Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants - Praise

108 Metaphors for Mindfulness


240 pages, 6 x 9 inches


ISBN 9780861715763

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eBook Bundle (PDF, epub, mobi)


ISBN 9780861719853

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“If you want to receive mindfulness teachings in a way that is playful, wise and memorable, read this book. Arnie uses the most ancient of teaching devices—metaphorical stories and images—to convey the possibility and blessings of living a life of presence.”—Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance

“What I loved most about this book was that the language was current and the values were traditional. It was useful wherever you dipped in to refresh yourself. A delightful book that brings your life and practice together whether you are an old timer or new practitioner.”—Grace Schireson author of Zen Women

“Dr. Kozak has insightful explainations regarding traditional Buddhist metaphors, but he also offers original, modern metaphors, such as, ‘The Pause Button’ and ‘March of the Penguins.’ I’ll leave it up to Kozak--with his fresh and straightforward voice--to explain what the metaphors refer to.”—Shambhala Sun

“This collection of very useful reflections provide us with 108 sparkling insights into mindfulness, the energy of seeing—so vital for all of us engaged in meditative living.”—Larry Rosenberg

“One does not have to be in touch with their spirituality or have experience with yoga or Buddhism to benefit from these metaphors. It is an appropriate gift for friends or family members that may never dare to think beyond the confines of their stress. This book is a breath of fresh air, a sigh of relief, and a pleasant chuckle all in one.”--Venus Rising

“Kozak’s book, in paperback, is approachable and entertaining and could easily be gulped down in the course of an afternoon, but the chapters are probably best parsed out in smaller servings.”—The Essex Reporter

“This book will raise your spiritual IQ.”—Shinzen Young, author of, The Science of Enlightenment

“A must-read if you desire to live a life of balance and happiness. Brilliant, simple, and profound. Perfect for your daily inspirational time.”—Dr. Kathleen Hall, founder of The Stress Institute and The Mindful Living Network

“Full of practical examples and resonant stories.”—Lea Belair, author of Walk on Water: How to Make Change Easier

“Arnie Kozak offers us 108 vibrant portals to understanding and cultivating mindfulness and acceptance. In an immediate and accessible way, the metaphors in Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants do a wonderful job of capturing the flavor, complexity, and richness of mindfulness and are particularly good at illustrating the process of employing it. Highly recommended for anyone practicing mindfulness—as well as for therapists, teachers, and parents who are introducing others to this healing, expansive practice.”—Lizabeth Roemer, Ph.D., coauthor of Mindfulness- & Acceptance-Based Behavioral Therapies in Practice

“Highly recommended for both students and teachers of mindfulness.”—Zindel Segal, Ph.D., coauthor of The Mindful Way Through Depression

“Vivid and thoughtful. This book is a welcomed companion to mindfulness-based psychotherapy.”—Paul Foxman, Ph.D., Founder of the Center for Anxiety Disorders, author of Dancing with Fear

“Straightforward and delightful lessons in the theory and practice of mindfulness.”—Melissa Myozen Blacker, Director of Oasis Professional Training, Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School

“Live in accord with the advice inside and your life will change.”—Rev. Taihaku Gretchen Priest, founder of Shao Shan Spiritual Practice Center

“This book belongs in the curriculum of every clinical training program and should be recommended to anyone who want to learn to live in the mindful moment.”—William J. McCann, Psy.D. Director of Behavioral Science Education, Wake Forest University School of Medicine

“Metaphor is our mental root of imagination and language. If you contemplate these brief stories, your emotional intelligence and mindfulness will develop effortlessly from the insights they provide.”—Polly Young Eisendrath, Ph.D., author of The Resilient Spirit and The Self-Esteem Trap

“Arnie Kozak’s little book of metaphors is truly a gem - an indispensable tool for pursuing lifefis meaning through mindfulness, meditation and appreciation of each of lifefis precious moments. These metaphors resonate equally with the mind and the heart.”—Magdalena R. Naylor, MD, PhD, co-author of The Search for Meaning, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Director MindBody Medicine Clinic

Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants is such a revelation. From Ram Dass, to Rainer Maria Rilke, to Jon Kabat-Zinn...to sutras, to inner mute buttons, to “simmering down”...all mindful-licious. Thank you for this wonderful gift.”—Mary Beth Janssen, author of Pleasure Healing: Mindful Practices & Sacred Spa Rituals for Self-Nurturing

“Every time I entered a new metaphor I would think, ok, he’s exhausted all the ways of looking at mindfulness and the self, and then I’d turn the page, and enter another metaphor and another gleaming sliver of the Indra’s net of the mind revealed itself!”—Adrie Kusserow, Chair Department of Anthropology and Sociology St. Michael’s College, author of Hunting Down the Monk

