"Metaphor is our mental root of imagination and language. Arnold Kozak offers fertile metaphors for growing your knowledge of the Buddhadharma. If you contemplate these brief stories, your emotional intelligence and mindfulness will develop effortlessly from the insights they provide." – Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D., author of The Resilient Spirit and The Self-Esteem Trap, Co-editor of Awakening and Insight: Zen Buddhism and Psychotherapy, The Psychology of Mature Spirituality: Integrity, Wisdom, and Transcendence.


"What I loved most about this book was that the language was current and the values were traditional.  It was useful wherever you dipped in to refresh yourself. A delightful book that brings your life and practice together whether you are an old timer or new practitioner."  -- Grace Schireson author of Zen Women


"All of us understand things by comparing them to what we already know and in this way metaphors are fundamental to our efforts to learn--and Arnie Kozak is offering us a wonderful collection of them. A wild ride!"--Thomas Bien, Ph.D., author of Mindful Therapy and coeditor of Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship


"Metaphors are the way we makes sense of the world, the mind, and our experience. Arnie Kozak offers 108 metaphors for understanding and cultivating mindfulness, not as an abstract practice, but within the embodied experience of this moment. Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants is insightful, creative, and inspiring; each metaphor a shining facet of a jewel."-- Frank Jude Boccio, author of Mindfulness Yoga


"Dr. Kozak's book is a must read if you desire to livea life of balanceand happiness. Mindfulness is the greatest stress reducer in our stress crazed world. Arnie Kozak"s book is perfect for my daily inspirational time. He reminds usto "wakeup," through brilliant, simple, yet profound nuggets of pure enlightenment."-- Dr. Kathleen Hall, Founder & CEO, The Stress Institute &The Mindful Living Network


“Arnie Kozak has offered us 108 vibrant portals to understanding and cultivating mindfulness and acceptance. In an immediate and accessible way, the metaphors in Wild chickens and Petty Tyrants do a wonderful job of capturing the flavor, complexity, and richness of mindfulness and are particularly good at illustrating the process of employing it. What’s more, they refreshingly and vividly portray the challenges we all face in learning to work with our minds, as well the freedom and flexibility that we can gain when we do. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for anyone practicing mindfulness—as well as for therapists, teachers, and parents who are introducing others to this healing, expansive practice.” — Lizabeth Roemer, coauthor of Mindfulness- and Acceptance-Based Behavioral Therapies in Practice


"Dr. Kozak has produced a thoughtful, engaging, and easy reading compilation of metaphors that speak to moving through life in a more healthy manner. Drawing partially from insights from Buddhism and mindfulness and Dr. Kozak's own insightful mind, this book is an important read, reminding us all of the benefits of daily mindful attention to ourselves, our world, and our interactions with it. -- Michael J. Zvolensky, Ph.D., Richard and Pamela Ader Green and Gold Professor, Director, Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory, University of Vermont


“What an exquisite collection of thought-provoking stories and metaphors. Kozak has assembled an engaging collection of helpful stories that can be drawn up to tame our minds and change our lives. This book is truly a creative act. The author draws upon extant stories in the mindfulness literature, and he creates many of his own. Together, these stories offer the reader a compass for navigating the storms of everyday life which are so often burdened by unruly minds. Kudos to Kozak.” What a pleasurable read.-- Melvin E. Miller, PhD - Coeditor of Transcendence and Mature Thought in Adulthood; Creativity, Spirituality, and Transcendence; and the Psychology of Mature Spirituality.


”This lively collection of stories uses the rich medium of metaphors to illustrate how our minds process experience and to demonstrate what the practice of mindfulness can offer. Arnie Kozak reminds us that through the practice of mindfulness we can develop a skillful and compassionate relationship to the many ways our minds respond to difficulty and so lead lives less driven by stress and suffering.” -- Susan Woods, LICSW, trains health professionals in mindfulness-based approaches both nationally and internationally and is a contributing author to the "Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness."


