Happiness

Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill

by Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu Ricard gave up a career in cellular genetics at the Institut Pasteur to study Buddhism in the Himalayas. In this book he shares his wisdom about happiness drawing from thirty-five years of studying Buddhism and psychology.

“A change, even a tiny one, in the way we manage our thoughts and perceive and interpret the world can significantly change our existence. Changing the way we experience transitory emotions leads to a change in our moods and to a lasting transformation of our way of being.” Continue reading

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Be Nobody

be-nobody

Be Nobody

by Lama Marut

Lama Marut, aka Brian K. Smith, was a professor of comparative religion, he studied Hinduism and Sanskrit in India, he was a Buddhist monk, and he is the son of a Baptist preacher. So he presents a well-informed viewpoint rather than a myopic dogma. Fortunately, you don’t need to climb a mountain to be enlightened by this wise man; he imparts wisdom in his book, Be Nobody.

Marut writes about living in the iEra. “Our contemporary culture of consumerism, materialism, narcissism, and the worship of fame encourages the idea that we will be happy only when we become exceptional. But maybe we’ve got it wrong—exactly wrong. Maybe our deepest and most authentic happiness will be found only when we finally lay down this heavy burden of trying to be a somebody… Maybe true fulfillment in life requires an emptying, not a filling.” Continue reading

Taking the Leap

taking-the-leap-pema-chodron

Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears

by Pema Chӧdrӧn

Pema Chӧdrӧn is a Buddhist nun. She writes about “unhooking” ourselves from negative thoughts and emotions.

She tells a story about a Native American grandfather who explains to his grandson the catalyst for violence and cruelty in the world. “He said it was as if two wolves were fighting in his heart. One wolf was vengeful and angry, and the other wolf was understanding and kind. The young man asked his grandfather which wolf would win the fight in his heart. And the grandfather answered, ‘The one that wins will be the one I choose to feed.’” The author explains that emotions have very short natural lifespan, but we extend that “by feeding it with an internal conversation about how another person is the source of our discomfort… This is a very ancient habit.” Continue reading

Clean Gut

clean-gut

Clean Gut: The Breakthrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Disease and Revolutionizing Your Health

by Alejandro Junger, M.D.

Dr. Alejandro Junger is a cardiologist and a practitioner of functional medicine who concludes that gut dysfunction is the root cause of “most of the chronic diseases affecting people today as well as many acute problems.” Doctors will often treat symptoms rather than the root cause. Dr. Junger’s approach is to put the patient on a detoxification diet first. This often solves the problem; other times it unmasks problems, such as parasites and yeast overgrowth. Continue reading

Learned Optimism

learned-optimism

Learned Optimism

by Martin E. P. Seligman

“Explanatory style” is the way we think about life’s events.  We can have either an optimistic or a pessimistic explanatory style.  Seligman’s research found that changing pessimism into optimism relieves depression.

A pessimistic explanatory style frames negative events in terms that are personal, permanent, and pervasive—I’m a failure, This always happens to me, This screws up my whole life.  Seligman offers the ABCDE technique to reframe explanatory style. The letters stand for adversity, belief, consequences, dispute (your negative beliefs), and energize. Continue reading