The Cow in the Parking Lot

  • by Leonard Scheff, Susan Edmiston
  • Narrated by Bill Mendieta
  • 4 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Imagine you're circling a crowded parking lot. Just as you spot a space, another driver races ahead and takes it. In a world of road rage, domestic violence, and professionally angry TV and radio commentators, your likely response is anger, even fury. Now imagine that instead of another driver, a cow has lumbered into that parking space and settled down. Your anger dissolves into bemusement. What has changed? Not just the occupant of the space but your perspective on the situation.
We're a society swimming in anger, always about to snap. Using simple, understandable Buddhist principles, Scheff and Edmiston explain how to replace anger with happiness. They introduce the four most common types of anger (Important and Reasonable, Reasonable but Unimportant, Irrational, and Impossible), then show how to identify our real unmet demands, dissolve our anger, and change what happens when our buttons are pushed. We learn to laugh at ourselves, a powerful early step, and realize that others don't make us angry. Only we can make ourselves angry.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Annoying reader

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Different reader.


What didn’t you like about Bill Mendieta’s performance?

Funnily enough, I got angry on the reader.
He puts an accent wherever he can and it really started to annoy me up to the point that I didn't feel like continuing to listen to this book, sorry to say so.
It might be personal. Also this is my second experience with an audio book. The first one was read by the author itself (Marianne Williamson) who is a great speaker. That book felt like being at Marianne's lecture while the book read by Bill was such a contrast to this, unfortunately a negative one...


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- PASCAL

Mostly a compilation of others teachings.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, unless they had zero knowledge and had no intent in further studying Zen Buddhism.


What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting was the authors approach to breaking down the fallacies behind the way we justify our anger and choose to be angry at certain situations.

The least interesting was the authors attempts at humor that I found to be first, not funny, and second somewhat disruptive to the flow of the book.


How could the performance have been better?

The narrator used corny accents while reading quotes in the book. It sounded almost comical. I imagine this was a sort of cue to the reader that he was reading a quotation. But it just came across as needless.


If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No. But that doesn't take away from my opinion of the book. It's not that type of book.


Any additional comments?

If you know anything about Zen Buddhism and the practice of realizing the nature of your anger through self-contemplation and clearing out your wrong perceptions and mental formations - then this book is going to be a rehash of other material you've already encountered. The best information in this book is information taken and quoted from Zen masters and other authors.

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- Ryan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-23-2010
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books