Cool Mind Warm Heart: Adventures with Life's Biggest Secret

( 14 )

Overview

Cool Mind Warm Heart is a classic in the spirit of Be Here Now and The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment....playful, kind, fiery, and deep. If His Holiness the Dalai Lama married Tom Robbins, their love child might write this book - a celebration of the most inspiring (and terrifying) possibility the world has ever known: Everything is a Gift! Steve Roberts writes like a freight train driven by Mother Teresa. His views on everyday life are just dangerous enough to show us our true selves: full of dignity and ...
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Overview

Cool Mind Warm Heart is a classic in the spirit of Be Here Now and The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment....playful, kind, fiery, and deep. If His Holiness the Dalai Lama married Tom Robbins, their love child might write this book - a celebration of the most inspiring (and terrifying) possibility the world has ever known: Everything is a Gift! Steve Roberts writes like a freight train driven by Mother Teresa. His views on everyday life are just dangerous enough to show us our true selves: full of dignity and promise. And along the way, we find ourselves engaged in that subversive activity that has undermined the seriousness of humankind since the dawn of time: We smile.
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What People Are Saying

Cheri Huber
"Cool Mind Warm Heart is a wonderful gift! Filled with insightful, engaging storiesm it constantly asks us to become more aware and stretch in many good ways."
author of When You're Falling, Dive
Daniel Levin
"Steve Roberts is my kind of writer - poignant, funny, and deeply perceptive. Readers of this 'out of the box' book are in for a real treat."
author of ZEN cards and the ZEN book
Sue Patton Thoele
"I love Cool Mind Warm Heart so much that, as I was reading, I kept thinking about all the people I'd like to give it to as a gift."
author of Growing Hope and The Woman's Book of Courage
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780976763109
  • Publisher: St. Lynn's Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 7.58 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Being Mothered by Stones
It is said that you find two kinds of people on Everest: those who wish to climb her, and those who wish to stand on top.t doesn't take much for me to feel humble. After all, I wrestle stones. These jewels of the Vermont landscape remind me that life is a practice of bringing the kindest heart we can to every moment we have, and that to do so demands a very special relationship with the earth. Which may be why, to me, stones are like badgers: fearless, relentless. I've got the scars to prove it.May 20, 2004 was among the deadliest days on Mt. Everest. Six people died, including some of the world's most experienced mountaineers. Those who reached the summit and lived to tell about it included one David Watson of Vermont.In a subsequent interview Mr. Watson made it clear that he certainly hadn't "conquered" Everest. "I feel like I worked with the mountain, and she let me to the top. It's definitely a symbiotic relationship."The Tibetans believe that Everest is the Mother Goddess of the World. David Watson has found that "...if you don't go there with a good heart and good intentions, you won't get to the top. You really have to be in tune with your heart and listen to the mountain."Whatever else Everest may be, I feel she is a dramatic example of the sacred power that exists in the earth everywhere, and thus is available to each of us, not just mountain climbers. All we need do, as Mr. Watson says, is be in tune with our heart and listen.My understanding of this practice has deepened since I became a wild man infatuated with building stone sculptures.I fell in love with my bride pretty much the instant we met, and I fell in love with stones just about as quickly.One day, for no particular reason, I started picking up and replacing the "droppings" that had tumbled from the many rock walls built on our land during the past two centuries. Next thing I know I've got a crowbar and a tractor with a bucket. I've worn out several dozen pair of work gloves. I'm schlepping boulders that can weigh more than a sumo wrestler, and I'm dotting our 200-acre mountainside with rock formations that suggest the artifacts of a pre-historic culture-or a fellow with definitely too much time on his hands. If I build all the sculptures I can imagine, just on this farm, I'll live to be at least 175. I'm like a man with a hammer in a nail factory.Along the way, stones have become my teachers, and not just the ones that spark some pretty colorful epithets when they roll on my fingers or drop on my toes.The inevitable despair that comes from trying to make a stone do something against its nature has led me to become a better listener, more fluid in letting go of preconceptions, and more able simply to be an instrument in service to something larger than myself.But the biggest thing I've learned from stones is that to be a listener, to be fluid, to be an instrument doesn't happen by just thinking about it-I must also allow myself to be mothered by the earth, the ultimate nurturer.I believe that those who say we can destroy the earth are mistaken. We can surely make the planet uninhabitable (we seem to be moving in that direction with mindless alacrity), but destroying the earth is something else again. Whether Hiroshima or Chernobyl or Mt. St. Helens, the earth heals her wounds relatively quickly. I have a feeling that if every nation detonated its entire stockpile of weapons and unleashed every poison possible, we humans might cease to exist, but some number of millennia down the road-hardly a blink in the universal scheme of things-Mother Earth herself would be thriving once again. The land is the mother that never dies, say the Maori.Such is her resilience, her power, as well as the depth of her urging for us to live in conscious union with the Yin of creation. There's a reason we humans are making life increasingly miserable for ourselves, the same reason many die on Everest: lack of attunement. Of course, awareness of this truth is one thing, action another-as I demonstrate regularly when some rock extravaganza about which I am oh-so-proud collapses with a noise that, to my ear, sounds suspiciously like a chuckle.Among the spiritual practices I'm attempting to get the hang of is navigating my moments resting in the energetic embrace of the earth. From this grounded place, on those rare occasions I actually remember to choose it, an amazing thing happens. My mind lives in service of my heart, rather than the other way around. This shift is such a gift, for it means that I manage with a measure of grace, the fear and pain that arise in the natural course of events. The big plan for my life is simply to choose more of these moments.It is said that you find two kinds of people on Everest: those who wish to climb her, and those who wish to stand on top. Both impulses are very much alive in each of us, I'd say: the ego's desire to win, and the heart's passion to join. The question is which do we ask to lead? As my love affair with stones grows, so does the part of me that can make room for anything. It is an awakening that is not only beautiful but terrifying. Which is why, as powerful as the earth is, she's not more powerful than denial. I can ignore her with the best of them. I've got the scars to prove it.
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Table of Contents

