Books We Love

Book of the Month : The Yamas & Niyamas

 by Deborah Adele

yamasThe first two limbs of the eight-fold path of yoga sutras—the basic text for classical yoga—are examined in this spiritual guide to the practice of yoga. Foundational to all yogic thought, they are considered to be the guidelines to the yoga way of living that free individuals to take ownership of their lives, direct them toward the fulfillment they seek, and gain the skills to choose attitude, thought, and action. The first five guidelines are referred to as the yamas—a Sanskrit word that translates to “restraints”—and encompass nonviolence, truthfulness, not stealing, nonexcess, and nonpossessiveness. The last five are referred to as the niyamas, or observances—purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender. A self-study section at the end of each chapter may also be used by instructors for group discussion.

No Mud, No Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh
Many of us have made it our mission to avoid emotional and physical discomfort. In his book “No Mud, No Lotus”, Thich Nhat Hanh challenges readers to accept their suffering, inviting in all unpleasant experiences rather than trying to avoid them through consumption, addiction, or denial. In clear and comforting prose, Hanh explains how we are able to blossom from difficult experiences. The book invites readers to look at their suffering through practicing mindfulness. Many mindfulness techniques are outlined, including breathing meditation, mantras, metta (compassion) meditation, and incorporating mindfulness into daily activities.
True Refuge by Tara Brach
Beneath the turbulence of our thoughts and emotions exists a profound stillness, a silent awareness capable of limitless love. Tara Brach, author of the award-winning Radical Acceptance, calls this awareness our true refuge, because it is available to every one of us, at any moment, no exceptions. In this book, Brach offers a practical guide to finding our inner sanctuary of peace and wisdom in the midst of difficulty.Based on a fresh interpretation of the three classic Buddhist gateways to freedom—truth, love, and awareness—True Refuge shows us the way not just to heal our suffering, but also to cultivate our capacity for genuine happiness. Through spiritual teachings, guided meditations, and inspirational stories of people who discovered loving presence during times of great struggle, Brach invites us to connect more deeply with our own inner life, one another, and the world around us.
Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky A. Bailey
Learn how to stop policing and pleading and become the parent you want to be.You love your children, but if you’re like most parents, you don’t always love their behavior. But how can you guide them without resorting to less-than-optimal behavior yourself? Dr. Becky Bailey’s unusual and powerful approach to parenting has made thousands of families happier and healthier.Focusing on self-control and confidence-building for both parent and child, Dr. Bailey teaches a series of linked skills to help families move from turmoil to tranquility:

  • Powers for Self-Control to help parents model the behavior they want their kids to follow. These lead to:
  • Basic Discipline Skills to help children manage sticky situations at home and at school, which will help your children develop:
  • Values for Living, such as integrity, respect, compassion, responsibility, and more.

Dr. Bailey integrates these principles in a seven-week program that gets families off to a good start, offering plenty of real-life anecdotes that illustrate her methods at work. With this inspiring and practical book in hand, you’ll find new ways of understanding and improving children’s behavior, as well as your own.

Beautiful You by Rosie Molinary
Beautiful You is unlike any personal growth book I’ve ever read.  While I’ve found that others tend to be repetitive, even cliché at times, this book delivers a fresh approach, and I am grateful to have come across it.  From the first page, I was hooked.  With 365 prompts for journaling all falling under the umbrella of acceptance and appreciation for oneself, it is wonderful for those seeking a short, daily read.  It is practical in that it only requires a few minutes a day, and at the same time, provides more than enough material to leave me feeling affected (in the best way possible), and satisfied.  My favorite prompts so far? Day 2: Pledge Allegiance to Yourself and Day 28: Stop Comparing.  I give Beautiful You two thumbs up, as it has resonated quite well with me.  It provides the perfect means for daily self-reflection, and is quite literally an innovative how-to guide for boosting a healthy sense of self, while decreasing self-deprecation.  Every minute that I spend with it in hand is truly time well spent. – Review by Asia Adams
The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
In this beautiful and lucid guide, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness–being awake and fully aware. From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an orange, he reminds us that each moment holds within it an opportunity to work toward greater self-understanding and peacefulness.
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
First published in 1995, Intuitive Eating has become the go-to book on rebuilding a healthy body image and making peace with food. We’ve all been there–angry with ourselves for overeating, for our lack of willpower, for failing at yet another diet. But the problem is not us; it’s that dieting, with its emphasis on rules and regulations, has stopped us from listening to our bodies. Written by two prominent nutritionists, Intuitive Eating will teach you:

  • How to reject diet mentality forever
  • How our three Eating Personalities define our eating difficulties
  • How to find satisfaction in your eating
  • How to feel your feelings without using food
  • How to honor hunger and feel fullness
  • How to follow the ten principles of “Intuitive Eating”,
  • How to achieve a new and safe relationship with food and, ultimately, your body
  • How to raise an “intuitive eater”-NEW!
  • The incredible science behind intuitive eating-NEW!