“Metaphors: we create them, we respond to them, we relate to life through them. Arnie Kozak has given us 108 metaphors to enjoy, to learn from, to aid us in our practice of being ever more free in our moment to moment life experiences. This book is a delight. I will recommend it to all my meditation students.” -- Ferris Buck Urbanowski M.A., Adjunct senior faculty, Center for Mindfulness, U. Mass Medical Center; Honorary Lecturer, University of Wales, Bangor, Wales, author of Yoga for New Parents


“As empirical research grows that supports the importance of mindfulness in mind/body medicine, clinicians who want to integrate it into their personal development and clinical care need teachers that will help them to understand the practice and teach patients this profound and effective skill. Dr. Kozak has written an illuminating book filled with metaphors, stories, quotes and insights that brings mindfulness to life. This book belongs in the curriculum of every clinical training program and should be recommended to anyone who want to learn to live in the mindful moment.” -- William J. McCann, Psy.D., Director, Behavioral Science Education, Department of Family & Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine

In 108 tasty little morsels, Arnie offers simple, straightforward and delightful lessons in the theory and practice of mindfulness. Reading this book is like taking a journey with a good friend who keeps you happily entertained on a road that ultimately leads to joy and freedom --Melissa Myozen Blacker, M.A., Director of Oasis Professional Training, Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.


“With vivid imagery and thoughtful metaphors, Dr. Kozak reveals the value of mindfulness practice as a vehicle for personal growth and transformation. This book is a welcomed companion to mindfulness-based psychotherapy." -- Paul Foxman, Ph.D. Founder and Director, Center for Anxiety Disorders, Author of Dancing with Fear and The Worried Child Self, and leave better able to use the mind for what it is...an instrument of perception." -- Lea Belair, author of Walk on Water: How to Make Change Easier


"Arnie Kozak's little book of metaphors is truly a gem - an indispensable tool for pursuing life’s meaning through mindfulness, meditation and appreciation of each of life’s precious moments. These metaphors resonate equally with the mind and the heart." -- Magdalena R. Naylor, MD, PhD, co-author of The Search for Meaning, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Director MindBody Medicine Clinic


"Your book is such a revelation. I LOVE IT! I'm keeping it on my nightstand and I'm thoroughly enjoying it... you've done a lovely and powerful work. From Ram Dass, to Rainer Maria Rilke, to Jon Kabat-Zinn...to drama sutras, to inner mute buttons, to "simmering down"...all mindful-licious. Thank you for this wonderful gift, for myself personally and for humanity."-- Mary Beth Janssen, author of Pleasure Healing: Mindful Practices & Sacred Spa Rituals for Self-Nurturing


“I just finished your book, thank you so much for letting me read it! Every time I entered a new metaphor I would think, ok, he’s exhausted all the ways of looking at mindfulness and the self, and then I’d turn the page, and enter another metaphor and another gleaming sliver of the Indra’s net of the mind revealed itself!” -- Adrie Kusserow, Chair Department of Anthropology and Sociology St. Michael's College, author of Hunting Down the Monk


“I started to read Wild Chickens last night and couldn’t put it down! It’s compelling and entertaining, and it’s very clear that Kozak speaks from direct experience. Only one who truly gets what mindfulness is can translate it so well into simple, practical examples as he does in his metaphors. I think Wild Chickens will help point a finger in the right direction for those beginning on their path and will serve as a great reminder for those already down that road. If a metaphor is worth its weight in gold; flipping a switch in a dark room; imagine what 180 are worth! Awesome book. Buy it. Read it.” -- Dr. Steve Taubman, author of Unhypnosis: How to Wake Up, Start Over, and Create the Life You're Meant to Live


"A delightful read filled with wisdom and clarity. It really conveys the essence of mindfulness in a format that is easy to understand and apply." -- Elana Rosenbaum, MS, MSW, psychotherapist, senior teacher and faculty Center for Mindfulness


