Genuine Mental Health Through Awakened Presence
Effortless Mindfulness promotes genuine mental health through the direct experience of awakened presence—an effortlessly embodied, fearless understanding of and interaction with the way things truly are. The book offers a uniquely modern Buddhist psychological understanding of mental health disorders through a scholarly, clinically relevant presentation of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist teachings and practices. Written specifically for Western psychotherapeutic professionals, the book brings together traditional Buddhist theory and contemporary psychoneurobiosocial research to describe the conditioned and unconditioned mind, and its in-depth exploration of Buddhist psychology includes complete instructions for psychotherapists in authentic, yet clinically appropriate Buddhist mindfulness/heartfulness practices and Buddhist-psychological inquiry skills. The book also features interviews with an esteemed collection of Buddhist teachers, scholars, meditation researchers and Buddhist-inspired clinicians.
Table of Contents
1. Start From Where You Are 2. Know the Conditioned Mind 3. The Conditioned Mind and Mental Health Disorders 4. Know the Unconditioned Mind 5. Know the Fully Awakened Heart 6. Knowing Spontaneous Awakened Presence 7. Loving Life Just as It Is 8. Nirvāna as Skillful Action and Transformation 9. Genuine Mental Health: Offering up the Illusion of Self. Glossary of Pali, Sanskrit, and Tibetan Terms.
Lisa Dale Miller, LMFT, LPCC, SEP, is a private practice psychotherapist in Los Gatos, California. She specializes in mindfulness psychotherapy and Buddhist psychology and is a certified Somatic Experiencing practitioner. Lisa trains clinicians in the application of mindfulness interventions and practical Buddhist psychology and is trained in Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Lisa has been a dedicated yogic and Buddhist meditation practitioner for almost four decades. For more information on the material presented in this book please visit: www.awakenedpresence.com. More information on Lisa's private practice can be found at: www.lisadalemiller.com.
"Western psychology has focused primarily on mindfulness as a technique for emotional healing. In this scholarly manual for clinicians, Lisa Dale Miller offers a more complete view of Buddhist psychology and mental health. Effortless Mindfulness reveals the understanding behind the technique of mindfulness and points to many more possibilities for further utilization and integration of Buddhist psychology in western clinical work. Any clinician interested in exploring Buddhist psychology in depth will be interested in this book."
—Phillip Moffitt, author of Emotional Chaos to Clarity and Dancing with Life
"Lisa Dale Miller has offered mental-health practitioners—and all those seeking to integrate basic wellbeing and happiness with the ancient and time-tested wisdom teachings in Buddha dharma—a clear, scholarly, and thoughtful approach to understanding the important and growing connection between the two. She addresses the important questions of what genuine mental health is and what practices best support it at many levels, drawing expertly from neuroscience, clinical practice methods, Buddhist philosophy and modern psychological theory. As a clinician, researcher and long-time meditator, she has a unique perspective in the quest to connect the dots between dharma and modern psychology."
—Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist dharma teacher and author
"Effortless Mindfulness is the real deal! It skillfully provides the most comprehensive and authentic approach to integrating Buddhist teachings with contemporary therapeutic principles and the most relevant psychosocial and cognitive neurobiological research. From across schools of Buddhism and secular adaptations of mindfulness, Lisa Dale Miller is able to weave together the common threads that provide relevant theory on the nature of suffering and the methods of mental training that can lead to a sustainable healthy mind in the most practical way. Clinicians, scholars, and practitioners alike will find this book to be a valuable resource for his or her own personal journey and for the field of contemplative science."
—David R. Vago, PhD, instructor at Harvard Medical School
"In the pages that follow, Lisa Dale Miller takes us on an integrative adventure, exploring the intersection of ancient Buddhist teachings with modern neurobiology and clinical research and practice. While the work of many pioneers have facilitated the integration of mindfulness practices into health care and society by intentionally extracting them from their Buddhist roots, this book offers a different service: it looks unflinchingly at Buddhist understandings of the origins of human suffering and how various meditative techniques were designed to alleviate this suffering by fostering a radical psychological liberation."
—from the foreword by Ronald D. Siegel
"You will find that the scholarship and many years of meditation practice of the author are reflected on every page. It is intellectually satisfying and also serves as a rich contemplative guide for mindfulness meditation and Buddhism in general. No matter what your background might be, as scholar, meditator or seeker, you will find many valuable insights in this work. It is such a joy to see Lisa’s gift in presenting many essential Buddhist thoughts in contemporary language and making them come alive."
—from the foreword by Anam Thubten Rinpoche