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Mindful : December 2016
A PLEA FOR THE ANIMALS The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion Matthieu Ricard • Shambhala THE MEDITATOR’S DILEMMA An Innovative Approach to Overcoming Obstacles and Revitalizing Your Practice Bill Morgan • Shambhala Anyone who cringes at images of factory farms will have a hard time denying what Matthieu Ricard concludes in A Plea for the Animals: “If we were to understand and feel thoroughly and fully that in truth we and animals are fellow citizens of the world... we could no longer permit ourselves to treat them as we do.” Ricard, a respected Buddhist monk and author, For 25 years and in over a dozen books, Dan Siegel has explored his deep curiosity with the workings of mind and brain. His early work with psychotherapy patients inspired him to develop the field of interpersonal neurobiology. The hallmark of his approach has been compas- sion. While his medical training, he says, taught him to always think in terms of the physical, the material, it was only after he rejected that notion that he was able to see our biology in a new, more dynamic light. In his way of looking at things, our body is a collection of systems that intimately connect us to the world, to living things, to each other. Well-being, for Siegel, is about a harmonious integration of the energies in this neurobiologi- cal system, and mindfulness (or what he calls mindsight) is a means to create that integration, to bring us to mental equilibrium from states of chaos or rigidity that cause us pain and struggle. Now, he has decided to take on the biggest of questions: What is the mind and how is it related to the brain? He is not satisfied with the idea that mind is what brain does. Too dry and simplistic for Siegel, this definition misses the point that mind is a wondrous process that regu- lates the flow of energy and information—inside us and among us—residing in our whole body and yet remaking itself anew every moment. Mind carries a decepetively simple title, but the exploration in here is hard going in some places. And yet, Siegel’s journey of discovery is infectious, so even when you’re a little lost you’re willing to follow along. MIND A Journey to the Heart of Being Human Daniel J. Siegel, MD • W.W. Norton deftly debunks every argu- ment for the subjugation of animals for human benefit. From medical research and enter tainment to breeding animals for food, he makes clear there is neither reasoned nor moral ground to stand on when it comes to voluntary ignorance—or arrogance—in refusing to recognize animals as sentient beings worthy of respect and justice. If you’ve been meditating for any amount of time, chances are you’ve struggled to keep up, or even make, a habit of actually doing it. It’s a univer- sal challenge; in fact, research indicates more than half of people who star t meditating eventually give it up. Psychologist Bill Mor- gan, who has been teaching and practicing meditation for decades, digs into the psychological underpinnings of why it’s so hard to maintain a regular meditation practice. From there, he lays out a series of actionable techniques and exercises to help all medita- tors bring regularity to their meditation over the long term. The key is shifting from seeing meditation as a chore to find- ing delight in every session. 18 mindful December 2016 reviews Bookmark This read...listen...download