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Beginning by pointing out the ill effects that follow from our inability to focus, Wallace moves on to explore a systematic path of meditation to deepen our capacity for deep concentration. The result is an exciting, rewarding "expedition of the mind," tracing everything from the confusion at the bottom of the trail to the extraordinary clarity and power that come with making it to the top. Along the way, the author also provides interludes and complementary practices for cultivating love, compassion, and clarity in our waking and dreaming lives.
Attention is the key that makes personal change possible, and the good news is that it can be trained. This book shows how.
I liked the book. I was looking for something to help me sharpen my concentration. And while I don't live by the rules in the book, it does give you perspective on any attention problems you might be having. After having read this book, I am amazed at how difficult it is to keep my mind focused on something and how often I drift off.
This book also gives you some basic tips on how to relax and meditate, which I find helpful at bedtime and on the train.
I really enjoyed this book.
Posted June 18, 2006
This book has good intentions and will appeal to people to who are trying to improve their attention or concentration span. However, the book is not practical. In it, the author lists nine stages that must be gone through in order to reach 'shamatha' which is a state of total concentration. However, the author states that you can't move past the third stage unless you radically simplify your life and meditate for long periods of time daily. Who has the time to do this? Here are the author's exact words: 'To achieve stage three, the dedicated meditator will need to take up this practice as a serious avocation, spending days or weeks in this practice in the midst of a contemplative way of life in a serene, quiet environment.' (p. 49) The author later goes on to describe his solitary meditation experience in India in which he lived in a cabin infested with bugs, mosquitos, and rats. His conclusion on his meditation experience is that it's hard to find a suitable solitary environment unless you're wealthy but this needs to be done in order to reach the further stages and attain shamatha. I was really disappointed in this book. With all of the demanding requirements to reach shamatha, I don't know who will be helped by this book.
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Posted November 11, 2009
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