Girl Seeks Bliss
Nicole Beland
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Buy *Girl Seeks Bliss: Zen and the Art of Modern Life Maintenance* online

Girl Seeks Bliss: Zen and the Art of Modern Life Maintenance
Nicole Beland
176 pages
May 2005
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Om mani padme hum; om mani padme hum; om mani…

Do you ever obsess about things like whether everyone is looking at the hole in your stockings or that supercilious boss of yours who couldn’t organize a party in a brewery? Well the above mantra is just one of the meditation tricks you will learn in this book to take you to a much calmer plane. But don’t turn off yet, this book is not about meditation. It’s about your life.

Do you want a “toe-curling orgasm?” Well, if you are in the midst of getting there but find yourself obsessing about what your butt looks like or fretting over a project you haven’t finished at work, then it ain’t too likely to happen. Ever been there? This book is full of anecdotes of life at work, on holiday, everywhere. It will have you screaming, howling, laughing or cringing when you get the ‘omigawd’ realization that she is talking to you and about you and everything you and everyone does.

Girl Seeks Bliss isn’t simply a guide to Buddhism, a self-help coaching book, or a chick-lit book. It’s all of these and more. Nicole Beland has brought Buddhism and its teachings alive. She makes an awe-inspiring subject practical, down to earth and easy to emulate. If you want a blissful life, then here’s the ‘how-to’ without any psycho-babble, mumbo-jumbo, tree-hugging turn-offs which often go hand in hand with books that exhort you to be the best you can be, find your inner self or awaken the power within.

Right from the Introduction, she makes it clear that you do not have to bury yourself in solitary confinement for years as you meditate to a state of nirvana (complete blissful enlightenment) in order to achieve more satisfaction and happiness. It is clear that she is espousing a method by which we can enjoy the pleasures and passions in the here and now as we go about our daily lives.

The first chapter gives some facts and history on Buddha, but no need to worry that you are being taken back to school. She speaks to us as if we are all having coffee together. It’s so good to be reminded that life is not easy for anyone. Satisfying your cravings for “a pair of jeans that make your ass look perfect,” or getting annoyed when some jerk cuts into a line you are waiting in, or slumping in front of your computer at work, or getting pissed stuck in a traffic jam, are sure fire ways of being dissatisfied. She gives so many great ideas for going with the flow. She helps you to see how to achieve a balanced life.

Her tips, tricks and ideas are all based on Buddha’s four noble truths and eight basic guidelines for living the good life; the eightfold path. And she makes it all so easy to understand as she explains it in situations we can all relate to. You know the special evening out you’ve planned and fantasized over for months. It’s gonna be perfect, right? But “the only table available in the restaurant is next to the bathroom, the people sitting next to you are loud and obnoxious, the new shoes you’re wearing are ripping the skin off of your toes, your date is in a bad mood.” Recognize it? What happens? You are disappointed and suffer, but suffering can be avoided. This books shows you how and much more. You’ll get advice on taking things in your stride, de-stressing, de-cluttering your life and your space, being happy with the job you already have, getting work/life balance, battling your inner demons, following the Eightfold Path to recognizing a good guy, pampering yourself, loving your body, enjoying every little thing you do. There’s loads of sources of further reading, websites to look at, and movies to see.

If there were a required reading list for living a better life and making life better for everyone, then this would be on it, right near the top.

© 2005 by Alison J. Macmillan for

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