Author Simon Chokoisky says in his preface that the working title for The Dharma Method was "The Lazy Person's Guide to Enlightenment." It's a shame his publisher (or editor, or he himself) didn't have the sense of humor to leave that title alone; it's a great summation of what the book is about and, importantly, who the intended audience is. Just as the "<foo> for Dummies" books don't actually assume that readers have certified their low IQs, The Dharma Method is a self-help book that has tried to sweep away as much cruft as possible to give goal-oriented readers with a low tolerance for "woo" (as we call it in my house) a chance for improvement.

So what, exactly, is this book offering help with? Basically, mindfulness. There are miles of books on the subject, approaching their subject from every conceivable direction. In Chokoisky's model, he says to choose from a menu of 11 spiritual practices (such as meditation, fasting, connecting with the elements in some simple way like walking barefoot on the earth, and so on. Each day, he says to perform 7 of these practices, and to journal your experiences (although that should be worth a point all by itself in my opinion!) to track your progress. I have to imagine that this checklist approach is going to be incredibly appealing to some number of people.

Other reviews have occasionally referred to "The Dharma Method" as 'dry', and if we drain that word of its usual pejorative sense I have no dispute with it; this is the mindfulness guide for people who don't want to hear about angels, chakras, or vibration levels. There is, as you might imagine, a chapter devoted to each of the 11 suggested practices to guide novitiates in their use, but they are all more practical than philosophical. I consider this a recommended read if you are a practical minded reader who finds many similar books too fluffy to make it through.

~review by Patricia Mullen

Author: Simon Chokoisky
Destiny Book, 2018
pp. 145, $16.99

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