MBSR Every Day
by Elisha Goldstein and Bob Stahl
MBSR Every Day is a gem of a book by two of the stalwarts of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction world. The cover says "Daily" so I've been reading one of it's 43 short chapters every day.
Each chapter takes a principle of MBSR and explains how we might apply it to our daily lives in a real and practical way. Each starts by describing that principle, then in a "Just do it!" section, gives suggestions for how to practice the principle.
Here are two samples:
The Gifts of Imperfection starts off with reminding us of the child's book, Corduroy, about a stuffed bear with a button missing from his coat, but whose little girl owner loves him anyway. They ask "What would the days, weeks and months ahead look like if we practiced more kindness toward our imperfections?" In the Just Do It section, they suggestion three steps to actually practice this: Acknowledge Imperfection, Notice Judgements and Re-Parent With Kindness.
In another chapter on dealing with emotions ("Welcome and Entertain Them All") they quote Rumi's poem The Guest House and describe how our brains process emotions, and how we can have them without letting them have us.
I've found that these simple prescriptions for applying the things I've learned from MBSR to my daily life a great way to start the day.
The Guest House by Rumi
This being human is like a guest house,
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.