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Beyond the Breath: Extraordinary Mindfulness Through Whole-Body Vipassana Meditation Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; 1 edition (November 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582900434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582900438
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Glickman is nothing if not practical, as his credentials suggest. The editor and publisher of Green Living, an environmental journal, and author of The Mindful Money Guide argues that sensation-based vipassana meditation as taught by revered Indian master S.N. Goenka is the most effective meditation method. Twenty years of meditation appear to have brought Glickman useful clarity: his meditation instructions will help beginners, his unpacking of the idea of Buddhist detachment is insightful and his correlation of new brain research results with ancient Buddhist wisdom is fresh and persuasive. When he moves beyond meditation and the insights of the four noble truths about reality, however, he overreaches. He discusses ethics, karma, nirvana as a nod to the whole complex way of seeing and being that Buddhism offers, yet here seems to be much more un-Buddhistically theoretical. His connections can be hard to grasp: Darwin's consonance with Buddhism is an intriguing idea that is under-explained, and the topic of addiction to pleasure is similarly underdeveloped. The biggest disappointment in the book, though, is the editing. Someone should have corrected the misspelling of Henepola Gunaratana's name in the bibliography as well as a dozen other distracting mistakes in text ("snacked very discretely," "severals times," "compliment and reinforce"). The book's strength is Glickman's nitty-gritty appreciation of the somatic experience of reality. The Buddha knew that suffering hurt. Glickman does well to emphasize the "mindbody" as the vehicle we humans have to drive to nirvana.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I am very thin and have some back problems .
Pauline
The explanation and tie in to the laws of attraction and Kharma were very clear and well thought out.
M. Bradley
It gives a great overview and introduction to this method of meditation.
Panaman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By M. Bradley on December 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read several books by S.N. Geonka and his followers, but none really gave me insights into the actual technique. It is explained in detail here. I understood it,applied it in my practice and it has definitely given me new insights into this particular style of Vipassanna meditation. It was intense, a lot of emotions materialized and my sensitivity to bodily sensations is makedly increased. I've have been practicing "noting" as well as "just sitting" for a while. Both techniques have been effective also, but this Vipassana technique is more refined.

The book stated a strong case for practicing the precepts of Buddhism in addition to just meditation. The explanation and tie in to the laws of attraction and Kharma were very clear and well thought out.

Any one interested in Vipassana should try this book. Anyone interested in integrating meditation and Buddhism into their lives, but have yet to make the jump, should also try it.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Vipassana Meditation As Taught By S.N.Goinka is, indeed, a jewel. Unfortunately, because of the way his organization is structured, there are few sources of information or perspective on this meditation technique or on the experience of meditation apart from those written by S.N.Goinka himself or his teachers. "Beyond the Breath" by Marshall Glickman is a valuable addition to this too small body of literature.
In "Beyond the Breath" Marshall discusses Buddhism in general, Vipassana meditation in particular, and the scientific and biochemical underpinnings which make Vipassana meditation so effective. All of this in a simple and accessible style which both beginners and experienced meditators will read with enjoyment. Marshall points out some of the critical points concerning Vipassana mediation such as the fact that it is a gradual process; like "a dawn" rather then "a lightning bolt", that we must learn not to "confuse pleasure with happiness", and that the mind-body connection is such that it is possible to understand the term "mind" as including not only the brain and it's congnitive processes but also the body and it's physical sensations. He then goes on to explain how these and other abstract ideas from Buddhist philosophy and cosmology are realized in meditation practice and how such insights lead to a greater happiness.
I would, however, express reservations (or perhaps further stress similar assertions made by Marshall) concerning the practical and specific recommendations and meditation instructions contained in this book. I'm not certain that this form of Vipassana can be effectively learned by most people outside of a 10-day course. I would recommend reading these sections of the book as the particular opinions, perspectives and experiences of one meditator rather then as an instruction manual.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By j.travelle on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i've purchased this book at least 15 times in my life to give it away. You dont have to be Buddhist to read or benefit from the teachings and practice; most people who i gave it to were not.
If you want to understand the science behind meditation, if you want to enliven your practice, if you just want a little help with the day to day upsets in life and manage your emotions...READ THIS BOOK.
It's actually classified as a "Self Help" book, and thats the section you'll find it in at Barnes & Noble, and it truly is. Glickman nailed it!
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Panaman on November 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book prior to the 10-day meditation retreat. It gives a great overview and introduction to this method of meditation. It's also very convincing. The technique that it lays out is very effective, I've found, although has some flaws within it. The retreat, lodging, and food is actually offered free of charge and can be accessed at [...] Check out the book prior to registering for it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
"It's been said that we learn more from our mistakes than our successes - and I think that's true - but only if we eventually have success; otherwise we just keep making the same mistakes over and over." ~Marshall Glickman

Learning to take care of our bodies by eating correctly and exercising seems a true journey all on its own. When you decide to incorporate a style of meditation into your life then a whole-body Vipassana might bring you more peace of mind. It is a sensation-based style of meditation.

Marshall Glickman has a beautiful writing style and his ideas connect perfectly with the modern reader who may or may not be familiar with meditation. His ideas are presented in a way that makes meditation come alive. I used to think meditation was complete stillness and lack of thought, but there are ways to focus on sensation that bring you to a deeper understanding of yourself. Some of the intellectually intriguing aspects of this work include:

The Power and Pleasure Principle
The Biochemical Basics of Pleasure
The Neurochemistry of Karma

There are chapters filled with instructions on how to meditate, but the real highlights of this book are the insights into living life effectively and understanding how our bodies function on the chemical level.

"Focusing on sensations puts us more directly in touch with what's motivating us, while at the same time helping to free us from the storylines which tend to obscure our feelings. In this way, greater awareness to our sensations increases our emotional sensitivity." ~Marshall Glickman

If you have trouble settling into a meditation session, do yoga first. It helps your body to work out all the extra energy that might keep you from sitting still.
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