Big Yes Society Discussion Group
TheBig Yes Society
A discussion group that explores through conversation, and with special guest authors, what life could be like when we remove negative attachments and begin nurturing the creative and positive.
Author Allen Klein is joining the Big Yes Society Book Club for their discussion on May 21st at 7:00 PM!
May 2015 Selection: "You Can't Ruin My Day" contains 52 themes to help readers take back their power and not let other people or other situations ruin their day.
Each of these themes has three sections: Wake-Up Call (the potential day-ruiner); Follow-Up Exercise (practical steps to turn it around); and Lighten-Up Laugh (gaining a fresh perspective and moving right along).
Keep these tools in your arsenal of things to help you maneuver around roadblocks, setbacks, or upsets you might encounter on any given day.
Each of the 52 stories and wake-up calls in the book are amazing and inspiring. One couple lost almost all of their money to Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme; instead of bitterness, they chose to learn from their mistake and move on. From getting a parking ticket to family squabbles to life-changers such as the loss of a job, Klein offers wisdom, good humor, and coping skills that improve the quality of life.
"You Can't Ruin My Day" is designed to help you unload the burdens you have been carrying around with you. The book is not only filled with wise words but also inspiring stories and anecdotes, insightful and motivational quotations, and lighthearted and laugh-producing material.
March 2015 Selection: In Kent Nerburn's highly praised and bestselling "Simple Truths", the author looked at the great issues that confront us all: death, parenthood, tragedy, suffering, falling in love. Now in a companion volume, the artist-theologian turns his attention to the sacredness of small things encountered daily, and how people can appreciate them for what they are and for what they can teach about living spiritually informed lives.
February 2015 Selection: In this inspiring and humorous book, John C. Parkin suggests that saying "F**k It "is the perfect Western expression of the Eastern spiritual ideas of letting go, giving up, and finding real freedom by realizing that things don't matter so much (if at all). It's a spiritual way that doesn't require chanting, meditating, or wearing sandals. And it's the very power of this profanity that makes it perfect for shaking us Westerners out of the stress and anxiety that dominate our daily lives. With the help of this book, people around the world are now saying "F**k It "to their worries and concerns, to the "shoulds" and the "oughts" that dominate their lives, and finally doing what they want to, no matter what others might think."Self-help for the time-poor and psycho-babble intolerant."
January 2015 Selection: A follow up to Pico Iyer's essay "The Joy of Quiet," "The Art of Stillness" considers the unexpected adventure of staying put and reveals a counterintuitive truth: The more ways we have to connect, the more we seem desperate to unplug.
Why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer, who has journeyed from Easter Island to Ethiopia, Cuba to Kathmandu, think that sitting quietly in a room might be the ultimate adventure? Because in our madly accelerating world, our lives are crowded, chaotic and noisy. There's never been a greater need to slow down, tune out and give ourselves permission to be still.
November 2014 Selection: Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, "What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?"
In "The Gifts of Imperfection," Brene Brown, Ph.D., a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she's learned from a decade of research on the power of "Wholehearted Living" ? a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.
In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, "No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough," And to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, "I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging."
Brene Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W., is a writer and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, where she studies how shame affects the way people live, love, parent, work, and build relationships. A dynamic public speaker, she frequently presents on the topic of shame resilience at conferences and public events. Visit her popular blog to learn more.
October 2014 Selection: Features full of ideas and strategies that have worked for millions of people worldwide. This book offers profound insight into the relationship between the mind and the body. Exploring the way that limiting thoughts and ideas control and constrict us, it offers us a powerful key to understanding the roots of our physical diseases and discomforts.
September 2014 Selection: Confucius says, "Keep your chin up... but beware of dog shit." Sometimes profound, often hilarious, this collection of quotes by Robert Ma can lighten your day and enlighten your life.
Refreshments from Robert's legendary East Bay café, Woody's Café, will be served!
August 2014 Selection: Mind training is a comprehensive practice that is suitable for all types of students. It contains the entire path and does not depend on a person's background. Mind Training nurses and cultivates the Buddha Nature, that pure seed of awakening that is at the very heart of every sentient being. It has the power to transform even egotistical self-clinging into self-lessness. Put into practice diligently, it is enough to lead you all the way to awakening.
