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Lions Roar : September 2015
LIFE IS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE Achieving Happiness with the 10 Perfections By Jean Smith Wisdom Publications, 218 pp., $17.95 (paper) The virtues known as the ten paramitas, or transcendent per- fections, are generosity, ethical integrity, renunciation, wisdom, wise effort, patience, truthful- ness, resolve, loving-kindness, and equanimity. The list is Buddhist but the paramitas are universal; they’re inherent in all people. That said, they must be carefully cultivated to bloom fully. In Life Is Spiritual Practice, Jean Smith unpacks the subtleties of each of the ten paramitas and explains how they are the key to lasting happiness. She provides exercises for incorporating the parami- tas into our everyday life and instructions for focusing on them in the context of an independent, at-home retreat. Smith is the author of numerous books, including Himalayan Passage, a novel, and A Beginner’s Guide to Insight Meditation, which she cowrote with Arinna Weisman. RECOVERING JOY A Mindful Life After Addiction By Kevin Griffin Sounds True, 204 pp., $16.95 (paper) An innovator in the field of addiction treatment, Kevin Griffin is the author of One Breath at a Time and cofounder of the Buddhist Recovery Network. In his new book, he addresses what’s often the missing piece in recovery pro- grams—recognizing that we deserve basic happiness and understanding how to achieve it. Before getting sober, Griffin, a self-proclaimed pessimist and cynic, thought happiness meant being in a perpetual good mood. Now he believes that true hap- piness is more than a mood. Indeed, even persistent troubling moods do not need to impinge on our sense of life satisfaction. In Recovering Joy, Griffin guides readers in exploring and culti- vating the elements that—in his view—true happiness depends on: integrity, satisfying interpersonal relationships, gratifying work, spiritual practice, fun, basic financial security, and self- care of our bodies. SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2015 71