Introduction xv
Essays
 1. Being Mothered By Stones
 2. The Heart of Social Responsibility
 3. Ruthless Saints
 4. Learning at the Speed of Fear
 5. Why I Love Alzheimer's
 6. The Part of Me That is Black
 7. Suppose Jesus had been Molested by a Priest
 8. It Breaks My Heart to Vote
 9. Knowing You're Going to be Hanged in the Morning
 10. Spring Shows Us Our True Selves
 11. I Am a Terrorist
 12. The Courage to Celebrate
 13. The Elusive Meaning of "Support Our Troops"
 14. A Great Way to Die
Stories
 1. Shiny Balls of Light
 2. The Making of St. Porcine
Epilogue
Acknowledgements
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2006

    The Voice of a Friend

    To experience life through Steve¿s eyes is like having a still small voice, a Howard Cosells on your shoulder whispering, ¿You¿re so much more than you think, there is so much more than you see. Look at it this way, from this angle, over here¿¿ Reading these candidly written stories, I am invited to consider in ever deeper ways the perspective that everything, every unexpected change offers opportunity to become more than I¿ve considered before. One moment I am reading a story of a man¿s relationship with his mother who has Alzheimer¿s or the Swami he met at 8 or his love of wrestling Vermont stones into sculpture, and the next I am wondering why I would choose anything less than love as a response to life. It is like walking in the woods and suddenly glimpsing a grand buck through the trees: I glimpse the greatness I am capable of if I will choose it. Cool Mind Warm Heart doesn¿t stay on the pages, it calls my truest self forward, and increases my confidence to be that. I invite you to enjoy the extraordinarily ordinary moments Steve celebrates in his stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2006

    Warm Heart Indeed!

