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Lions Roar : January 2016
REVIEWS KINDFULNESS MEDITATION By Ajahn Brahm Wisdom 2015; 184 pp., $9.95 (paper) Mindfulness is not enough, says Australian Bud- dhist monk Ajahn Brahm; we must add kindness to it. He calls the result “kindfulness.” Brahm illus- trates his approach to meditation with anecdotes, insights, and teachings, including chapters like “The Space Between Thoughts,” “Mind Like a Pad- ded Cell,” and “A Grin Without a Cat.” Using the “AFL code”—acknowledge, forgive, and learn— Brahm says we can practice kindfulness in every situation—toward ourselves, others, and even ATM machines. THE POINT OF VANISHING A Memoir of Two Years in Solitude By Howard Axelrod Beacon Press 2015; 211 pp., $16 (paper) Solitary retreat is one of the most powerful—and difficult—of all spiritual practices. In this memoir of two years in a Vermont cabin with no television or computer and little human contact, Axelrod weaves a lyrical, questioning narrative about his search for identity after a basketball game left him blind in one eye. ”I needed to be no one, really, while carrying a hope that my particular no one might feel familiar, might turn out to be someone I had known all along.” Lush descriptions of sensory experiences as Axelrod discovers new ways of seeing the world, and himself, illuminate a journey of loss leading to insight, with Axelrod finding the core of him- self amid the pieces of who he had once been. START HERE NOW By Susan Piver Shambhala 2015; 182 pp., $12 (paper) Start Here Now offers “specific, concrete, actionable, steps for beginning your own meditation practice in a stress-free, dogma-free, jargon-free way.” But as author and teacher Susan Piver points out, starting a practice is only the first step—it’s continuing that proves to be the challenge. She defines what meditation is and is not, and addresses common questions ranging from how to set up your room to bringing your practice into real-life situations such as relationships and deal- ing with difficult emotions. Clear, humorous, and encouraging, Start Here Now is a good book for any- one who wants to start—and continue—a meditation practice. ♦ Pema and the Pema Chödrön Foundation support: THE BUDDHIST MONASTIC TRADITION Pema is dedicated to help guide and support her home monastery, Gampo Abbey, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. NUNS IN THE HIMALAYAS The Pema Chödrön Foundation’s support helps ensure that nuns in Nepal, Bhutan and India have the same equal opportunities for deep practice and study as monks have always had. THE BOOK INITIATIVE Pema’s books and recorded teachings are offered to underserved individuals and the organizations that serve them, around the world, free of charge. pemachodronfoundation.org All proceeds from the PCF bookstore support Pema’s work. Free Shipping in the USA SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2016 88