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How to Meditate: A Practical Guide Paperback – October 3, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An excellent and engaging book for anyone interested in learning how to meditate." (Thubten Chodron, teacher and author of What Color is Your Mind?)

"Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, this book has jewels of wisdom and practical experience to inspire you. Kathleen McDonald comes from a long and trustworthy lineage of teachings. In How to Meditate, she shares the best of what she has received." (Richard Gere)

"This book is as beautifully simple and direct as its title." (Yoga Today)

"Written for the person who may not have the opportunity to seek personal instruction." (Circles)

"Kathleen McDonald's intelligent and carefully written book informs us... we can feel the meditative enthusiasm and experience of the author seeping through the words." (The Middle Way)

"Simple, direct, and complete." (The Wisconsin Bookwatch)

"A wealth of practical advice..." (MLBD Newsletter)

From the Back Cover

What is meditation? Why practice it? Which technique is best for me? How do I do it? The answers to these often-asked questions are contained in this down-to-earth book, compiled and written by Kathleen McDonald, a Western Buddhist nun with solid experience in both the practice and teaching of meditation. How to Meditate contains a wealth of practical advice on a variety of authentic and proven techniques. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications; 2nd edition (October 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861713419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861713417
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a real find. Just scrumptous! The author is a Tibetan
nun in the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism (the same as the Dali Lama). So you will be taught to meditate in the same way that the Dali Lama meditates! She does try to cover all schools of meditation. But she still teaches primarily Tibetan. And
her meditations are mainly Gelugpa. What is so wonderful about this book is that it is for beginners. But intermediates like
me can learn so much from it as well. And for advanced practioners, I have no doubt that they can learn a thing or two as well. You will find out how to sit. When to sit. How long to sit. How to pick out a certain meditation. Dealing with problems frequently encountered in meditation. How to deal
with negative problems such as depression, anger, and anxiety.
Nevertheless, I would only recommend this book to people who think they might want to practice in the Tibetan tradition. Or
for people who want to practice Buddhist meditation but don't care what tradition they practice in. This is really a great and helpful book. Thank you.
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Format: Paperback
This book has enormous value for anyone who wishes to begin a meditation practice. Kathleen McDonald is a nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, but I feel that this book offers useful advice to anyone of any spiritual persuasion. I have to disagree with some of the other reviews who feel that this book is for aspiring Buddhists only. Meditation can be correctly seen as a highly effective technology that can be employed to tame the mind. In fact, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has stated that Tibetan Buddhism exists somewhere in between science and religion.
I also want to comment on the warmth with which McDonald has crafted this text. She writes with great simplicity, yet she manages to impart a great deal of valuable and sophisticated information. If a book can be described as being " friendly ", that would certainly apply here. Clearly interested in creating a book that in no way intimidates or overwhelms, her approach is gentle and reassuring. This is a wonderful book!
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Format: Paperback
After purchasing 5 books on meditation this is the first book that actually teaches you how to meditate step by step. Most books on meditation tell you "what" to meditate on and seem to forget to tell you how to do it, this book tells you how to do it. It's very easy to read and it gives even the first time meditators the instructions needed to start meditating.

It starts with the very basic (but very effective) way of meditation and then progresses through the book to more in depth meditations covering many different ideas to meditate on.

I highly recommend this book to the beginners in meditation and also to the more experienced.
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I've read a number of books on meditation, some good and some not so good. It's a tough topic. But this book is a primer on a gift-basket of techniques in Tibetan Buddhist meditation. Clear, encouraging, simple instructions make it easy to read and easy to use. I'm a lousy meditator with a mind that loves to start jumping from topic to topic. This book is the first tool to help me start developing past all that. As another reviewer pointed out, this book is teaching in a specific tradition. If you have some knowledge about Tibetan Buddhism and know it's not for you, skip this book. If you're new to meditation, or open to techniques in this tradition, this book is a gem.
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Format: Paperback
You may think 'an excellent book for non-spiritual meditation' is a strange recommendation, but as a mostly non-spiritual (agnostic) person who nevertheless recognizes the benefits of meditation this is one of the few books out there that is suitable as a practical guide; the subtitle is spot on.

I apologize to those of you who are spiritual, but I just can't sit through a book that starts from the sutras and then uses meditation as a means to that end. It means nothing to me. 'How to Meditate,' while coming from the Mahayana and Theravada traditions, starts with solid practical advice on how to meditate - best positions, what a session should be like, how to breathe, common problems, and visualization.

The second part of the book consists of different subjects for meditation such as 'Meditation on Compassion and Tonglen (Giving and Taking),' 'Meditation on Love,' and 'Dealing with Negative Energy.' These also include subjects such as 'Prostrations to the Thirty-Five Buddhas' which are of little interest to me except culturally, but even an atheist should recognize the usefulness of considering and dealing with your negative energy: 'The methods explained in this chapter are practical ways of dealing with attachment, anger, depression, and fear.'

The is the only book on the shelf besides Meditation for Dummies which I would wholeheartedly recommend for aspiritual people like myself. It's considered a classic in the field for good reason.
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Format: Paperback
I would rate this book with 5 stars because they wrote and edited this book in very easy words, It tells you how to meditate, why to meditate, advice for begginers and much more.
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This heartfelt book is written with skill and compassion. It is an excellent guide to Buddhist (Tibetan) style meditation. It is of interest to anyone wanting to learn how to meditate, or to deepen their practice.
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