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How to Train a Wild Elephant
A growing body of research is showing that mindfulness can reduce stress, improve physical health, and improve one’s overall quality of life. Jan Chozen Bays, MD—physician and Zen teacher—has developed a series of simple practices to help us cultivate mindfulness as we go about our ordinary, daily lives. Exercises include: taking three deep breaths before answering the phone, noticing and adjusting your posture throughout the day, eating mindfully, and leaving no trace of yourself after using the kitchen or bathroom. Each exercise is presented with tips on how to remind yourself and a short life lesson connected with it.
Among the 53 exercises in this book (all extensively road-tested at the author monastery, Great Vow, in Oregon) are Notice Trees, Rest Your Hands, Study Suffering, Listen Like a Sponge, Mindful Driving, Look Deeply into Food, Gratitude at the End of the Day, A Media Fast, Your Tongue, and Look Up! If you’ve boxed “mindfulness” into just sitting meditation times, this lovely book will open your eyes.
“In a brilliant, practical, and elegant way, Bays has answered the question most frequently asked by students of meditation, ‘How do I bring this practice into my daily life?’ Here is a jewel box of insightful, wise, beautiful, and compassionate ways to do so.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
“This warm, welcoming, and wise book invites us to practice mindfulness now, right in the midst of life. The weekly exercises are illuminating, immensely practical, and fun.”—Diana Winston, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, co-author of Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness
Also by Jan Chozen Bays is Mindful Eating (Book + CD).