I am pleased to announced that my first book, Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness has been beautifully redesigned and republished under the name 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness: From Wild Chickens to Petty Tyrants.
From the original volume: In 1988, my doctoral advisor in clinical psychology introduced me to a slim volume Metaphors We Live By, by the linguist George Lakoff and the philosopher Mark Johnson. This incisive work shaped the course of my graduate education and changed the way I think about and practice psychotherapy.
Metaphors help us to understand the world: they are the workhorse of language and meaning, letting us understand one thing in terms of another and helping us to communicate our understanding to others. We understand the world by metaphor and by doing so create a sense of the familiar. Yet metaphors are far more than colorful devices of language. In fact, they cannot be separated from the way we see and even experience the world. What’s more, much of our everyday language is based metaphorically on our physical bodies–our embodiment—and many metaphors reflect, after a fashion, the way the human brain is organized. In this way, concepts are not arbitrary references but reflect how we are built, the very structure of our being.
The book Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness (Wisdom Publications) presents 108 metaphors for mindfulness, meditation practice, self, change, deep acceptance and other related concepts. I have compiled the metaphors presented here over twenty-five years of meditating, practicing yoga, studying Buddhism, and being a mental health professional.
Many of the metaphors in this book are original to me; others are selected from the literature on mindfulness and Buddhism. The metaphors on the following pages form the practical core of my mindfulness teaching. Each metaphor is a node in a network of interweaving concepts that attempt to enliven the experience of mindfulness. You will also find that even the process of “unfolding” and elaborating one metaphor requires the use of several more!
Praise for 108 Metaphors