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Mindful : June 2017
PODCASTS TEDMED Episode: “Fulfilling Trauma’s Hidden Promise” James Gordon, a professor of medicine at Georgetown University, talks about using integrative approaches, such as movement, meditation, and relaxation, to help patients with chronic illnesses, US war veterans, Syrian refugees, and families in Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, and Haiti, among others. THINK AGAIN Episode: “Nature, Nurture, Neither” Mark Epstein, a psychiatrist, mindfulness teacher, and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker and The Trauma of Everyday Life, joins host Jason Gots in a wide-ranging discussion on education, free will, trauma, epigenetics, and the nature–nurture debate. 10% HAPPIER Episode: “George Stephanopoulos, ABC News Chief Anchor” Most of us know Dan Harris: the ABC newsman who had a panic attack live on Good Morning America and went on to write best-selling book 10% Happier. Well, Dan also started a podcast. In this episode, he talks with George Stephanopolous about his twice-daily meditation practice. TED: IDEAS WORTH SPREADING Episode: “What Reality Are You Creating for Yourself?” Isaac Lidsky—who runs a construction company in Orlando, starred in a TV sitcom, and served as a law clerk to two Supreme Court justices—lost his sight to a rare genetic eye disease. In this talk, he challenges us to let go of excuses, assumptions, and fears, and accept that we create our own reality. THE ONE YOU FEED Episode: “Emily Esfahani Smith” “Human beings are meaning-seeking creatures,” says the author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters. “Transcendent experiences are crucial to having a greater sense of meaning in life.” Does mindfulness need a redesign? Author Rohan Gunatillake, the creator of the popular buddhify app, says yes. Although there’s never been more interest in mindfulness and meditation than right now, three barriers keep too many people from making mindfulness a lived reality: the time problem (“I just don’t have time to medi- tate”), the hippy problem (“You have to be spiritual or religious to get into medita- tion”), and the digital problem (“It’s not practical for me to unplug everything”). Fortu- nately, each of these barri- ers is more apparent than real, and in this accessible, readable book, he lays out some techniques for bring- ing mindfulness into even the busiest of lives. Gunatillake also argues that switching off our devices is not the key to mindfulness. Instead, he makes suggestions for using technology, like mobile phones and television, to actually be mindful. MODERN MINDFULNESS How to Be More Relaxed, Focused, and Kind While Living in a Fast, Digital, Always-On World Rohan Gunatillake • St. Martin’s Griffin Imagine you live in a 215-square-foot apartment, with fewer pieces of furniture than fingers on your hand, and about 150 possessions in total. Yes, that’s a bit extreme. But it actually describes the lifestyle of writer Fumio Sasaki, who decided to pare down his possessions to the barest minimum after years struggling with stress, inse- curity, and comparing himself against others. As a result, he says, he was able to let go of the emotional baggage that comes from defining yourself by the things you own. Goodbye, Things kicks off by defining “minimalism,” a way of living that has been around for decades but has been gaining popularity over the past 10 years or so. From there, Sasaki explores the psychological underpinnings of our materialistic culture and offers advice for how to shift your mindset around belong- ings, say goodbye to the stuff, and feel good about it. The book is light and easy to read, dotted with anecdotes from Sasaki’s personal experience transforming from a maximal- ist into a minimalist. GOODBYE, THINGS The New Japanese Minimalism Fumio Sasaki • Norton 82 mindful June 2017 reviews