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Lions Roar : September 2019
MINDFUL PARENT, MINDFUL CHILD Simple Mindfulness Practices for Busy Parents By Susan Kaiser Greenland Sounds True 2019; 5 hours and 22 minutes, $69.95 (Audio book) Kids do what we do, not what we tell them to do. So, says Susan Kaiser Greenland, teaching them mindfulness techniques is unlikely to be effective if we don’t embody it ourselves. In this audio book, Kaiser Greenland teaches parents how to nurture their own mindfulness with thirty quick yet deeply refreshing practices. Kaiser Greenland, a mom herself, speaks from experience. She was pregnant, working in cor- porate law, and helping her husband through a serious illness when he said that he wanted them to learn meditation. Think- ing it might be helpful for his health, she agreed. But then he clarified that he wanted to learn for her benefit: she was so stressed that it was driving him crazy! The first time she sat, Kaiser Greenland couldn’t stand it and fled the zendo. But she kept trying and soon saw how practice transformed her life— and her family’s. DEEP HOPE Zen Guidance for Staying Steadfast When the World Seems Hopeless Diane Eshin Rizzetto Shambhala Publications 2019; 176 pp., $18.95 (paper) In Buddhist circles, it’s often said that we should abandon hope because hope prevents us from truly living the present moment. Zen teacher Diane Eshin Rizzetto, however, offers a more nuanced perspective. Yes, hope is prob- lematic when it’s pinned on a specific outcome, which may or may not come to pass. But, says Rizzetto, there is a deep hope that “arises in stepping forward in skillful action with fortitude and courage.” This kind of hope “springs from knowing that everything is in a constant state of change, and because of this fundamental truth, all things are possible.” Rizzetto explores deep hope through the lens of the six paramitas, or transcen- dental perfections, which she defines as giving and receiving, taking skillful action, practicing patience, engaging effort, meditating, and seeing clearly. While this is an invaluable book to help us face the current societal and environmental crises, it will be equally useful in our personal lives. IN LOVE WITH THE WORLD A Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying By Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche Spiegel & Grau 2019; 288 pp., $27 (cloth) As an honored lineage holder in the Tibetan tradition, Mingyur Rinpoche had, as he puts it, “the practical life skills of a lapdog.” He’d never even cooked a meal or purchased a bus ticket. Then in 2011, he slipped through the gate of his monastery in Bodhgaya and—with little more than the clothes on his back—began to live entirely on his own as a wandering yogi, begging for food and sleeping outside. His family and students had no idea where he was and, he realized, he could have died without any- one knowing. Then he became gravely ill and death was sud- denly a very real possibility. Ultimately, Mingyur Rinpoche was on what he calls his wandering retreat for more than four years, and when he came back, he shared his remarkable story in a piece for Lion’s Roar. Now, in In Love with the World, he goes into even richer detail. Profound Buddhist teachings are grace- fully woven into the exciting narrative. CINDERELLA LIBERATOR By Rebecca Solnit Haymarket Books 2019; 32 pp., $17.95 (cloth) In 1892, a book was compiled of 345 versions of the Cinderella story and related tales. Now, from Rebecca Solnit—Zen Buddhist and acclaimed author of Men Explain Things to Me—comes the enlight- ened, feminist version for our time. Though the book is for children, adults will love the sumptu- ous, spot-on language and surprising plot twists. Cinderella is an active participant in her metamorphosis from cinder maid to ballroom ready. In this telling, the prince needs liberating as much as she does, and they become friends, not husband and wife. Cinderella comes to run a cake shop and, without magic, helps others figure out how to be free. Her stepsisters—whose feet were too small for her glass slippers—make good as well. They apologize for treating Cinderella badly and stop loafing at home, waiting for life to begin. Their mother, though, is unre- deemed. As Solnit puts it, “She’s who we all are when we feel poor amid plenty.” Find the best Buddhist books at store.lionsroar.com—and support our non-profit mission. REVIEWS LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2019 80