achieve a more balanced, peaceful, and joyful orientation to whatever you experience at menopause and beyond.
A year’s worth of daily teachings will offer you micro-moments of self-care and self-development—mentally, physically, and spiritually. Following each teaching is space for you to journal whatever thoughts, emotions, or sensations arise. The exercise section includes an illustrated guide to yoga postures and outlines sequential poses that foster greater ease and awareness of the body, while the guided meditations and breath exercises promote body-mind unity through expanded peaceful awareness. The book addresses issues common to women during menopause sensitively and gives recommendations for dealing with common complaints such as insomnia, fatigue, low energy and libido, anxiety, depression, hot flashes, physical discomfort, poor digestion, and weight gain.
Together, these teachings, exercises, and reflections will help you approach menopause mindfully, and joyfully, as you deepen your practice and transition into a new stage of life.
“The Mindful Menopause Workbook is an ideal companion for navigating the transitional tidal waves of feminine growth. It is a great resource to rejuvenate the heart, mind, and body as you step into the next phase of life with renewed hope, confidence, and wisdom. Francesca Dupraz-Brossard has mapped out exciting pathways for women to appreciate and connect with their heart, mind, and body with love, compassion, joy, and equanimity, and to rediscover the beauty of their lives.”
—Dr. Charika Marasinghe, PhD, trustee, Vishva Niketan International Peace Centre
Discover ancient Tibetan yogic practices that integrate body, breath, and mind on the journey to personal cultivation and enlightenment.
Tibetan Yoga offers accessible instructions for performing the ancient yogic techniques of Tibet’s Bön religion. This is Tibetan yoga, or trul khor, a deeply authentic yogic practice. Drawing on thirty years of training with Bön’s most senior masters as well as advanced academic study, Dr. Alejandro Chaoul offers expert guidance on practices that were first developed by Bön masters over a millennia ago, framing them according to the needs of contemporary yoga practitioners and meditators.
No matter their level of experience, dedicated practitioners of Tibetan yoga will discover their ability to clear away obstacles and give rise to meditative states of mind. In Tibetan Yoga, you’ll learn what it means to practice for the benefit of all beings and to experience your body as a mandala, from center to periphery. These movements help you live in a more interconnected mind-breath-body experience, with benefits including better focus, stress reduction, the elimination of intrusive thoughts, better sleep, and general well-being.
“Alejandro Chaoul offers the gift of his lifelong passion for studying the ancient tradition of Tibetan Yoga so that we may all benefit from these practices. Whether you are looking to heal your heart, body, or mind, this book sets forth a clear path to aid in your journey toward wholeness.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Change
Save 20% on the Tibetan Yoga online course when you buy this book! Your discount code is at the end of the book.
Awake Where You Are
“Embodied awareness is the way back home—intimacy with where and how we are right now, with what is happening and how we are meeting it. This book will lead you into the heart of your life, into your body, where everything happens—with quality of listening rather than knowledge, of feeling rather than reaction. Practicing in this way is radically transformative.”
Pulled around by desires and distractions, we’re so easily disconnected from ourselves. Life is happening right in front of us, and within us—but still, we manage to miss so much of it.
Awake Where You Are provides the antidote, inviting us to go deep into our own bodies, to inhabit our sensory experience carefully; to learn the art of living from the inside out, and in the process to find ease, clarity, and an authentic, unshakeable freedom.
The practices in the book literally bring us back into our skin, where we can reconnect with a more rich, meaningful, and peaceful life. Aylward writes with sophisticated subtlety, as well as the heart-opening simplicity and clarity born of deep experience.
More than a meditation guide, this book is a guide to living an embodied life. You’ll learn about the following areas and practices:
- Understanding and liberating our primal human drives.
- Integrating psychological understanding with meditative practice.
- Investigating the nuances of love.
“Martin is a marvelous teacher and offers us the refreshing wisdom of an embodied life.”
—Jack Kornfield, author of No Time Like the Present
“With my diagnosis of grade IV brain cancer, I no longer observe the truth of impermanence from a critical, analytical distance. I am crashing into it, or it into me.”
