Meditation: An In-Depth Guide

Overview

Meditation is increasingly recommended for relaxation, for enhancing relationships and well-being, to increase performance in sports and business, for personal growth, and to assist healing. Introducing mindfulness-based stillness meditation, Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson explain how to build a daily meditation practice. The authors also show how meditation can be used to work with our emotions, aid healing, manage pain, or as a spiritual practice.

Meditation is a path we can ...

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Meditation: An In-Depth Guide

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Overview

Meditation is increasingly recommended for relaxation, for enhancing relationships and well-being, to increase performance in sports and business, for personal growth, and to assist healing. Introducing mindfulness-based stillness meditation, Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson explain how to build a daily meditation practice. The authors also show how meditation can be used to work with our emotions, aid healing, manage pain, or as a spiritual practice.

Meditation is a path we can pursue and refine throughout our lives. Drawing on modern science as well as ancient Eastern traditions and the authors' own extensive personal experience as practitioners and teachers, this guide offers the techniques and understanding needed to explore meditation practice deeply. It is also an invaluable resource for meditation teachers from all background.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Meditation can relax the body and focus the mind, improving both the physical and the spiritual health of practitioners. Veterinarian and counselor Gawler and psychotherapist Bedson have written an encyclopedic manual to guide anyone interested in learning to meditate. Both authors have studied with a number of eminent teachers, including Sogyal Rinpoche and Osho, and Gawler explains that meditation helped him survive cancer. An introduction covers the meaning and history of meditation, and the following chapters explore the steps involved: preparation, relaxation of the muscles, mindfulness, and stillness. These chapters are followed by a section that discusses applying the techniques to mind-body medicine, pain management, affirmation, intention, contemplation, and spirituality. An appendix provides working definitions of meditation, and an extensive bibliography offers resources for those who wish to deepen their studies. VERDICT The techniques covered here are described so clearly that anyone who reads the book will be able to learn them. This is an outstanding meditation primer that belongs in all library collections.—Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L.
Kirkus Reviews

In a world of overextended schedules and stress-induced headaches, Gawler (You Can Conquer Cancer, 2007, etc.) and Bedson (The Complete Family Guide to Natural Healing, 2005) offer techniques for achieving peace.

There are many user-friendly books that teach basic meditation, but this edition is particularly unique in its authors' life stories and expertise in the mind-body connection. Bedson spent time in India learning from masters at a Tibetan monastery, and Gawler, diagnosed with swiftly fatal osteogenic sarcoma at the age of 24, overcame his painful disease through meditation and lifestyle change and has remained cancer-free since 1978. Realizing that the Western mind tends to have atake-a-pill-and-fix-it-quickattitude, the authors patiently explain the process and present much good advice, such as how to remain realistic (some people have grandiose expectations of what they will experience). Whether using the direct approach, which creates deep relaxation and an open awareness, or the gradual approach preferred by many novices, preparation is the foundation for creating a space conducive to relaxation, thus unleashing the modern mind to become aware of stillness. Nonetheless, the daily grind can often interfere with meditation, and the authors include many practical applications—e.g., breathing exercises to help prevent some common obstacles to mindfulness, like boredom, restlessness and impatience. There are manifold physical and psychological benefits from meditation—lower blood pressure, pain management, riddance of bad habits or negative thought patterns, etc.—and each positive outcome creates a healthy mind-body ripple effect that radiates understanding, compassion and love for others.

Regardless of religious beliefs or life situations, any reader would benefit from the Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation (MBSM) techniques clearly outlined here.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585428618
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/2/2011
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 266,983
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Gawler is a pioneer in the therapeutic application of meditation. He is the author of the bestselling books Meditation Pure & Simple, Peace of Mind, and You Can Conquer Cancer. He is the founder of The Gawler Foundation of Melbourne, Australia.

Paul Bedson is a counselor, psychotherapist, meditation instructor, and natural therapist. He has been working in the field of mind/body medicine for more than twenty years.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Gift of Meditation 1

Meditation Journeys: About the Authors 15

Part I Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation 39

1 Introducing Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation 41

Step 1 Preparation 57

2 Establishing Comfort and Ease 59

Step 2 Relaxation 75

3 Learning to Relax 77

4 Progressive Muscle Relaxation 88

Step 3 Mindfulness 107

5 Mindfulness of Breath 109

6 Habits of Thinking and Awareness 124

7 Mindfulness of Body 152

8 Knowing Your Body 163

9 Mindfulness of Emotions 175

10 Connecting with Feelings 183

Step 4 Stillness 209

11 Mindfulness of Thoughts and Stillness 211

12 Stillness and the Nature of Mind 234

13 The Complete Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation Technique 245

Part II Other Applications 261

14 Meditation and Mind-Body Medicine 266

15 Meditation for Transforming Pain 280

16 Meditation, Imagery and Affirmations 304

17 Meditation Using Intention-Forgiveness, Gratitude and Loving Kindness 322

18 Meditation Using Inquiry-Contemplation 339

19 Meditation and the Spiritual Path 353

Conclusion: Integration 368

Appendix: Definitions of Meditation 371

Acknowledgments 379

Notes 383

Bibliography 385

Index 389

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