REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS
INTERVIEW With DR. SHOSHANNA
Tanveer Naseer, MSc
Business Coach and Writer
TCM Reviews for Book
Fearless: The 7 Principles of Peace of Mind by Brenda Shoshanna, PhD When I first received this book, I had to chuckle. It's rather a large book to just list 7 principles for peace of mind. By the time I finished, however, I had a completely different mindset. It's rather a tiny book for all of the information that it holds.
Taking both eastern and western philosophies and religions, Dr. Shoshanna has created a book for everyone regarding how to take control of your life. She shows us how to remove fear and fantasy from our daily lives. The importance of being oneself and knowing oneself is something that we all need to be interested in. I wouldn't necessarily consider this a self-enlightenment book, although that's what I took away from it. Shoshanna uses several stories as comparisons to get her point across.
For myself, going through a period of change in my life, I found this book particularly helpful. It explained to me the importance of not only embracing change, but enjoying it in all of it's chaotic glory. I strongly suggest this book for anyone who's going through a divorce, lonely, looking for love, looking for enlightenment, or simply wanting to know themself and their surroundings better. Though at the beginning the book comes across as dry, stick it through until the third and fourth chapters. It definitely picks up and flows better and the knowledge contained is immeasurable.
When you really think about it, it is absolutely ridiculous how fear runs our lives. Stuck in the past, fearing for the future we never really live. We hold ourselves back afraid of what might happen or continually punish ourselves for things that happened. We never really allow our potential out. We can’t even see our true selves.
Books like Fearless remind us of ourselves. Somewhere deep inside we all know that trying to wear the mask and beating ourselves up just isn’t working. Still, fear keeps us locked away.
Fearless sets out seven principles that seek to help us break free of fear and allow our true selves to shine through. Inspirational. A friendly voice in the darkness of fea
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Fearless By Brenda Shoshanna
By Dennis E. Coates , Ph.D.
If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I consider courage to be one of the many personal strengths. At last, I've found my favorite book on this topic: Fearless: The 7 Principles of Peace of Mind, by Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.D. (Sterling, 2010).
Dr. Shoshanna has been a Zen practitioner for decades and blends this philosophy into her writing and counseling. Her previous book, The Anger Diet, was named a Best Spiritual Book of 2005 by Spirituality and Health. Founder of the Enlightened Living Institute, she appears frequently on major television networks and in national magazines.
Her Zen perspective leads her to a treatment of fear and courage that is broader and deeper than I expected. Her approach is to focus on seven types of courage; being yourself; welcoming change; being open to reality and learning from mistakes; rejecting falseness and negativity; trading anger and conflict for love; giving up the need to control; and building positive relationships.
Dr. Shoshanna makes her points while offering suggestions, encouragement and exercises. I'm not sure I've read a book that has so much grounded wisdom. This excerpt is a good example:
"A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, each physically or mentally challenged, assembled at the starting line for the hundred-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with excitement, to run the race to the finish and win.
"All, that is, except one boy, who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned around then and went back. Each one of them.
"One girl with Down syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, 'This will make it better.' All nine linked arms and walked across the finish line together. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What truly matters is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing course."
I particularly liked the many stories from Zen and other Eastern traditions. Also, during the past 40 years, I've collected over 3,000 quotes related to personal strength, so I was surprised to see many relevant quotes I've never seen before. Needless to say, they now enrich my collection.
This isn't the kind of book you read in one sitting. You read it one section at a time, make notes in the margins, and allow plenty of time for reflection. The book has the effect of broadening one's understanding of courage, relating it to numerous personal strengths. It points the reader towards a more harmonious, serene way of living.
Love More. Fear Less
by Walter E. Jacobson
Fearless, a blueprint for neutralizing our fear in order to get the life that we want, is a compilation of psychological and spiritual wisdom. It is an amalgam of aphorisms, anecdotes, and exercises, all designed to help us release our fear, empower ourselves, and change the reality of our lives in the process.
Part 1: The Seven Principles of Peace of Mind, details: (1) The Courage To Be Who You Are; (2) Letting Go of Attachments and Grasping; (3) Recognizing the Voices Within; (4) Finding A Safe Harbor; (5) Blessing Others: Deeds of Love; (6) Letting Go of Control and Domination; and (7) Discovering Your Perfect Nature: Becoming A Friend.
Part 2: Becoming Whole, Finding The Precious Jewel, provides additional wisdom and tools for discovering our authentic self and mastering our world rather than being victimized by it.
