"Meditation," according to Zen master Shunryu Suzuki, "is not some kind of excitement but concentration on our usual everyday routine; when your practice is calm and ordinary, everyday life itself is enlightenment." Pragito Dove would agree. She has twenty years of experience as a consultant and trainer in stress management, relaxation, and meditation. For several years she led a highly successful meditation series at Stacey's Bookstore in San Francisco's financial district. It was the inspiration for this book.
Dove opens up the spiritual practice of being present with concrete techniques for developing patience, discovering trust, and tapping into love and compassion in the midst of everyday life. The author has some cogent things to say about the ways in which judgment clouds and distorts our vision. She gives suggestions on how to ride through the mind's tendency to judge or classify and, instead, to just be present with whatever comes up in front of us.
Dove is convinced that we can reap the benefits of a meditative consciousness while exercising, eating, laughing, sauntering, or working. Here, for example, is a nurturing exercise: "Stop and take a few deep breaths. For a few moments feel appreciation for yourself. Give yourself appreciation for no reason. Appreciate yourself for the sheer enjoyment of it. Now think of one thing you really appreciate about someone you know. Let her know in some way that you appreciate her." With this down-to-earth book, Dove accomplishes her goal of expanding mindfulness practices into the daily rhythm of our lives.