Quiet Mind Meditation

This is a quiet space .. designed to inspire, nurture and support your meditation practice so that you might find your own quiet mind

Monday, 19 March 2012

How To Train A Wild Elephant

I am really enjoying my new book 'How To Train A Wild Elephant (& Other Adventures in Mindfulness) by Jan Chozen Bays .. and I have already mentioned the book in class and written about some of the exercises in our Monday Meditation Musings program.  I recently heard that the book can be found in the Readings Bookstore in Melbourne which is great news if you live locally.

The wonder of this book is that it provides a very clear, wise and simple guide to building your mindfulness 'muscle' through a series of 53 exercises.  The suggestion is that you take one exercise as your dedicated practice for a full week .. before trying another .. then another .. slowly bringing mindfulness into your daily life.

Jan Chozen Bays, MD, is a Zen master in the White Plum lineage of the late master Taizan Maezumi Roshi. She serves as a priest and teacher at the Jizo Mountain–Great Vow Zen Monastery in Clatskanie, Oregon, and she is also a pediatrician.

Each chapter in the book presents a new exercise, such as: taking three deep breaths before answering the phone, noticing and adjusting your posture throughout the day, eating mindfully, and using your nondominant hand. A short description is provided for each exercise, along with some of the philosophical background, observations from others who have practiced the exercise, and a deeper interpretation .. what does the exercise really mean?

While the presentation and text are simple to understand .. as with all meditation, it is remembering the practice and doing the practice that is more complex, so there are even some suggestions on how to remember the exercise each day.. alas then its up to you 'to do'.

I shall continue to dip into this book and I have had many warm smiles on my face as I notice exercises that I have crossed paths with before .. and this book is perfectly suited for those new to mindfulness and/or meditation, those who would like to explore more mindfulness in daily life practices, and anyone who seeks greater awareness and presence in their daily life.

*I look forward to hearing some of your feedback and thoughts on this book  or the mindfulness practices that you include in your life*

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