The Best Review Ever

Is this the best review ever? I think it might be! Huge gratitude to Better Reading for this glowing review of Buddhism for Meat Eaters. I love it so much, I had to repost the whole thing here! My heart is full 🙂


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This is not a book that preaches about animal rights, nor is it a weighty text on Buddhism. Instead, Moon chooses some of Buddhism’s core concepts and delivers them in such a way that provides a framework for how anyone can approach food, the environment and life. She covers non-violence, compassion, mindfulness and judgement. She asks big questions in a very Buddhist way – no definitive answers, just guidance and leaving the reader to truly work out what is right for them.

To help you come to your own conclusions are practical workbook-style activities and topics for consideration. These guide you in your own journey to making wiser decisions on how you consume, how you live, and how to change the world around you.

As a vegetarian of thirty years myself, who recently returned to eating fish, and someone who has studied Buddhism, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this book isn’t just for me, despite me appearing to be the very reader it’s written for.

While it appears to be a book pitched at animal lovers, the environmentally and ethically conscious, and generally thoughtful people who eat meat but perhaps aren’t entirely comfortable doing so, it is actually a wonderful book for anyone to read. It’s a wonderful book for anyone interested in making choices to tread more lightly on the planet. It’s a special gift for friends with children. It’s not just a guide to eating meat thoughtfully, but also a guide to a compassionate life.

One of the key chapters is The Gift of Impermanence. Nothing lasts. Everything passes. And in Buddhism, the idea is to understand that, because attachment to anything is a form of suffering. This chapter alone is worth the cover price – read it, learn this, teach it to your children.

Moon finishes with a chapter on ethical choices and resources, helpful for anyone who reads this book and thinks, ‘I now want to make a difference.” I guarantee that’s exactly what you will think after reading this book. Kindness to animals, the planet and ultimately yourself made simple – what a lovely world it would be

Buy a copy of Buddhism for Meat Eaters here.

Winners Chosen

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Last week, I offered my VIPs the chance to win a copy of Buddhism for Meat Eaters. I received so many wonderful answers as to what they hoped to get out of reading the book that I had to choose two lucky winners! Here are some of the heartwarming responses I received. Thank you to everyone who entered. I’m sorry you couldn’t all win but I loved reading every message, thank you!

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Since I have had kids, I’ve been wrestling with the issue of eating meat… They like animals, and they’re interested in the environment, so I’d hope that reading “Buddhism for Meat Eaters” might help me find some strategies to engage them in looking at meat differently. (L)

In a house full of meat loving males I’d love to find my peace. (T)

I struggle mostly because it’s such a black and white decision: I would love to hear your thoughts on meeting in the middle to be far more conscientious as a meat eating family and being at peace with the decisions I make in the supermarket! (S)

I feel it might help our family to live with the newer ideas around food and living sustainably. (L)

I think this sounds like a great read for my daughter… she had been vegetarian but recently stopped and I am sure is wrestling with this decision as many do. (C)

We’re a family of intense animal lovers and I never felt I could adequately answer my kids’ questions about why some animals are members of the family and others are just food! (D)

I too feel guilt over my eating of meat… I’d love to find some comfort in this book, and a way of balancing those feelings. (L)

I look forward to finding out how I can help to make peace with myself. (M)

I’ve always had an issue with feeling ethically hypocritical as I’m such an animal lover and despise any form of animal cruelty. However I can’t get by without my meat. (J)

We all need to have more understanding and kindness in our world. (S)

I’d love to learn tips and tricks to be more mindful about my food choices, how I impact the world with my consumables and to read more of your writings. (S)

I am vegan and for health reasons have tried to become vegetarian but the guilt is something I am struggling with significantly. (L)

I hope to get a sense of internal peace from reading your new book. (J)

I hope to alleviate my guilt and get some inspiration to share with others to make my world a better place. (A)

 

Listen to Buddhism for Meat Eaters, right now.

If you can’t wait for the paperback edition of Buddhism for Meat Eaters, you can listen to it right now through Audible, read by Kate Blakk.

