Today’s Recommendation:
The Mindful Education Workbook

The Mindful Education Workbook:
Lessons for Teaching Mindfulness to Students
by Daniel Rechtschaffe
★★★★★

A structured curriculum of classroom-ready lessons, practices, and worksheets for actualizing a powerful new educational paradigm: student mindfulness.

This workbook offers a step-by-step curriculum of classroom-ready mindfulness lessons for personal and professional development. It’s a trove of fun, easy activities specially designed to help educators engage K-12 students and cultivate mindful attributes like attention, compassion, and well-being. Rich with simple and effective tips, techniques, worksheets, and guided exercises developed through extensive on-the-ground experience with real students and teachers, The Mindful Education Workbook empowers readers with all the tools they need to integrate mindful education in the school day.

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Art of Awakening

The Art of Awakening:
A User's Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Art and Practice
by Konchog Lhadrepa
★★★★

A presentation on the Tibetan Buddhist path to enlightenment, through the lens of an artist's eye and experience.

The sacred arts play an essential, intrinsic role in Tibetan Buddhist practice. Here, one of the great practitioners and master artists of our time presents a guide to the Tibetan Buddhist path, from preliminary practices through enlightenment, from the artist's perspective. With profound wisdom, he shows how visual representations of the sacred in paintings, sculptures, mandalas, and stupas can be an essential support to practice throughout the path. This work, based on the author's landmark Tibetan text, The Path to Liberation, includes basic Buddhist teachings and practices, clearly pointing out the relevance of these for both the sacred artist and the practitioner, along with an overview of the history and iconography of Buddhist art.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Mindfully Facing Disease and Death

Mindfully Facing Disease and Death
by Analayo
★★★★ 1/2

"Serious meditation students will benefit tremendously from the clarity of understanding that Venerable Analayo's efforts have achieved."
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness

This book provides a practical guide for those facing disease and death by helping them to access the ageless wisdom of the Buddha's teaching.

Disease and death are undeniably integral parts of human life. Yet when they manifest we are easily caught unprepared. To prepare for these, we need to learn how to skillfully face illness and passing away. A source of practical wisdom can be found in the early discourses that record the teachings given by the Buddha and his disciples.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Aikido and the Harmony of Nature

Aikido and the Harmony of Nature
by Mitsugi Saotome
★★★★ 1/2

Here is a unique approach to the teachings of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, as interpreted by his direct student of fifteen years. Mitsugi Saotome examines the spiritual philosophy of the Founder, the warrior ideals of feudal Japan as the basis of his martial arts philosophy, and the scientific principles underlying the philosophy of Aikido technique.

The author shows that the physical movement of Aikido is the embodiment of principles of the spirit. Negative force is not countered with aggression but is controlled and redirected through the power and balance of spiral movement. This is the shape of Aikido and the dynamic shape at the foundation of all energies of existence. Aikido movement can only be understood from its roots in universal law and the processes of nature. The sincere practice and study of Aikido deepens our appreciation for the perfection of nature's balance and brings us back into harmony with our environment, other people, and ourselves.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Guide to the Jhanas
by Leigh Brasington

Right Concentration:
A Practical Guide to the Jhanas
by Leigh Brasington
★★★★★

A practical guidebook for meditators interested in achieving the states of bliss and deep focus associated with the Buddhist jhānas.

One of the elements of the Eightfold Path is Right Concentration: the one-pointedness of mind that, together with ethics, livelihood, meditation, and more, leads to the ultimate freedom from suffering. So how does one achieve Right Concentration? According to the Buddha himself, the jhānas—a series of eight progressive altered states of consciousness—are an essential method. But because the jhānas can usually be achieved only through prolonged meditation retreat, they have been shrouded in mystery for years.

Not anymore. In Right Concentration, Leigh Brasington takes away the mystique and gives instructions on how to achieve them in plain, accessible language. He notes the various pitfalls to avoid along the way and provides a wealth of material on the theory of jhāna practice—all geared toward the practitioner rather than the scholar. As Brasington proves, these states of bliss and concentration are attainable by anyone who devotes the time and sincerity of practice necessary to realize them.

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Wisdom of the Buddha

The Wisdom of the Buddha:
Heart Teachings in His Own Words
by Anne Bancroft
★★★★

A treasury of teachings, stories, and sayings in the words of the Buddha himself.

