Donald Altman is known as America's Mindfulness Coach for the way he integrates timeless mindfulness tools, neuroscience, and spiritual values into modern life. Among the many hats he wears are as a psychotherapist, former Buddhist monk, and award-winning author. He is profiled in S&P's Living Spiritual Teachers Project.

Being human means that we all live in a body and spend plenty of time in our minds. Through both body and mind, we are challenged to respond to grief, loss, disappointment, frustration, and illusion. According to Altman, "How you respond to life's stumbling blocks and hurdles right here, right now, in the next 60 seconds, can make all the difference."

This eminently practical paperback contains 101 spiritual practices which are housed under these chapter headings: Calm, Clarity, Optimism, and Happiness.

  • Calm is "the magic elixir that brings you to a place of balance, harmony and peace."
  • Every day, we face traps that drain us of our energy, focus, and purpose. Clarity is there as an ever-present ally to help us put "our best self forward."
  • Optimism "provides you with the power, energy, and traction" needed to bounce back and start afresh when you need to.
  • Happiness bolsters "a deep reservoir of strength, support, and resilience."

Many spiritual practices explained in this book impressed us. Among our favorites are extend the compassionate heart, change the history channel, mental flossing, notice something novel, go with the flow to open new doors, b.l.e.s.s. yourself, savor small contentments, pray for what you already have, and spread seeds of love.

Read a practice on transformation