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What is the good life?

JoEl Vogt has been exploring that question ever since her first childhood discoveries of seemingly vast, untamed land stirred a longing for a wild sanctuary of her own. In this memoir, the painter, art therapist, and grandmother traces her lifelong relationship with nature and her passion for landscape painting. She has contemplated the good life, defined it for herself, and manifested her dream of deep immersion in wildlife and art. Together with her husband, local friends, and a few lively chickens, JoEl has created an artist’s haven and home deep in the Missouri Ozarks, where she paints the colorful land and sky.


This book is filled with her beautiful paintings of this magical place, as well as insights for defining and pursuing your own dreams. JoEl’s journey shows that the path to fruition is worthwhile—even when it winds through heartbreak, loneliness, several unruly groundhogs, and an indomitable population of ticks.

An Unparalleled Training in Mindfulness with Thich Nhat Hanh

When your body and mind work together as one, you are fully and naturally present in the moment. This is the essence of mindfulness practice—allowing us to touch the wonders of life in the here and now. Body and Mind Are One is at once a practical teaching series covering fundamental Buddhist principles for a joyful life and a living transmission of insight from beloved Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, who has practiced, shared, and lived this profound wisdom for over seven decades.

Your Breath: The Bridge between Mind and Body

In our hectic modern world, many of us race from one to-do to the next, planning this and worrying about that. Thoughts and unconscious habits often consume us, numbing us to our true experience and to the suffering we create for ourselves and those around us. The Buddha taught how to break this cycle and come home to our bodies—and to the wonders of life found only in the present moment. Your breath is the key. On Body and Mind Are One, Thich Nhat Hanh teaches you the Buddha's exercises for using your breath to cease internal conflict, release tension and anxiety, and become aware of the conditions for happiness and freedom that are always available.

The Greatest of All Miracles

“Through mindfulness,” teaches Thich Nhat Hanh, “we can recognize the miracle of being alive, and that is the greatest of all miracles.” Experience the wise and healing presence of this unsurpassed teacher, as breath by breath, you follow his simple guidance into what he calls, “The Pure Land of the Buddha, the Kingdom of God, in the here and the now.”


  • The life-changing energies of mindfulness, concentration, and insight

  • Your presence, the greatest gift you can offer the world

  • Being there: the first aim of meditation

  • The meaning of emptiness, impermanence, and interbeing

  • Touching the Buddha within you

  • Transforming discrimination, fear, anger, and other inner afflictions

  • Karma as actions of thought, speech, and body

  • The Buddha's exercises for mindful breathing

  • How to nourish the seeds of compassion and lovingkindness within you

  • The Five Mindfulness Trainings as concrete guidelines for reducing suffering and increasing our happiness and true freedom

The Gift of Spiritual Awakening—from One Heart to Another

What is transmitted from a spiritual teacher to a student? The possibilities of love and freedom, of living in a joyful heart. Extraordinary spiritual teachers empower us, pointing us towards our own awakening. In their presence, we can feel the qualities of enlightenment rather than just hearing about them, and we are inspired to see in a new way.

With Transmission, author and teacher Jack Kornfield shares eight sessions of in-depth teachings illuminating the student-teacher relationship. Through a treasure trove of personal stories about the Dalai Lama, Chögyam Trungpa, Dipa Ma, Ajahn Chah, and other masters, we see how teachers embody the many facets of the jewel of enlightened consciousness—including humor, discipline, humility, joyousness, uncanny perspicacity, and unfathomable compassion—and how we too can fully awaken these qualities in ourselves.


Exploring such topics as devotion, the tender heart of sadness, meditation, and patience, Jack reveals the power of opening one's heart to a true spiritual teacher as well as the potential pitfalls and challenges of the teacher-student relationship. With warmth, humor, and practical advice—including what to do if there are no spiritual teachers near your home—Transmission opens possibilities for anyone to deepen, practice, and awaken.



  • Do we need teachers on the spiritual path?