In The Path to Awakening, Shamar Rinpoche gives his own detailed commentary on Chekawa Yeshe Dorje's Seven Points of Mind Training, a text that has been used for transformative practice in Tibetan Buddhism for close to a thousand years. Clear, accessible, and yet profound, this book is filled with practical wisdom, philosophy, and meditation instructions.
July 2014 Selection: "Anyone whose life needs a course correction would be fortunate to be guided by "The Wisdom of Insecurity." My life still is, some thirty years later." --Deepak Chopra, from the Introduction
Alan W. Watts's "message for an age of anxiety" is as powerful today as it was when this modern classic was first published.
We spend too much time trying to anticipate and plan for the future; too much time lamenting the past. We often miss the pleasures of the moment in our anxious efforts to ensure the next moment is as enjoyable. Drawing from Eastern philosophy and religion, Watts argues that it is only by acknowledging what we do not and cannot know, that we can find something truly worth knowing. In order to lead a fulfilling life, one must embrace the present--live fully in the now.
Elegantly reasoned and lucidly written, this philosophical achievement contains all the wisdom and spirit that distinguished Watts's long career and resonates with us still.
June 2014 Selection: When the path ahead is dark, how can we keep from stumbling? How do we make our way with courage and dignity? Inside each of us is an eternal light that I call the One Who Knows, writes Jack Kornfield. Awakening to this wisdom can help us fin dour way through pain and suffering with grace and tenderness. For anyone seeking answer during a trying time, he offers A Lamp in the Darkness, a book-and-CD program filled with spiritual and psychological insights, hope-giving stories, and guided meditations for skillfully navigating life s inevitable storms.
The practices in this book are not positive thinking, quick fixes, or simplistic self-help strategies. They are powerful tools for doing the work of the soul to access our inner knowing and to embrace the fullness of our life experience.
May 2014 Selection: Brutally honest and radically unconventional, Chris Grosso's collection of stories and musings about his meandering journey of self-inquiry, recovery, and acceptance shows what it means to live a truly authentic spiritual life.
Set amongst the backdrop of Grosso's original music (includ-ed for download via QR codes in the text), "Indie Spiritualist" encourages you to accept yourself just as you are, in all your humanity and imperfect perfection.
April 2014 Selection: This book is dedicated to your mastery of the art of realizing all your desires. The greatest gift you have been given is the gift of your imagination. Everything that now exists was once imagined. And everything that will ever exist must first be imagined. Wishes Fulfilled is designed to take you on a voyage of discovery, wherein you can begin to tap into the amazing manifesting powers that you possess within you and create a life in which all that you imagine for yourself becomes a present fact. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer explores, for the first time, the region of your highest self; and definitively shows you how you can truly change your concept of yourself, embark upon a God-realized way of living, and fulfill the spiritual truth that with God all things are possible--and "all things" means that nothing is left out. By practicing the specific technique for retraining your subconscious mind, you are encouraged to not only place into your imagination what you would like to manifest for yourself, but you are given the specifics for realigning your life so you can live out your highest calling and stay connected to your Source of being. From the lofty perspective of your highest self, you will learn how to train your imagination in a new way. Your wishes--all of them--can indeed be fulfilled. By using your imagination and practicing the art of assuming the feeling of your wishes being fulfilled, and steadfastly refusing to allow any evidence of the outer world to distract you from your intentions, you will discover that you, by virtue of your spiritual awareness, possess the ability to become the person you were destined to be. This book will help you See--with a capital S--that you are Divine, and that you already possess an inner, invisible higher self that can and will guide you toward a mastery of the art of manifestation. You can attain this mastery through deliberate conscious control of your imagination!
March 2014 Selection: We often think of celebrations as centering around special occasions, like Birthdays, Christmas, or other holidays. But there is no need to wait for those times. Everyday is a cause for celebration. The very fact that you are alive, the wondrous world around you, and the special people in your life are all reasons to rejoice.
