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The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds Paperback – June 15, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications; 3rd edition (June 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861713494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861713493
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Leveys, who teach stress-management methods to a variety of organizations, including the U.S. Army Green Berets, offer an inviting and highly practical manual for those who want to enhance "health and performance, master stress and deepen their appreciation of life." They begin by discussing relaxation, presenting eight simple, discrete techniques for identifying and releasing tension within the body and mind. They then progress to concentration, offering 11 separate methods, including several deep-breathing exercises, designed to help one disregard distractions, stabilize the mind and bring one's full attention to bear on the object of concentration. Proper relaxation and concentration are fundamental for successful meditation, which here is both a path to spiritual liberation and also a real-world strategy for altering harmful patterns of thought and behavior. The Leveys then offer 39 methods of meditation, from simply listening purposefully to one's surroundings to imagining that one's body is hollow. They round out the book with reflections on integrating all these techniques into everyday life and work. Many of the strategies found here are clear, step-by-step procedures; others are scripts suitable to record on tape to play back during a relaxation, concentration or meditation session. Although they do not advocate any particular spiritual tradition, the authors continually emphasize the depth and sacredness associated with these "inner arts," resulting in a useful handbook that will appeal to a wide range of readers seeking increased tranquility in and mastery over their lives.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Joel and Michelle Levey share more than 100 ideas, practices, and exercises they have used over the past 30 years to teach stress reduction and personal development to companies, groups, and individuals...Tailor-made for anyone dealing with physical, mental, or emotional stress." (Spirituality and Health)

"The Leveys offer an inviting and highly practical manual for those who want to enhance 'health and performance, master stress, and deepen their appreciation of life.' Many of the strategies found here are clear, step-by-step procedures; others are scripts suitable to record and play back during a relaxation, concentration, or meditation session. The authors continually emphasize the depth and sacredness associated with these 'inner arts,' resulting in a useful handbook that will appeal to a wide range of readers seeking increased tranquillity in and mastery over their lives." (Publishers Weekly)

"Skillfully weaves together contemporary insights into the value of and need for meditation in our lives with a large number of extremely evocative suggestions for different ways to practice." (Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are)

"A skillful blend of time-proven antidotes to the stress of modern life." (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence)

"What a beautiful book! We need so much in our world to focus on how to be instead of how to do, and [this book] shows the way." (Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Space, Time, & Medicine and Healing Wounds)

"The methods included here work wonders. As a satisfied user of so many of them, I affirm that they truly deepen the appreciation of life." (Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now, How Can I Help, Grist for the Mill, and Journey of Awakening)

"The Leveys' work has great prospects for bringing the inner sciences to a very wide section of people who may not under ordinary circumstances come into contact with the inner technologies of mental development and transformation." (His Holiness the Dalai Lama)

"As an ultramarathon bicyclist I rode 10-12 days at a time for 22 hours per day. This not only takes a well toned body, but a fine tuned mind. Joel & Michelle have guided me from one unaware of her potential to a competitive ultramarathon athlete. By using techniques in this book I have been able to combine a positive attitude with self-confidence and discipline to be very successful. My success in not only in my competitive endeavors, but in the rest of my life during work , play and social activities...I recommend Joel and Michelle's book to anyone interested in techniques for realizing their full potentials." (Cheryl Marek, 1987 RAAM Rookie of the Year (Ride Across America), 1984 Women's Tandem RAAM Record Holder)

"Practical and down-to-earth, this is a remarkable and comprehensive workbook for mastering the stress of life." (NAPRA ReVIEW)

"A thoroughly useful, practical guidebook offering a distillation of many years of study and practice." (Yoga and Health)

More About the Author

Dr. Joel and Michelle Levey have devoted their lives to studying, researching, and teaching disciplines related to how to live and thrive in greater harmony and balance. They have been pioneers over many decades in developing extra-ordinary capacities of leaders, teams, organizations, and communities through the emerging fields of mindfulness, mindbody medicine and contemplative science; integrative health care; change resilience; neurofeedback, cyberphysiology, interpersonal neurobiology; collective wisdom and intelligence; systems thinking; and the global compassion movement.

