The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger (Paperback)
Don’t get mad. Get calm.
Ask yourself: “Do I really want to be angry?” Leonard Scheff, a trial attorney who used anger to fuel his courtroom persona, realized the answer had to be no. Anger is toxic. Anger is in the eyes of the beholder.
Using simple Buddhist principles and applying them in a way that is easy for non-Buddhists to understand and put into practice, Scheff and Susan Edmiston have created an interactive book that helps readers change perspective, step-by-step, so that they can replace the anger in their lives with newfound happiness. Based on the Transforming Anger workshop Shceff created, The Cow in the Parking Lot shows how anger is based on unmet demands, from the reasonable (we want love from our partner) to the irrational (we want respect from a total stranger) to the impossible (we want someone to fix everything in our life).
The authors show how, once we identify our real unmet demands, we can dissolve the anger. The same is true for our “buttons”—once we understand them, we can defuse what happens when they’re pushed.
We learn to laugh at ourselves, a critical early step in changing angry behavior. We learn how to deal with the anger of others, and ultimately how to transform anger into compassion.
And finally, we learn the liberating truth: Only you can make yourself angry.
About the Author
Susan Edmiston, a former editor at Redbook and Glamour, writes for New York, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, Esquire, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Women's Day. She lives in Berkeley, California.
Leonard Scheff, a successful trial lawyer in Tucson, Arizona, is also a practicing Buddhist who, for the last fifteen years, has conducted seminars on managing anger.
"One of the best books I've ever read on anger. It's lucid, comprehensive, and filled with valuable insights. Readers will discover not only an effective approach to overcoming anger, but the wisdom and methods to achieve a profound inner transformation–a life less troubled by destructive emotions, a life of greater happiness." –Dr. Howard C. Cutler, coauthor with the Dalai Lama of The Art of Happiness
"Drawing on Buddhism's profound understanding of the mind, The Cow in the Parking Lot provides many insights and revelations about reducing anger and creating greater happiness in your life." –John Tarrant, author of Bring Me Rhinoceros and Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life
“The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger offers one of the best titles available on anger management. It's packed with insights and techniques that advocate getting calm instead of angry, and comes from a trial attorney who used anger to fuel his fiery courtroom presence. Buddhist wisdom permeates a powerful survey of what provokes anger and how to turn it aside.” –California Bookwatch
“Using simple Buddhist principles and applying them in a way that is easy for non-Buddhists to understand, Scheff has created an interactive book that helps readers change perspective, step by step, so that they can replace the anger in their lives with a new found happiness.” – Clinton Books, New Jersey
“This little gem of a book is full of practical advice, illustrated by engaging stories of ways to recognize—then handle—episodes of anger in our lives. It is funny at moments, thoughtful and thoroughly eye-opening in others, and requires no adherence to a Zen lifestyle to gain its benefits.”? — Book Passage, San Francisco
“Scheff, a lawyer and Buddhist who has conducted seminars on anger management, and journalist Edmiston take a fresh approach to the perennial issue of anger, which they identify as a way of responding to unmet needs or wishes. They show how, through the application of simple Buddhist ideas, readers can alter their responses to life's anger-inducing moments and move from anger toward compassion. VERDICT: This book is aptly pointed at those who are curious about Buddhist spiritual practice in today's world, with its many opportunities for rage and frustration; it should appeal to religious readers as well as mothers, business leaders, teachers, and others.”
— Library Journal
What do cows and parking spaces have to do with managing a third sector workforce?
Quite a lot, if your day-to-day life involves finding yourself in a situation where you might succumb to feelings of frustration or anger.
The Cow in the Parking Lot, by Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston, says you can manage your anger in a positive way through the power of Buddhism. So when a colleague screws up, a donor pulls out or a charity campaign misfires, reach for the yoga mat, assume the meditation position and chant your cares away ...
You may be wondering where the cow comes in. Well, imagine you're in a supermarket car park, circling for that elusive space. You find one, but before you can reverse in, someone else has swiped it. Now imagine that, instead of another driver, a cow has lumbered into the space and settled down. Your anger dissolves into bemusement.
Scheff and Edmiston explain that once we understand our anger "buttons", we can defuse a situation if they're pushed. Alternatively, just picture the cause of your frustration - be it a boss, colleague or donor - as a docile cow. That will soon have you smiling.
- Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today
“The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger offers one of the best titles available on anger management. It's packed with insights and techniques that advocate getting calm instead of angry, and comes from a trial attorney who used anger to fuel his fiery courtroom presence. Buddhist wisdom permeates a powerful survey of what provokes anger and how to turn it aside.”–California Bookwatch