  • The essence of relationship to a spiritual teacher

  • What teachers most want from their students

  • Surrendering to something beyond ego

  • The humanity and humility of true teachers

  • How we "transfer" or project onto teachers

  • Experiencing conflict with spiritual teachers

  • Steering clear of cults and corruption

  • When teachers don't meet our expectations

Accessing the Inherent Wakefulness at the Core of Your Being

Your body is already awake. The journey of enlightenment, teaches Reggie Ray, ultimately leads you beyond the limits of the “head space” and into the living wisdom of the very cells that make up your physical form. With The Practice of Pure Awareness, Reggie shares what he sees as the essence of the Tibetan tantric tradition: allowing the depth and fullness of body-based or somatic intelligence to reveal itself.


Nine Step-by-Step Sessions for “Waking Down”

How can we discover this perfect, somatic knowing? It begins by removing the blockages that manifest mentally, emotionally, and physically. Join Reggie Ray as he presents the practice of pure awareness in nine guided, sequential sessions that lead to the direct experience of our true nature. Emphasizing deep relaxation, the power in the lower belly, opening the central channel, and the significance of posture, Reggie helps us unfold ever-subtler realizations of our capacities to love and heal. Through Yin Breathing, Earth Descent, 12-Fold Lower Belly Breathing, and more, we journey through the channels of the subtle body, releasing old traumas and stuck energy. “Through these meditations,” says Reggie, “our true selves begin to flower. We discover that, in essence, we are a river, a torrent, of love.”


The Practice of Pure Awareness invites us into embodied awakening—a fuller and richer experience than the more arid or “above-the-neck” states of consciousness we find in many conventional spiritual approaches. Through committed practice, the body itself becomes our guide, teacher, and protector, illuminating the perfection inside and around us.



  • Attuning to the subtle but distinct voice of the body

  • Where ancient esoteric wisdom meets cutting-edge neuroscience

  • How the practice of pure awareness helps heal trauma, disease, and addiction

  • Deeply personal anecdotes and insights from Reggie’s own journey

  • Tibetan Buddhist teachings on our “three bodies”

  • More than nine hours of insights and practices for accessing pure awareness

IUPUI Student Profile: Brian McLowan

Deep inspiration can come loudly, softly or even silently. In a short story by Liberal Arts student Brian McLowan, several people in a small town hear a magical bell sounding from far away. At first mesmerized by the sound and drawn to it, each person then experiences an individual process of transformation. Their formerly lethargic and depressed mindframes shift as they consider their past actions and contend with ethical dilemmas. "You hear the bell, and it makes you want to be a better person," McLowan explains.


Being a better person, being a better you, is something Brian takes seriously. Three years after a semester at IUPUI that resulted in academic probation, he returned to college with a new perspective and greater focus. Since then, participation in service learning has opened his heart and mind, and his passion for writing has centered his academic experience.


Brian's life has been rich in creativity, from acting to composing music, playing piano, and writing short fiction. Now, he studies anthropology, sociology, and philosophy to bring "mental ammunition" and depth to his short stories. His major is philosophy, and the study of ethics has especially inspired both his writing and his service work.


Through an outreach program in the sociology department, McLowan mentors troubled youths at the Marion County Probation Department. “I would absolutely recommend it to anybody. You're helping your own community. Once you get out of that life phase where it's all about you, then you start realizing it’s about the whole, and it's about helping others." McLowan's self-described "checkered past," he thinks, makes him an approachable mentor. He can relate to many of the issues his mentees face and can help them see a path to a different life.


These days, McLowan is exploring journalism as a new outlet for his creative energies. Still, his dream is to see one of his fiction pieces produced as a major motion picture—and he would love to act in the movie and compose the soundtrack. He laughs: “I want it all. I want to do it all."


As he moves forward in a life of creatively serving the world through the arts, humanities, and service, it is clear that Brian McLowan has heard the sound of inspiration.

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