A Year of Mindfulness: A Reading List

What would you like to accomplish this year?

Have you made New Year's resolutions to start meditating or pick up your practice again? To be more mindful with your children or adolescents? To mend a broken heart or learn to cook? To finally figure out your dosha, prioritize, or simply to relax?

We at Shambhala have books covering all these topics and more to help you have your most satisfying, healthy, and mindful year yet. From favorite authors like Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jan Chozen Bays,  Susan Piver, and others, read up on some of our top picks for turning a new leaf in 2016:



If you want to meditate but have no idea where to begin, this book by best-selling author Susan Piver will help you: it contains everything you need to know to start a meditation practice and, even more important, to continue one.



If you've heard about the many benefits of mindfulness but think you don't have time for it, prepare to be proven delightfully wrong. Mindfulness is available every moment, as Zen teacher Jan Chozen Bays shows with these twenty-five exercises that can be done anywhere.



Believe what you've heard about meditation: it'll focus your mind, open your heart, and sometimes surprise you with insight. And it's not complicated. In fact, everything you need to get started is contained in the pages of this little book by Lodro Rinzler, founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership.



This introduction to mindfulness for children and their parents includes practices that can help us all calm down, focus, fall asleep, alleviate worry, manage anger, and generally become more patient and aware.



Parenting a teenager is a challenge, to be sure, but Eline Snel has some very good news for those facing that challenge: there's a way to stay mindful, present, and, yes, positive throughout it all by developing a base of mindful awareness as your resource.



This practical guide introduces you to the practice of meditation, explains how it is approached in the main schools of Buddhism, and offers advice and inspiration from Buddhism's most renowned teachers, including Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama, Sharon Salzberg, Chögyam Trungpa, Shunryu Suzuki, Sylvia Boorstein and many others.



A collection of talks she gave between 1987 and 1994, the book is a treasury of Pema Chödrön's wisdom for going on living when we are overcome by pain and difficulties.



In this book, Thich Nhat Hanh distills the essence of Buddhist thought and practice, emphasizing the power of mindfulness to transform our lives. "Mindfulness is not an evasion or an escape, " he explains. "It means being here, present, and totally alive. It is true freedom-and without this freedom, there is no happiness. "



This user's guide to Buddhist basics takes the most commonly asked questions and provides simple answers in plain English.  Buddhism for Beginners is an ideal first book on the subject for anyone, but it's also a wonderful resource for seasoned students, since the question-and-answer format makes it easy to find just the topic you're looking for.



Best-seller Pema Chödrön draws on the Buddhist concept of shenpa to help us see how certain habits of mind tend to "hook " us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. The good news is that once we start to recognize these patterns, they instantly begin to lose their hold on us and we can begin to change our lives for the better.



An indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart, Pema Chödrön presents down-to-earth guidance on how we can "start where we are"-embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives through contemplation of the 59 lojong slogans.



With her love of whole food, chef Amy Chaplin has written a book that will inspire you to eat well at every meal, every day, year round. Part One involves stocking your kitchen, planning weekly menus, composting, doing a whole-food cleanse, and much more. Part Two is a collection of recipes, most of which are gluten-free, celebrating vegetarian cuisine in its brightest, whole, sophisticated form.



Eating natural, homemade foods in accordance with personal constitution and changes in environment is often all that we need to find balance in our lives. In The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook, Kate O'Donnell inspires you to get into the kitchen and explore this time-honored system for health and vibrancy.



Hope, Make, Heal  offers a unique approach to healing: using one's hands to mend the heart. The 20 craft projects provide ways to make tangible objects that signify the qualities one seeks on a healing path: strength, calm, release, and hope. Full of gentle encouragement, each project is easy to make and suitable for those times when our minds are preoccupied and our spirits are low.



The Relaxed Mind  contains instructions for the seven-phase meditation practice Dza Kilung Rinpoche  developed for Westerners, whom he finds have difficulty relaxing due to  the pace of Western life. It's very traditional but adapted to help those of us who live in a culture of distraction.



When taken on mindfully, vows can be a source of surprising wisdom and powerful energy, enabling you to accomplish things you never dreamed possible.  In this guide to the vow-directed life, Jan Chozen Bays provides a wealth of practical exercises for formulating and implementing vows of your own with honesty and compassion.


We hope  these books provide you much support and enjoyment, and we at Shambhala Publications wish you a very happy new year!

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