"Practice! Practice! Practice! In this delightful book, Dr. Arnie Kozak welcomes readers with his practical approach to mindful living. This is partly a `how to' book about mindfulness - an owner's manual for the workings of the conscious brain - the mental quirks and habits that are the source of all our grief and glory, that make us who we are; but it's more than that. The book is really a collection of stories - very short stories, which Arnie calls metaphors; he uses these mini-tales to show how we think (and feel); how to cultivate awareness of what we think and feel; and how to optimally manage our thoughts and feelings.  Arnie's guide to mindful living includes things we all know and love: literature, TV, psychiatry, movies, philosophy, poetry, rock'n'roll, and headlines from the news. Along with stories from the writer's own life and practice, there's a fun and lively sampling from T.S. Eliot, Star Trek, The Dog Whisperer, Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke, Henry David Thoreau, Pema Chodron, Charles Dickens, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and other wise, witty, and wonderful voices from the fray of civilization. With this book, readers can start from the beginning - or dive in anywhere. Read section by section - or take one metaphor at bedtime. It's a welcome tonic for both mind and heart. -- Katherine Hikel, MD, author of Dr. Trixie’s Prescriptions


"I have practiced some form of Buddhism (or nonduality) much of my adult life. Frankly, I have found the practice of "mindfulness" which is the purpose of this book, to be somewhat limiting since it often sustains a belief in a "me" that is independent of the field of awareness. This book straightened me out on the practice. It is extremely well written and its greatest power is its consistent pithiness. I very strongly recommend that you pick this book up - it will change your life. But, best of all, it will make meditation to be a part of every waking moment of your life. That is not overstating it -- Eric Gross is the author of Liberation from the Lie: Cutting the Roots of Fear Once and for All


“Minefields, e-mails, monkey mind—oh my! Arnie Kozak’s “Wild Chickens, Petty Tyrants” brings the Buddhist traditions of simile and metaphor out of the agrarian tiger jungles and into the tangle of post-modern, secular, technologized society. Referencing in his metaphors the Internet, taxation, cable channels, cluttered garages, DVD director commentaries, Jimi Hendrix, and Star Trek—just to name a few examples—Kozak clearly illustrates how our mind works by striking relevance with our post-modern language and living. While the basic nature of the human mind may have not changed in 2,500 years, Kozak acknowledges that the context in which humans live has changed dramatically; he offers this compilation as a tool for better accessing our inherent wisdom in mindfulness, and in the new millennium”. -- Emily McLaughlin Editor At Large




Reviews and Praise for Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness

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.







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“If you want to receive mindfulness teachings in a way that is playful, wise and memorable, read this book.  Arnie uses the most ancient of teaching devices--metaphorical stories and images--to convey the possibility and blessings of living a life of presence.” — Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness


“This collection of very useful reflections provide us with 108 sparkling insights into mindfulness, the energy of seeing—so vital for all of us engaged in meditative living.”—Larry Rosenberg, Founder Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, Author of Breathe by Breath


“If you want to receive mindfulness teachings in a way that is playful, wise and memorable, read this book.  Arnie uses the most ancient of teaching devices--metaphorical stories and images--to convey the possibility and blessings of living a life of presence.” — Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance


“Open this book anywhere and read three pages. Live in accord with the advice and your life will change.” -- Rev. Taihaku Gretchen Priest, Founder, Shao Shan Spiritual Practice Center


“According to Aristotle, skillful use of metaphor is the sign of true intelligence. Arnie’s book of mindfulness metaphors will contribute to your spiritual IQ.” – Shinzen Young, author of Break Through Pain: A Step-by-Step Mindfulness Meditation Program for Transforming Chronic and Acute Pain, The Science of Enlightenment, Five Classic Meditations.


“Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants offers both student and teacher a vivid vocabulary for those, all too frequent moments, when preconceptions can substitute for the essentials of mindfulness practice. Written with a light touch and drawing on sources as diverse as rock lyrics and past episodes of Star Trek, this book is highly recommended." -- Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D., C.Psych. Morgan Firestone Chair in Psychotherapy, Professor of Psychiatry, Co-Author of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression and The Mindful Way Through Depression


Books/108 Metaphors for Mindfulness: From Wild Chickens to Petty Tyrants


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.

108 Metaphors for Mindfulness: From Wild Chickens to Petty Tyrants

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