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Lions Roar : July 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2012 84 of influence actually ran in the opposite direction. It was his struggle to write that had enabled him to recognize the wisdom of the four noble truths. In The Mindful Writer, Moore explores the role of mind- fulness in the writing process. The book is composed of a series of quotations from writers, artists, and thinkers, each followed by a pithy, thoughtful response from Moore. World Enough & Time is about how our creativity is nurtured by slowing down— when we do sitting practice, or take a leisurely walk, or write a letter instead of firing off an email. Christian McEwen has a rich, lyrical voice and she deftly weaves together her personal experiences with the fascinating wisdom of Henry David Thoreau, Meredith Monk, Matthieu Ricard, and a host of other contemporary and historical figures. EVERYDAY ENLIGHTENMENT The Essential Guide to Finding Happiness in the Modern World By Gyalwang Drukpa Riverhead Books 2012; 188 pp., $25.95 (cloth) According to His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, there’s only one blessing in life— to possess genuine understanding and compassion. “From compassion springs kindness, generosity, patience and, of course, happiness,” he writes in Everyday Enlightenment. “Asking for any other kind of blessing in life—for luck, for a boy or a girl, for money or success—all these things are temporary. Ask instead for a light so that you may see the world in an understanding way, and that’s all you will ever need.” Gyalwang Drukpa is the head of the thousand-year-old Drukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. His humani- tarian work includes promoting gender equality, establishing medical clinics, and rebuilding heritage sites in the Himalayas. Additionally, he’s the founder of the Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, India, which grounds local children in their own culture while simultaneously equipping them to thrive in the modern world. EMOTIONAL CHAOS TO CLARITY How to Live More Skillfully, Make Better Decisions, and Find Purpose in Life By Phillip Moffitt Hudson Street Press 2012; 304 pp., $25.95 (cloth) Phillip Moffitt was editor in chief of Esquire magazine when he abruptly resigned. Friends and colleagues thought this was a strange decision, yet he felt it was refreshingly authentic—he never again wanted to get stuck in overvaluing worldly accomplishment. Now Moffitt is a co-guiding teacher at Spirit Rock Medi- tation Center in Northern California, and the founder of Life Balance Institute, a nonprofit organization that helps people find direction and meaning in their lives. Drawing on his own experiences, as well as on the experiences of his students, Mof- fitt helps readers develop inner strength and happiness. There are three parts to the book. The first lays the ground by addressing what it means to be human and reconnecting us to what really mat- ters, the second focuses on developing the behaviors necessary to meet life more effectively and authentically, and the third offers strategies for overcoming obstacles on the road to clarity. THAI TAXI TALISMANS Bangkok From the Passenger Seat By Dale Konstanz River Books 2012; 159 pp., $30 (paper) EARTH MEETS SPIRIT By Douglas Beasley 5 Continents Editions 2011; 112 pp., $34.95 (cloth) Author and photographer Dale Konstanz moved to Bangkok in 2003. After several years of getting rides in rainbow-hued, heavily ornamented taxis, he began taking photos of them. Thai Taxi Talismans is the culmination of Konstanz’s efforts—a fun and colorful visual feast, as well as an engaging cultural study of Thai beliefs and popular design. Bangkok cabbies decorate their vehicles with everything from artificial blooms to stuffed toys, but Buddhist iconography plays a major role: Bodhi leaves dangle from rear-view mirrors, sacred symbols and scripts adorn steering wheels and taxi roofs, and Buddha statues lend themselves to dashboard altars. Another book of photography, Earth Meets Spirit, presents images of sacred places such as the Buddhist monument Barobodour in Java, Indonesia, and the Temple of the Jaguar in Tikal, Guatemala. Photographer Douglas Beasley interprets “sacred” in the broadest of senses, in the sense that sacredness is all around us, in the everyday. Some of his most haunting shots are of dead birds, trees reflected in water, and the strong, soft back of a horse in South Dakota. ♦