“What an exquisite collection of thought-provoking stories and metaphors. Kozak has assembled an engaging collection of helpful stories that can be drawn up to tame our minds and change our lives. This book is truly a creative act. The author draws upon extant stories in the mindfulness literature, and he creates many of his own. Together, these stories offer the reader a compass for navigating the storms of everyday life which are so often burdened by unruly minds. Kudos to Kozak. What a pleasurable read.”—Melvin E. Miller, PhD - Coeditor of Transcendence and Mature Thought in Adulthood; Creativity, Spirituality, and Transcendence; and the Psychology of Mature Spirituality.

“All of us understand things by comparing them to what we already know and in this way metaphors are fundamental to our efforts to learn—and Arnie Kozak is offering us a wonderful collection of them. A wild ride!”—Thomas Bien, Ph.D., author of Mindful Therapy and coeditor of Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship

“Metaphors are the way we makes sense of the world, the mind, and our experience. Arnie Kozak offers 108 metaphors for understanding and cultivating mindfulness, not as an abstract practice, but within the embodied experience of this moment. Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants is insightful, creative, and inspiring; each metaphor a shining facet of a jewel.”—Frank Jude Boccio, author of Mindfulness Yoga

“Dr. Kozak has produced a thoughtful, engaging, and easy reading compilation of metaphors that speak to moving through life in a more healthy manner. Drawing partially from insights from Buddhism and mindfulness and Dr. Kozak’s own insightful mind, this book is an important read, reminding us all of the benefits of daily mindful attention to ourselves, our world, and our interactions with it.”—Michael J. Zvolensky, Ph.D., Richard and Pamela Ader Green and Gold Professor, Director, Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory, University of Vermont

“This lively collection of stories uses the rich medium of metaphors to illustrate how our minds process experience and to demonstrate what the practice of mindfulness can offer. Arnie Kozak reminds us that through the practice of mindfulness we can develop a skillful and compassionate relationship to the many ways our minds respond to difficulty and so lead lives less driven by stress and suffering.”—Susan Woods, LICSW, trains health professionals in mindfulness-based approaches both nationally and internationally and is a contributing author to the Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness

“Metaphors: we create them, we respond to them, we relate to life through them. Arnie Kozak has given us 108 metaphors to enjoy, to learn from, to aid us in our practice of being ever more free in our moment to moment life experiences. This book is a delight. I will recommend it to all my meditation students.”—Ferris Buck Urbanowski M.A., Adjunct senior faculty, Center for Mindfulness, U. Mass Medical Center; Honorary Lecturer, University of Wales, Bangor, Wales, author of Yoga for New Parents

“I started to read Wild Chickens last night and couldn’t put it down! It’s compelling and entertaining, and it’s very clear that Kozak speaks from direct experience. Only one who truly gets what mindfulness is can translate it so well into simple, practical examples as he does in his metaphors. I think Wild Chickens will help point a finger in the right direction for those beginning on their path and will serve as a great reminder for those already down that road. If a metaphor is worth its weight in gold; flipping a switch in a dark room; imagine what 180 are worth! Awesome book. Buy it. Read it.”—Dr. Steve Taubman, author of Unhypnosis: How to Wake Up, Start Over, and Create the Life You’re Meant to Live

“A delightful read filled with wisdom and clarity. It really conveys the essence of mindfulness in a format that is easy to understand and apply.”—Elana Rosenbaum, MS, MSW, psychotherapist, senior teacher and faculty, Center for Mindfulness

“Minefields, e-mails, monkey mind—oh my! Arnie Kozak’s Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants brings the Buddhist traditions of simile and metaphor out of the agrarian tiger jungles and into the tangle of post-modern, secular, technologized society. Referencing in his metaphors the Internet, taxation, cable channels, cluttered garages, DVD director commentaries, Jimi Hendrix, and Star Trek—just to name a few examples—Kozak clearly illustrates how our mind works by striking relevance with our post-modern language and living. While the basic nature of the human mind may have not changed in 2,500 years, Kozak acknowledges that the context in which humans live has changed dramatically; he offers this compilation as a tool for better accessing our inherent wisdom in mindfulness, and in the new millennium.”—Emily McLaughlin

“Metaphors for mindfulness are “seeds,” that plant a deeper understanding of true mindfulness, and they enhance its practice or make it easier…of course, your practice doesn’t have to be “mindfulness” for these metaphors to be helpful. The principle applies across the spectra of practices and schools - and even if you don’t identify with any school at all.”—Shambhala Sun