Part 3: Workshop On Dissolving Fear, offers additional exercises related to each of the Seven Principles of Peace of Mind and Becoming Whole, Finding The Precious Jewel.
In these turbulent times there are many reasons for us to be stressed, depressed, anxious and fearful, but that doesn’t mean we need be paralyzed and immobilized because of them.
In order to avoid this fate, we need good tools. We need books like Fearless that are wise, well thought out and well presented, which can assist us in effectively navigating our lives.
If we want our lives to be a fearless, joyful journey, we need to love more and fear less. Dr. Shoshanna’s book, Fearless, can help us do this.
Spirituality and Practice Book Review
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
"In Fearless, Shoshanna covers a very relevant and timely topic: confronting the fears that dominate our days. Economic uncertainty, unemployment, terrorist threats, environmental disasters, and climate change work their way into our minds, and we find it hard to shake them all off. They are persistent as a bully and as devious as a con man. Shoshanna is convinced that it is best to think of fear as a visitor who is just passing through: "Watch the fear arise and feel it; listen to the fear; do not allow the fear to stop your activities." She also counsels us to give more attention to love in our lives: the practice of dissolving fear comes with the regular practice of being loving."
Spirituality & Health Review
The Anger Diet. "Shoshanna has some insightful things to say about anger in the family, in the workplace, at God and at destiny. The Anger Diet is a resource that can change the way you view yourself and others. It will enable you to assess the role of this emotion in your life and help you to give up grudges, blaming others and playing the victim."
Share Your Mission Review
R. Winn Henderson, M.D., International Radio Talk Show Host
"Dr. Deepak Chopra once told me that he thought the single most common and direct cause of illness was anger. If this is true, Dr. Brenda Shoshanna has got to be one of the great world class healers of all time. In her book and program, The Anger Diet (30 Days To Stress Free Living), not only does she present the most complete and compelling description of the many forms of anger, but she also tells you how to treat each of them. If you suffer from any form of anger, and who among us does not, then you must read The Anger Diet. It’s a life changing experience.”
Armand DiMele,the DiMele Center for Psychotherapy Review
The Anger Diet is "A healing journey into the inner conflicts and contradictions that separate spirit from self."
In Zen Miracles Shoshanna extends an empty and richly filled hand, offering both the sublime and the practical, which are one and the same in the Zen world. This is a highly recommended volume for beginners and new practitioners who are coming to the truth that "to find the answers to your life questions, you must look within. Nothing less will do. Nothing more is needed."'
New York Naturally
"Zen Miracles is an inviting and inspiring message for those looking for a more simple and powerful way to enhance their lives and for those who want to integrate a practical way of peace in today's distorted and increasingly violent world."
“Dr. Shoshanna challenges us to let go of fantasies, expectations, fears and anticipation so we can be fully present to life. Her wisdom is genuine and deeply considered. Her book is well worth reading.”
Publisher's Weekly's Review
Zen And The Art Of Falling In Love
" . . . readers searching for broader meaning will revel in her ability to weave together the basic tenets of relationship psychology with the self-realization techniques of Zen practice. . . "
Tricycle Magazin Review
Zen and the Art of Falling in Love
"This is relationship, samurai style, as we are systematically led along the path from "becoming available" to "meeting the beloved."...Shoshanna studied with the zen masters Soen Nakagawa Roshi and Eido Shimano Roshi; the rigor of traditional monastic training shines through the spare language and format. Aspects of Zen training that can be controversial or confounding are presented matter-of-factly....The reader can just follow the "Steppingstones to Love" in each chapter--small actions that, like consistent meditation practice, lead incrementally to awareness. For those with love issues--isn't that most of us, at one time or another?--Shoshanna holds out the redemptive possibilities of practice."
Chicago Sun Times Review
Zen and the Art of Falling in Love
"Falling in love doesn't mean being blind or entering into fantasy," says Brenda Shoshanna, author of Zen and the Art of Falling in Love. "It means waking up out of darkened dreams to finally see the beauty that surrounds us." Sounds good."
Journey Through Illness & Beyond
"Dr. Shoshanna's words are wonderful."
