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Book Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Moody Cow Learns Compassion
Kerry Lee MacLean
Wisdom Publications 06/12 Hardcover $16.95
ISBN: 9781614290339

"Compassion is a foundation for sharing our aliveness and building a more humane world," writer Martin Lowenthal has written. This spiritual practice is a universally recommended way of relating to people, places, animals, plants, and things. It is also a key to transforming ourselves and a world that needs the healing balm of nonviolence.

Kerry Lee MacLean is the author of Moody Cow Meditates, a delightful picture book which we called "a salty, satisfying, and clever children's parable about meditation as a wise and effective anger management tool." In this equally engaging and heartfelt story, Moody Cow is called a wimp because he gets upset when his friend Bully feeds a live cricket to a snake they call Jaws.

The violence of the incident triggers a nightmare for Moody Cow where he is a squirming insect about to be devoured by a huge snake. His grandfather assures him that these feelings of empathy are good. During their meditation time, he puts some sparkles in his Mind Jar; as they settle, he calms down as well.

Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield calls compassion "the quivering of the pure heart — when we have allowed ourselves to be touched by the pain of life." Moody Cow's wise grandfather helps him turn his experience of feeling like a suffering cricket into the motivation for ethical action. Together with Bully, they go to a pet shop and purchase a bag of crickets. They take them to a place where there is food and water and release them with the words "May you be happy." Lying down in the grass, they enjoy a cricket concert of gratitude. Then they close the day with one more act of liberation that results in feelings of joy and fulfillment for all.

Moody Cow Learns Compassion by Kerry Lee Maclean presents the liberating spiritual practice of compassion as a healing balm in the world familiar to a child. The book ends with two examples of Moody Cow's Compassion Activities.


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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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