Knowing the Deepest Happiness is a beginner’s guide to understanding the principles of mindfulness.
The underlying premise of the book is that one can live a life of optimal well-being filled with meaning and fulfillment by creating a ritual of incorporating these ten principles into your day-to-day, moment-to-moment experiences. It looks at both ancient Buddhist philosophy and modern-day positive psychology to outline ways, which can lead to a life of optimal well-being.
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KNOWING THE DEEPEST HAPPINESS
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO MINDFULNESS AND A WORKBOOK TO CREATE DAILY RICH-U-ALLS FOR OPTIMAL WELL-BEING!
An overview of various Buddhism-infused mindfulness practices.
Barnhardt, a professor emeritus at Boise State University, structures his nonfiction debut around practices that he awkwardly calls “Daily RICH-U-ALLS”; he gave the concept this name “because it enriches (RICH) me (U) and (ALL) those around me.” He then provides readers with a broad-spectrum approach to finding inner peace. He notes that the more that he practiced mindfulness, the happier he became, and he arranges the chapters of his book by pairing mindfulness exercises with ample open space for readers to write their own reflections. The exercises tend to be fairly straightforward, asking questions such as “What don’t you love about yourself?” and “What are the obstacles that are standing in your way to exhibit kindness?” The author grounds many of his mindfulness precepts in visions of real-world equality, as achieved through activities such as the Blue Zones Project, which aims to encourage healthy life choices. “We stand on the scales of justice either to create greater advantage for ourselves,” he proclaims, “or to bring greater advantage to those who…have not had the good breaks in life.” Overall, Barnhardt’s narrative voice is easygoing and approachable throughout, and his manner of working references to other writers, such as Jack Kornfield or Nisargadatta Maharaj, into his text is effectively casual. He champions some aspects of mindfulness that will be very familiar to readers of the self-help genre, such as self-assessment and heightening one’s awareness of one’s impact on others. However, his calm enthusiasm in presenting them will pleasantly carry readers along. Indeed, they may wish that the author had included more of his own observations rather than giving over so much of his book to lined pages for readers’ responses.
A reassuring but disappointingly brief guide to centering oneself.
Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2020
Page Count: 174
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2020
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
Categories: SELF-HELP | BODY, MIND & SPIRIT
KIRKUS REVIEW LINK: Knowing The Deepest Happiness