talking points

talking points

1  These days, everything is calling itself “mindfulness.” What makes Pause Breathe Smile different ?

2  What is mindfulness ?

3  Isn’t mindfulness really mental ? If not, what might be a better word ?

4  Is there a difference between “mindfulness” and “awakening mindfulness” ?

5  How is this difference consequential ? Why would anyone want to know about this ? What are some of the benefits of awakening mindfulness ? How can the benefits lead to something further ?

6  Is there scientific evidence to back up the healthiness of mindfulness ?

7  What if someone is looking for spirituality ? What about God ?  Heaven ? Prayer ?

8  What if I’m an atheist, or agnostic ?

9  What three primary aspects of well-being do Pausing, Breathing, and Smiling correspond to ? And, if I get how pausing relates to ethics, and breathing to meditation, but what if smiling seems like a phony happy-face ? How does that relate to wisdom ?

10 Are these three separate practices ?  And must they be studied in any particular order  ?

11  Who is the audience for Pause Breathe Smile ?  Academic ?  Adepts ? Newbies ?

12  What if I just don’t have time ?

13  Since mindfulness is the fastest-growing self-help trend since yoga, can you compare and contrast it with yoga ?

14  If mindfulness originates in the East – is there an Eastern and a Western mindfulness ?

15  Why aren’t the Eastern roots more commonly discussed ?

16  What does the subtitle mean ?  When is meditation “not enough” ?

17  What can happen when moral values are left out of mindfulness ? What happens if they’re included ?

18  What’s the difference between intention & motivation ?

19  Who’s more important: myself, or others ?  ( I’d like to get this straight from the get-go. )

20  To paraphrase Viktor Frankl, how can a person make internal space for a reactive emotion to be transformed into a skillful response ? How is this a wise way of dealing with feeling “triggered” by what others say and do ?

21  Western science provides such a strong bridge to mindfulness for so many. How does the nondual, ethical aspects of PBS fit in there ?

22  How would you explain nondualism to someone who’s never heard the term before ?

23  Why do you say, “Long live impermanence!” ?

24  What is “interbeing”? Why is it important ?

25  What is “non-self,” and why do you call it “openness”?

26  What is meant by “honoring the resistance” ?

27  How can awakened mindful wisdom strengthen resilience ?

28  How does Pause Breathe Smile fit in with Gary’s 9 other books ?

29  The book seems a mash-up of different genres and styles ? How did that come about ?

30  How long did it take to write PBS ?  How did it begin ? Was there a groundplan and, if so, how did it change ? – And how did writing PBS change Gary ?

31  Gary is reported to have been practicing spirituality for +50 years ?  What’s the story ?

32  How did Gary find out about Vietnamese Zenmaster Thích Nhất Hạnh* ? How has Gary been studying with him ? How is Pause Breathe Smile a reflection of his influence ?

33  Can mindfulness and Zen sit side-by-side ? They seem different.

34  Has Pause Breathe Smile been tested out in advance of publication ?

35  How much freedom of interpretation is there to awakening mindfulness ?

36 How important is intuition,creativity, innovation ?

37 What if I don’t want to practice with a group ?

38  What if I want to practice with a group but don’t know if there’s one near me ?

39  Isn’t mindfulness really only a form navel-gazing for privileged white people ?

40  In what ways is awakening mindfulness playing a healing and transformational role in society ?

41   How is mindfulness playing an important role in … health care ?

42   … education ?

43   … the work place ?

44   How is mindfulness being introduced to the military ?

45  I’m reading Michael Pollan’s new book How To Change Your Mind. What, if any, relationships are there between mindfulness and entheogens ( ayahuasca, mescaline, DMT, LSD, peyote, etc) and also cannabis ?

46  What’s a good app for mindfulness ?

47  How long does awakening mindfulness take ?

48  Does learning the Art of Happiness mean I must also include the Art of Suffering ?

50  Why has there been backlash against mindfulness ?

50 [ Thich Nhat Hanh, again. ] PBS distills the teachings of beloved Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, the second most famous living Buddhist teacher, after His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Why haven’t I heard of him before ? How does he differ from the Dalai Lama ?

51  How does the mindful view of breath differ from other paths ?

52  Why does Gary Gach call himself “a generalist” ?  Isn’t that just a dilletante ?

53  Why does he also refer to himself as a freelance writer and a freelance mystic ?

54  Is Gary Gach enlightened ?

55  The Greater Good Science Center lists the following as keys for well-being:

Which is most important ?

56  What’s the difference between joy and happiness ?
57 What does Gary mean when he says, “There is no path to happinesshappiness is the path” ?
58 How can a smile have nothing to do with happiness?
59  What is “positive psychology” & how does it approach happiness ?60 What is “transpersonal psychology” ?

bonus talking point :  What’s important to talk about that’s been left out ?


*The English pronunciation is “Tik N’yat Hawn.” However, since Vietnamese is a tonal language, this is only a close approximation for how one would pronounce it in Vietnamese. By his students worldwide he is affectionately known as Thấy  (pronounced “Tay” or “Tie”), meaning “teacher.”


PAUSE    BREATHE    SMILE  ~ ~ ~  Awakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough
216 pages · ISBN1683641752 | 978-1683641759  · September 2018 · $16.95
Author: Gary Gach, San Francisco Calif
Please contact Lindsey Kennedy at LindseyK [at] SoundsTrue [dot] com for a review copy or to arrange an interview with the author.


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