That's what this book is all about. Over 500 suggestions for living life to the fullest. A compendium of "glass half full" common sense, these witty and wise words from both the rich and famous, as well as the not-so-rich and the not-so-famous, will, I hope, inspire you to make every day a special day.
February 2014 Selection: "Right Livelihood has ceased to be a purely personal matter. It is our collective karma."
--Thich Nhat Hanh
In Work, Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the top-selling Buddhist authors in the United States, adapts ancient Buddhist practices to modern life and helps readers make fulfilling choices about livelihood and ethical work. Full of life-coaching advice, tips for dealing with workplace scenarios, finding happiness, and positive psychology, Work suggests new mindful models of leadership and encourages us to carefully examine our everyday choices, so we can contribute to a work environment free from stress and tension, regardless of the circumstances.
January 2014 Selection: The best-selling author and spiritual teacher shares practices for living with wisdom and integrity even in confusing and uncertain situations.
Is it possible to live well when the very ground we stand on is shaky? Yes, says everyone's favorite Buddhist nun, it's even possible to live beautifully, compassionately, and happily on shaky ground--and the secret is: the ground is always shaky. Pema shows how using a traditional Buddhist practice called the Three Vows or Three Commitments, offering us a way to relax into profound sanity in the midst of whatever non-sanity is happening around us. Just making these simple aspirations can change the way we look at the world and can provide us with a lifetime of material for spiritual practice.
The Three Commitments are three methods for embracing the chaotic, uncertain, dynamic, challenging nature of our situation as a path to awakening. The first of the commitments, traditionally called the Pratimoksha Vow, is the foundation for personal liberation. This is a commitment to doing our best to not cause harm with our actions or words or thoughts, a commitment to being good to each other. It provides a structure within which we learn to work with our thoughts and emotions, and to refrain from speaking or acting out of confusion. The next step toward being comfortable with groundlessness is a commitment to helping others, traditionally called the Bodhisattva Vow. It is a commitment to dedicate our lives to keeping our hearts and minds open, and nurturing our compassion with the longing to ease the suffering of the world. The last of the three commitments, traditionally known as the Samaya Vow, is a resolve to embrace the world just as it is, without bias; a resolve to see everything we encounter, good and bad, pleasant and painful, as a manifestation of awakened energy. It is a commitment to see everything and anything as a means by which we can awaken further.
November 2013 Selection: We can't heal with our minds alone. Thinking can be something productive and creative, but without integrating body and mind, much of our thinking is useless and unproductive. In "Peace of Mind," Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that integrating body and mind is the only way to be fully alive in each moment, without getting lost in our thoughts while walking, cooking, driving, and going about our everyday lives. Only by cultivating a mindful body and an embodied mind can we be fully alive. Bringing together ancient wisdom and contemporary thinking, Thich Nhat Hanh says it's like hardware and software--if you don't have both, you can't do anything.
"Peace of Mind" provides a foundation for beginning mindfulness practices and understanding the principles of mind/body awareness. By learning how our physical body and mind are inseparable in creating our own perceptions and experiences we can begin to trust and nourish our ability to create well-being.
August 2013 Selection: Happiness is far more than a positive feeling that comes and goes, happiness is wired into the physiology of our brains. It is a skill we can all develop through cultivating mindfulness and concentration. In "Ten Breaths to Happiness" Schneider presents a series of simple practices and guided meditations that allow you to literally rewire your neural pathways to experience deeper and more lasting fulfillment and peace.
Studies in neuroscience show that it takes about thirty seconds to build a new neural-pathway. Schneider takes these findings and combines them with mindfulness practices based on the teachings of Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. For example, he encourages us to take ten conscious breaths whenever we encounter something beautiful or have a meaningful experience. Consistently exercising this simple practice creates an opportunity for the brain to move from its default reaction of protection to one of appreciation and spaciousness.
The Big Yes Society is proud to present a panel reading from No Kidding on July 18th at 7PM. Readers will include Maureen Langan, Bernadette Luckett, and Andrea Carla Michaels.
