The Rise and Rise Of Tiny Buddha
I have known Lori Deschene online for about 8 years and was even privileged to coach her a few years ago.
She is a super nice and genuine person and I voted her first book, ‘Tiny Buddha’ the best self development book of 2011.
Her website ‘Tiny Buddha‘ has become something of a phenomenon in self development circles.
It has massive traffic levels, incredible loyalty from it’s readers and it’s one of the few self development blogs I still read.
It’s a beacon of light in the dark of popular sites just full of scannable list posts and blog posts that lack real depth or imagination.
And as you can see from her thoughtful answers, she one smart cookie.
The Rise and Rise Of Tiny Buddha
The rise of Tiny Buddha has been nothing short of incredible, what do you put that down to?
I think Tiny Buddha has become so popular because the site focuses on ideas that help people ease their suffering and thrive in life, and because the format of the blog keeps it growing.
It’s a place where people can share what they’ve been through and what they’ve learned to help both themselves and others.
And from the beginning people, starting with me, have opened their hearts and shared themselves authentically and vulnerably.
There’s something addictive about that kind of radical honesty. When you disclose the things you may formerly have been tempted to hide, and readers respond with gratitude and support, it inspires others to do the same.
We all want to be the hero of our story, not the victim, and we all want to feel like we can make a positive difference in other people’s lives.
Tiny Buddha provides a space to do that, and it’s attracted a community of honest, compassionate people who are eager to connect on a meaningful level. I think that’s something we’re all hungry for.
As you know I rated your first book ‘Tiny Buddha’ the top self-development book of 2011.
In it you really bare your soul and talk a lot about your journey in life including dealing with eating disorders. Was that tough for you to do?
As I think you know, I’ve always been a huge fan of your work, so it really means a lot to me that you held my book in such high regard!
It wasn’t really tough for me to open up in that way because I knew it would be cathartic.
As someone who spent much of my life feeling ashamed of my past, I’ve come to feel proud of how I’ve learned and grown from it.
That shift in perception makes it much easier to open up because I no longer believe my experiences are proof that I’m unworthy or a bad person; I believe they’ve enabled me to develop strength, wisdom, and the capacity to empathize with other people.
I also believe that sharing your humanity is the best way to help others. I know when I was going through my hardest times, I appreciated when people were willing to be honest about their own struggles and stand beside me as equals who could relate.
It made me feel less alone, less ashamed, and more confident in my potential to overcome my challenges.
Your latest book, ‘Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges’ published on 6th October is a collaboration of offerings from your readers.
You must have been inundated with offerings, did you read them all yourself?
I did read them all myself, and there were quite a few!
I knew I was looking for stories that connected to both the themes in the book and the challenges I’d created, so that narrowed down the process.
In case you’re curious, I received the most submissions for the anger and forgiveness category, and there were so many stories that were simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring.
It’s amazing how much a person can endure, and how much one can learn and grow from pain if they choose to.
You have to fly from L.A. to London and you are sat in the middle of three seats. Who would you want either side of you and why? They can be alive or dead, but nobody you know personally and not the Buddha!
This is a tough question because it would likely differ depending on my mood and why I was flying to London.
Also, it kind of makes sense to choose two very different people, and perhaps one from the past and one from the present, so there’s a sense of balance—but would Amy Schumer get along with my great grandmother?
Why Amy Schumer? I’m kind of obsessed with her show right now, and I’m sure she’d make the flight fun and entertaining.
Why my great grandmother? She died when my grandmother was very young.
Since my grandmother was one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever to know, I’d be fascinated to meet the mother she never really got to know to see if she was anything like Grammy.
Come on, you knew this was coming, but who would you least like either side of you and why?
A parent with a screaming baby and someone whose body spills into my seat. (I mean no disrespect or judgment—I’m just incredibly claustrophobic!)
I know that you meditate. Is there any particular meditation you prefer and would recommend for beginners?
I most enjoy using guided meditations because I find it easier to detach from my thoughts when I’m listening to soothing music and someone else’s instructions for visualization.
That’s actually what I recommend to beginners, since you can find so many guided meditations on YouTube.
You can find meditations to help with anxiety, insomnia, self-confidence—anything really—in addition to meditations for your overall well-being.
Are you a Buddhist?
I don’t like to label myself, and I find it especially ironic to label myself as Buddhist, since non-attachment is such a big part of Buddhism.
But I’ve found a tremendous sense of peace from applying Buddhist ideals—such as mindfulness, kindness, compassion, and simplicity—to my daily life, and I know I’ve become a better, stronger, wiser person because of it.
If you met The Buddha and could ask him one question. What would it be?
How can I be of service to you?
I have a feeling that’s how I’d best learn from him—kind of like Daniel in the Karate Kid.
What does spirituality mean to you?
It’s interesting that you ask, as I’ve thought a lot about this in recent years.
Formerly, I answered questions about my religious beliefs with, “I’m more spiritual than religious,” but I wouldn’t say that now, and I don’t really love the word “spirituality.”
It’s likely because I think of spirituality as concerned with the spirit, a higher power, or thoughts about what happens after death. And none of those are things I focus on.
I don’t even think of myself as having a spirit. I think of myself as being human, and a product of my biology. And I focus my energy on the experience of living everyday life.
All the practices one might think of as spiritual, such as meditation, mindfulness, and yoga, I think of as good for both my body and mind.
All the traits one might associate with spirituality, such as kindness, compassion, and morality, I see as the building blocks of being a decent human being.
Of course, this might just be semantics. At the end of the day, I do many of the same things people who consider themselves spiritual do, and with most of the same intentions.
Who would benefit most from reading ‘Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges’?
I know this may seem too broad to be accurate, but I think anyone can benefit from the book.
If, like me, you’ve struggled with forming close relationships, the challenges will help you identify and overcome your internal blocks so you can let people in, one tiny action at a time.
If you’ve struggled with anger or bitterness, the challenges will help you forgive, release your attachment to the story of how you were hurt, and assert your needs and boundaries so that you’re less likely to be angry and bitter in the future.
If you’ve struggled with being judgmental, trusting others, comparing yourself to others, or giving and receiving from others, you’ll find challenges to help with these issues as well.
And if you already feel satisfied with your relationships, the challenges will help you nurture a kinder, less judgmental heart, appreciate the people in your life more fully, and treat everyone you encounter more lovingly.
Do you have plans for a fourth Tiny Buddha book, if so can I have a review copy please?
I have some ideas for a fourth book, but I haven’t narrowed it down yet. It’s entirely possible I’ll launch a children’s book (or series) next.
If it’s an adult book—or if you develop a sudden fascination with picture books—there’s a copy coming your way!
If you’re interested in learning more or want to grab a copy, visit http://tinybuddha.com/love-book.
Note: There are NO affiliate links in this post.
Lori Joins Us On RawVoicesPodcast
Lori also joined myself and Olivier on our podcast and you can listen to that here. It does contain quite a lot of swearing – mainly by me it has to be said!