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Calm Paperback – January 5, 2016
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From the Back Cover
Based on the popular iPhone app, a visually exciting, practical, and playful interactive guide to twenty-first century meditation that provides simple tools, tricks, and habits to find tranquility and focus, improve creativity and productivity, achieve better mental and physical health, and ultimately transform your life.
Achieving mindfulness doesn’t require a huge lifestyle shift or special training. It’s about mastering simple habits that work with the demands of your busy life. It uses the abilities you’re born with: creativity, spontaneity, and awareness of the world around you. There are no rules to follow or break. Everyone can achieve calm—including you.
In Calm, Michael Acton Smith combines fascinating neurological research, ancient wisdom, and real-life experiences to demystify meditation and show you the many simple ways to be mindful everyday. Crafted to resemble a journal, filled with beautiful and inspiring artwork, and divided into eight life-balancing sections—Nature, Work, Creativity, Children, Travel, Relationships, Food, and Sleep—Calm can help you change your perspective and rediscover the pleasures of the world. Each section blends fascinating research, creative prompts, activities, instructions, and insights that will stimulate your senses and inspire you.
Calm can be used multiple times a day or whenever you need it to find a little peace. Take a walk without a fixed destination, savor a piece of chocolate on the tip of your tongue, plant a seed, doodle aimlessly, turn off your mobile phone for five short minutes. Smile, breathe, and go slowly. Calm your mind—and change your world.
About the Author
Michael Acton Smith, OBE, is the co-founder of the hugely successful Calm app. In 2014 he was appointed an OBE for services to the creative industries. Michael Acton Smith is frequently listed among the most influential people in the digital industry and has appeared in the Guardian's "100 Most Powerful People in Media," Wired's "Top 100 of Britain's Digital Power," and The Times' "100 to Watch list." He lives in London and can be found on Twitter @acton.
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I am a relative newcomer to meditation. I’ve practiced yoga for years, but never took the time to focus on just meditation. I bought this book without much research and without downloading the Calm app. I was expecting a how-to book on meditation. I wasn’t expecting a scientific exploration, necessarily, just a simple guide on meditation and some information on how it can impact your day-to-day.
What I actually read:
For me, this book read more as a coffee table book than an informational, how-to guide. Each page is a beautiful photograph or drawing with some minimal writing here and there. The book has a few “chapters,” focusing on one thing at a time like sleep, for example. As another reviewer wrote, I felt like the book needed more “meat on its bones.” The layout was visually interesting, but the actual content wasn’t particularly informative.
What to expect:
Expect a coffee table book on meditation. Don’t expect a how-to guide on meditation. Expect a nice book to thumb through for visuals and a few helpful sentences on meditation and living a better life. If you’re looking for a guide on how to meditate or any in-depth scientific exploration of meditation and its benefits, look elsewhere.
The book a small compact read filled with beautiful photography that in itself is calming enough along with mantas and exercises you can complete. Rather than be the type of book you can read cover to cover in a linear fashion, it is more of a guide, so you can go to whatever chapter appeals to you most or meets your needs. There are 8 sections: Nature, Sleep, Travel, Relationships, Work, Children, Creativity, and Food. As the book suggests, the end goal is to allow the reader to develop 2 daily habits – one being mediation and the other journaling. I also love the fact that this includes a little page marker embedded into the book so you can keep track of where you were last visit.
I also think it’s important to point out that though I do have the app (and I only use the free version) this book, though a compliment to that, it not a hard sell to make you also download the app. I personally cannot stand when books are nothing but a sales pitch for another product; but happily this is not the case with this book. There is a two page feature simply explaining the app and how to download it should you choose –but no more than that.
The book has fun exercises: ten people that make you most happy, three highlights of today, coloring, design your own tattoo, try your hand at calligraphy as examples of simple but calming exercise laid out in the book. There are ideas to trigger a good night’s sleep such as creating a sleep sanctuary or a simple sleep meditation, ways to take a break, travel meditations and simple exercises. Tips on mindful and present eating. So many simple yet effective ways to be calm and mindful that are great for those that maybe try too hard then fail at what we consider traditional meditation.
Beautiful, fun book that can be used to suit your own specific needs and help you on a path to meditation and a calmer life!
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's hard to stop and take a minute to appreciate the present moment. Thankfully, this book helps with that. The book is broken into sections (nature, travel, creativity, etc.) and you're not forced to read in a linear fashion. You can skip to what interests you or to what applies to you at the moment. There are several mediation exercises and workbook activists to help you be calm.
Top international reviews
There are suggested templates in the book for journalling, I will be using a separate notebook as this isn't a journal in itself. So what is it?
It's a guide to calm, through appreciating the natural world, through finding our creativity and our passions, through mindful friendships and relationships, through quality sleep and through various exercises included throughout the book.
There are motivational quotes, beautiful illustrations and drawings, wisdom, a little science, and a number of meditations. I'll be honest, Iove it, and I can think of at least three friends who are getting this as a birthday present this year! Namaste 🕉️
Sections can be read in isolation depending on the area in your life you wish to focus on. The book has a great layout with useful notes and tips with good ideas to promote and introduce areas of calm into your life. This guide can be use with or without the app.