"I am a recovering worrier. My mind still makes up terrifying stories, but I am much less apt to believe them, " writes Sylvia Boorstein. In this relaxed, down-to-earth, and entertaining primer on the Buddhist path, the Jewish author and popular retreat leader demystifies spirituality, discusses obstacles to clear thinking, and illustrates mindfulness practice.

Boorstein finds wisdom teachers all over the place — in her family, in conversations with strangers on airplanes, in the stories of friends, and in her own experiences. With self-deprecating humor, she gets at the way our minds take pain and make it much bigger than it really is. For her, "grumbling gets the mind bogged down in the weariness of its own story." And she speaks for many of us when she grows frustrated at the restlessness of her mind scanning the horizon for the next impending catastrophe.

There is wisdom and truth in her proposition that worry, grumbling, and fear are like bad weather. They come and go. Boorstein once had "this, too, shall pass" written across a rafter in her kitchen during a difficult period of her life. It is these homey illustrations that nail the essentials of Buddhism down to the floor where they belong — close at hand.