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Books > Self-Help > Anger Management > B003U898WU
  1. The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger
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  2. The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger

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    Customer Ratings (97 reviews)
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Road rage. Domestic violence. Professionally angry TV and radio commentators. We’re a society that is swimming in anger, always about to snap. Leonard Scheff, a trial attorney, once used anger to fuel his court persona, until he came to realize just how poisonous anger is. That and his intense study of Buddhism and meditation changed him. His transformation can be summarized in a simple parable: Imagine you are circling a crowded parking lot when, just as you spot a space, another driver races ahead and takes it. Easy to imagine the rage. But now imagine that instead of another driver, a cow has lumbered into that parking space and settled down. The anger dissolves into bemusement. What really changed? You—your perspective.

Using simple Buddhist principles and applying them in a way that is easy for non-Buddhists to understand and put into practice, Scheff and Edmiston have created an interactive book that helps readers change perspective, step by step, so that they can replace the anger in their lives with a newfound happiness. Based on the successful anger management program Scheff created, The Cow in the Parking Lot shows how anger is based on unmet demands, and introduces the four most common types—Important and Reasonable (you want love from your partner); Reasonable but Unimportant (you didn’t get that seat in the restaurant window); Irrational (you want respect from a stranger); and the Impossible (you want someone to fix everything wrong in your life).

Scheff and Edmiston show how, once we identify our real unmet demands we can dissolve the anger; how, once we understand our "buttons," we can change what happens when they’re pushed. He shows how to laugh at ourselves—a powerful early step in changing angry behavior. By the end, as the reader continues to observe and fill in the exercises honestly, it won’t matter who takes that parking space—only you can make yourself angry.

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Kindle Edition
Kindle eBook
Workman Publishing Company
Workman Publishing Company
Workman Publishing Company
Workman Publishing Company
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Have you ever read a book which affected you so profoundly that you wanted to tell even complete strangers about it?

This is how I am feeling right now in regards to "The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger" by Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston. It is a phenomenal book. When you see it and read the summary you may think it isn't a necessary read in your life. This is because the emphasis is on dealing with anger. However, I have found there is far more involved in this book than just anger management.

This book is about total awareness of self.

You are at the opening of a new shopping center on the edge of town. You have been looking for a parking space for ten minutes. At last, right in front of you, the back-up lights come on. You turn on your turn signal and wait. From the other direction a jeep pulls into the space. Not only that, but when you honk, the driver gets out, smirks, and gives you the finger. Are you angry? You... Read more
"The "Cow in the Parking Lot" is among the five most beneficial books I have ever read!

Other books quoted in this easily read and understood text had previously helped me "overcome" anger. This book helped me to actually transcend that anger. By "transcend" I mean that the anger doesn't arise and therefore does not need to be overcome.

While based largely on Buddhist principles, this is not a book about religion and not a promotion of any religion. It is a practical approach to handling a destructive human emotion. The approach will to appeal believers of all faiths (as well as non-believers).
Forget the catchy but odd title, A Cow in the Parking Lot and concentrate on the subtitle, A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger... Also note that the authors are not merely referring to yelling and screaming but to the whole gamut of anger from irritability to rage. This is a wonderful, useful book that takes the pithy Buddhist teachings of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh and makes their ideas much more everyday practical. They present the zen ideas, explain the psychology behind anger and then apply the information to real situations. Most importantly, they give concrete recommendations. This is an important book about a topic that is the heart of much of the bad news we read about every day and should be read by therapists and lay people alike.
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