Michelle and Joel have worked with hundreds of leading organizations and communities around the globe to inspire people to deepen their capacity to bring a deeper wisdom, compassion, resilience, and creative intelligence to life, work, and relationships. Their clients include: NASA; Google; British Parliament; N.I.H.; Intel; M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center; World Bank; NOAA; The Clinton Global Initiative; U.S. Army Special Forces; West Point Military Academy; Earthsave; Forest Ethics; Compassionate Action Network International; Stanford Research Institute International; U.S. Surgeon General's Office; Washington Athletic Club; St. Francis Hospice; M.I.T; and World Business Academy. They served as Chairpersons for the Center for Corporate Culture & Organizational Health at the Institute for Health & Productivity Management, and on the Board of Advisors for the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities; The Art Monastery Project; and The International Working Group on Compassionate Organizations.

The Dalai Lama, an advisor on a number of their projects, encouraged the Leveys in their work, saying: "You are presently engaged in work that has great prospects for bringing the Dharma (the inner sciences of transformation) to a very wide section of people who may not under ordinary circumstances come into contact with these teachings." Joel and Michelle have studied closely with many of the world's most respected teachers in the mind science and contemplative science traditions, and were fortunate to participate in a year-long silent contemplative retreat.
The Leveys are co-founders of Wisdom at Work; the International Institute for Mindfulness, Meditation and MindBody Medicine; InnerWork Technologies Inc.; and SportsMind, Inc. They serve as clinical faculty at the University of Minnesota Medical School's Center for Spirituality and Healing, and Bastyr University where they teach special programs on Mindfulness, Compassion, Meditation, and Mindbody Medicine. They have also developed and taught special graduate programs for Mahidol University in Thailand; Indian Institute of Management; Antioch University; and University of Texas Center for Spirituality and Health.

The Leveys were honored by the Institute of Noetic Sciences as leading "teachers of transformation." Joel and Michelle directed clinical programs related to mindfulness, resilience, stress mastery, and biofeedback for Group Health and Children's Medical Centers, and developed advanced biocybernautic training for the U.S. Army Special Forces' Jedi Warrior Program, which was described by leaders in the military and human potential movement as, "The most exquisite orchestration of human technology we have ever seen," and "the most intensive and advanced leadership and human development program to be offered in modern times."

Their published works include: Living in BalanceMindfulness, Meditation, and Mind-Fitness; Wisdom at Work; ; Luminous Mind: Meditation and Mind Fitness; The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds; Corporate Culture and Organizational Health; Learning Organizations; Community Building in Business; Intuition at Work; The New Bottom Line; and VUCA Savvy Leadership: Thriving in Complex Times. They also blog for Huffington Post (Spirit and Wellness). See - http://WisdomAtWork.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book has it all. All the techniques to improve concetration and meditation. The concepts can help you in all areas of life...especailly living in the present moment. A must read for anyone wanting and thirsting more out of every moment.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
Everything's in here, if you were ever confused, these methods will undo it. Great reading that builds on each method. I will read this again and again.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. Eller on April 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I checked the 2nd edition of this book out of my local library, and I was so impressed with it that I bought the 1st edition from a seller because the price was better than for the 2nd edition. I should have paid the difference. The 2nd edition has really been revised, not just edited. It has additional material, passages have been rewritten for clarity, and the layout is better. The 1st edition has picture illustrations, which I liked, but otherwise the 2nd edition is more complete and user friendly. The exercises are tremendous. This is a great book if you are looking for a guide to relaxation, meditation, and contemplation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lin on November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is truly a joy for both the novice and those who are long-time meditators. The breadth of information and the very basic, ease level of beginning relaxation will be a boon for readers. I've been meditating for 13 years and learned a great deal!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By paradox0mega on October 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading and practicing for some time now i have noticed that i hardly stress over anything like i usually would. I look at things from a different point of view and i am overall a better person after implementing most of these techniques in daily meditation. This book is great and covers a wide range of things that everybody deals with on a day to day basis.
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Everyone is interested to know what real peace is. Everybody want to find escape from the crazy world and find out peace of mind and soul.
Here you can find many relaxation techniques, explanations how to behave in any kind of situations, how to cope with problems and tragic events in your lives. You can find many interesting and discover many new ways to know how to attract lucky, money or love into your life. It is not similar like Louise Hay, but its close to her books like "You can heal your life" You will enjoy this book to read especially on your bedtime at night.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book if you are seriously interested in learning meditation. I love the broad aspect of meditation covered from all religions and knowledgeable masters.
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