Facing a terminal cancer diagnosis, Karen Derris—professor, mother, and Buddhist practitioner—instinctually turned to books. By rereading ancient Buddhist stories with fresh questions and a new purpose in mind, she discovered evolving ways to make them immediate and real. Storied Companions interweaves Karen’s memoir of her lived experiences of trauma and terminal illness with stories from Buddhist literary traditions, sharing with the reader how she found ways to live fully even with the reality that she won’t live as long as she needs—or wants.
Using her knowledge, practice, and imagination, Karen illustrates how placing yourself within narratives can turn them from distant and static sources into companions, and from companions into guides. Reading along with her, you’ll realize how this practice of reading and these ancient narratives can help us come to terms with impermanence, develop empathy and compassion, and realize our own interconnectedness.
Honest, powerful, and insightful, Storied Companions itself becomes an invaluable companion, guiding the reader to discover new ways of facing and experiencing life, death, and impermanence.
Meditations on the Trail
Meditations on the Trail offers a rich array of do-anywhere meditations that will help you explore and deepen your connection to nature, and yourself, in new ways, making the most of your time on the trail.
This small book—perfect for throwing in a daypack or a back pocket as you head out for the trail—is filled with practices to take you into the heart of the natural world and uncover your most vibrant self. You’ll return home grateful, more aware of interconnection, and maybe just a little wiser.
The Dharma of Poetry
In The Dharma of Poetry, John Brehm shows how poems can open up new ways of thinking, feeling, and being in the world. Brehm demonstrates the practice of mindfully entering a poem, with an alertness, curiosity, and open-hearted responsiveness very much like the attention we cultivate in meditation. Complete with poetry-related meditations and writing prompts, this collection of lively, elegantly written essays can be read as a standalone book or as a companion to the author’s acclaimed anthology The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy.
The Grand Delusion
In The Grand Delusion, bestselling author Steve Hagen drills deeply into the most basic assumptions, strengths, and limitations of religion and belief, philosophy and inquiry, science and technology. In doing so, he shines new light on the great existential questions—Why is there Something rather than Nothing? What does it mean to exist? What is consciousness? What is the nature of truth?—and does so from an entirely unexpected direction.
Ultimately, this book reveals how all of our fundamental questions stem from a single error, a single unwarranted belief—a single Grand Delusion.
Zen and Psychotherapy
This book is an intimate dialogue that examines the interplay of emotional and spiritual development through the lens of Zen Buddhism and psychotherapy. Zen and Psychotherapy artfully illuminates the intrinsic connections between the two practices, and demonstrates how the traditions can be complementary in helping to live a truly fulfilled and contented life.
Zen teacher and psychologist Joseph Bobrow deftly shows how the major themes of trauma, attachment, emotional communication, and emotional regulation play out in the context of Zen and of psychotherapeutic practice, and how, in concert, both provide a comprehensive, interactive model of fully functioning human life.
How to Be Sick
You won’t be alone when you have this pocket-sized treasure of transformative practices, written by beloved bestselling author Toni Bernhard.
In 2001, Toni got sick and never recovered. As she faced the confusion, frustration, and despair of a life that was suddenly severely limited, Toni had to learn how to be sick.
In this easy-to-use, easy-to-carry book, Toni shares practices from her bestselling classic How to Be Sick and also offers new suggestions and strategies for coping with a life impacted by chronic pain and illness. Because the book is organized by specific challenges, you can immediately find practices that can help when they’re needed most.
With this book in hand, you will discover the experiential wisdom that has helped Toni live a life of equanimity, compassion, and joy, despite her physical and energetic restrictions—and, sometimes, because of them. In the pages of this loyal companion, you’ll find help, solace, and inspiration, no matter what life challenge you’re facing.
Creating a Life of Integrity
Creating a Life of Integrity is our personal trainer for strengthening our integrity muscles.
When we don’t speak or act from our own sense of integrity, we feel lousy. Find out how you can live with more integrity—and subsequently more joy—as you follow these lively conversations between Joseph Goldstein, a founder of the modern mindfulness movement, and Gail Stark, a businesswoman and his student and friend of twenty-five years.
