Lewis hails from the maverick-guru school of meditation. He was a resident of the Oregon community begun by Indian spiritual teacher Osho Rajneesh; he occasionally cites the work of controversial human potential movement pioneer Werner Erhard; and his teacher Lee Lozowick has forged his own syncretic spiritual path to enlightenment, in the style of enlightenment teacher Andrew Cohen. Yet much of what Lewis, a writer and entertainer, says about the everyday practice of meditation is useful, uncontroversial wisdom: sit up straight on your cushion, eat right and don't sleep around. Practice, practice, practice will not make perfect, but it will lead the way to greater clarity for the disciplined meditator. Lewis certainly works hard at integrating meditation into the context of non-monastic, average Western lives and making his presentation unintimidating. Yet his humor can fall flat; for example, his "mind as salesman" routine would not work in comedy clubs. Pop culture references run the risk of going stale quickly, and some metaphors are overwrought (e.g., "candy of consolation filled with the lead shot of suffering"). There are also a few anecdotes about the greatness of his guru that don't survive translation for those who weren't there. Ultimately, Lewis is trying too hard to explain it all, and the result is an overarching and under-explained metaphysic of mind. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
As the title implies, humor is key to this spirited and very accessible meditation book. Lewis (The Perfection of Nothing) teaches a form of meditation that focuses on correct posture. He supplements this with instructions for a moderated lifestyle including the practice of presence outside of meditation, study, diet, exercise, a monogamous sexual relationship, and work. Although the book is full of how-to advice, he keeps his instructions rather vague and suggests that commitment to a teacher is necessary for success. Ultimately, he believes that we are only responsible for one percent of our spiritual progress (a very committed one percent), and the other 99 percent comes to us through divine grace. At times Lewis interrupts the text with pointless asides, but his brilliant, concise statements make up for these outbursts. This book would fit well into spiritual self-help collections.DAnnette Haines, Sch. of Art & Design, Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.