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Reviews and anger transformation testimonials
Kind words from reviewers, readers and Leonard Scheff's "Letting Go of Anger" workshop participants

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
Co-author with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of The Art of Happiness

Drawing on the Buddhism's profound understanding of the mind, this book provides many insights and revelations about reducing anger and creating greater happiness in your life.

John Tarrant Roshi
Author of Bring Me the Rhinoceros and Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life

Anger makes us blind, deaf, dumb and stupid. This book will help readers to reclaim their proper sight, speech, hearing and intelligence.

David Schneider
Senior teacher in Shambhala, editor of Essential Zen and author of Street Zen

As a psychotherapist in the South FL area, I just wanted you to know how life-changing I found this book. Needless to say, I've written many self-help books but cannot recall any that have touched me in such a major change. Please know that should you notice a rise in sales in the South Florida area or on Amazon in the past month, please know that I have repeatedly recommended this book as required reading for my clients. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Linda Summer, LCSW
Letter to Leonard Scheff

I'm a Christian who has struggled for ages with anger, stuck in a cycle of outburst / remorse / forgiveness. Recently my anger led to us being involved in a frightening car accident. While the police and insurance determined that the other party caused the accident, I knew in my heart that I could have avoided it had I not been angry. Searching around for a study to address my anger, I read "The Cow in the Parking Lot," by Scheff and Edmiston. This book had an immediate impact on my view of myself, my place in this world, and the nature of my suffering - I suppose this will be anathema to some here, but I was amazed that this seemed to compliment my Christianity rather than contradict it - in some ways it seems more Christian, the focus on compassion, lovingkindness, and mindfulness, rather than sin and retribution. I've begun meditating and am still exploring Buddhism and Zen, but the changes in our entire household in the months since our accident are amazing.

In response to the question: What led you to Buddhism?
Posted on Tricycle

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, California

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
New York, New York

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 form 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.

Midwest Book Review
Oregon, Wisconsin

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, 2011

...rarely has a book had such an impact on me as this one. I have struggled with anger for years, and it has gotten in the way of my life many times. I have read a few other books on anger that I felt were only partially speaking to me, speaking to problems that didn't really line up with my experience with anger.

Not so this book - instead it encourages you to follow a Buddhist path to awareness, encouraging you to see the world and yourself with clarity, then leads you to address the world around you with compassion.

I have been a Christian for many, many years, and while I'd approached this book with a little bit of skepticism, I found that it actually led me to a better understanding of myself and my religion. This was my first exposure to Buddhism, and I'm exploring it further, as well as the writings of Thomas Merton and other mystics who found deep wisdom in the East...I couldn't give it less than 5 stars, because of how it has changed my life and the path of my family.

Kindle edition reviewer
Amazon Review, 2011

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
Books editor, Management Today
United Kingdom, October 2010

Crisply written, full of common sense and elegantly packaged, this is about as good as ordinary self-help books get.

Time Out Magazine
United Kingdom, December 2010

Try the exercises throughout the book -- you'll be amazed at how easy it is to let your anger go!

Healthy Magazine
United Kingdom, January 2011

...easy-to-read, interactive book.

Spirit & Destiny Magazine
United Kingdom, January 2011

At first glance, one wonders if this book is ‘taking a pop’ at the management euphemism about  ‘the elephant in the room’. In fact, the title is relevant in making a very good and interesting point in relation to the sometimes irrational anger we feel at random events.

It relates to the anger and frustration motorists feel when they are pipped to a parking spot by another driver but, as the authors explain, if it was a cow that had lumbered into the parking bay most of us would feel bemused rather than angry. We would not assume malice on the part of the cow -- the cow is just doing what cows do,  however frustrating that may be!

This book contains some very wise words. Just reading about angry responses, and importantly, how these responses make one feel, is a real wake up call to how counter-production anger is. Scheff and Edmiston also point out the other side of the coin, emphasizing the positive effects random acts of kindness can have, however small.

Do not be put off by the implied philosophy or the gimmicky title.  The book offers a collection of sensible narratives, and a number of reflective exercises, presented for the individual reader, but which could easily be adjusted to contribute to team development days or coaching processes.

This is a common-sense approach to managing a natural emotion – anger.  It does not put managing your anger into the ‘dysfunctional’ category of therapy but acknowledges it as normal.  This little book is well worth its cost, and makes useful travel reading

By Julie Hyde MCMI
Chartered Management Institute, May 2011

What I found was a book called The Cow in the Parking promised a Buddhist approach to anger, but one that did not require religious belief, nor would conflict with one's current belief system. The promise of a peaceful letting go was very attractive to me, not to mention I was in a questioning mood.

This book literally changed my life. The Buddhist philosophy as explained in this book not only gave me what I needed to change the way I dealt with life and my family, but it fit much better the personal philosophy I'd developed over years of experience with just plain life.

Christian Buddhists discussion participant, 2011

This book is potentially life changing if it's message is taken to heart. I plan to reread it more than once.

Amazon Review, 2011

My therapist lent this book to me because one of her other patients had been so impressed with the book that they gave her a copy (the one I am now reading). Other than being well-recommended, I love that it treats anger as an everyday emotion which not even the Dalai Lama is entirely without. I am only on page 33 and loving it already. I have just ordered 2 copies for my siblings. I also never considered the anger I was expressing in my relationships, and now am better able to see my own role in our conflicts. I started to read it mainly because of family issues, but I can see it improving all aspects of my life with this new self-awareness.

