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The Pleasure Prescription: To Love, to Work, to Play - Life in the Balance Paperback – August 26, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Educational psychologist Pearsall has written a book based on the 2000-year-old Polynesian concept of Aloha, embracing the five principles of patience, unity, agreement, humility, and kindness. Aloha means to give and share the breath of life and to embrace life by sharing its sacredness with others. In contrast to Western and Eastern principles glorifying the individual or self-enlightenment, the Aloha prescription glorifies the whole. The book is in three parts: reclaiming your natural pleasure path, describing the five Aloha principles in detail, and applying the principles to daily living. It provides tests, succinct formulas, and catch phrases all designed to help you find shared joy and listen to your body's "seventh sense," which is telling you something is not right. Pearsall interweaves references to scientific studies, oceanic philosophy, anecdotes, and personal stories. Unfortunately, some footnotes are incomplete, and the bibliography contains many references ten to 20 years old. Nevertheless, Pearsall takes the quick-fix manual to a higher plane and wants us to change our mental outlook and inner core, not just glue-gunning a veneer onto our current lifestyle.
Susan E. Burdick, Reading, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile

According to Pearsall, psychologist and expert on the immune system, it isn't too much stress but too little joy that's killing people. He offers his "prescription," derived from the wisdom of the Polynesian cultures: patience, connection, pleasantness, modesty and tenderness. He defines crucial areas of stress and offers practical suggestions for dealing with them. While Pearsall's voice is pleasant enough, his presentation is a bit fast, making for a clipped delivery that seems more suited to a lecture than an intimate conversation. P.B.J. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Hunter House Publishers; 1st edition (August 26, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897932072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897932073
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
I deeply recommend this book.
Susan G. Dunn
We are not ourselves when angry, we are not at our best, we are not able to think ... and we might as well confess it.
Susan Dunn
I read this book a while back, when it first came out in print, and I still have the tattered copy on my bookshelf.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Susan G. Dunn on September 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Oceanic culture is a beautiful philosophy and a beautiful way of life. I think of my gentle son who loved the Pacific Rim so much and manifested so many of their values. It's a truly loving culture, and love, Pearsall points out, is not a feeling, but a way of treating someone that takes infinite patience and practice to learn and to develop. "Only the very patient should marry," he says, "for it takes a very long time to learn to love someone." Marriage to the Polynesians is forever and one test of a pleasurable relationship is that it makes your family and your world a better place. Pearsall's thoughts on anger were especially welcome. Somehow I always "knew" that expressing anger was not the answer to anything, having been assaulted and sickened by outbursts from others, but rather it puts out a negative forcefield for everyone involved that spreads like ripples in a stream. His Myths about Anger should be read by all. Full of kind words and aloha, this book will warm your soul and give you the courage to live the way your heart and soul know they should in a world that hasn't accepted it yet. Be you, be well, be in lokahi (unity), be the first. I deeply recommend this book. Don't be fooled by the simplicity. The philosophy will take up residence in your heart, which needs it badly.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
I whole-heartedly recommend this book to people who feel they are close to or wanting to discover their connection to (society, life and) the universe. If you are in conflict with Western values and finding Eastern philosphy enhancing but not complete then you may find the best (final?) answers here. I feel I have, and am now empowered with by the healthiest version of "me". This is a realistic approach to life and an amazing comprehension of living. This book bound all my tangled and unkempt parts together so quickly and seemlessly that I owe my friend Bruce for dropping it in my face and also Stephanie for giving me reason to read this book. I wish them the best. I put the Pleasure Prescription to work from the first time I opened it and I belive it will continue to work it's way into every aspect of my life. I will work at it happily now. All the honesty, natural unity and wonderful clear thoughts expressed in this book may change you. If you are ready. If you believe in balance. The key ideas: patience, connection, pleasantness, modesty and tenderness do blend with everyday love, work and play. Best thanks to Paul Pearsall. Aloha!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By O. Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
*****
I read this book on my recent vacation to Hawaii, and it defined my trip and made it memorable. "The Pleasure Prescription" by Paul Pearsall contrasts the "Oceanic" way with Western ways and Eastern thought. He describes a third or alternative way, which is Living Aloha. The book is a bible on How to Live Aloha. It is not the same old recycled self-help information you'll read in other books, but a beautiful system based upon Hawaiian spiritual principles and research in psychoneuroimmunology---the interactions between the brain, mind, body, and the immune system.

I did not find any of the information dated, although the book was published in 1996; rather, it is timely and fresh. Dr. Pearsall literally teaches you how to Live Aloha, covering the following five principles:
Ahonui - which is patience expressed with perseverance, living in the now, mindfulness
Lokahi - which is unity or connection, expressed harmoniously, behaving in a constant state of accord with the world, both natural and spiritual
'Olu'Olu - which is agreement, expressed with pleasantness, bliss
Ha'aha'a - which is humility expressed with modesty, silencing the self, saving the soul
Akahai - which is kindness, expressed with tenderness

The book is practical, and contains self-assessment tests and exercises that can be done. It is enjoyable to read, and makes you feel good! The spirituality described can complement any belief system or religious system, as they are useful principles common to most systems of ethics (for example, kindness). It is very Hawaiian, embodying the "how to" part of living aloha---it's great to have bumper stickers saying "Live Aloha", but how do you do that? This book shows you how.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Susan Dunn on September 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
As an EQ coach, I am always looking for good books that illustrate the principles of emotional intelligence, and this is one of the books that is my Bible. Pearsall is a psychoneuroimmunologist (emotions effect our immune systems) and his book is loaded with research. One thing I loved was his long treatent of ANGER -- now if that doesn't make people sick! He says "Don't express it, don't suppress it, CONFESS it." It may take a while for this to sink in with you (especially since psychology did for years, and still does to some extent, encourage that you express your anger), but think about it. It works. We are not ourselves when angry, we are not at our best, we are not able to think ... and we might as well confess it. His treatment of anger alone is worth the price of the book. He has a list of MYTHS about anger, and I bet you believe in at least half of them.
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