on March 12, 2000
This compassionate and exceptionally well-written book helped me start a daily Buddhist meditation practice, which I've continued now for several months. This book includes a number of great meditation exercises, an introduction to the mindfulness of breathing and to Metta Bhavani (universal loving kindness). It provided great comfort to me during a stressful time in my life, and I often pick it up and re-read passages of it; it has really changed my life, and I am so thankful that I discovered it.
on August 20, 2007
This book is a wonderful primer for anyone wanting to get started on a meditative practice. I've studied many different forms of meditation over the years, and tried teachers, books, etc... But this book has helped me stick with my practice in a way others haven't. There's no fluff. Every page truly has value.
The book is wonderfully practical, and makes it very easy to learn and work the two starter meditations of Buddhism, and to gain value from them. The meditations it teaches are simple yet powerful, and I believe they can improve how people feel about themselves, and operate in the world.
I bought this book several years ago, and still turn to it regularly to review the principles and practices it describes. If you're at all interested in practicing meditation, I'd strongly recommend it.
on March 8, 2002
I highly recommend this book. I'm new to Buddhism and meditation, but have read a number of books on the subject. Paramananda explains meditation in a straightforward manner. More importantly, he clearly illustrates the linkage between meditation, Buddhism, and living a mentally healthy life. I believe that I will return to this book throughout my life.
on February 19, 2001
The Book starts with a personal account as to what meditation can provide. It sounds convinsing very much because it is simple. In deed the Zen like character of the teaching as to how to meditate makes it trully engaging. It is clear to the point, personal and human. There are a lot of books about tecniques and alot of them quite good. But some of them seem too full of the particular brand of Buddhism they come from, so much so that one almost fells as if to meditated one has to become Tibetan or Chinnese.Some others are so much explain in like magical lenguage that the magic of the simple act of meditation goes away. Good books about meditation are few and rare. What must of us need is to get our buts on the cushion and just do it , this books does just that, makes you fell like meditating on that moment.
on June 9, 2010
This is one of the best guides to Buddhist Meditation I've come across. For me, the best guidebooks are those that serve both as introductions to beginners, as well as provide the experienced student with a refreshing look at things, and new ideas to help improve your practice with. This book certainly meets the above requirement. It was clearly laid out in a logical structure, all points were explained well, and thankfully there was a lack of diving overboard with philosophical theory (not what Buddhism should be about) and steered clear of any type of "New Agey-ness" and from some Buddhist concepts (reincarnation, etc) that some Westerners might not agree with.
This book makes its point, states it precisely and with a minimum of words, uses great analogies to help the reader understand the authors explanations, and is an excellent manual I find myself coming back to refer to when I need some tips for my own practice. I especially enjoyed the thorough examination in "The Five Hindrances," where the author breaks down five of the most common obstacles that can get in our way when meditating, how to view them, and to overcome them by turning them into positives.
Very underrated book. I'd also recommend these four:
-What the Buddha Taught - Walpola Rahula
-Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Sunryu Suzuki
-Gesture of Balance by Tarthang Tulku
-Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
on November 17, 2010
This is a wonderful book. It has warmth and a sense of humor, and helps you realize that meditation is difficult, but worth the effort. It is extremely easy to read and has some great suggestions and tips. It is one of my "go to" books when things get rough.
on June 22, 2012
This book is awesome. It really breaks down what you need to do for meditation, as well as understanding the fundamental idea of Mindfulness. It brings Buddhism into a western world understanding. The author also doesn't expect people to be buddhist monks. I love this book and it teaches you a lot about to connect with your inner-self. Haven't finished reading yet, but I'm about half way through. Can't wait to finish it.
on June 9, 2013
I've read a lot of different books on Buddhism and this is one of the best. Paramananda puts the practice into words in an accessible way, where most authors fail to do so. Importantly, he also gives insight early on as to the bigger effects of the practice. I love the way this book builds off the simpler practices, gives you an introduction to more advanced practices, but then talks to you about the difficulties or pitfalls that occur during the progression. He had the mind of a true Buddhist, this book is about ideas and mentalities instead of rigid practice; he reminds the reader that there is no one approach to Buddhism and that frankly, if your approach isn't personalized, it's not right. Awesome book that can really change your life for the better.
on December 29, 2013
I've had this book for years. I bring it with me on extended meditation retreats and read/study parts of it as both a refresher and a resource. Got a problem with concentration or lack of focus during meditation? (that's a trick question; everyone does). This book goes through both the hinderances to meditation and straightforward methods to counter them. A true, straight forward, no-nonsense resource on how to set up and maintain a meditation practice. I highly recommend this book to anyone involved or interested in meditation.
on April 7, 2015
A wonderful introduction and summary of meditation. It is also a short read, which is nice for easy review and to actually get up and practice meditation.
The tone of the author is what I love so much. His relaxed and kind view of meditation helped me to see the practice as a labor of love rather than a daily chore.