“At a certain point we must,
stand at the crossroads,
hear the little voice that says
“You can go in a new direction,”
heed that voice,
and make a choice to end suffering.”
~ Cheri Huber
It has been my intention to include book reviews as part of the information shared on The Heart Of Awakening. In alignment with this month’s theme of change, I’d like to share about Cheri Huber’s book, Making A Change For Good: A Guide To Compassionate Self-Discipline.
For those who are not familiar with Cheri Huber, she is a Zen teacher, writer and speaker. In 1983, Cheri founded the Mountain View Zen Center, and in 1987 she founded the Zen Monastery Peace Center in California. She conduct workshops and retreats at these centers, other places around the U.S., and internationally. In 1997, Cheri founded Living Compassion, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to peace and service. She is the author of 20 books including the very popular, There Is Nothing Wrong With You.
Making A Change For Good was published in 2007. As with all of Cheri’s book, this one is written in a fun, user-friendly style that supports deep exploration and transformation. It’s the kind of book our inner children love to read. It’s written in a fun font, with spaciousness on the pages and there are many cartoon like drawings that help to understand the concepts shared in a creative way. In this book, the focus is on Change. Huber speaks of shifting our perspective on how to create change from harshness and rigorous self-discipline that arises from our conditioned mind to a path of gentleness, compassion and self-acceptance. In her words,
“Compassionate self-discipline is simply allowing the intelligence and generosity that is your authentic nature to guide you in every moment.”
The book offers two parts, the main content, which provides an exploration of compassionate self-discipline, beliefs, meditation, awareness practice and becoming a mentor to ourselves. She also addresses some specific topics such as time management and eating which can be places where we may really have difficulty moving beyond our conditioning into compassionate self-discipline. The second part of the book is a Guided Retreat, entitled “30 Days To Compassionate Self-Discipline” which can be done in conjunction with reading the book or on its own.
I have really benefited personally from this book; it is one of my favorite books on change. It’s not just a good read on the subject but it’s a step by step daily process for transformation. When working with the 30 Day practice, you have the opportunity to choose a specific topic to work on and as you do so, there is a process of self-awareness that occurs related to that specific issue or pattern. Some of the topics I have utilized this book to explore include self-care, clutter, writing, etc. I have probably worked with the 30 Day Guided Retreat at least 10 times, sometimes completing it and others not, but always learning more about myself and growing in the process.
There is a strong foundation of meditation as part of the practice and another way to use book can be to help support or deepen in the development of a daily meditation practice. Whether your chosen change is focused on meditation or a specific area of your life, learning to be fully present to your experience and moving beyond the conditioned mind is a necessary part of the change process and it the gift that meditation brings to our lives.
I recommend Making A Change For Good to anyone who is working to cultivate change and would like explore creating change is a conscious, caring and compassionate way. Also, if you have struggled with change, and particularly, a specific issue or area of change, this book offers a process that supports deep exploration into the nature of resistance as well as a path to transform old patterns, feeling and beliefs that may be keeping you stuck. I often recommend this book to my clients as an adjunct support to the transformational work they are already doing. The Guided Retreat includes a Daily Evening Review, which is a great way to track what is arising during the change process.
I hope you’ll explore Making A Change For Good: A Guide To Compassionate Self-Discipline. If you have worked with this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections, too.
To learn more about Cheri Huber’s books and programs, visit www.cherihuber.com.