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Publisher’s Summary

For many years Josephine Moon struggled with the question of eating meat, fervently wishing to live as a vegetarian yet requiring meat in her diet. From Josephine’s philosophical, spiritual and physical battle with eating meat came, Buddhism for Meat Eaters – a book for animal lovers, the environmentally and ethically conscious, and generally thoughtful people who eat meat but perhaps aren’t entirely comfortable doing so. 

Open, honest, and utterly without judgement, Buddhism for Meat Eaters encourages listeners to be more mindful about their choices, rather than berating themselves for them, and offers ways for people to live ethically, honestly and guilt-free, whether as a carnivore, vegetarian, or vegan. This highly practical guide also includes workbook-style activities and topics for consideration to guide you in your own journey to making wiser decisions on how you consume, how you live, and how to change the world around you.”

 

If you’re an Audile member, you can pick it up for just $14.95 or 1 credit. If you love audio books but you aren’t a member, I can highly recommend it. I am a huge fan of audio books and look forward to spending my credit each month.

Happy listening!

The Countdown is On!

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‘An engaging, challenging and ultimately uplifting guide on how to live a compassionate life in our consumerist times.’

 

My personal stock of Buddhism for Meat Eaters arrived today and they are gorgeous! I’m still so in love with the cover and the addition of sparkly gold highlights on the finished copies really make it irresistible.

Some stock will start appearing in bookshops over the next couple of weeks, though the official release day is July 1, where all good books are sold.

You can also pre-order and/or purchase it online at Booktopia, Amazon, Bookworld, Dymocks, and Book Depository (with FREE international shipping).

For your chance to win a copy from me, make sure you are signed up to my email newsletter to find out how.

I look forward to sharing ideas on compassionate living with you very soon.

 

 

Buddhism for Meat Eaters… Why I Wrote It

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In just over a month, my second non-fiction title will be on the shelf (2 July). The dilemmas, struggles and answers included in Buddhism for Meat Eaters were ones that had been brewing for around thirty years. I always wanted to be vegetarian (preferably vegan) but my physical body did not agree. I was left with a constant sense of guilt, shame and grief over this struggle–my spirit was willing but my body wasn’t.

For years I kept a journal, thinking I could wrestle out this conflict on the page, until years later I had to accept that I had no answers. I put the journal away, and carried on with my life, never have found the peace I craved.

Then one day, I was lying awake in the middle of the night. It was a full moon and I often struggle to sleep during that lunar phase. I can’t even remember what I was thinking about specifically, but somewhere between midnight and two am, it was like the decades of struggle finally made sense. All the threads came together, and I’d finally begun to find peace in the last place I expected to uncover it: Buddhism.

I jumped up and grabbed by laptop and wrote out a page, then sent it to my agent. This! I wrote. This is what I want to write about! For the record, I don’t actually recommend you send your agent/publisher wild ramblings at two o’clock in the morning as a way of pitching an idea, but in this case, it worked. Haylee said she loved it, asked me to write out some sample chapters, began pitching it before I’d finished writing it, and I was blown away to find that it sold so quickly. Clearly, my struggles with eating meat were not unique to me. There was a market for this book. Certainly, by the number of you who have left me comments saying things like This book was written for me or I need this so much or I can’t wait to read this, I am absolutely not alone in this quandary.

Ultimately, this book is one of hope, of healing and making peace with your body, mind, plate and world. If you are drawn to it, I hope it brings you as much encouragement as it did me.

Jo x

p.s. I love this cover so much. It was designed by Lisa White, who also designed the cover for my first novel, The Tea Chest. I think Lisa truly gets my vibe.

 

New non-fiction, ‘Buddhism for Meat Eaters’, coming July 2019

BUDDHISM_FINALAnd now for something completely different… Coming in July from Simon & Schuster Australia is my second non-fiction title and they have done a beautiful job with this book. Two books hitting the shelves this year. Lucky me!

The blurb reads:

“An engaging, challenging and contemplative guide on how to live a compassionate life in a consumerist era.

For many years, Josephine Moon struggled with the question of eating meat; fervently wishing to live as a vegetarian yet requiring meat in her diet. From Josephine’s philosophical, spiritual and physical battle with eating meat came, Buddhism for Meat Eaters – a book for animal lovers, the environmentally and ethically conscious, and generally thoughtful people who eat meat but perhaps aren’t entirely comfortable doing so.

