Tag Archives: book

Katie’s Bookshelf: If the Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl

Kasl’s “If the Buddha Dated” is a book about finding love, dating, and getting to know yourself on a deeper level within a relationship. Kasl uses her own experiences in dating, as a psychotherapist, and from exposure to relationships within different religions and spiritualities.

“On the spiritual path the rules are simple. Be kind, compassionate, honest, and natural.”

The book is divided into many parts with many small “bite-sized” sections on the topics within. She explores everything from preparing to love, recognizing what you want, the dating journey, and commitment once you find a partner. She has included lots of checklist and activities to really help uncover what you are looking for, will it work for you, and understanding yourself.

I enjoyed this book as it was simple to read but effective in helping the reader sort out their dating life. I think the title can be catchy for someone who may be aligned more with Eastern Spiritualities but it’s not exclusive to Buddhism. She references Christianity and Sufism to name a few. I think this book is so approachable and brings something tangible to dating that is often difficult to sort through. I did get a good laugh at her references to placing an online ad for dating since it was published in 2001! For those in a marriage, she has another book called, “If the Buddha Married.”

Read this book if:

  • You are thinking about dating
  • Currently dating

Buy it Here

Kasl, C. D. (2001). If the Buddha dated: Handbook for finding love on a spiritual path. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Penguin Compass.

Books for Adversity

Below you will find a list of books with links to the reviews to help you when you encounter adversity.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Power of Attachment by Diane Poole Heller

“The Power of Attachment” by Diane Poole Heller examines the four attachment styles that we fall into and how they play out in our adult significant relationships. She dedicates an entire to the, as she calls it “attachment adaptations;” secure, avoidant, ambivalent, and disorganized. Each chapter is full of clear descriptions, origins of the style from childhood, vignettes, and exercises. Most of the exercises have a visualization component to them. The last chapter describes what a securely attached couple exhibits as well as how to work with the insecure styles to create more security.

“We’re hardwired for secure attachment, we have the equipment. Deep down, all of us are designed for intimacy, connection, awareness, and love.”

I’ve previous read “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment” and really enjoyed the content. After reading this one, I prefer it over the other, although, Heller references the work of the authors in “Attached” many times. I preferred this one as it goes deeper into the origins of the attachment styles and explores “disorganized attachment” whereas the previous book did not. I feel as if the exercises in this book will give the reader tangible ways to find more security in relationships as well as hope. Heller seems to be very mindful of not boxing someone into one label and giving hope for security.

Read this book if:

  • You are an adult
  • Have a desire to learn more about your own or partner’s attachment style
  • Want to find more security and stability in your adult relationships

Buy It Here

Heller, D. P. (2019). The Power of Attachment: How to Create Deep and Lasting Intimate Relationships. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.

Katie’s Bookshelf: What We Say Matters by Judith Hanson Lasater & Ike Lasater

“What We Say Matters” by Judith Hanson Lasater and Ike Lasater is based on Marshall Rosenberg’s techniques of “Non-Violent Communication.” Ike and Judith describe their practice of NVC as spiritual in nature as a way to connect to ourselves first and then to others. For them it’s a way to practice “Satya”(a Yama of Yoga Philosophy meaning truthfulness” and “Right Speech” from Buddhism.

“My words reflect my thoughts, my thoughts reflect my beliefs, and my beliefs, especially the unexamined ones, run my world.”

The basic concepts of NVC are: make observations, name your feelings, express your needs, and make a request. They do a good bit of work around connecting to yourself with empathy before responding as a way to be authentic with your needs, and wishes. The recommend using the phrase, “when I hear____, I feel____, because I need____; would you be willing to____? The book ends with a chapter on talking to our partners, children, parents, coworkers, and the world.

I have studied Yoga with Judith many times and have always admired the way she uses her words which inspired me to read this book. It’s a relatively short book but heavy with material. I feel as if I took in a lot of information and will need to read this several more times. I recently purchased Rosenberg’s book “Non-Violent Communication” as a way to dive deeper into this practice.

Read this book if:

  • You are interested in communicating more authentically
  • Have a desire to hear others more empathetically
  • Want improved relationships

Buy it Here

Lasater, J., & Lasater, I. (2009). What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication. Berkeley, CA: Rodmell Press.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Five Things We Cannot Change by David Richo

IMG_3027“The Five Things We Cannot Change…and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them” written by David Richo outlines the givens in life and how to live more with an “unconditional yes.”  His 5 givens are:

  1. Everything Changes and Ends
  2. Things Do Not Always Go According to Plan
  3. Life is Not Always Fair
  4. Pain is a Part of Life
  5. People are not Loving and Loyal All of the Time

Reread that list.  Wow.  Seems like a glass of cold water was thrown in your face huh?  We all know these things and have experienced them but for someone reason they are hard to accept.  We want the good experiences to last forever, we like to plan and know what is going to happen next, we want fairness, pain hurts, and we expect people to treat us well.  When these things happen, we suffer.  We will suffer less when we accept that these conditions are a part of life and happen to everyone.  No adult or any person of significant age is immune.Richo spends a chapter on each unpacking them.  He then moves into the refuges and gifts from the givens.

“Positive resourceful refuges are relationships, friendships, art, nature, music, creativity, career, entertainment, meditation, and the variety of non-hurtful ways we have of fulfilling our own deepest needs and wishes.”

The last section of the book focuses on the “unconditional yes;” how to become yes, yes to feelings, and a yes to who I am.  He does use spiritual references with a heavy emphasis on nature and Buddhism.Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and appreciated the simplicity of the givens of life he outlined as well as how to accept them with the least amount of suffering.

Read this book if:

  • You are an adult.

Buy it here

Richo, D. (2008). The five things we cannot change: And the happiness we find by embracing them. Boston: Shambhala.