- Marianne Williamson, #1 Best Selling author of A Return to Love
THE ANGER DIET (30 Days To Stress Free Living)
"A healing journey into the inner conflicts and contradictions that separate spirit from self."--Armand DiMele,the DiMele Center for Psychotherapy “
In this well-organized and thoroughly practical paperback, Dr. Shoshanna examines the widespread problem of anger. This emotion is a serious problem for one in ever five Americans and it can result in serious social manifestations such as road rage, workplace violence, domestic abuse and addiction. In her thirty-day program, Shoshanna outlines and deals with 24 forms of anger that can be replaced with healthy, constructive responses. The goal here is to eliminate toxicity from our systems that result from being in the grip of this volatile emotion. The exercises and tips in each chapter are supplemented by a “Review and Repair” chapter following every five days which puts things in perspective. Ultimately, Shoshanna sees this anger diet as a way of making it possible for love and forgiveness to reign in our lives.
The author has done us all a service by delineating the various types of anger that spell out our days and diminish our lives. To name just a few, there is the straightforward kind of anger that comes over us and can lead to beatings, accidents and even murder. Then there are the forms of anger that we turn against ourselves such as depression, withdrawal, hopelessness, suicide and suicidal thoughts, self-sabotage and catastrophic expectations. In the latter, we set ourselves up for failure by seeking problems and dwelling upon the terrible things that might happen to us. Shoshanna states that these expectations “arise from a loss of faith in oneself, from not being in touch with one’s natural ability to handle situations as they arise.” Some of the other guises of anger covered here are insults and gossip, judging others, playing the martyr and revenge. Shoshanna has some insightful things to say about anger in the family, in the workplace, at God and at destiny. The Anger Diet is a resource that can change the way you view yourself and others. It will enable you to assess the role of this emotion in your life and help you to give up grudges, blaming others and playing the victim.”
- Spirituality and Health
ZEN MIRACLES (Finding Peace In An Insane World)
"Shoshanna extends an empty and richly filled hand, offering both the sublime and the practical, which are one and the same in the Zen world. This is a highly recommended volume for beginners and new practitioners who are coming to the truth that "to find the answers to your life questions, you must look within. Nothing less will do. Nothing more is needed."' --Publishers Weekly [for Zen Miracles]
Zen Miracles is a book that is invaluable for anyone seeking to bring a profound, yet genuinely joyous experience to life. Brenda Shoshanna explores the spiritual and therapeutic aspects of Zen practice in a way that is acceptable to anyone no matter what their faith, philosophy or religious beliefs. With her warm and compassionate style she exhibits the unique ability to explain even the most difficult ideas in understandable terms. Her approach is readily accessible and applicable to even the most mundane of activities. This book is a must for anyone seeking the secrets for attaining a balanced life and true peace of mind."--Lewis HarrisonDirector of the Academy of Natural Healing
ZEN AND THE ART OF FALLING I N LOVE
This is relationship, samurai style, as we are systematically led along the path from "becoming available" to "meeting the beloved.".....The reader can just follow the "Steppingstones to Love" in each chapter--small actions that, like consistent meditation practice, lead incrementally to awareness. For those with love issues--isn't that most of us, at one time or another?--Shoshanna holds out the redemptive possibilities of practice."--Tricycle Magazine (on Zen and the Art of Falling in Love)
"Readers searching for broader meaning will revel in her ability to weave together the basic tenets of relationship psychology with the self-realization techniques of Zen practice. Nor is Shoshanna's advice limited to affairs of the heart; much of her counsel-to be open, loving and full of faith-feels relevant to all aspects of life."--Publishers Weekly
"If you are looking for a way to have happiness and still live in this world, you have come to the right book. Rarely do eloquent prose, gems of quotes, simple wisdom, and practical exercises come in one book: Zen Miracles offers all of these and more. Whatever your spiritual orientation, this is a book you will refer to for years to come."--Lee Jampolsky, Ph.D.Aauthor of Healing Together, Healing the Addictive Mind, and The Art of Trust.
JOURNEY THROUGH ILLNESS AND BEYOND
Dr. Brenda Shoshanna's words are wonderful.
--Marianne Williamson, Noted Author of A Return to Love
Wisdom, tears, smiles, consoling hands and spiritual guidance. The most important work I have read in the last years. And the most beautiful one, too."
--Judge Amnon Carmi, Editor/Chief, Medicine and Law, Haifa Israel
I have recently bgujn leading a health program for persons with AIDS. Your book has been extremely helpful. A masterpiece. Thank you so much."
--Peter Hendrickson, Ph.d., Author Alive and Well, A Path for Living in the Time of HIV