This revised edition includes updates and expansions throughout, as well as two brand new chapters that will help readers integrate intuitive eating even more fully into their daily lives.

  A Path and a Practice by William Martin
The Tao Te Ching—one of the most loved and widely translated books in human history—has appeared in countless English-language versions. But no modern translation has yet captured the essential thrust of Lao Tzu’s work as a practical guide to living an awakened life. Now William Martin, whose acclaimed previous reinterpretations of the Tao (for parents, couples, and elders) have introduced or reacquainted this classic text to thousands of readers, strikingly translates the Tao’s eighty-one chapters to uniquely address someone on a Tao—or path—with a practice. Martin frames his new translation with two illuminating, groundbreaking sections: “A Path,” which introduces the Tao’s nonlinear construction and explains how it works its themes; and “A Practice,” which provides practical guidance for readers exploring each of the Tao’s themes in depth. Martin’s genius in this new translation uncovers how directly the Tao speaks to readers on or about to embark on a spiritual journey.
Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The landmark work on mindfulness, meditation, and healing, now revised and updated after twenty-five yearsStress. It can sap our energy, undermine  our health if we let it, even shorten our lives. It makes us more vulnerable to anxiety and depression, disconnection and disease. Based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s renowned mindfulness-based stress reduction program, this classic, groundbreaking work—which gave rise to a whole new field in medicine and psychology—shows you how to use medically proven mind-body approaches derived from meditation and yoga to counteract stress, establish greater balance of body and mind, and stimulate well-being and healing. By engaging in these mindfulness practices and integrating them into your life from moment to moment and from day to day, you can learn to manage chronic pain, promote optimal healing, reduce anxiety and feelings of panic, and improve the overall quality of your life, relationships, and social networks. This second edition features results from recent studies on the science of mindfulness, a new Introduction, up-to-date statistics, and an extensive updated reading list. Full Catastrophe Living is a book for the young and the old, the well and the ill, and anyone trying to live a healthier and saner life in our fast-paced world.
Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean
It all started one stupid, rotten day when everything went wrong…Peter the cow is having a BAD day. After missing the bus and wiping out on his bike he loses his temper and gets in trouble. To make matters worse all the other kids are teasing him, calling him Moody Cow. Peter’s day just seems to get worse until his grandfather comes over and teaches him how to settle his mind and let go of his frustration through a simple and fun exercise. This vibrant and funny children’s book is a playful way to introduce children to the power of meditation. With full color illustrations by the author, Moody Cow Meditates is a wonderful book for parents and children to share together.
Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean
Sometimes life seems like it’s all about hurrying–so many places to go! And sometimes it’s hard when things don’t go your way–it can make a piggy angry and sad. So how do young piggies find a peaceful place in a frustrating world? They meditate!
  Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
For many of us, feelings of deficiency are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much–just hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake at work–to make us feel that we are not okay. Beginning to understand how our lives have become ensnared in this trance of unworthiness is our first step toward reconnecting with who we really are and what it means to live fully. 
–from Radical Acceptance“Believing that something is wrong with us is a deep and tenacious suffering,” says Tara Brach at the start of this illuminating book. This suffering emerges in crippling self-judgments and conflicts in our relationships, in addictions and perfectionism, in loneliness and overwork–all the forces that keep our lives constricted and unfulfilled. Radical Acceptance offers a path to freedom, including the day-to-day practical guidance developed over Dr. Brach’s twenty years of work with therapy clients and Buddhist students.Writing with great warmth and clarity, Tara Brach brings her teachings alive through personal stories and case histories, fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales, and guided meditations. Step by step, she leads us to trust our innate goodness, showing how we can develop the balance of clear-sightedness and compassion that is the essence of Radical Acceptance. Radical Acceptance does not mean self-indulgence or passivity. Instead it empowers genuine change: healing fear and shame and helping to build loving, authentic relationships. When we stop being at war with ourselves, we are free to live fully every precious moment of our lives.
  The Places that Scare You by Pema Chödrön 
