A highly-regarded textbook on Buddhist Psychology

Effortless Mindfulness: Genuine mental health through awakened presence

Authored by Lisa Dale Miller  LMFT, LPCC, SEP
Forewords by
Ronald D. Siegel PhD
Anam Thubten Rinpoche


Effortless Mindfulness: Genuine mental health through awakened presence offers a uniquely modern Buddhist psychological understanding of mental health disorders through a scholarly, yet clinically useful presentation of Theravada, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna Buddhist teachings and practices. Written specifically for Western psychotherapeutic professionals, the book brings together traditional Buddhist theory and contemporary psychoneurobiosocial research. This in-depth exploration of Buddhist psychology includes complete instructions for psychotherapists in authentic, clinically appropriate Buddhist mindfulness and heartfulness practices and Buddhist psychological inquiry skills.


"Lisa Dale Miller’s book is an essential read for those seeking to separate mindfulness facts from mindless fictions and for all psychotherapists interested in using mindfulness techniques in practice... Miller’s book is a delightful, educative read that attends to often overlooked theoretical underpinnings of our work, as well as a thought-provoking reminder to ponder the essential questions that are at the philosophical core of our practices. She offers the entire field of mental health an invaluable service."

Jon Kabat-Zinn

"This book is awesome. I have waited a long time for someone to articulate this at the level of resolution that you are doing referent to all the various dharma streams. Thank you for writing your groundbreaking book bringing the conversation about the classical Dharma world and its relationship to genuine mental health to this next level. I hope it is very widely read and studied.”

David R. Vago, PhD

"Effortless Mindfulness is the real deal! It skillfully provides the most comprehensive and authentic approach to integrating Buddhist teachings with contemporary therapeutic principles and the most relevant psychosocial and cognitive neurobiological research. From across schools of Buddhism and secular adaptations of mindfulness, Lisa Dale Miller is able to weave together the common threads that provide relevant theory on the nature of suffering and the methods of mental training that can lead to a sustainable healthy mind in the most practical way. Clinicians, scholars, and practitioners alike will find this book to be a valuable resource for his or her own personal journey and for the field of contemplative science.”

Tsoknyi Rinpoche

“Lisa Dale Miller has offered mental-health practitioners—and all those seeking to integrate basic wellbeing and happiness with the ancient and time-tested wisdom teachings in Buddha dharma—a clear, scholarly, and thoughtful approach to understanding the important and growing connection between the two. She addresses the important questions of what genuine mental health is and what practices best support it at many levels, drawing expertly from neuroscience, clinical practice methods, Buddhist philosophy and modern psychological theory. As a clinician, researcher and long-time meditator, she has a unique perspective in the quest to connect the dots between dharma and modern psychology.”

mind is like the sky

Like dark clouds, distressful thoughts and emotions obscure the mind's clarity, tranquility and dynamic responsiveness

Each time we recognize the transparent nature of thoughts and emotions, the clear sky of awareness shines through

Resting in the clarity of awareness, actuates the liberative power of awakened presence


Applied Clinical Buddhist Psychology

  • Recognize causes of suffering and non-suffering
  • Rest in the arising and ceasing of all experience
  • Land in the refuge of sensory awareness
  • Know the impermanence of thoughts and emotions
  • Rest in the clarity of pure awareness
  • Enact insights about self and world with skillfulness


    Authored by Lisa Dale Miller
    Forewords by Anam Thubten Rinpoche
                              Ronald D. Siegel, PhD
    Published by Routledge 2014

  • Lisa Dale Miller, LMFT, LPCC, SEP is licensed to practice psychotherapy in California, Washington State, New York and Oregon and is a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner (SEP). Lisa has been an outpatient clinician for the Veterans Administration San Jose and a teacher of Mindfulness-based Interventions. She presents at conferences and trains clinicians in the clinical applications of mindfulness and Buddhist psychology. Lisa is a dharma teacher and has been a yogic and Buddhist meditation practitioner for over four decades.