Gary Gach has had, according to his bio notes, "a lifelong career as a freelance writer and freelance mystic." He claims to have been writing formally since he was ten and meditating since he was eight. Gach is an out-of-the-box kind of guy! Visit him at

Our favorite of the ten books he has written is What Book!? Buddha Poems From Beat to Hiphop. As editor of this raucous sampler of crazy wisdom, Gach travels with some eccentric company. We found this paperback to be an absolute hoot!

As the author of the useful The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism, Gach is also well positioned to evaluate the current mindfulness movement. This form of meditation has been gaining in popularity over the past 20 years, bolstered by endorsements from scientists. It has proven to be an accessible spiritual practice.

Gach, who was ordained by Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, known for introducing everyday mindfulness and advocating "engaged Buddhism," pumps new blood into mindfulness by emphasizing its ethical dimensions. Mainstream acceptance of mindfulness prompts Gach to present it as "more than a meditative technique, as something that can also offer active insight (wisdom) and relational values (ethics) in one well-rounded whole."

The book's title covers three focuses. Pausing is intentional, conscious conduct for a healthy lifestyle. Breathing is introspection and contemplation to calm and keep it real. Smiling is insight and clarity for a harmonious worldview. Offering practical ways to practice this in everyday life, Gach also gives dualism a sprightly kick in the pants!

Pause, Breathe, Smile embraces the creative and adventuresome world of everyday spirituality with ample doses of vim and vigor.