As a psychotherapist, author Nancy Colier has accompanied hundreds of people in their "search for happiness” for nearly two decades. She has watched her clients try everything under the sun to be-and stay-happy. Witnessing and participating in this process, she has become an expert in happiness, or more specifically, in the monkey-mind's search and demand for it, and the unhappiness that all the striving ultimately creates. Along the way, the author has come to understand the workings of the mind-both from her clients and by her own diligent practice of meditation and self-observation. This book distills the wisdom and experience of her dedicated work, and offers readers a roadmap of the territory of mind, plus a toolbox of practical means for identifying and working gently with the unrealistic expectations that keep us from the enjoyment of who we are.
Inviting a Monkey to Tea explains how to:
* Identify addictive (and dead-end) approaches to happiness
* Build a new relationship to self-caretaking, putting aside the tyranny of blame, fear, neglect and perfectionism
* Befriend the mind, with gentleness and compassion
* Enter and stay rooted in the present moment
* Live with genuine wellbeing and lasting contentment
This book takes the wisdom of Eastern philosophy and presents it in a way that people can feel safe to approach, understand, and ultimately apply within their lives.
The book is a handshake between self-help and dharma (spiritual teaching). The author walks the reader, step by step, through the process of spiritual change toward and into a new identity-free from dependency on the idea of happiness as savior.
Reading this book will generate its own profound metamorphosis. Readers will be softened, as they learn of others like themselves who have moved into this domain of self-acceptance. Nancy Colier is a brilliant guide who clearly marks this trail with her own presence, kindness and compassion. At this "tea party” the reader can relax, renew intention, self-examine, and choose a new road to lifelong contentment.
"Nancy Colier reconsiders happiness in a way that dispels our illusions about it, bringing the joy we seek ever closer to us. Written from the perspective of someone who has walked the roads she takes us down." -- MARIANA CAPLAN, author Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path.
"An outstanding guidebook for journeying beyond futile and superficial searches for happiness to cultivating deep and abiding sources of well-being and grounded presence." -- DIANE BERKE, Founder & Spiritual Director, One Spirit Learning Alliance/One Spirit Interfaith Seminary
"An engaging and readable guide to the process of befriending ourselves, discovering our intrinsic well-being, and beyond that, grounding in open, wakeful presence free from the grip of thought and emotion. The book's straightforward, unpretentious style makes this journey accessible to everyone. Highly recommended." -- JOHN WELWOOD, author Toward a Psychology of Awakening
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I offer this book as a road map of sorts, from chasing happiness to discovering lasting contentment. My hope is that the experience of reading the book will serve as a microcosm of the larger change process I describe, that is-from believing your mind and what it tells you, to loving your mind even if you don't believe it, to being well regardless of whatever mischief your mind is up to. My wish is that your sense of who you actually are will shift and open as the pages turn, and that you will come to know yourself, not just as the mind's contents, but as infinite and loving awareness itself.
We spend our lives trying to get to some imaginary there, where happiness awaits. What we don't know how to do is to get to here, where we are and where well-being and contentment live. We discover well-being when we shift the direction of our glance toward this moment and what is actually here. The secret to well-being is counter-intuitive: allow whatever is happening inside you to happen. Don't do anything with it. Feel what you are feeling, hear what you are thinking, experience what you are experiencing. Let what is moving though you move through without changing it, judging it, or identifying with its contents. Make no links, create no narrative between what you are experiencing. When you let go of achieving a particular outcome with your experience and meet your experience, as it is, you will be well. You will uncover the place that relies on nothing and no one and is inherently ours and always available.
In truth, we have been chasing raindrops oblivious to the fact that we are already swimming in an ocean of well-being. Well-being is here, awaiting our presence. It is we who turn away from it, believing that the raindrops are our best hope. This book is about learning to shift the direction of our journey, from out and away from to into and toward ourselves, into what is actually happening here, now, our true nature. Well-being can only flourish within our own presence in what is. Throughout these pages, I invite you into a state of being that is deeper than happiness, one that can support us and keep us eternally okay.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Happiness vs. Well-Being 1
Chapter 1 Addicted to Happiness 3
Chapter 2 Taking Care of Ourselves 19
Chapter 3 Fear of Ourselves 38
Chapter 4 Fear of What Is 56
Chapter 5 Well-Being: A Relationship with Ourselves 71
Part 2 Beyond Well-Being 79
Chapter 6 Un-Sticking from Ourselves 81
Chapter 7 Staying Here Now 109
Chapter 8 The Practice of Now 116
Chapter 9 Melting Into Now 133
Chapter 10 Living As Awareness 137
Chapter 11 Pointers 141
Contact Information 154