Book Reviews

Follow me on Goodreads or check out some of the books I’ve read and written about below.

Don’t Take Your Life Personally
Rated: 4  · Goodread  Rating details ·  67 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Ajahn Sumedho speaks from his experience as a Westerner (American) who took to following Buddhism ways and then lived abroad in Thailand. He offers personal examples of what mindfulness and living a simple life can mean and offer.

Things are ‘just like this’ so it is not worth or not necessary to get upset. A barking dog is just that, a dog barking – not something to be worried or anxious about. He recaps many ideas in the different chapters and it is not necessary to read the book cover to cover but you can delve into different chapters or refer back to others, as you will and it still all makes sense.

The future is unknown with it’s hopes, dreams, fears and adventures or challenges. Since it is unknown there is no need to stress over it. It just is something that is there, and it will happen as it happens. It does not mean you need to be passive and let life pass you by as a helpless bystander.

Being present means we need to trust not judge. It is how you experience life that matters. Without judgement we are able to listen and act, just be. We are here.
Wisdom is discernment. The example of telling yourself you will not get angry about something, or a become anxieties, then getting frustrated when this happens is something he addresses by saying, accept it and move on, be still and be aware what is happening/ what is now.
By being aware of how you react/relate to things you are judging it free of judgments and all those ‘shoulds’ that are extremely unhelpful.
Be aware of what is going on in your life and life will not pass you by. You will be living life. What is, simply is. And by association, if you don’t like what is happening then change it and that too will be what is happening right now.
We may influence the future but we cannot know how it turns out until it is here and that too will be what is happening, right now.
We may influence the future, but we cannot know how it turns out until it is here and is no longer the future.

Up Until Now

by Petrea King

4  · Goodread Rating details ·  Ratings  ·  Review
I came across the Quest for Life Foundation when reading one of my Goodread books for January: ‘Up Until Now’, chosen because the author was Australian.
So many topics covered that are topical today although much of the story starts pre 1980’s and goes into the 2000’s. Self confidence, self esteem, mindfulness, resilience, religion, philosophy, relationships, travel, different cultures, health, palliative care, mentoring, bringing up kids as a sole parent and more. A book I stayed up late to finish, ‘cos I couldn’t put it down.
Petrea is a naturopath, yoga and meditation teacher who knows well that ‘experiences may shape us but they do not define us.’
And she quotes a fave of mine, Mahatma Gandi, ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.’
Petrea exhorts us to ‘see the other as ourselves’ and learn to live passionately, with purpose.