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Mindful : June 2019
Longtime meditation teacher and natural- ist Mark Coleman—author of Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic and Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery, among others—is at pains to demonstrate in his new book that mindfulness is definitely, incontrovertibly not about finding an escape from the pain we find in the midst of everyday life. The book, in fact, is filled with poignant stories of students who have come to him in immense pain. One woman, for example, arrived at a retreat having, over a two-year period, lost her sister in a car accident, her brother to a heart attack, and her father to cancer. Shortly thereaf- ter, her only living aunt died, and weeks before the retreat, following several agonizing months, her mother passed away in a state of dementia. Stories like this from students demonstrate that the “true promise of mindfulness” in the subtitle is that if we turn toward pain, rather than seek escape routes in temporary states of mind, we may find ourselves on a path toward genuine, sustainable peace. Maybe not over- night. But over time. The 36 chapters in From Suffering to Peace are short, and all end with a practice or contempla- tion. They’re divided into four parts correspond- ing to four areas of practice. The body section asks us to explore what it means to have a body (and to know that at some point “we” won’t). The mind section focuses on thoughts and our conception of a self. The heart section treats of our emotions, while the world section explores our relationships with those around us and the natural world. It’s a very filling meal. FROM SUFFERING TO PEACE The True Promise of Mindfulness Mark Coleman • New World Library In The Green Cure, author Alice Peck offers a compel- ling argument for incorporat- ing nature into any personal health quest. Citing research examining the health benefits of nature—for example, how walking among trees low- ers blood pressure—Peck provides ample evidence that a “green cure” isn’t merely a poetic notion. She also offers practical ways to tap these benefits: creating terrariums, using light and color therapy to mimic nature’s light and color spectrum, and more. Peck shows us that tapping into nature’s healing power doesn’t require us to live by the ocean or in a forest. It’s all around, wherever we begin. THE GREEN CURE How Shinrin-Yoku, Earthing, Going Outside, or Simply Opening a Window Can Heal Us Alice Peck • CICO Books “Spread your arms like a but- terfly, imagine blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, or be still and silent as a ninja.” Psychologist Chris Willard and Mindful Education direc- tor Daniel Rechtschaffen— each having written several previous titles on bringing mindfulness into children’s lives—offer 26 imaginative ways for kids and their adults to pay attention to the breath all day, from Alligator Breath to Zzzz Breath (no prizes for guessing that this last one involves bedtime). Accom- panied by adorable, vibrant, homespun illustrations, the wide variety of exercises will help kids associate mindful breathing with play and with learning about ourselves in relation to the wider world. Not a bad way to understand mindfulness at any age. ALPHABREATHS The ABCs of Mindful Breathing Chris Willard, David Rechtschaffen, and Holly Clifton-Brown • Sounds True 74 mindful June 2019 read, listen, stream Bookmark This read...listen...stream