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Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient: The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness
     

Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient: The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness

by Will Johnson
 

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The emphasis on the mind in meditation can be somewhat misleading: If we pay attention only to mental processes and overlook the experience of the body, we can remain stuck in our heads and not be able to break free of the involuntary thinking that we find so claustrophobic and toxic. This short, practical guide helps us embrace the fact of our embodiment&mdash

Overview

The emphasis on the mind in meditation can be somewhat misleading: If we pay attention only to mental processes and overlook the experience of the body, we can remain stuck in our heads and not be able to break free of the involuntary thinking that we find so claustrophobic and toxic. This short, practical guide helps us embrace the fact of our embodiment—the experience of the sensations, movements, and gestures of the body—and to realize that mindfulness is the natural state of awareness of a body that has learned how to experience its feeling presence. Johnson takes us through the three primary principles of the posture of meditation: alignment, relaxation, and resilience. He devotes a large part of each chapter to specific practices to help the reader experience different aspects of physical presence. This book is of interest to meditators of all traditions—Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews, and others—as well as therapists, bodyworkers, and anyone interested in body-centered psychology and other natural modes of healing.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Johnson not only knows meditative traditions—most intimately, the mindfulness tradition of Buddhism—but is also a professional body worker with an expert's knowledge of human physiology. In this brief but ample book, he shows how meditation helps us in three major ways. We become, he argues, aligned not only in terms of posture but in deeper terms of our connections to our bodies and to the earth itself. We also become more relaxed, not lazily but in an alert and lively fashion. Finally we become more resilient, our immune systems may get a boost, we become more graceful, but those alterations stem from a greater spiritual flexibility. A fine, approachable, and useful book."— Booklist

"Finally a book on meditation instruction that fully addresses the role the body plays in spiritual growth. It's inspiring and free of obscure language."— Utne Reader

Library Journal
Johnson, director of the Institute for Embodiment Training in Cobble Hill, British Columbia, believes that the body should not be overlooked in meditation. As he points out, the Buddhist principle called mindfulness--sensing the body's presence--is known as "the royal road to enlightenment." The themes expressed here are largely continuations and reconstructions of those in Johnson's other book on the physical realm of meditation, The Posture of Meditation: A Practical Manual for Meditators of All Traditions. Focusing on bodily sensations and aligning the body so that it is not in opposition to gravity are stressed through numerous metaphors. Just reading Johnson's grounded and rhythmically poetic prose will put one in a meditative state. Suitable for beginning meditators or advanced meditators with somatic orientations, this book is recommended for large public libraries.--LeAnna DeAngelo, Springfield, MS Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Phil Catalfo
...a challenging work; not dense or difficult, but tantalizing and thought provoking... On every page he offers observations that are inspiring, even rapturous, in their devotion to the possibility of mindful embodiment, and many passages seem to yield additional fruit upon rereading.
Yoga Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781570625183
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/2000
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
5.53(w) x 8.49(h) x 0.37(d)

Meet the Author

Will Johnson is a certified bodyworker and director of the Institute for Embodiment Training in his hometown of Cobble Hill, British Columbia.

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