It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness [NOOK Book]

Overview

Using delightful and deceptively powerful stories from everyday experiences, beloved Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein demystifies spirituality, charts the path to happiness through the Buddha's basic teachings, shows how to eliminate hindrances to clear seeing, and develops a realistic course toward wisdom and compassion. A wonderfully engaging guide, full of humor, memorable insights, and love.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price

Overview

Using delightful and deceptively powerful stories from everyday experiences, beloved Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein demystifies spirituality, charts the path to happiness through the Buddha's basic teachings, shows how to eliminate hindrances to clear seeing, and develops a realistic course toward wisdom and compassion. A wonderfully engaging guide, full of humor, memorable insights, and love.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062111937
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/23/2011
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 175,915
  • File size: 268 KB

Meet the Author

Sylvia Boorstein, teaches mindfulness and leads retreats across the United States. She is a co-founding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and a senior teacher at the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, Massachusetts. Boorstein is also a practicing psychotherapist. Her previous books are It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness and Don't Just Do Something, Sit There. She lives with her husband, Seymour Boorstein, a psychiatrist. They have two sons, two daughters, and five grandchildren.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Spiritual Is Ordinary

A few years ago I was teaching in another city, and the person who was to be my host telephoned me in advance to see if I had any special food requirements. I appreciated his concern and explained my eating preferences. I also mentioned that I don't normally eat much for breakfast but that I do like coffee in the morning. He replied, in a very surprised voice, "You drink coffee? " I realized I had just made a heretical confession. I needed to do some fast mind scrambling to find a graceful way to explain to my host (without losing my spiritual stature) that I do, indeed, drink coffee.

There are some peculiar notions about what constitutes "being spiritual." I have a cartoon on the wall of my office that shows two people having dinner in a restaurant. One of them is saying to the other, "It's such a relief to meet someone who isn't on a spiritual quest." I agree. There is an enormous possibility of getting side-tracked into self-conscious holiness, of putting energy into acting the part of a "Spiritual person."

A dear friend of mine, as he has become more and more established as a meditation teacher, has become less and less hesitant about telling people he loves football games. He even admits he gets very excited about the games, cheering at his television set as if he were sitting in the stadium. No dispassionate attitude of "May the best I team win" for him! I know he has a wonderful level of understanding, and he behaves like a regular person in a regular world. Being a meditator and developing equanimity do not mean becoming weird.

I think I chose the title for this book long before the book itself was written. Indeed, I was motivated to write largely because I wanted to tell people that spiritual living does not need to be a big deal. Sometimes people decide to make a lifestyle change in the service of waking up. Some people join communities or religious orders. Some people change their diet. Some people become celibate. All of those choices are, for some people, very helpful tools for waking up, but they aren't inherently spiritual.

Other people choose other tools. In this book, the principal tool, mindfulness, is invisible. Mindfulness, the aware, balanced acceptance of present experience, is at the heart of what the Buddha taught. This book is meant to be a basic Buddhist primer, but no one should be daunted. It's easier than you think.

Managing Gracefully

Here's the scene that inspired this book:

I was at a gathering of American Buddhist meditation teachers. At least once a year mindfulness meditation teachers in this country, all friends of mine, meet and spend some days together. We plan our schedules, and we talk about what we're teaching. We also spend a certain amount of time sharing our personal stories. "What's happened to you this year?" "How are things with you?" We take special time to go around the room and share what's going on in our lives.

As I listened to all of us speaking in turn, I was struck by one particular thing. As people spoke, they said things like, "I'm pretty content" or "I'm doing all right" or "I'm pretty happy." And yet, we all told regular stories. People had regular lives with regular Sturm und Drang. People had relationship problems, problems with aging parents; someone's child had a very serious illness; someone else was dealing with a difficult kind of loss. And yet everyone said some variation of "I'm pretty much all right" or "I'm pretty content.' And it didn't mean that they weren't struggling with what was happening to them. It did not mean that they had transcended their stories and that they were fine because they felt no pain from them. They were struggling and often in quite a lot of pain and concern, but still, they were all right. I thought to myself as I looked around, "What we're all doing is we're all managing gracefully."

Managing gracefully is not second-rate. I'm pleased to think of myself as managing gracefully. It's a whole lot better than ten years ago or twenty years ago when I was managing tensely or fearfully. Everybody manages one way or another; everyone who is alive and reading this book has managed. Managing gracefully or even semigracefully is terrific.

Enlightenment

When I started to practice meditation in the early seventies it was hip. Everybody was meditating; every weekend you could take a workshop in another form of meditation. The advertisements for the workshops usually suggested that at the end of the weekend you'd be totally enlightened.

I remember once going to a party that looked like a regular party — people talking, visiting, and laughing — and in the middle sat a woman with a strange look on her face, eyes closed, face serene, totally tuned out from the whole scene. Somebody leaned over to me and said, "Look at her, she's enlightened," and I thought to myself "If that's what enlightenment is, I don't want it."

What I did want, at least for a while, were exotic powers. I heard extraordinary stories of people who could bilocate or levitate. Sometimes, as I sat on my cushion and experienced an unusual lightness in my body, I imagined I was about to levitate. I hoped I would. I thought it would be a far-out thing, rising up off my cushion and floating in the air.

I think I was also influenced by a story my grandfather told about my grandmother — a woman who died when I was nine years old. I knew her as a sickly old woman, but my grandfather remembered her as the very beautiful woman he had married when she was eighteen years old. He told me she was so beautiful that "she glowed in the dark." I asked him if he really meant that, and he said, "Yes, she really did.' He said, "At my nephew Murray Fox's wedding, the hall was lit with gaslight because it was before electricity, so it was quite dark, and everyone said, 'Look at Fischel's wife, she shines in the dark!'" I held that as a wonderful, luminous memory and as an ideal. What I wanted to achieve from my meditation practice was to shine in the dark. I think a lot of us in the early days wanted magic.

It's Easier Than You Think copyright © by Sylvia Boorstein. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All Rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    Title Says It All

    I have, over the years since its publication, purchased fourteen copies of this book, as well as the audio version, all of which I have spread liberally among my friends and loved ones. The author brings the ancient wisdom of Buddhism into the vernacular of today, and provides a workable approach to what she aptly refers to as, "managing gracefully." The chapters are short and enjoyable, plainly rendering their lessons through engaging, digestible illustrations from familiar life situations. A further benefit of this worthy volume is in its encouraging the reader's curiosity in regard to Buddhist history, traditions and teachings. If life seems too mighty a struggle, perhaps Sylvia Boorstein proffers some relief.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2012

    Changed my life

    This book outlining the basic Buddhist principles and changed my life for the better and is something I highly recommend. Whenever I have a strong negative emotional reaction to something, I do my best to apply the principles in the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2000

    SIMPLE WAYS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER

    I found this easy to read and she has a great way of useing her own life experiences as examples. I would give one to everyone I know if I could.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)