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Enlivening the Chakra of the Heart; The Fundamental Spiritual Exercises of Rudolf Steiner [Paperback]

Florin Lowndes
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 1, 2000 1855840537 978-1855840539 2nd
Rudolf Steiner advised that specific 'accompanying', or 'fundamental', spiritual exercises should always be carried out in conjunction with meditation, in order to protect the individual from dangers posed to normal consciousness. Florin Lowndes describes these fundamental exercises in thorough detail, giving suggestions as to how they can be carried out.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Florin Lowndes was born in Romania in 1938 and had an international career in architectural art and design. In 1970 he emigrated to the United States, where he taught at college level and in Steiner Waldorf schools. Since 1971 he has been engaged in the study of anthroposophy, and has written many articles for journals on related questions. He co-authored THE HUMAN LIFE, and founded the Center of Heart-Thinking in Boston. At present he leads training seminars in the United States and throughout Europe.

Product Details

  • Series: Fundamental Spiritual Exercises of Rudolf Steiner
  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Rudolph Steiner Pr; 2nd edition (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855840537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855840539
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,076,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By George
Florin Lowndes clearly has travelled the inner path laid out by Rudolf Steiner sincerely and for many years.

The six "subsidiary" exercises described by Rudolf Steiner, and elaborated in this work by Lowndes, ENLIVENING THE CHAKRA OF THE HEART (ETCOTH), are to be considered absolutely essential, a safety measure, without which no other exercises or meditations should be practiced. All meditations and spiritual exercises can open one to undesirable influences, or have undesirable effects, and these 6 exercises are meant to stabilize and strengthen the etheric and astral bodies against this possibility. The use of the description "subsidiary" by Steiner himself has led many to wrongly believe that these 6 exercises are supplementary, or secondary, in importance. Not true. Steiner himself is clear on this issue, that other exercises or meditations must not be commenced without the simultaneous practice and protective benefit of these foundational exercises.

These six exercises are as follows (very brief and incomplete description):

1. Control of thinking by concentration one's thoughts on a particular object
2. Control of will by choosing an activity to repeat at a given time
3. Control of feelings by developing equanity towards joy and sorrow
4. Development of positivity
5. Development of open-mindedness
6. Harmonizing all the foregoing

Lowndes elaborates on these practices in a very useful and pedagogical way. My only caveat is that, in ETCOTH, Lowndes overlays his own experience (and therefore, interpretation) on this work, and one should really read how R. Steiner himself describes these exercises (quoted extensively in Lowndes' text, also to be found in Guidance in Esoteric Training, and Outline of Esoteric Science).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exercises or History? March 18, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a book that tried to present more information than the title leads you to believe it contains. It is more of a history of Rudolf Steiner than the actual exercises. It explains the backgrounds for them more than how they might be of use in personal practice. It is based on the workshops this author presented for his students as followers of mystery school theory.

I used this book as a tool for historical knowledge rather than attempting to actually do the exercises, though I can see and know why they are of importance to personal philosophical change and growth. It is very esoteric in its scope and is a testament to the on-going influence of Dr. Steiner's life and practices. The details of the actual exercises are concise and pictured clearly. I would recommend to book as a reference book and also as a personal guide to practicing ancient spiritual evolution. It clarifies in a physical way how what is thought, felt and performed affects you and those around you.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent work! January 25, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Can't say enough good things about this book. I had read Rudolf Steiner's work before, and is not until I read this book That I really started to comprehend his work. The meaning of a universal mind that is not based on the limitation of the senses can become clear through this work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Steiner's kundalini April 19, 2014
This is a relatively interesting book about kundalini and chakras, written from an Anthroposophical (read: unusual) perspective. The work is published by a subsidiary to Rudolf Steiner Press. Yet, it's unclear if it reflects the “official” position of the Anthroposophists. To some extent, the book seems to be based on independent research by the author, Florin Lowndes.

Lowndes argues that Steiner had two parallel teachings. The exoteric teaching was a reformed version of traditional Western esotericism. The esoteric teaching was a direct path to “heart-thinking”, based on Steiner's book “The Philosophy of Freedom”. Perhaps inevitably, it's very difficult to grasp what the esoteric message might be, except that it somehow entails the notion that thinking should reflect upon itself, thereby transforming itself into a purely spiritual force. Most of Lowndes' book deals with the first path, the “exoteric” one.

Lowndes argues that the traditional chakras enumerated by various Eastern traditions and Theosophy are solely based in the etheric body (the lowest purely supersensible body). The forthcoming task of human evolution is to develop new chakras based in the astral body (which is higher than the etheric body). In traditional teachings, the kundalini was awakened in the human body and ascended until it reached a point immediately above the head, exploding and inducing ecstatic experiences. In Steiner's version, the kundalini descends from a supersensible sphere down into the astral body, where it creates or enlivens new chakras. The end-result is said to be clear, systematic, level-headed thinking (rather than ecstasy), but also a supersensible ability to “read” other people's souls and soul states.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book of Activities September 23, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read this book several times over the past five years. I believe the author understands Steiner and provides valuable lessons for the reader.
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