Solid Ground is a little book. But it’s size belies it’s excellence. The book is comprised of three parts–three prominent Buddhist authors talk about overcoming challenge using Buddhist wisdom. All three authors are unique and potent–in both their understanding of Buddhism and the quality of their writing.
Sylvia Boorstein’s section was my favorite. Not because her section was a standout–but as with most spiritual books, I found that her section just simply called out to me last month. Surely a result of where I am in my life (and in my mind). I liked reading one section and just skimming the rest…knowing that I could come back to them later when the time is right.
So many Buddhist books sound like they’re revisions of an earlier classic. But this book is unique and compelling…and relevant to our times.
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The Way of Council is an excellent book penned by Jack Zimmerman and Virginia Coyle. Both have extensive experience working through simple and difficult issues using the unique format of a circle.
This isn’t just about sitting in a circle and gabbing. There are parameters, and strategies, to make circles work.
Usually circles involve a talking stick, to prevent people from speaking out of turn, or more importantly, without mindfulness.
Circles move in one direction, again, to achieve inclusiveness and good flow. Usually circles involve listening more than talking–because the foundation of council (in the Aboriginal tradition) is to listen with your whole heart to your community, and to develop patience and tolerance.
I liked the examples in this book–Jack and Virginia have worked with this format in large and small groups, with young children and elders, and with folks across different cultures. I learned of this methodology long ago and have used them in my organization and in my various communities.
It’s a classic–I found it a decade ago and still find myself re-reading and referencing today.
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