In their essence, the Buddha’s teachings are concerned with a clear-eyed understanding of the reality of our suffering and pointing the way to freedom from that suffering. Here in all their power, as memorized word-for-word by his disciples and written down a millennium and a half ago, are the core teachings of the Buddha in his own words. These selections deal with the search for truth, the way of contemplation, life and death, living in community, and many other topics, serving as an excellent introduction to the Buddhist path. Clear, uplifting, and potent, the Buddha’s teachings are as freshly relevant today as they were when first presented.

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Zen Canon

The Zen Canon:
Understanding the Classic Texts
by Dale S. Wright
★★★ 1/2

Bodhidharma, its first patriarch, reputedly said that Zen Buddhism represents "a special transmission outside the teaching/Without reliance on words and letters." This saying, along with the often perplexing use of language (and silence) by Zen masters, gave rise to the notion that Zen is a "lived religion," based strictly on non-linguistic practice and lacking a substantial canon of sacred texts. Even those who recognize the importance of Zen texts commonly limit their focus to a few select texts without recognizing the wide variety of Zen literature. This collection of previously unpublished essays argues that Zen actually has a rich and varied literary heritage. Among the most significant textual genres are hagiographic accounts and recorded sayings of individual Zen masters, koan collections and commentaries, and rules for monastic life. During times of political turmoil in China and Japan, these texts were crucial to the survival and success of Zen, and they have for centuries been valued by practitioners as vital expressions of the truth of Zen. This volume offers learned yet accessible studies of some of the most important classical Zen texts, including some that have received little scholarly attention (and many of which are accessible only to specialists). Each essay provides historical, literary, and philosophical commentary on a particular text or genre. Together, they offer a critique of the "de facto canon" that has been created by the limited approach of Western scholarship, and demonstrate that literature is a diverse and essential part of Zen Buddhism.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Sitting with Lao-Tzu by Andrew Beaulac

Sitting with Lao-Tzu:
Discovering the Power of the Timeless,
the Silent, and the Invisible in a Clamorous Modern World
by Andrew Beaulac
★★★★★

This book is about a way of return to one’s own true life.

In any society, ancient or modern, which has made busyness a virtue, lost itself in pursuing the accumulation of power, knowledge, and material goods, and finds its only way forward to be into increasing complexity and a one-sided quest for incessant growth, people find their lives displaced, and long for a return to authenticity, freedom, and simplicity. Returning to one’s true life is returning to pure being-ness. This book will introduce anyone newly exposed to Lao Tzu to a wisdom that we already know on at our deepest level, but seem to have forgotten on the turbulent and distracted level of everyday living. Includes a new translation of the Tao Te Ching with attention to the recently discovered Ma-Wang-Dui texts.

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Today’s Recommendation:
A Direct Approach to Happiness

Wild Calm:
A Direct Approach to Happiness
by Tim Grimes
★★★★ 1/2

There's a better way to find happiness than the boring stress reduction techniques and spiritual mumbo-jumbo we're all used to.

The unique recommendations in this guide are unorthodox. They also immediately work - because they're fun and make practical sense. You can totally change how you deal with anxiety by applying this simple advice. Get your copy and let's get started.

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Today’s Recommendation:
Zhuangzi

Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings:
With Selections from Traditional Commentaries
by Chuang Tzu
★★★★ 1/2

Ideal for students and scholars alike, this edition of Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) includes the complete Inner Chapters, extensive selections from the Outer and Miscellaneous Chapters, and judicious selections from two thousand years of traditional Chinese commentaries, which provide the reader access to the text as well as to its reception and interpretation. A glossary, brief biographies of the commentators, a bibliography, and an index are also included.

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Today’s Recommendation:
A Mindful Year

A Mindful Year:
365 Ways to Find Connection
and the Sacred in Everyday Life
by Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh and Seth J. Gillihan PhD
★★★★ 1/2

From two experts on the psychology of behavior change comes A Mindful Year, the first book of its kind to join the age-old wisdom of mindfulness with cognitive behavioral science—the best-tested set of practices for alleviating stress and anxiety.

At a time when there have never been more ways to connect with one another, it has also never been easier to lose track of the people and passions we hold most dear. The demands of the day can leave us feeling exhausted and uninspired, while alerts and notifications constantly tug at our attention. We fall into unhealthy patterns that can be all too difficult to break.

Written from friend to friend, one day at a time, A Mindful Year invites you to start a new pattern—one that begins with taking just a few quiet moments to reconnect with what is most important, each day. As practical as it is inspirational, A Mindful Year marries moments of mindful reflection with calls to action—daily nuggets of wisdom paired with friendly encouragement to live in a way that is grounded, authentic, and compassionate.

