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American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation How Indian Spirituality Changed the West Paperback – May 14, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
We are living at a time of a profound awakening of consciousness that is changing the world. Much of that awakening is due to the influence of Indian spirituality and its practical applications. If you are one of the estimated 20 million Americans who practice Yoga, if you meditate or enjoy kirtan chanting, if you have been turned on to the spiritual path by Autobiography of a Yogi or Be Here Now, read books by Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, J. D. Salinger or Joseph Campbell, or followed the healthcare advice of Dr. Dean Ornish, Indian teachers and teachings are a part of your life. As Huston Smith, the highly-esteemed scholar of world religions, said in his Foreword to Goldberg's book, "Vedanta quietly surfaces in the daily lives of Americans. Yoga, karma, meditation, enlightenment are now household words. How that came about needed to be documented, and Philip Goldberg has done just that.Read more ›
Goldberg is balanced in presenting people and ideas, and doesn't rush to conclusions, allowing the reader to consider. Still, Goldberg demonstrates that these programs are very different from one another. For me, the central question he leaves the reader with is this: "Which of the diverse Yoga and meditation programs brought to American shores from India is the most effective for living an engaged life?" Perhaps the best answer to that question comes from science, which is objective, like a level playing field.
As Goldberg points out, there has been research suggesting programs are effective against hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and ADHD. Other research by Fred Travis and Jonathan Shear, published in Consciousness and Cognition, reviewed the various EEG patterns of different meditation techniques, showing that different meditation techniques produce very different brain activity. This type of research seems to me to offer a conclusion to Goldberg's book, which is that some programs are more effective. Perhaps, as Goldberg suggests, those will be the programs that remain closest to their own source, the Veda.
The author provides a good taste of the deeper esoteric models of mystical experience, without overwhelming the beginner reader who may be still lingering at lower stages of integration. Yet, for the more advanced learner the author gives plenty of historical material that is fascinating and helps thread the missing pieces of fabric.
There is no doubt in my mind that any serious student of American spirituality should have this book on their shelf. As well, aspirants who are beginning their journey beyond the spiritual kindergarten of religion should read this book before venturing too far out beyond the shore.
The author's comments on "fallen gurus" never come across as judgmental or biased. Now this is exceptional reporting at its best.
Goldberg's chronicles of more recent integrations of science (i.e. quantum theory) and eastern structures of consciousness/reality are superb. I have been impressed by some of the more recent dialogue which is learning more about the limits of the brain; i.e. that this organ is not a creator but a transmitter/processer of thought. The author's use of the metaphor of the "tv. set" to describe the primary function of the brain is useful and accessible to the layperson.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was full of surprises! My knowledge of Vedic philosophy here in the U.S was limited and it was cool to know it goes farther back than the Yogananda! Read morePublished 27 days ago by cassie
Goldberg weaves an excellent tapestry that shows connections that I either didn't know existed or only had a vague picture of. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ray W. Booker
I think this is a must read book for anyone on a spiritual path. Goldberg is an excellent writer- the research is thorough. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Chris Boone
Brilliant book that had to be written. Intensely rigorous, yet an easy read.Published 4 months ago by Janek B.
Philip's American Veda is one of the most authentic, heart-felt rendition of what Veda and spiritual practices of Asia mean to its many practitioners in the east and the west. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Shankar Hemmady
Very thorough and beautifully written history of the amazing influence of Indian philosophy and spiritual practice on American culture. Read morePublished 10 months ago by S. Walton