How can we stay engaged with life day after day? How can we continue to love–keep our minds in a happy mood–when life is complex and often challenging?These are questions that Sylvia Boorstein addresses in Happiness Is an Inside Job. In more than three decades of practice and teaching she has discovered that the secret to happiness lies in actively cultivating our connections with the world, with friends, family, colleagues–even those we may not know well. She shows us how mindfulness, concentration, and effort–three elements of the Buddhist path to wisdom–can lead us away from anger, anxiety, and confusion, and into calmness, clarity, and the joy of living in the present.
Sylvia Boorstein Ph.D.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is awesome! I wish they had found a better title for it because, "Happiness Is An Inside Job" sounds like just another inane self help book, which this is certainly NOT. My copy is so highlighted that the pages are wrinkly. Sylvia has a gift for communicating calmness and inspiring the willingness to walk through difficult times, rather than fighting, avoiding or trying to fix them. Words can't describe how much this book has helped me deal with my Dad's Alzheimer's and his slow disintegration into a vegetative state and ultimately death. Thank you, Sylvia, and for heaven's sake, keep on writing.
Choosing the three mind training steps of the Eightfold Path as the focus for her book, meditation teacher Sylvia Boorstein mixes The Buddha's advice with her personal experiences to explain how to restore the mind to balance after disruptive events start a story that spirals us into a state of dissatisfaction with life or others. Consistent with Boorstein's view that the responses of a balanced mind are friendliness, compassion, appreciation; she offers a simple test for this state of unbalance or confusion, "In this moment, am I able to care?" And, for her it is this ability to restore the mind to kindness that is happiness.
As do most meditative teachers, Boorstein advises that suffering results from struggling with what is beyond our control. What is past is past; let it go, "that's life." Relief comes when: The mind says, "I want something different, but this is what I have." And, when: We restore our ability to rejoice with other people. If I understand her, this is...
Dr. Boorstein books and essays are like a franchise. You know what to expect before you even open the cover. However, like individual franchise locations, some are better than others. Her current book should win the franchise of the month award.
Dr. Boornstein strikes just the right balance between conveying several fundamental Buddhist principles from original or near sources, then describes them very well in her own words. Finally she illustrates them with her trademark story telling drawn from her day to day experiences - which are really no different from our own.
She also reminds us, in what I feel is a culturally Jewish framework, that an awakened life includes profound sorry. Shut that off and you have become numb not happy.
I would recommend this book for those just wading into the water of Buddhist thought and practice, as well as for those who want to take a break from rigorous Buddhist study and concentrated meditation to immerse themselves...
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