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Lions Roar : September 2014
SIT WITH LESS PAIN Gentle Yoga for Meditators and Everyone Else By jean Erlbaum Wisdom Publications 2014; 200 pp., $19.95 (paper) For over three decades, jean Erlbaum has been teaching yoga at meditation retreats, and the feedback she has gotten year in and year out is that a body free of pain and tension helps the mind become quiet. To address this concern, her new book presents poses and self-massage techniques that can be practiced before or after sitting practice. At the heart of this book is the idea that yoga does not have to be separate from meditation, as it is itself meditative. “When we pay full attention during a forward bend,” says Erlbaum, “we can drop all memories of how our back has been, judgment of how it should be, worries about how it may get worse, or fantasies of how to make it better. All there is in that moment is the stretch, the breath, and any physical changes or insights as they occur.” In short, Erlbaum posits, “Yoga can bring us into the authentic embodiment of each moment.” BY ALL MEANS A Zen Cautionary Tale By Edward Brown; illustrations by Margot Koch Missing Links Press 2014; 112 pp., $19.95 (paper) From Edward Espe Brown, the author of The Complete Tassa- jara Cookbook, comes By All Means, a quirky tale dedicated to “grown-ups of all ages.” It is about the real-life adventures of a pig puppet named Ponce as he develops a touching friendship with Edward. Edward rescues Ponce from the jaws of a cat, then gives him a place in the world when he brings him into a fam- ily of stuffed toys and collaborates with him to teach Zen to children. For anyone who has ever looked into the sad eyes of a stuffed animal and had their heartstrings pulled, Edward’s words will hit home. “Ponce’s little piggy pain was really my own gap- ing wound that hurt so much that sharing it with anyone was problematic. Still Ponce was willing to let me share my big pain with him, while I pretended that it was his—and as long as I was pretending I really believed that it was Ponce’s pain. Ponce was a real friend in that regard.” Frank Berliner has studied, practiced, and taught meditation for forty years. He is Associate Professor of Contemplative Psychology at Naropa Univer sity, where he has taught since 1995. Mr. Berliner leads this week long residential retreat, during which he will present his unique integration of the Shambhala and Buddhadharma teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. For more information and to register, visit: WWW.DHARMAOCEAN.ORG shambhala sun september 2014 78