Open, honest and utterly without judgement, Buddhism for Meat Eaters encourages readers to be more mindful about their choices, rather than berating themselves for them, and offers ways for people to live ethically, honestly and guilt-free, whether as a carnivore, vegetarian or vegan. This highly practical guide also includes workbook-style activities and topics for consideration to guide you in your own journey to making wiser decisions on how you consume, how you live, and how to change the world around you.”

Grieving the loss of a dog, and how I learned to help myself and others

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There are seriously so many photos I could show you of Daisy, but this one does capture her joyful-seeking nature so well, just hanging about in the sunshine, next to the blooming lavender she so loved to roll in, maybe thinking about the twelve pancakes she just stole from the kitchen bench, her eye probably on a pile of manure she’d like to tuck into next. A clown, through and through.

It’s taken me a long time to write this post. I usually write something whenever we lose an animal, but Daisy’s loss (on February 10) was so overwhelming that I simply couldn’t do it. But this post is not just about Daisy, it’s about dealing with grief for an animal that has been as much, if not more, a part of the family as any human, and it’s about supporting others during times of loss too.

In our society, there is a culture of not valuing animals as much as we value humans. The laws of our country consider them to be ‘property’. There are ‘minimum standards’ of animal care in our legislation but these are, in my opinion, not nearly adequate enough as they don’t even begin to take into consideration an animal’s emotional welfare (boredom, loneliness, despair, fear). Indeed, many people still believe animals don’t even have emotions. It’s little wonder then that we don’t have recognised grief pathways when one of our four-legged loved ones dies.

We have a lot of animals, so we’re always going to lose a lot (something that distresses me every time we do lose one and I realise I will have to endure this pain over and over). But there is also truth in the fact that not every loss is the same, just as not every human loss will impact us in the same way. For me, there has never been an animal that would break me down (and open) as much as Daisy’s loss.

So what do we do?

In the depths of my crippling pain, I found comfort in the book Buddhism for Pet Lovers, by David Michie, largely because it gave me very practical steps on what to DO after the loss of Daisy. In Buddhist philosophy, when any living creature dies, their soul goes to the bardo (the space between lives) for up to seven weeks, and during this time you can influence the future life of your loved one. This is not dissimilar to the Catholic tradition of saying prayers for the deceased. There were specific things I could do: dedicating actions of merit to Daisy’s fortunate rebirth; donating to charitable organisations; saying mantras; meditating; and holding her close mentally and emotionally, continuously sending energy of good fortune.

Out of the blue, my writer friend Kim Wilkins (aka Kimberley Freeman), made a donation to the RSPCA on Daisy’s behalf and when the notification came to me it meant so much to know it wasn’t just me holding this vigil for Daisy. Support often comes from the outer reaches of our circles, I’ve noticed. Of course, my mother was holding great thoughts for Daisy (her granddog) and some friends too. There were several friends who held long conversations (in person or online) with me, who knew the pain and could validate it. These conversations were so necessary, taken with time and care, and never with a hint of hurrying me on. All of them turned up at just the right time and I’m so grateful for their care.

Recently, two of my friends have lost animals and I’ve done the same for them, making donations in their name. I now have an action plan for myself and for my friends in the future. So here it is. This is how I will support my friends when they lose a treasured animal friend.

  • I will make a donation to an animal charity in their name.
  • I will send them a bereavement card, just as I would with the loss of a human.
  • I will light a candle for their animal and I will say a prayer/mantra for them to move through the spiritual realm with ease and find only good fortune on the other side.
  • I will dedicate good works of merit to their animal’s name for the same reasons.
  • I will offer support and I will listen, allowing as much time and space as is needed to grieve.

Perhaps this list may help you too, if you have recently lost a furry friend or you know someone who has. Rituals are the guide maps through the big moments of our life. By embracing some of these, we might be able to start to navigate our way through the long, dark night of the soul after our best friend is gone.

We had Daisy cremated. She currently resides in the back of the wardrobe because on the day her ashes came back I simply couldn’t face them. But I have been building a garden, slowly, and it is nearly ready for her plaque to go out there. Daisy was such a huge fan of lying in the sun in the garden. I’m sure she’d approve.