The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life: The Essence of Mindfulness

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9781942094180: The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life: The Essence of Mindfulness

A rich and multilayered guide that offers readers accessible wisdom and practical methods to cultivate deeper satisfaction in everyday experiences. In contrast to stimulus-driven pleasure, contentment comes from living a life of meaning that aligns with one's values. The author identifies the common traps people fall into looking for happiness that actually create stress, worries, and fears, and offers authentic mindfulness-based solutions to counteract them.

The increasing popularity of secular mindfulness in the United States mainstream has unfortunately produced a variety of teachings that water down and misunderstand this important philosophy and approach to living. Mindfulness is often reduced to concentration exercises and a simplistic definition of being aware of the present moment. In nearly all secular presentations of mindfulness, it is taken out of the rich context of the Three Higher Trainings (ethics, concentration, and wisdom) of Buddhism in which it was originally taught. The unique feature of this book is that it maintains the substance of the entire teaching as a program that is accessible to people of all spiritual traditions or no spiritual tradition.

John Bruna is a counselor, mindfulness and spiritual teacher, and Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) in California. In 2005, he was ordained as a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition through the Gaden Shartse Monastery in India. In 2012, he became a Certified Cultivating Emotional Balance Mindfulness Teacher via the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. Currently, John is the director of the Way of Compassion Foundation and cofounder of the Mindful Life Program.

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About the Author:

John Bruna is a counselor, educator, mindfulness and spiritual teacher. With humble and challenging beginnings, he grew up in a low-income environment, surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and violence. He has been in recovery since 1984. In 1992 he became Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor in California, and in 2000 received a BA in History and Secondary Teaching Credential from California State University, Northridge. In 2005 he was ordained as a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition through the Gaden Shartse Monastery in India. After more than six years of monastic life, John has returned to life as a layperson and in 2012 became a Certified Cultivating Emotional Balance Mindfulness Teacher via the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. Currently, John is the director of Way of Compassion Foundation and Co-Founder of the Mindful Life Program.

Review:

In his timely and insightful book The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life John Bruna sheds clear light on the difference between hedonic pleasure and genuine well-being. While Albert Einstein compares the pursuit of the former to the ambitions of a pig, the Dalai Lama suggests that the cultivation of the latter is the very meaning of life itself. On this basis, the author brings a rich ethical and transformative context to mindfulness meditation, couching it within the framework of a meaningful worldview, set of values, and way of life. I highly recommend this book." - B. Alan Wallace, PhD, Buddhist scholar and author of The Attention Revolution

"The transformative journey of John' Bruna’s life engages all to explore the possibilities and path that awaits each of us in creating a meaningful life!" - Marial L. Martyn, PhD, LCSW, Professor of Psychology, Capella University

John Bruna’s kind, loving presence is infused in these pages where he shares many tools along with simply stated wisdom that guide us to a more meaningful life of contented happiness. From his years as a Buddhist Monk and in recovery John has gained the insight and clarity to offer deep wisdom in clear accessible language. He is a natural storyteller and this book resonates with his big heart, authenticity, and humor.” - Peter Kuhn,
Buddhist Priest, ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh

Simply written, and yet, profound, The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life is a practical and accessible guide to cultivating a healthy mind. This text un-complicates and brings clarity to concepts that have been both overused and misused in popular literature. John Bruna’s work is enduring and brilliant!” - Rebecca A. Willow, EdD, LPC, NCC, Associate Professor, Gannon University Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, Department of Psychology and Counseling

"What a welcome offering John Bruna provides us in his new book, The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life. Not only does Bruna recast traditional Buddhist teachings on mindfulness practice in a contemporary, and scientifically grounded new key, but he goes beyond the emphasis on meditation practice alone and adds his distinct and fresh perspective on the importance of ethical action. It is this skilled translation of mindfulness into right action that generates wellbeing, inner peace, and happiness. Most compellingly, Bruna illustrates his teaching with powerful examples from his own experience of transformation from addiction to freedom." - Rev. David McCallum, S.J., Ed.D, Special Assistant to the President for Mission Integration, Le Moyne College

The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life is a powerful meeting of ancient Buddhist teachings and humble stories of one man's journey through a life of recovery and Buddhist practice. I have read and recommended many introductory books on mindfulness over the years, but this one will go to the top of my list of recommendations, for its clarity and honesty, and its emphasis on a whole and wise approach to one's life.” - Zenshin Florence Caplow, Soto Zen priest and author of The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women

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