July 2013 Selection: In "No Kidding," comedy writer Henriette Mantel tackles the topic of actually not having kids. This fascinating collection features a star-studded group of contributors--including Margaret Cho, Wendy Liebman, Laurie Graff, and other accomplished, funny women--writing about why they opted out of motherhood. Whether their reasons have to do with courage, apathy, monetary considerations, health issues, or something else entirely, the essays featured in the pages of "No Kidding" honestly (and humorously) delve into the minds of women who have chosen what they would call a more sane path.
Hilarious, compelling, and inspiring, "No Kidding" reveals a perspective that has too long been hidden, shamed, and silenced--and celebrates an entire population of women who have decided that kids are just not right for them.
Additional contributors include Janette Barber, Cheryl Bricker, Valri Bromfield, Cindy Caponera, Bonnie Datt, Jeanne Dorsey, Nora Dunn, Jane Gennaro, Julie Halston, Debbie Kasper, Sue Kolinsky, Maureen Langan, Beth Lapides, Bernadette Luckett, Merrill Markoe, Andrea Carla Michaels, Vanda Mikoloski, Judy Morgan, Judy Nielsen, Susan Norfleet, Suzanne O'Neil, Jennifer Prediger, Kathryn Rossetter, Betsy Salkind, Patricia Scanlon, Jeanette Schwaba Vigne, Nancy Shayne, Carol Siskind, Ann Slichter, Tracy Smith, Suzy Soro, Amy Stiller, and Nancy Van Iderstine.
June 2013 Selection: David Mezzapelle was inspired to write this uplifting book based on his life's experiences and his own contagious optimism. He has influenced many people with his outlook and this book offers optimism to others around the globe. "Contagious Optimism" includes stories and parables of amazing life turnarounds from real people world-wide. A compendium of encouragement, "Contagious Optimism" also includes advice and guidance from business leaders, visionaries and professionals. Nowadays, many people have lost confidence in themselves and the world around them due to personal hardship along with economic and political uncertainty worldwide. "Contagious Optimism" shows readers that it's possible to FIND the silver lining in every cloud. Developed by the team that brought you "Random Acts of Kindness," this book is like "Chicken Soup for the Soul" meets "Pay It Forward," on steroids! "Contagious Optimism" is pure inspiration that will lift hearts, open minds, and create a movement of pass-it-on hope and happiness.
May 2013 Selection: The book is a memoir of how a skeptical, fast-talking New Yorker became Thich Nhat Hanh's editor, turned forty, realized she was aging, and slowly and reluctantly started to absorb mindfulness practice and grow up. Scenes with Thich Nhat Hanh and the author's two vividly exuberant older parents, illustrate how the author adapts mindfulness techniques for the busyness of her life, without losing her edge. With honest and vivid stories about dealing with difficult relationships with family members, death, illness, vanity, exhaustion, and creating a safety net of joy, the author explores and offers guidance for three key mindfulness practices: Knowing When You're Available and When You're Not; Full-Attachment Living; and Interbeing (Other People are Not a Hobby).
This book is designed for adults who are new to mindfulness practice, Buddhism, curious skeptics, people familiar with the practice who want a personal story, and those interested in memoir.
April 2013 Selection: "Awakening Joy" is more than just another book about happiness. More than simply offering suggested strategies to change our behavior, it uses time-tested practices to train the mind to learn new ways of thinking. The principles of the course are universal, although much of the material includes Buddhist philosophy drawn from the author's thirty years as a Buddhist meditation teacher and spiritual counselor. In these times of economic uncertainty "Awakening Joy" shows we can get through hard times and use our experience to keep the our heart open while moving from discouragement to well-being, regardless of the external circumstances. Genuine well-being is not expensive. True happiness is not about acquiring anything, but rather about opening to the natural joy and aliveness right inside you.
February 2013 Selection: For nearly 30 years Sister Chan Khong's "Deep Relaxation" practice has been a highlight for thousands of people who have attended Order of Interbeing Buddhist retreats. With "Deep Relaxation" the reader/listener will learn to meditate and relax body and mind at the deepest level, leading to a measurable reduction of stress levels. Sister Chan Khong effectively guides readers/listeners through the practice with a combination of spoken words and traditional songs from around the world, initiating a process that shows how we can achieve a more positive and healthy life as we move out of the meditation and into the world. With her soothing voice, her pacing, her extensive experience of practicing mindfulness in everyday life--and with the beauty of the gentle music-- practitioners are able to achieve a state of profound relaxation.
