Cover image for A fool's guide to actual happiness / Mark Van Buren.
Title:
A fool's guide to actual happiness / Mark Van Buren.
ISBN:
9781614294481
Publication Information:
Somerville, MA : Wisdom Publications, [2018]
Physical Description:
xiii, 244 pages ; 17 cm
Contents:
Section I: Concepts & beliefs. Self-help or self-hate? ; Is happiness really a warm puppy ; The present moment ; The three marks of existence ; How to use suffering to cultivate compassion ; Karma ; Two aspects of mind -- Section II: Applications & practices. Mindfulness ; Meditation ; Just say yes ; Shenpa ; The two wings of meditation practice ; Compassion ; Forgiveness -- Section III: Putting it all together. Inspiration : the key to peace ; Going deeper ; Don't drink the Kool-Aid! ; Your feelings matter ; You are not alone ; Life as a path to awakening ; Fearlessness ; A good sense of humor ; Honesty & gentleness ; Two sides, same coin ; Clarity, not perfection.
Abstract:
"Let's face it: we all have a motivating drive to become better. What we have and who we are never seem to be good enough. This feeling that something is wrong or needs to be fixed causes us to continuously run around, chasing after what we feel will finally fulfill us. But what if these very conditions that we are constantly trying to escape from could be used as a way to awaken ourselves-- to connect with the peace already within us? A Fool's Guide to Actual Happiness offers a realistic roadmap for working towards inner peace without needing to be someone you're not. With humor and refreshing simplicity, Van Buren shows how everything life throws at you, good or bad, can be used as a means to cultivate compassion, wisdom, and loving-kindness. This book allows you to explore who you are-- warts and all-- and gives you tools to love and accept what you find"--Page 4 of cover.
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Summary

Summary

Happiness lies within us--but we could all use a little help finding it. In a refreshing new voice, The Fool's Guide to Actual Happiness shows us how to feel and be better--without having to be perfect.

Let's face it: we all have a motivating drive to become "better." What we have and who we are never seem to be good enough. This feeling that something is wrong or needs to be fixed causes us to continuously run around, chasing after what we feel will finally fulfill us. But what if these very conditions that we are constantly trying to escape from could be used as a way to awaken ourselves--to connect with the peace already within us?

A Fool's Guide to Actual Happiness offers a realistic roadmap for working towards inner peace without needing to be someone you're not. With humor and refreshing simplicity, Van Buren shows how everything life throws at you, good or bad, can be used as a means to cultivate compassion, wisdom, and loving-kindness. This book allows you to explore who you are--warts and all--and gives you tools to love and accept what you find.


Author Notes

Mark Van Buren is a Mindful Living Trainer, yoga/meditation instructor, personal trainer, and musician, that has been promoting health and wellness for over a decade. He writes articles on meditation and yoga for My Yoga Online, Gaiam TV and Elephant Journal. He has run dozens of workshops and retreats all over the tri-state area, and has been asked to speak at numerous colleges including Columbia, Montclair State, and Bergen Community. A handful of yoga studios have already opened their doors to his message, allowing him to give talks and run guided meditations and retreats.

He has worked extensively with children and adults with autism and other special needs, and even released two solo albums, based on his inward journey through meditation, under the band name "Seeking the Seeker." Van Buren holds a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Montclair State University and two Associate Degrees from Bergen Community College in exercise science and music. He is currently the owner and head instructor of Live Free Yoga Studio in River Edge, NJ.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Van Buren (Your Life Is Meditation) lays out a concise but informative crash course on finding happiness through Buddhist concepts and practices in this powerful book. In the first section, he takes up Buddhist teachings such as the three marks of existence (impermanence, suffering, and non-self) to call into question the belief that happiness comes through spiritual or material self-improvement. He then guides readers into an investigation of the conditionality of happiness and suffering, writing that actual happiness is contentment. The second section presents various kinds of practices to help readers settle into and accept the present moment: mindfulness, sitting meditation, tonglen and metta meditations, shenpa practice, cultivation of compassion, and more. The final section contains advice to support practice, including how to find inspiration, discover one's sense of humor, and handle a formal meditation retreat. Throughout the book, Van Buren regularly reminds readers that it is acceptable to be a foolish person so long as one is cultivating awareness, taking steps to avoid hurting oneself and others, and being exactly oneself to the fullest extent. Although he treads familiar ground, Van Buren proves himself to be a shrewd synthesizer of Buddhist principles for newcomers and novices on the path toward mindful living. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


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