An engagingly written call to overcome stress and embrace a life of awareness and simplicity.



A nuts-and-bolts guidebook to raising the quality of one’s life through mindfulness.

This nonfiction debut from Indian author Pathik describes the extent of the psychological, social, and spiritual problems afflicting the modern technological age—and especially the children of the current era. In the United States, he writes, one out of five children experiences mental health problems, which translates to millions of kids. Many adults are similarly oppressed, according to Pathik—overworked and overly stressed by omnipresent technology: “We have become so absorbed in the materialistic world,” he writes, “that we have forgotten how to be human.” The author warns readers that, despite his book’s title, his response to these pervasive societal maladies is not a “quick-fix”; rather, it more closely resembles a journey that one may take alongside the author. In clear prose, Pathik lays out his key concept: that readers should make a clear distinction between their “Inner” and “Outer Minds.” The Outer Mind is the “Subjective Mind,” he says, which deals with thoughts and actions and can blunt the sensitivity that one needs to be content. The Inner Mind, by contrast, is the “Intuitive Mind,” which he defines as the sacred, spiritual inner core of one’s personality. And according to Pathik, modern life is characterized by the tension between these aspects of every person’s brain: “There is a war going on inside our minds,” he writes. Although this is a fairly standard real-world/inner-spirit dichotomy, Pathik effectively outlines major steps to achieving a balance between the two over the course of his book. The key, he says, is to “silence the Outer Mind for even short intervals” in order to better access one’s more spiritual Inner Mind. He gives readers a straightforward and practical path to reaching this goal, through the use of breathing exercises (“This mindful breath flow creates a natural quietness of the mind”) and other mindfulness techniques.

An engagingly written call to overcome stress and embrace a life of awareness and simplicity.

Pub Date: May 19, 2005

ISBN: 978-1-5043-3062-6

Page Count: 222

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should...


Greene (The 33 Strategies of War, 2007, etc.) believes that genius can be learned if we pay attention and reject social conformity.

The author suggests that our emergence as a species with stereoscopic, frontal vision and sophisticated hand-eye coordination gave us an advantage over earlier humans and primates because it allowed us to contemplate a situation and ponder alternatives for action. This, along with the advantages conferred by mirror neurons, which allow us to intuit what others may be thinking, contributed to our ability to learn, pass on inventions to future generations and improve our problem-solving ability. Throughout most of human history, we were hunter-gatherers, and our brains are engineered accordingly. The author has a jaundiced view of our modern technological society, which, he writes, encourages quick, rash judgments. We fail to spend the time needed to develop thorough mastery of a subject. Greene writes that every human is “born unique,” with specific potential that we can develop if we listen to our inner voice. He offers many interesting but tendentious examples to illustrate his theory, including Einstein, Darwin, Mozart and Temple Grandin. In the case of Darwin, Greene ignores the formative intellectual influences that shaped his thought, including the discovery of geological evolution with which he was familiar before his famous voyage. The author uses Grandin's struggle to overcome autistic social handicaps as a model for the necessity for everyone to create a deceptive social mask.

Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should beware of the author's quirky, sometimes misleading brush-stroke characterizations.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-02496-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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