As Joseph and Gail unpack the components of integrity—generosity, virtue, renunciation, wisdom, courage, patience, truthfulness, resoluteness, loving-kindness, and equanimity—we discover each is a step on a path that transports us to an empowered place of clarity, commitment, and, consequently, more joy. As we strengthen and weave these qualities into our daily lives they become our trusted first response in a world that needs our integrity now.
Jan Willis was among the first Westerners to encounter exiled Tibetan teachers abroad in the late sixties, instantly finding her spiritual and academic home. TIME Magazine named her one of six “spiritual innovators for the new millennium,” both for her considerable academic accomplishments and for her cultural relevance. Her writing engages head-on with issues current to Buddhist practitioners in America, including dual-faith practitioners and those from marginalized groups.
This collection of eighteen scholarly and popular essays spans a lifetime of reflection and teaching by Willis. Grouped in four sections—Women and Buddhism, Buddhism and Race, Tantric Buddhism and Saints’ Lives, and Buddhist-Christian Reflections—the essays provide timeless wisdom for all who are interested in contemporary Buddhism and its interface with ancient tradition.
Sometimes forgiveness can feel unfathomable, unreachable, or even just plain wrong. Inspiring Forgiveness throws wide open the doors of possibility within the human heart with the wise words of philosophers, writers, poets, and great thinkers from across centuries and continents. Each offering can serve as a guidepost along the path to bringing greater forgiveness into our lives. This book also tells the stories of real-world people—from the Dalai Lama to Congressman John Lewis and more—whose lives were changed forever by forgiveness, including for themselves. Just bearing witness to these experiences can itself be transformative.
One wise teacher quoted in this book, Pema Chödrön, offers a simple practice for cultivating forgiveness: “First we acknowledge what we feel—shame, revenge, embarrassment, remorse. Then we forgive ourselves for being human. Each moment is an opportunity to make a fresh start.” This book is a collection of those moments.
Barbara Bonner’s Inspiring Forgiveness consists of twelve true stories of people who have endured great pain at the hands of others and have found a way to open themselves to forgiveness in its many forms. Each story is followed by extraordinary poems that speak to forgiveness, and the book contains a collection of over 100 inspiring quotations.
What, Why, How
Everything you ever wanted to know but never had a chance to ask about meditation and Buddhist spiritual practice, from one of the greatest mindfulness teachers of our time.
How can I fit meditation into my busy life?
How should I understand karma and rebirth?
Is enlightenment even possible for me?
Sound familiar? If you’ve ever meditated or studied Buddhism, you may have found yourself asking these questions—and many more! Here’s the good news: there are answers, and you’ll find them all in this book. Imagine that you could sit down with one of Buddhism’s most accomplished and plainspoken teachers—and imagine that he patiently agreed to answer any question you had about meditation, living mindfully, and key Buddhist concepts—even the myriad brilliant questions you’ve never thought to ask! What, Why, How condenses into one volume a half-century of Bhante G.’s wise answers to common questions about the Buddha’s core teachings on meditation and spiritual practice. With his kind and clear guidance, you’ll gain simple yet powerful insights and practices to end unhealthy patterns and habits so that you can transform your experience of the world—from your own mind to your relationships, your job, and beyond.
The Zen of R2-D2
Did you ever wonder why R2-D2 is
- always calm and cool under pressure,
- the key to the rebellion’s survival, and
- the one who never fails to save the day?
Could it be because he’s secretly a Zen master?
Discover your inner R2—and the truth about who you really are!
This delightful and illuminating romp unfolds in the form of a fictional dialogue between the author—a die-hard Star Wars devotee with a deep connection to Zen—and two cosplayers dressed as C-3PO and R2-D2 who insist on being called by their character names. Along the way, you’ll come to see what everyone’s favorite astromech can teach us about peace, happiness, and life’s true meaning.
The Death of You
If you might someday die,
if you know someone who will . . .
Join Miguel Chen for a wild ride where we get real about death—and even have a few laughs at its expense. In plainspoken, kind, and encouraging language, Miguel will show you how to transform your relationship with death—and in doing so, get to know your life in a whole new way. Today is the perfect day to start. Don’t wait . . . you’re not gonna live forever.