How can we stay engaged with life day after day? How can we continue to love–to keep our minds in a happy mood–when life is complex, difficult, and, often, disappointing? Bestselling author and beloved teacher Sylvia Boorstein asked herself these questions when she started to write this inspiring new book. The result is her best work to date, offering warm, wise, and helpful ways we can experience happiness even when the odds are against us.
As Boorstein has discovered in more than three decades of practice as a professional psychotherapist, the secret to happiness lies in actively cultivating our capacity to connect with kindness: with ourselves; with friends, family, colleagues; with those we may not know well; and even with those we may not like. She draws from the heart of Buddhist teachings to show how Wise Effort, Wise Mindfulness, and Wise Concentration can lead us away from anger, anxiety, and confusion, and into calmness, clarity, and the joy of living in the present. These qualities strengthen our ability to meet encounters of every kind with balance and intelligence, providing us with a grounded sense of true contentment.
Happiness Is an Inside Job resonates with the knowledge of a psychotherapist, the compassion of a spiritual teacher, and the wisdom of a grandmother. Boorstein’s vivid stories capture our minds and our hearts, and the simple exercises she suggests can be done while you read.
This beautiful book is comforting and reminds us that life is a shared journey, that our hearts truly do want to console and love our fellow sojourners, and that living happily is indeed the best way to live.
Advance praise for Happiness Is an Inside Job
“This book will convince you that your own happiness really is much more available to you than you may have thought. Sylvia skillfully shares her inner life and her outer life and lovingly trains your mind and heart in the real practice of meditation, which is always about how you live your life right here and right now.”
–Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses
“Sylvia Boorstein’s lessons, gleaned from a life of internal reflection and mindful teaching, are delivered with such openness, love, and affection that it feels as if you are sitting with Sylvia in her living room soaking in the wisdom of an enlightened friend–wisdom that is also consistent with findings about how mindfulness changes the brain.”
–Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., author of The Mindful Brain
“A wonderful book, heartwarming and wise . . . It conveys the essence of what the Buddha taught–in the voice of a gifted storyteller, teacher, friend, and compassionate human being.”
–Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindess
“Reading this wonderful book is like having a heart-to-heart with Sylvia. It is wise, warm, and full of great stories that will make you smile. Best of all, it will cheer your spirit by showing you how to practice happiness.”
–Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
“This is a truly delightful book, filled with simple wisdom for the journey.”
–Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big Life
“A generous gift for all of us to enjoy, to savor, and to learn from.”
–Judith S. Wallerstein, Ph.D., co-author of What About the Kids?
“Sylvia Boorstein has always been a world-class storyteller. But the stories in Happiness are altogether at a new level. I found myself talking back to this book repeatedly, saying, ‘Yes! That’s it! Exactly!’ It should be required reading for all human beings.”
–Stephen Cope, author of The Wisdom of Yoga