According to Cheri Huber, "compassionate self-discipline is simply allowing the innate intelligence and generosity that is your authentic nature to guide you in every moment". Her basic logic is that we've been conditioned since childhood to believe life should be better than it is. We think if we were only a little better in some way, we would be happy: "Life isn't the way it should be and it's my fault!" But, Huber says, no amount of self-punishment will ever make us happy or bring control over life's problems. The help we are looking for is really found in self-acceptance and kindness toward ourselves. The will to take positive steps in life is found through nothing other than being present. Huber says that when we are present and aware, we are not engaged in distracting, addictive behaviours. Therefore, if we simply cultivate our ability to pay attention and focus on what is here in this moment, our experience can be authentic, awake, honest, and joyful, with no need to force ourselves into something or to hide out or run away by using substances or other habitual escapes. The book includes a guided 30-day programme of daily meditation, contemplation, and journalling.
Cheri Huber is a Zen teacher and the author of eighteen popular books. She founded A Center for the Practice of Zen Buddhist Meditation in Mountain View, California, in 1983, and the Monastery Retreat Center in Murphys, California, in 1987.