    Steve Roberts has created a gem! This book opened my heart with the incredibly vivid imagry and I found myself 'watching' eachstories instead of simply reading them. I loved to read myself one or two of his stories just before my slumber. I savored each morsel! A must read for any human.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2006

    Take a trip on a grand adventure with Cool Mind Warm Heart

    Cool Mind Warm Heart is a grand adventure in asking the question, ¿Who am I committed to being beyond all else in life?¿ Each essay is a delicious piece of honesty and contain the purity of spirit that provides the reader an opportunity to consider life from the vantage of our greatness, not our limitations. Steve Roberts¿ ability to convey the simplicity of the human spirit is a breath of fresh air, especially in those moments when one feels as though they are gasping for a breath. This book will cause you to consider the vantage from which you view all life and begin to ask your own pointed and poignant questions about what motivates you to do the things you do. And above all else, this book will cause you to smile and laugh out loud!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2006

    So real and insightful!

    A wonderful example of how to see the lessons of life in a real and ordinary way. There are many great nuggets of gold like 'your own heart will tell you what's real and isn't'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2006

    Something I'd like you to have...

    I want to tell you about a gift I¿ve received. When I¿m faced with some trial, tribulation, or conundrum in my life, I have a dear friend who smiles, chuckles and says, ¿Hey, great! That¿s really wonderful for you,¿ much the way someone else might respond if I¿d won the lottery. The more upset, flummoxed or pained I am about it, the more emphatically joyous is his response. This might be hurtful and infuriating except for one thing: He really means it, and he says the same thing to himself when he¿s faced with his own fear and pain: ¿Hey, great! That¿s really wonderful for you.¿ This uncommon (and at times refreshingly irksome) perspective is borne of his notion of what he calls ¿life¿s biggest secret¿: Everything Is a Gift The gift according to Steve Roberts is the universe teaching us in every moment ¿to make choices that serve our heart¿s desire for joy.¿ Pain, Steve says, is not a punishment and ¿ while it is real ¿ is the universe saying, ¿No, no, my child. Make another choice. You are much bigger than this. You are divine. Ultimately, you can make room for everything.¿ In my own life I have found that when I really try this on, joy is my dessert ¿ love is the world-class pastry chef. Just a small taste of how this works could bring more joy to your life as well. And in the spirit of sharing that joy with you, I recommend Steve¿s book. Cool Mind Warm Heart is an intimate glimpse into the life and mind of a man who accepts everything that comes to him as a gift. Steve¿s sharing is simple, personal and joyful and therefore profound and delightful. You can learn more about Steve and get a taste of his writing at his website - no doubt easy to find if you google him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2006

    This book got me thinkin outside the box!

    This book really got me to consider a whole different perspective. It's like - Budda meets Johnny Carson! Deep and thought provoking, with a sense of humor. I kept finding myself smiling and looking forward to each chapter. I'd like to take a road trip with the Author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2006

    Honest, Touching, Inspring and Revealing a must Read!

    The 1st time I picked up the book and began to read I found myself laughing and crying. I called my best friend and told her to go get this book straight away. I was instantly connected to life and to this man Steve Roberts, love was present. I would only hope to convey and inspire if I were a writer to my audience the honesty, compassion, humility, and dignity of life as Steve does in this gem of a book. Thank you Steve C.Hoffman, Olymia, WA

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2006

    What a wonderful meal

    What a Joy to read this book.A Lifestory shared so beautiful ,written in a way that makes me wanna just keep on reading, but the deep wishdom and the powerful Trust in Life, shared here in Steve Roberts storys makes it so rich that i needed to stop to reflect and digest. Thanks to Steve for this Gift!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2006

    My Favorite Kind Of Book

    My favorite kind of book is the personal account by someone any of us could know, of how the sacred remains present in their life. I know of nothing more valuable than the autobiographical report of someone who's had their butt blistered as much (and in the same generation) as me sharing how they keep their love alive. Books like this are an invaluable resource for anyone interested in providing hope for themselves or others. I consider lives like Steve Roberts' to be evidence for our divinity. I hope other silver haired boomers with a sense of humor and a warm heart follow his lead and share. Share the mundane and the supernatural. Steve Roberts is an enlightened mensch, his book a wonder.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2006

