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Lions Roar : September 2014
LIVING IN BALANCE A Mindful Guide for Thriving in a Complex World By joel & Michelle levey Divine Arts 2014; 330 pp., $18.95 (paper) From family matters and health concerns to making a living, human life has always been stressful, and now we have the added stress that comes with ubiquitous technology. To help us find bal- ance in such challenging times, joel and Michelle levey synthe- size the wisdom of myriad spiritual traditions with cutting-edge science. A wide variety of principles and practices are presented in Living in Balance, so there is something here for everyone. And the authors encourage experimentation: if we’re mindful of what resonates with us, we can each find our own unique mix or “playlist” of insights and tools, which can most effectively help us find harmony and deeper connections. “This book will be of use to anyone interested in exploring and transforming the mind,” His Holiness the Dalai lama writes in the book’s introduction. “As more people achieve some degree of mental calm, insight, or the ability to transform negative emotions into positive ones, there will be a natural reinforcement of basic human values and consequently a greater chance for peace and happiness for all.” JAPANESE IKEBANA FOR EVERY SEASON By Rie Imai and Yuji Ueno; photography by Noboru Murata Tuttle 2014; 144 pp., $24.95 (cloth) It is believed that ikebana, or japanese flower arranging, first came into being in the sixth century as flower offerings to the Buddha. For a contemporary taste of this art form, check out Japanese Ikebana for Every Season. This book explains basic ikebana tech- niques such as how to trim, bend, and shape plant material and how to boil, pound, or burn stems in order to aid water absorp- tion. Then the book goes on to showcase fifty-three evocative arrangements, with tips for recreating them at home. According to Rie Imai and Yuji Ueno, observing and mimicking nature is at the heart of ikebana. Yet “ikebana is not simply nature trans- planted into a vase.” It is, rather, flowers and branches plucked from nature, then restructured, combined with a container, and presented in a new (indoor) environment. In effect, it is an inter- pretation of nature infused with the arranger’s sensibilities. ♦ santa fe, new mexico 505-986-8518 www.upaya.org