Gifts that Support the Urbanmonks

You are invited and encouraged to stop by the street cart during this holiday season.  We will be set up near the Barnes and Noble on the North side of Union Square Park.  Hours noon until five on both Saturday and Sunday. Weather permitting. This coming weekend looks great - sunny and 50's.

Or... shop at our online store

We have a holiday special for you:  The Healing Spices of Chai book and Chai packet for 10 bucks!  (Best deal in town).   Ideal for any lover of plants, plant medicine, the spice trade, or chai.



I also encourage you to pick up a copy of The Weather of the Mind - our best-seller for 2015.  Introduction below:  

“And it never failed that during the dry years
 the people forgot about the rich years, 
and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years.” 
– John Steinbeck, East of Eden

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: 
first, by reflection, which is noblest; 
second, by imitation, which is easiest; 
and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”  
- Confucius


I propose that wisdom ought to be a course of life-long study for us all.  Wisdom ought to be a subject for exploration and discussion in our families, in our relationships, in our neighborhoods, and in our schools. 

In this book, I introduce the Urbanmonks Wisdom Curriculum, explain various methods for studying wisdom, and then share some simple yet potent rituals for identifying and understanding the weather of our minds and for building strategies for our response.


I have been researching emotional health and culture for a dozen years and I have realized that the topic of our emotions is somewhat challenging to write about.  For we are not a culture that likes to go deep and explore the nature of our lives.  However, it seems that each year more of us realize that we must go deeper.  We realize that we must understand our emotional selves in order to build a healthy life.  We are beginning to see emotional health in a way that is similar to physical health.  Just like we need to eat well and exercise to build healthy muscles and bones, we must learn to listen to and understand our emotions to build healthy minds.  

For many of us, understanding our emotions is no longer a luxury, no longer a choice we have.  Many of us have been forced to retreat.  Many of us have, at some point in our lives, hit the wall, emotionally.  And these wall-hitting episodes are the most defining moments of our lives. These are the great crossroads of our emotional lives.  At these junctures we face a critical choice: to distract or to learn.  Many want to learn but are overwhelmed and then seek out distraction.  This book is intended to provide a set of skills that can allow us to learn from life’s inevitable challenges.


In the same way that hearing a weather report for afternoon thundershowers can help us plan properly, learning about the weather of our minds is particularly valuable when we must deal with the inevitable rough storms of our lives.  We use measuring devices – thermometers, speedometers, and clocks – every day and these help us understand the situation and allow us to respond quickly and effectively.  And yet, we have developed no gauges for rapidly assessing our emotional health.   

Imagine if our fire department did not have a method for rapidly assessing a fire.  Imagine they didn’t have a practiced response for each challenge they faced.  Imagine if every time there was a fire they spent a half hour trying to understand what was going on and then another half hour making a game plan for how to respond.  That would be insane.

Yet, this is how we approach our emotional challenges.  Most of us don’t have a great sense of how to assess our internal challenges, our internal fires, and when we try to figure out a strategy from within the fire we are often not seeing things clearly.  
The Weather of the Mind is intended to help us learn how to more readily assess our emotional state and to have a basic plan of how to respond when the challenges are greatest.