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Calm Kindle Edition

32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This new book by Lonely Planet called Calm: Secrets to Serenity from the Cultures of the World is a treat for the senses." (Alaskan Apple Users Group Blog 2013-11-29)

"Calm: Secrets to Serenity from theCultures of the World shows how people in 50 cultures keep stress at bay. Learn to focus on the journey (Japan), find peace in solitude (Russia) or practice archery (Bhutan). Even a game of backgammon with friends (Egypt) can do the trick." (San Jose Mercury News 2013-11-21)

Product Details

  • File Size: 24032 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 1 edition (November 1, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GOLNPVA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,354 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Alex Leviton has contributed to over two dozen books for Lonely Planet since 2002, including Italy; Tuscany & Umbria; Eastern Europe; Trips: The South; Discover California and her two favorite projects: Happy and Calm. She writes a blog about travel, minimalism, funny things, and finding your voice at Like a House (http://www.likeahouse.com) and teaches travel writing for World Nomads and others.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kathy VINE VOICE on December 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book gives you tips on relaxing and reducing stress by giving you examples of things done in different parts of the world. Each situation is on two pages. One page is a photo or illustration and the next page is the title of the stressful situation. After that, the page goes on to tell you the tradition that is practiced, what time of year and the country it was originated in. The text is only a few paragraphs, but it is so well written that you get a lot out of it in a short time.

My favorite part of the book is that the practices were things I really hadn't thought about before. In fact, in the introduction they tell you the don't go into the obvious such as yoga or tai chi. Not that there is anything wrong with those, but there is a lot of information on these topics already. This book covers things such a "Laugh in the Face of Danger" which tells about Greek philosophers who imagine worst case scenarios and then write down how they would handle them. Or "Aim for Excellence" which talks about how some Japanese Sushi chefs master just one dish. This is to show us an example of trying to focus on one thing rather than stressing ourselves out by trying to do everything. We learn about patience from stilt fishers in Sri Lanka and staying in the present from the Piraha Language in Brazil that has no words to describe the past or the future. The book is 125 pages, so there are many more practices you might find helpful or just enjoy reading about them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Junkin-Mills VINE VOICE on February 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a slim book with 2 pages (1 with a picture, 1 with text) each dedicated to one of about 50 different ways of dealing with stress / finding serenity (information so many of us can use). It's divided into 4 sections (Nature, Rhythm, Sharing, Focus), each with approximately a dozen lessons from around the world.

My favorite part is that a practice from another culture is described, and then ways to incorporate similar benefits into everyday suburban life are suggested. For example: Free Diving among the Bajau people is described & then breathing practices used in pranayama yoga are suggested as an alternative; Buddhist monks celebrating impermanence with sand mandalas is described & drawing in condensation is suggested as an alternative; Gregorian chants are described & any soothing music is suggested; Carnivale is described & acting like someone else is suggested. Etc.

Many tips are things we already know - slow down, exercise, share your problems, unplug... but reading about them and their roots in powerful traditions is a nice reminder. And there were a good many things I didn't know- kayaking is described and I didn't know that bilateral stimulation is often used by trauma therapists to release anxieties.

I started reading this myself, dipping into it and reading a practice or two when I had time. But now I have it at the diner table and we read one practice every night and talk about what we can take away from the lesson. We spend maybe 5 minutes on this before diving back into hectic schedules, but I feel it's an emotionally healthy ritual. Love.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paper or Kindle TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lonely Planet is noted for travel books studded with photography, but this isn't one of them. In a little more than 120 pages, I counted only about half a dozen photographs. Each spread has text on the right-hand page and some kind of illustration, mostly drawings, on the left. This small book is most suitable for Christmas stockings or hostess gifts. It could have been a lot better, though. The concept is an excellent one: how do people achieve serenity around the world? If anyone should have a collection of tips, it should be Lonely Planet, whose staff have been everywhere (and more than once!). Some of the entries here are unusual and absorbing, like free-diving, whose practitioners can hold their breaths for up to 5 minutes and use no equipment other than homemade goggles. Other entries may be more commonplace, like cultivating bonsai, but you may never have connected the hobby to the achievement of inner peace. Unfortunately, some entries, like retail therapy, are really stretching the point. That entry discusses the Great Singapore Sale, a two-month-long annual event that draws people from around the world. Think of Black Friday...for two months. Trying to tie that to serenity seemed pretty far out in left field to me. This book could be improved in several ways. First, scrap those illustrations, many of them childish, for photographs. Second, downsize the photos and add more text. In a book this size, to have only 57 methods of achieving serenity is rather stingy. As usual with books of this nature, there is no need to read it cover to cover. Dip in at random. I found it mildly interesting and fairly pleasant, but not an eye-opener.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Serenity - the quality or state of being serene.

What comes to mind when you think about "serenity". May it be calm walks near the ocean, being in the mountains and overlooking nature and its beautiful environment untapped by industry or buildings. Or may it be an episode from "Seinfeld", there are moments in life where people would like to isolate ourselves from our career, from technology, from stress, from family and just want that moment of peace and clarity.

Lonely Planet, the travel company is well-regarded for its travel manuals. So, it was fascinating for me to see a book from Lonely Planet about "Calm: Secrets to Serenity from the Cultures of the World".

There are other books from simplicity, but what I enjoy about this book is how it incorporates cultures from around the world.

And before anyone says, "well how is it good for me since I live in this small town in the USA and don't plant to visit some remote area in another part of the world". Well, what Lonely Planet does is to introduce to you a page of what is done in a part of the world, but how you can incorporate it to your life at home.

For example, bonsai tress. The Lonely Planet showcases these "the ancient Japanese art of training miniature trees into aesthetically pleasing shapes". And as this requires concentration and to express an artist's vision, one can do the same with another plant or tree at home.

In other countries, dotsho is hot stone baths, Japan has the onsen (hot spring baths), Turkish baths, Scandinavia saunas, one cleansing the body, using natural elements to heal the skin, join paints, diseases.
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