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Today’s Recommendation:
First Buddhist Women
by Susan Murcott

First Buddhist Women:
Poems and Stories of Awakening
by Susan Murcott
★★★★★

First Buddhist Women is a readable, contemporary translation of and commentary on the enlightenment verses of the first female disciples of the Buddha. The book explores Buddhism’s relatively liberal attitude towards women since its founding nearly 2,600 years ago, through the study of the Therigatham, the earliest know collection of women’s religious poetry. Through commentary and storytelling, author Susan Murcott traces the journey of the wives, mothers, teachers, courtesan, prostitutes, and wanderers who became leaders in the Buddhist community, roles that even today are rarely filled by women in other patriarchal religions. Their poetry beautifully expresses their search for spiritual attainment and their struggles in society.

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Today’s Recommendation:
True Dharma Eye
Zen Master Dogen

Treasury of the True Dharma Eye:
Zen Master Dogen's Shobo Genzo
by Kazuaki Tanahashi
★★★★ 1/2

Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Shobo Genzo, in Japanese) is a monumental work, considered to be one of the profoundest expressions of Zen wisdom ever put on paper, and also the most outstanding literary and philosophical work of Japan. It is a collection of essays by Eihei Dogen (1200–1253), founder of Zen’s Soto school.

Kazuaki Tanahashi and a team of translators that represent a Who’s Who of American Zen have produced a translation of the great work that combines accuracy with a deep understanding of Dogen’s voice and literary gifts. This eBook includes a wealth of materials to aid understanding, including maps, lineage charts, a bibliography, and an exhaustive glossary of names and terms—and, as a bonus, the most renowned of all Dogen’s essays, "Recommending Zazen to All People."

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Today’s Recommendation:
Alan Watts Autobiography

In My Own Way: An Autobiography
by Alan Watts
★★★★ 1/2

In this new edition of his acclaimed autobiography — long out of print and rare until now — Alan Watts tracks his spiritual and philosophical evolution. A child of religious conservatives in rural England, he went on to become a freewheeling spiritual teacher who challenged Westerners to defy convention and think for themselves. Watts's portrait of himself shows that he was a philosophical renegade from early on in his intellectual life. Self-taught in many areas, he came to Buddhism through the teachings of Christmas Humphreys and D. T. Suzuki.

Told in a nonlinear style, In My Own Way combines Watts's brand of unconventional philosophy with wry observations on Western culture and often hilarious accounts of gurus, celebrities, and psychedelic drug experiences. A charming foreword by Watts's father sets the tone of this warm, funny, and beautifully written story. Watts encouraged readers to “follow your own weird” — something he always did himself, as this remarkable account of his life shows.

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Today’s Recommendation:
A Radical Approach to Happiness
by Tim Grimes

The Joy of Not Thinking:
A Radical Approach to Happiness
by Tim Grimes
★★★★ 1/2

When I was sixteen, I had a mental breakdown. It happened while I was on vacation in the Caribbean with my family. I’d been reading an old Zen book, and it did me in. I’d experienced some strange mental states before, but this was different. As I read this book, death moved to the foreground of all my thoughts—and then stayed there. I found myself in a tropical paradise, terrified. Living seemed too cruel to carry on with. Buddha had said all life was suffering and all that meant was that everything was hopeless. There was no way out. Escape was impossible. When you looked at things soberly, it was obvious. Life, inevitably, was really just suffering and death.

I kept this anxiety to myself as best I could. There was nothing to say anyway. No one could help. I was helpless, mortified, but aware that I was unable to do anything about it. The stress began to wear on my body. It felt worse and worse. I would have killed myself right there if death didn’t scare me even more than life. I reasoned if ...

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Today’s Recommendation:
The Buddha's Guide to Gratitude
by Becca Anderson

The Buddha's Guide to Gratitude:
The Life-changing Power of
Every Day Mindfulness
by Becca Anderson
★★★★★

The four keys to the Gate of Heaven: As it turns out, Buddha had quite a lot to say on the subject of gratitude, including citing it as one of the four keys to the Gate of Heaven. Why is this? Perhaps the sheer simplicity of gratefulness is a key, as it is available to all of us at any time. Even in the midst of over-busyness, stress, and chaos, we can find plenty to be glad about, and The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude will start your journey towards Zen and gratefulness.

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