Mind Matters — Books for the Beach and Beyond
Amidst summer vacations, graduations, Father’s Day, let me offer some suggestions for some very different beach reading—no juicy novels here—but hopefully something that might be life-transforming. Consider the following hodgepodge of books as possible gifts to the graduate or to Dad or to yourself!
- I Am An Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, by Eve Ensler.
Through fictional monologues, poetry, and stories, Eve Ensler weaves together universal themes of young women the world over. A powerful read that invites each girl, every woman, to find her own voice, and follow her own dreams. (I’ve already given this as a high school graduation gift!)
- Bounce, by Dr. Robert Wicks
A practical little book on how to handle life’s stresses and become more self-aware. “Bounce” refers to how we can resiliently bounce back no matter what we face. Wicks offers that we need both solitude and socialization as part of our regimen for self-care.
- Full Body Presence: Learning To Listen To Your Body’s Wisdom, by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana.
A fascinating book from the first page, Scurlock-Durana invites us to experience directly “the deep flow of life energy we all have available to us—a connection that brings us into the moment and naturally feeds our sense of Full Body Presence, making true compassion possible.” ‘Nuff said, an excellent read for connecting us to a life more fully lived.
- Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life, by Karen Maezen Miller.
There is a Buddhist saying, “What do you do before enlightenment? ‘Chop wood, carry water.’ What do you do after enlightenment? ‘Chop wood, carry water.’” Miller reminds us, that in our contemporary everyday lives, this adage remains true.
Finding peace and meaning in the everyday meanderings of an ordinary life, Miller reminds us that enlightenment doesn’t need to be found at the top of the mountain but, instead, at the bottom of the laundry basket.
- The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, by Pico Iyer.
Okay, Pico Iyer is probably one of my favorite authors. His writing can be found in such contrasting places as a Conde-Nast travel magazine and a Buddhist journal. As a friend of the Dalai Lama for many years, Iyer is able to convey the complexity as well as the compassion of the Dalai Lama as private monk and global leader.
So there are a few nuggets of non-fiction to ponder to balance the beach reading this summer!