Brahm (Don’t Worry, Be Grumpy
) takes mindfulness, the discipline of being acutely attentive to the present moment, one step further. As Brahm, a Buddhist monk, explains it, a guard tasked with being mindful could carefully watch his employer’s house being robbed, do nothing, and still have fulfilled his mindfulness duties. A kindful guard, in contrast, would intervene to protect his employer’s interests. If mindfulness observes, kindfulness practices compassion, and this, says Brahm, becomes the key to healing. Throughout the book, Brahm guides the reader through developing kindfulness, using practices rooted in traditional Buddhist disciplines of breathing, meditating, stillness, and letting go. Readers will find the book’s simple, gentle language and short chapters—with the most important points boldfaced—easy to follow. Because this is a discipline that takes time and patience, it’s impossible to know if kindfulness lives up to its healing claims, but perhaps following this gentle guide to countercultural thinking will bring some needed peace to a harried world. (Feb.