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Mindful : April 2016
THE ART OF GRACE On Moving Well Through Life Sarah L. Kaufman • Norton Today’s Washington would not be described by anyone as the capital of charm and grace, which is perhaps why the Pulitzer-Prize-winning dance critic for the Washington Post decided to write this book, which is equal par ts guidebook and diatribe. What Kaufman laments is that an ultra-competitive world of one- upsmanship has created a “culture of coarseness,” wherein we are insensitive to the space we occupy and the effect we have on others. What she celebrates is grace in all its forms—movement, speech, manners, thought—and distinquishes it from per fection. Our true gracefulness is revealed in how we behave when we fall or fail, when our humanity is in full display. The book is not without its blind spots. As happens all too often, the ideal Kaufman upholds seems embodied by a bygone era she’s nostalgic for (Cary Grant is her paragon). The past always seems better. And her one foray into discussing medita- tion leads her to conclude that it’s only about austerity and mind-control. She somehow missed that grace and flow are first qualities of the mind, which can be trained, before they manifest in action. THE JOY OF HALF A COOKIE Using Mindfulness to Lose Weight and End the Struggle with Food Jean Kristeller with Alisa Bowman • Perigee Kristeller, the creator of Mindfulness- based Eating Awareness Training, and cofounder of the Center for Mindful Eating, is the godmother of the mindful eating movement. In a gentle, encouraging, practical voice she dispenses science-based prescriptions that can upgrade your food habits without downgrading your enjoyment. ● AD AD April 2016 mindful 19 “Grace is being at ease with the world, even when life tosses wine down your pants.” — Sarah L. Kaufman