We always have a choice, Pema Chödrön teaches: We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder. Here Pema provides the tools to deal with the problems and difficulties that life throws our way. This wisdom is always available to us, she teaches, but we usually block it with habitual patterns rooted in fear. Beyond that fear lies a state of openheartedness and tenderness. This book teaches us how to awaken our basic goodness and connect with others, to accept ourselves and others complete with faults and imperfections, and to stay in the present moment by seeing through the strategies of ego that cause us to resist life as it is.
True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
Love might not be what we think it is. We all seek the happiness that comes from loving and being loved, yet we often find ourselves dissatisfied in our relationships and unable to grasp the cause. Thich Nhat Hanh here shows the way to overcome our recurrent obstacles to love—by learning to be mindful, open, and present with ourselves and others. As he explains, “training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice deep looking directed toward the person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love.”
The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher K. Germer, Ph.D.
“Buck up.” “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” “Don’t ruin everything.” When you are anxious, sad, angry, or lonely, do you hear this self-critical voice? What would happen if, instead of fighting difficult emotions, weaccepted them? Over his decades of experience as a therapist and mindfulness meditation practitioner, Dr. Christopher Germer has learned a paradoxical lesson: We all want to avoid pain, but letting it in–and responding compassionately to our own imperfections, without judgment or self-blame–are essential steps on the path to healing. This wise and eloquent book illuminates the power of self-compassion and offers creative, scientifically grounded strategies for putting it into action. You’ll master practical techniques for living more fully in the present moment — especially when hard-to-bear emotions arise — and for being kind to yourself when you need it the most. Free audio downloads of the meditation exercises are available at the author’s website: www.mindfulselfcompassion.org.Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Self-Help Book of Merit
Is Nothing Something? by Thich Nhat Hanh
In Is Nothing Something? Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh answers heartfelt, difficult, and funny questions from children of all ages. Illustrated with original full-color artwork by Jessica McClure, Is Nothing Something? will help adults plant the seeds of mindfulness in the young children in their lives. Beginning with the most basic questions, “What is important in life?” and “Why is my brother mean to me?” and progressing through issues that we all wrestle with, such as “How do I know if I really love somebody?”, “How long am I going to live?”, and “What does God look like?”, each page presents a question with a short answer from Thich Nhat Hanh, appropriate for beginning readers to work with on their own. The back of the book has the first complete children’s biography of Thich Nhat Hanh, along with basic, kid-friendly instructions for mindful breathing and mindful walking. Both humorous and profound, Is Nothing Something? is the perfect resource for kids with questions, adults looking to answer them, and anyone with questions of their own.
Color Me Calm by Lacy Mucklow
Our lives become busier with each passing day, and as technology escalates, so does our access to work, obligations, and stress. Constant stimulation and expectation have left us burnt out and distanced from the present moment. “Now” has become something that happens online, not in the space and time that we physically occupy. Color Me Calm is a guided coloring book designed for harried adults. Art therapist Lacy Mucklow and artist Angela Porter offer up 100 coloring templates all designed to help you get coloring and get relaxed. Organized into seven therapeutically-themed chapters including Mandalas, Water Scenes, Wooded Scenes, Geometric Patterns, Flora & Fauna, Natural Patterns, and Spirituality – the book examines the benefits of putting pencil to paper and offers adults an opportunity to channel their anxiety into satisfying, creative accomplishment. Part of the international bestselling Color Me series, Color Me Calm is the perfect way step back from the stress of everyday life, color, and relax!
Little Book of Mindfulness by Dr. Patrizia Collard
Mindfulness is the easy way to gently let go of stress and be in the moment.  It has fast become the slow way to manage the modern world-without chanting mantras of finding hours of special time to meditate.  Bring these simple 5-10 minute practices into your day to find freedom from stress and ultimately, more peace in your life.  Over thirty easy practices to try – taking only a few minutes each day.  Be calm, be now.
Secret Garden by Johanna Basford
Experience the phenomenon that has sold 2 million copies worldwide and launched the coloring craze for adults.
This beautiful and interactive coloring book features delicate and highly detailed pen-and-ink illustrations—all waiting to be brought to life with color. As added entertainment, tiny garden creatures are hidden on the pages, waiting to be found, and a key and index are included in the back. The book’s cover and jacket are also colorable.Appealing to all ages, SECRET GARDEN is the original and first book by Johanna Basford.