Charlene Ronquillo
Amazon Review, 2011

Forget the catchy but odd title, A Cow in the Parking Lot and concentrate on the subtitle, A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger... Also note that the authors are not merely referring to yelling and screaming but to the whole gamut of anger from irritability to rage. This is a wonderful, useful book that takes the pithy Buddhist teachings of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh and makes their ideas much more everyday practical. They present the zen ideas, explain the psychology behind anger and then apply the information to real situations. Most importantly, they give concrete recommendations. This is an important book about a topic that is the heart of much of the bad news we read about every day and should be read by therapists and lay people alike.

Matthew R. Lamkin
Amazon Review, 2010

Have you ever read a book which affected you so profoundly that you wanted to tell even complete strangers about it?

This is how I am feeling right now in regards to "The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger" by Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston. It is a phenomenal book. When you see it and read the summary you may think it isn't a necessary read in your life. This is because the emphasis is on dealing with anger. However, I have found there is far more involved in this book than just anger management.

This book is about total awareness of self.

You are at the opening of a new shopping center on the edge of town. You have been looking for a parking space for ten minutes. At last, right in front of you, the back-up lights come on. You turn on your turn signal and wait. From the other direction a jeep pulls into the space. Not only that, but when you honk, the driver gets out, smirks, and gives you the finger. Are you angry? You bet you are. Perhaps angry enough to want to ram his car. Now change the scene ever so slightly. Instead of a brash jeep driver, a cow comes from the other direction and settles into the space. When you honk, she looks up and moos. Are you angry? Probably not. Most people are amused.

I think what is most important to understand right off the bat while reading or listening to this book is what you personally mean when you say you are angry. For most people, myself included, anger is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, I say I am angry and sometimes I mean I am hurt or I am disappointed; it's just that I am expressing it as anger because that seems to happen easier.

C. Mannering, Bear, Delaware
Amazon Review, 2010

A very wonderful book that I had no intension of ever reading. It was purchased for someone close to me that had issues with anger. After reading it, It was highly suggested I read it as well. It is a very easy and straight forward read and a real eye opener, even if you do not feel you have anger issues. Anger is a human emotion that everyone has and it gives a few very different and easy perspectives regarding the subject. I'd reccomend it to anyone. Its up there with my favorites now, right next to The Four Agreements, bu Don Miguel Ruiz.I am getting a copy of Cow for everyone I know.

Jenny Brochu
Amazon Review, 2010

The Cow in the Parking Lot is among the five most beneficial books I have ever read!

Other books quoted in this easily read and understood text had previously helped me "overcome" anger. This book helped me to actually transcend that anger. By "transcend" I mean that the anger doesn't arise and therefore does not need to be overcome.

While based largely on Buddhist principles, this is not a book about religion and not a promotion of any religion. It is a practical approach to handling a destructive human emotion. The approach will to appeal believers of all faiths (as well as non-believers).

Rod W, Los Angeles, California
Amazon Review, 2010

I have read this book twice and I like everything it had to say. This is a small, easy read, book on controlling and understranding your anger and the anger of others. I wish I had read it long ago. EXCELLENT!!!!!

Kathryn Stocking-Koza, Windsor, Massachusetts
Amazon Review, 2010

The authors describe a path -- not an easy one, but a simple one -- by which we may move from the gritty and painful drudgery of anger to an elevated freedom. They present pithy examples and fun stories that illustrate ancient wisdoms, guiding us to find a liberating peace that delivers us from the destructive force of anger -- at others and at ourselves. This is a book any driven person -- any lawyer, any professional, anybody -- should read and comprehend and, as a result, become truly alive.

Erik M. Odowd
Amazon Review, 2010

The Cow in the Parking Lot is a great read -- even if you don't have anger issues because it helps you understand the anger in others. The authors boil it down to 'unmet needs' which is at the root of the rage, anger and frustrations we see everyday. Not seeing intentions behind the actions of strangers was interesting to read in that it was an eye opener but it made perfect sense. Highly recommended. Whenever I see the anger played out in society, politics etc I now think about the unmet needs that some people vocalize through anger -- while I am not saying unmet needs are the catch all, this and other concepts discussed by the authors have made me more aware of what might be going on with others that have nothing to do with me personally.

Tbone McCoy, Japan
Amazon Review, 2010

I literally just finished reading this book and its message is still ricocheting around in my brain. I keep thinking... "should I just read this book over-and-over all year long?" I know that even though I've already come away with a shift in perspective and plenty of new lessons to apply, there are dozens of others that I really need to go back and explore between the pages of this book. There is just the right mix of modern and ancient examples of how to overcome your anger and conquer the stress that it brings. I'm torn between lending it to a friend who I know could benefit from its message or simply diving back in and reading it again for myself. Perhaps I'll buy them their own copy and do both...

Don Snyder, Columbus, Ohio
Amazon Review, 2010

At a time when anger has become epidemic, this is a much needed book. Most intrapersonal change begins with awareness. The authors suggest we begin by observing when we are angry and then start looking at what unfulfilled needs might be triggering the anger. Drawing from the wisdom of Zen Buddhism, they describe anger as an addiction and as a habitual way of dealing with life. They suggest more effective ways of interpreting the events that push our buttons. This little book is packed with good, practical advice that I have already started to use in my own life.

Kathleen E. Kollath
Amazon Review, 2010

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