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Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love Paperback – November 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'An outstanding contribution to addressing a root issue of our time: how to integrate the quest for scientific clarity, contemplative awakening, and improved personal practices in a way that is clear, integrates Eastern and Western wisdom traditions, and offers readers practical methods and tools. It is highly recommended.' -- Otto Scharmer, MIT, author of Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges 'A profound and masterful exposition of the calling, challenges, and, above all, the immediate and the harder-to-extract-but-worth-it gifts of meditative inquiry. A glistening gem of a book.' -- Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses and Arriving at Your Own Door 'The great turn needed to reverse problems like climate change and the growing gap between rich and poor is none other than the one that we can accomplish in our own ways of thinking and living together. Arthur Zajonc is one of our best guides in the new art of traversing the narrowing gulf between science, consciousness, and social change.' -- Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization 'In this beautifully written work, Arthur Zajonc offers gentle and wise guidance on the path of contemplative inquiry. Drawing both on the writings of Rudolf Steiner and on the world's spiritual traditions, he presents universal truths that are relevant to all contemplative paths, East and West.' -- B. Allan Wallace, author of The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind 'By the end of this enriching book the reader can appreciate how contemplative enquiry can extend and refine science while balancing the inner life of the scientist in the process. It is a book to savour, a point of departure to a refined range of practices for mind, heart and will.' -- David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review, Summer 2010

About the Author

Arthur Zajonc, Ph.D., is the Andrew Mellon professor of physics and interdisciplinary studies at Amherst College and is currently the director of the Academic Program of the Center for Contemplative Mind, an organization of 1500 academics supporting the appropriate inclusion of contemplative practice in higher education. Dr. Zajonc is the former General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America, a cofounder of the Kira Institute, past President of the Lindisfarne Association, and a senior program director at the Fetzer Institute. He has served as scientific coordinator and editor for several dialogues with the Dalai Lama: The New Physics and Cosmology, held in 1997 and published in 2004, and “The Nature of Matter, the Nature of Life” (2002, unpublished). He was also moderator for the 2003 MIT dialogue, published as The Dalai Lama at MIT (2006). Dr. Zajonc is the author Catching the Light (1993, 1995), coauthor of The Quantum Challenge (2nd ed. 2005), and coeditor of Goethe's Way of Science (1998).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Lindisfarne Books (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584200626
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584200628
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Arthur Zajonc is professor of physics at Amherst College, where he has taught since 1978. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. He has been visiting professor and research scientist at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, and the universities of Rochester, and Hannover. He has been Fulbright professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

His research has included studies in electron-atom physics, parity violation in atoms, quantum optics, the experimental foundations of quantum physics, and the relationship between science, the humanities, and the contemplative traditions. He has written extensively on Goethe's science work.

He is author of the book: Catching the Light (Bantam & Oxford UP), co-author of The Quantum Challenge (Jones & Bartlettt), and co-editor of Goethe's Way of Science (SUNY Press). In 1997 he served as scientific coordinator for the Mind and Life dialogue published as The New Physics and Cosmology: Dialogues with the Dalai Lama (Oxford UP). He again organized the 2002 dialogue with the Dalai Lama, "The Nature of Matter, the Nature of Life," and acted as moderator at MIT for the "Investigating the Mind" Mind and Life dialogue in 2003. The proceedings of the Mind and Life-MIT meeting were published under the title The Dalai Lama at MIT (Harvard UP) which he co-edited. Most recently he is author of the books, Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love (Lindisfarne Press) on contemplative pedagogy, and a volume on the youth program PeaceJam, We Speak as One: Twelve Nobel Laureates Share their Vision for Peace.

He currently is an advisor to the World Future Council, and directs the Academic Program of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, which supports appropriate inclusion of contemplative methods in higher education. He has also been a co-founder of the Kira Institute, General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society, president/chair of the Lindisfarne Association, and was a senior program director at the Fetzer Institute.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I spent the summer reading passages of this excellent how-to book on meditative and contemplative practices, and felt enriched every single time I picked it up. It is, however, sometimes dense reading - but to be fair, the work invites one to stop and do the exercises, and so its pace should perhaps be slow at times in order to allow the messages to flower. Exercises don't come easy to facile, monkey minds! If your experience is like my experience (and clearly Zajonc knows this) Contemplative Inquiry requires patience, dedication, resolve, and ... patience, dedication, and desire. I would say that in enjoying this book it would be useful to first have some exposure to meditation, advaita, zen, or yogic practices. This is really not a book that will hold a beginner's attention, but it is one that will be of serious use to many of us in the intermediates and I imagine would be of huge assistance to those of you who are advanced truth knowers! It is certainly a useful tool for any people professional, whether they be a lawyer, therapist, physician, or other and for seekers of Oneness in all the glorious forms. Indeed, anyone who has the dedication to pursue Zajonc's insights and truth pointing will wake up!

Thurman W. Arnold III

[...]
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To be awake amidst the all the distractions of everyday life, not falling asleep (dreaming away from here and now) or loosing awareness we need a way to be present in our daly activities. Arthur Zajonc shows us a way of bringing attention, contemplation and meditation in our everyday life. It is a another way of being in time and place. We can't slow down what is outside us, but we can slow down our response and live to our own rythm. Thus having a better balance between outside and inside, going out in the world on one side and reflecting on it on the other side in a balanced tidal rythm. In the end we need the courage to change the way we observe and think completely, more following the phenomenological way Goethe has showed and coming to a new awaress about the wholeness and unity in difference of everything in and around us.
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I think this is a wonderful, accessible book. The title says much: meditation as a form of _inquiry_, not just relaxation, or de-stressing, or centering. Meditation (or perhaps better, contemplation) as a way of of coming to know. I love the sentence: "Knowledge is an event, not an object." The book has lots of easy-to-do, practical exercises. Zajonc does an excellent job of merging a scientist's inquisitiveness with a poet's sensibility of the loveliness of the world.
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I purchased this book after listening to a podcast with the author on Speaking of Faith. The author draws from different faith traditions and describes different ways of meditating. I lead a weekly meditation group and am finding this book helpful as we explore different meditation techniques.
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This is a fantastic volume that outlines an intuitive approach to acquiring insight or internal knowledge that is often the most profound information we can realize in our lives. If provides a rational balancing to the obsession with encyclopedic fact collection that so frequently passes for “knowledge” both in higher education and in Western civilization in general.

The of reflection and introspection that Zajonc elucidates here is a welcome balm for the narcissistic, entitled, self-centered, and ultimately unsatisfying tendencies in all of us that are fueled by the consumption of modern culture.
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This is a beautiful book that is both inspirational and practical.
Well worth entering into a world of knowing at a deeper level.
Good explanation of and assistance for contemplation as growing in mindfulness, awareness--that other knowing.
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A beautiful book by Arthur Zajonc in which he guides you to come to the essence of meditation,

Hein Dijksterhuis
Author: 'I am back - with love' and 'Coming into Presence'

Picture of the book launch in The Netherlands
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Excellent book on how to develop a contemplative/meditative life. Arthur, a world-class physicist, has done a superb job of writing, and he also walks the walk.
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