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Lions Roar : July 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2011 78 notice other people who are nearby. Imagine at times that these people feel alone, afraid, and disconnected. Imag- ine that they too want to feel a sense of belonging and oneness as much as you do. There is a “we.” You and those people that surround you are included in this “we.” We are in it together. We belong to the same humanity; we share the same emotions and desire to con- nect. We have much more in common than we often acknowledge. Take this moment to offer a bless- ing to others: May you know that we are not alone. May you know that we are linked in powerful emotional ways. May you feel the “we” in this silent mo- ment with me. May we feel it together. While this practice may be the last thing in the world a lonely person is in- clined to do, we can imagine that they would be uplifted by such a compassion- ate meditation. Other formal practices focus on grati- tude, listening to others, reconnecting with nature, mindful eating, and being of service. In this way, the two books com- plement each other well, feeding not only the intellect, but also the desire for daily inspiration. It’s worth noting that both books are grounded not just in traditional mindful- ness practices, but also in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a relatively to pick up both of these books. In The Mindful Way Through Anxiety, Orsillo and Roemer painstakingly lay out the habits of mind that contribute to our suffering. They also provide a compel- ling, evidence-based argument for bring- ing mindfulness and self-compassion to these habits. The authors illustrate each point with creative metaphors and clear, relatable case studies that help the reader recognize that their suffering is not so dif- ferent from others’. The authors also an- ticipate and address common questions, misconceptions, and reservations in Q&A format throughout the book. The empha- sis here is on insight, not formal practice; the reader is encouraged to take the ideas, and the approach of self-compassionate mindfulness, into everyday life. Brantley and Millstine aim more for the heart, using evocative, almost poetic lan- guage to describe a new way of relating to oneself and others. They skip the science and in-depth theory in favor of reflections and meditation practices designed to in- spire mindfulness and connection with others. Whereas The Mindful Way Through Anxiety primarily illuminates the habits of mind that reinforce the experience of anxi- ety and depression, True Belonging guides the body, mind, and heart toward a felt sense of connection and acceptance. For example, the “we-ness” reflection invites readers to go out into a public space when they are feeling lonely, and contemplate the following: While you hold tender space for your loneliness, take a look around you and To reconnect to common humanity and re-engage with life, we may not need anything more than wise instruction on how to be good friends to ourselves. www.barbarabonner.org prosper Barbara Bonner creates successful fundraising, board governance and management strategies to help non-profit institutions prosper. www.EmbracingthePresent.com Now is one of those special books that should be required reading for the curriculum of life. As the world around us speeds up, we need to learn to cherish and appreciate each present moment we are so freely given. This little book offers humanity the wisdom, insight, inspiration and practical advice to make the most of our lives right this moment.