|Donald Altman, a former Buddhist monk and now a practicing psychotherapist, has written such books as The Mindfulness Code and Living Kindness; he also leads workshops in mindfulness training (e.g., “Mindful Eating,” to help people overcome eating disorders). Here Altman encourages his readers to take the least scary, most feasible, baby step of all in mindfulness: for just 60 seconds commit to being present. “You may not be able to remedy the situation in one minute,” he writes, “but you can face it and vow to do something about it.”
For a person feeling irritable, for example, Altman recommends relaxing for 60 seconds without an agenda, without projections, simply “being with” the irritability–all of which should lead the person to recognize the roots of the irritability. The practice applies just as well to someone who has unexpressed expectations of another person that were unfulfilled or who feels uncomfortable about his or her body. The practice of One Minute Mindfulness aims to give people the space they need, free from pressures. This ancient awareness technique has been tested by modern neuroscience, demonstrating the adaptability of the brain and its ability to rewire established neural patterns.
Altman clearly delineates this gentle, liberating approach through the five parts of his book: “One Minute Mindfulness for Home and Play,” for “Work and Creativity,” for “Relationships and Love,” for “Health and Wellbeing” and for “Nature, Spirituality, and Contemplation.” Each short chapter concludes with a simple exercise, practice or meditation to allow the reader to experience mindfulness within the area explored. This calm and compassionate book offers tremendous help for every area of our lives. —Judith Hawkins-Tillirson, proprietress, Wyrdhoard Books, and blogger at Still Working for Books
Discover: How to unhitch yourself from the crippling reins of habit, and learn how to open to the spacious, peace-filled freedom that exists within.
|New World Library, $14.95 trade paper, 9781608680306|
One Minute Mindfulness, by Donald Altman [first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers August 23, 1022]