    Cool book with a warm message

    One of the things I love about this book is the clarity and simplicity with which it describes basic truths. ¿Basically, then, fun is the direct result of managing fear.¿ Also I loved the author¿s humility and sense of humor. ¿Among the spiritual practices I¿m attempting to get the hang of is navigating my moments resting in the energetic embrace of the earth. From this grounded place, on those rare occasions I actually remember to choose it, an amazing thing happens.¿ Cool Mind Warm Heart is chock full of insights and stories that help us all answer the core questions: ¿Who am I,¿ and ¿Who am I committed to being?¿ I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in answering those questions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2006

    Shades of Understanding

    I have been reading Steve's book one essay at a time each evening. He offers good thoughts to dream about, ponder, and act upon. Steve speaks volumes as he describes his perceptions of the human condition. His words drive straight to the core of my soul. I enjoy the way Cool Mind Warm Heart cuts past the dogmas that trap people within belief structures, which tend to separate and isolate them from one another, and then charges on through to the essential unifying sense of being. Steve describes different shades of the same understanding: everything in life is a gift, we all are one, our challenge is to learn to love all - including ourselves.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2006

    This book makes me smile at myself every time I read it

    Cool Mind Warm Hear is a book that I have recently read and love. This book of short stories and essays boasts to be about adventures with life¿s biggest secret ¿ that everything is a gift. As I have read through it¿s pages (most pages more than once), I have been moved many times to try this statement on and find that when I do I am happier, stronger, and wear a warm smile on my face much more of the time. In this book Steve responds to what many people might call dire circumstances not with condolences but instead with a ¿How wonderful¿ or ¿That¿s great.¿ This attitude infuses every page of his book with incredible humor, profound honesty and pervasive love. His words inspire me again and again to see myself in a new way ¿ in the way that he sees me and each one of us ¿ as someone ¿who is much more than she thinks she is,¿ as someone ¿who can make room for everything.¿ Someone wrote that Cool Mind Warm Heart could be called a love child of the Dalai Lama and Tom Robbins. Well I agree. It is a book of such profundity that I found myself, whenever I read it, looking myself straight in the eye ¿ but always with a constant reminder to laugh and celebrate whatever it was that I saw. This book has now become a good companion to me, helping me to focus on my purpose, and meet the moments in my life with love, in the memory that ¿our life is a practice of learning to live from our hearts.¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2006

    Buy it, live it, love it, give it

    Mr. Roberts has written an amazing book. If it were fiction some critic would describe it as an amazing adventure of the spirit or some such thing. But as essays they are what an amazing adventurer would write about his travels and what he¿s learned along the way. No one thinks or writes like this guy which is both a blessing for his amazing uniqueness yet if more people could learn to think like this guy wow what a different world we¿d be in. He¿s taken the grapes of an amazing life and distilled them into a fine brandy that both warms and intoxicates the soul with stories of what believing in the potential of love and following the heart¿s desires leads to a life well lived! Don¿t pigeonhole this book as a `spiritual¿ book although it is. There is a wealth here far beyond that. I would recommend anyone in a position of leadership or wanting to be in a position of leadership read this book or give it to someone who is in a leadership role. If you love it buy a copy and send it to your congressman, those people could use perspective from such an amazing individual. Highest regards for the stories, the insight, and the rampant joy this man shares with his readers. Go, Steve, Go!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2006

    A book you will read more than once

    Humor and spiritual reflection aren't usually fellow travelers. Yet for every aha! moment in Cool Mind Warm Heart there is a corresponding chuckle or outright hoot. Its paradoxical essays like 'Why I Love Alzheimer's,' 'Ruthless Saints' and 'I Am a Terrorist' grab our archives of conventionial wisdom and turn them upside down. Steve Roberts is the rare and honest friend who has the courage to look you in the face and call you on your act, but with a grace that makes you say, 'I guess I knew that all along.'

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