This book and accompanying CD will help to develop and deepen the reader's/listener's personal mindfulness practice, helping them to experience stillness and to continue with their daily activities feeling refreshed and energized. Working with the body's innate capacity to heal itself, these exercises will bring the listener/reader to experience ever deeper levels of relaxation that can activate the body's natural healing abilities. The book will leave the reader with a deep sense of well-being.
October 2012 Pick: This book offers short, stand-alone readings designed to help us cultivate compassion and awareness amid the challenges of daily living. More than a collection of thoughts for the day, "Comfortable with Uncertainty " offers a progressive program of spiritual study, leading the reader through essential concepts, themes, and practices on the Buddhist path.
"Comfortable with Uncertainty "does not assume prior knowledge of Buddhist thought or practice, making it a perfect introduction to Chodron's teaching. It features the most essential and stirring passages from Chodron's previous books, exploring topics such as lovingkindness, meditation, mindfulness, "nowness," letting go, and working with fear and other painful emotions. Through the course of this book, readers will learn practical methods for heightening awareness and overcoming habitual patterns that block compassion.
September 2012 Pick: AN ESSENTIAL COMPANION GUIDE TO THE I CHING, THE TIMELESS BOOK OF WISDOM
The "I Ching," also called "The Book of Changes," is reputed to be the oldest book of mankind. It originated in China over 5000 years ago and is being used as an intuitive tool for decision making, forward-thinking, creativity, and insight. Scholars from Confucius to Carl Jung embraced it and wrote valuable comments. The "I Ching" reveals clarity out of complexity and uncertainty. Thus it enables people all over the world to make sense of their circumstances and take charge of their lives.
The "I Ching" contains a set of 64 symbols called hexagrams that can metaphorically describe any possible situation, suggest the best course of action, and indicate the most likely outcome. In addition, the hexagrams represent "categories of meanings."
"The Logic of Chance" describes a new and simpler way to interpret "I Ching" readings based on "holistic perception" and "pattern recognition." This approach makes it easier to recognize the answers because it reveals the only few "significant patterns" that relate to each reading. It includes a new interpretive tool: a dictionary that lists the meanings of each hexagram. 75 real-life readings vividly illustrate the clarity and depth of this approach.
This companion guide explains by examples the steps for consulting the "I Ching" and interpreting the result: Formulating the key question Building the hexagrams obtained in the reading Perceiving the few patterns that relate to the reading Understanding the texts of the hexagrams contextually Recognizing the answer
Alberto Ramon, MS in engineering, applies "systems thinking" to "I Ching" symbolism and interpretation. He currently works as an intuitive business consultant and lives in Northern California.
August 2012 Pick: A companion to Anthony De Mello's all-time bestselling work of inspiration, "Awareness."
Anthony De Mello was one of the most important spiritual writers of the 20th century. Since his death in 1987, his stature has only increased. His books, including "Song of the Bird," "Sadhana," and the international bestselling "Awareness" are considered by many to be some of the most influential spiritual teachings of the last 50 years.
Now, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his passing, Image Books is proud to present what may very well prove to be the last published work of this beloved spiritual teacher. Based on a lecture given just months before his death, "Rediscovering Life" invites us to unlock the deeper meaning of our lives. By becoming aware of the circuitous and habitual nature of our limiting thoughts, we can find simple solutions that will release us from feelings of isolation, anger, sadness and depression. In short, De Mello offers us a new way to look at the world and God that will transform our lives.
July 2012 Selection: Inside "Happily Even After" you will learn how to:
- Live as a single person in a couple's world
- Rekindle neglected friendships and start new ones
- Transform holidays back into joyous, memorable occasions
- Reintegrate into the workplace
- Give yourself permission to explore dating
- Find grief groups and choose one if that's right for you