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Meditation, a Simple Eight-Point Program for Translating Spiritual ideals Into daily Life Unknown Binding – 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Unknown Binding, 1996

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Nilgiri (1996)
  • ASIN: B002WKKF56
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,314,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eknath Easwaran (1910-1999) is respected around the world as one of the twentieth century's great spiritual teachers and an authentic guide to timeless wisdom. Although he did not travel or seek large audiences, his books on meditation, spiritual living, and the classics of world mysticism have been translated into twenty-six languages. More than 1.5 million copies of Easwaran's books are in print.

His book Meditation, now titled Passage Meditation, has sold over 200,000 copies since it was first published in 1978. His Classics of Indian Spirituality - translations of The Bhagavad Gita, The Dhammapada, and The Upanishads - have been warmly praised by Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions, and all three books are bestsellers in their field.

A gifted teacher who lived for many years in the West, Easwaran lived what he taught, giving him enduring appeal as a teacher and author of deep insight and warmth.

Easwaran's mission was to extend to everyone the spiritual disciplines that had brought such rich benefits to his own life. For forty years he devoted his life to teaching the practical essentials of the spiritual life as found in every religion. He taught a universal message that although the body is mortal, within every creature there is a spark of divinity that can never die. And he taught and lived a method that any man or woman can use to reach that inborn divinity and draw on it for love and wisdom in everyday life.

Whenever asked what religion he followed, Easwaran would reply that he belonged to all religions. His teachings reached people in every faith. He often quoted the words of Mahatma Gandhi, who influenced him deeply: "I have not the shadow of a doubt that every man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith."

Eknath Easwaran (1910-1999) was born into an ancient matrilineal family in Kerala state, South India. There he grew up under the close guidance of his mother's mother, whom he honored throughout his life as his spiritual teacher. From her he learned the traditional wisdom of India's ancient scriptures. An unlettered village woman, she taught him through her daily life, which was permeated by her continuous awareness of God, that spiritual practice is something to be lived out each day in the midst of family and community.

Growing up in British India, Easwaran first learned English in his village high school, where the doors were opened to the treasure-house of English literature. At sixteen, he left his village to attend a nearby Catholic college. There his passionate love of English literature intensified and he acquired a deep appreciation of the Christian tradition.

Later, contact with the YMCA and close friendships within the Muslim and Christian communities enriched his sense of the universality of spiritual truths. Easwaran often recalled with pride that he grew up in "Gandhi's India" - the historic years when Mahatma Gandhi was leading the Indian people to freedom from British rule through nonviolence. As a young man, Easwaran met Gandhi and the experience of sitting near him at his evening prayer meetings left a lasting impression. The lesson he learned from Gandhi was the power of the individual: the immense resources that emerge into life when a seemingly ordinary person transforms himself completely.

After graduate work at the University of Nagpur in Central India, where he took first-class degrees in literature and in law, Easwaran entered the teaching profession, eventually returning to Nagpur to become a full professor and head of the department of English. By this time he had acquired a reputation as a writer and speaker, contributing regularly to the Times of India and giving talks on English literature for All-India Radio.

At this juncture, he would recall, "All my success turned to ashes." The death of his grandmother in the same year as Gandhi's assassination prompted him to turn inward.

Following Gandhi's inspiration, he became deeply absorbed in the Bhagavad Gita, India's best-known scripture. Meditation on passages from the Gita and other world scriptures quickly developed into the method of meditation that today is associated with his name.

Eknath Easwaran was Professor of English Literature at the University of Nagpur when he came to the United States on the Fulbright exchange program in 1959. Soon he was giving talks on India's spiritual tradition throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. At one such talk he met his future wife, Christine, with whom he established the organization that became the vehicle for his life's work. The mission of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, founded in 1961, is to change lives and build a better world by publishing Sri Eknath Easwaran's timeless words, preserving his legacy, and teaching his Eight Point Program of passage meditation.

After a return to India, Easwaran came back to California in 1965. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area the rest of his life, dedicating himself to the responsive American audiences that began flowing into his classes in the turbulent Berkeley of the late 1960s, when meditation was suddenly "in the air." His quiet yet impassioned voice reached many hundreds of students in those turbulent years.

Always a writer, Easwaran started a small press in Berkeley to serve as the publishing branch of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation. Nilgiri Press was named after the Nilgiris or "Blue Mountains" in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where Easwaran had maintained a home for some years.

In thousands of talks and his many books Easwaran taught passage meditation and his eight-point program to an audience that now extends around the world. Rather than travel and attract large crowds, he chose to remain in one place and teach in small groups - a preference that was his hallmark as a teacher even in India. "I am still an educator," he liked to say. "But formerly it was education for degrees; now it is education for living." His work is being carried forward by the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation.

If you would like to find out more about Easwaran's teachings and the Center that he founded please visit us at www.easwaran.org, and read our blog www.easwaran.org/blog

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After my "born again" atheist phase, I was intent on discovering/uncovering God for myself. I read all sorts of books (see my other reviews for some of what I have read)and all of these books satisfied my intellectual curiosity for a more "personable" God. I wasn't interested in a new religion, I was interested in knowing that a God of Love could love me, as well.

I decided to start meditating for two reasons. (1) I always admired people who could somehow get still, centered, and focused and brought a clear sense of attention/intention to everything they did and (2)maybe through meditation I could form a deeper inner "knowingness" that God did exist within me and around me.

This was one of the first books on meditation that I not only read, but devoured. I enjoy Eknath Eswaran's simple approach to meditation. If you are looking for a more complicated approach I am sure you will find many books that will fit the bill. Simplicity is an art. Simplicity is very difficult for a confused mind to understand. Simplicity is the essence of genius.

So I studied Eswaran's words on meditation, but I also took them to heart. When I was first learning to meditate, I often broke my practice into "bite-sized chunks". Three minutes here, five minutes there, another two minutes here, maybe four minutes there. I celebrated every moment I could get still. I relished in every moment I could get quiet. I wish I could say that I mastered meditation in six short weeks but I don't think anyone ever quites "masters" meditation. It does have an accumulative effect and eventually I was able to get still for twenty minutes (with my longest session being two hours) but meditation is so unlike anything I have ever done.
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I recently finished this book and thought it a good place to start if one is having troubles with multi tasking or asking themselves some deeper questions about life. In my experience I have found that some people want to slow down and develop harmony within themselves, they read the words yet don't apply it to their lives. Eknath Easwaran takes you though each level of higher (inner) conscienceness if you are willing to follow,accept and apply it. I particularly enjoyed how one can reach for and obtain unconditional love, unheard of in the psychology world where unconditional love is only between parent and child, that adult love can not be so. He speaks about basic morals in our day to day encounters with others, our spouses, and the world in general, more importantly, for one to be aware that ones actions affects others. On speaking, the suggestion is to ask ones self three questions. First, "are these words true", secondly "are these words necessary", and thirdly "are these words kind". Imagine those with uncontrollable road rage asking themselves this! I have practiced this art of "single mindedness" throughout my life, not able to put it into words. This book reaffirmed me that I am on the right path. A pure delight to read and reflect upon, written in a comprehensive manner and from a person who practices what he preaches. Prayers for meditation at the end are helpful. Hopefully we all will find the right person to share a life that is emotionally rich and empowering, full of mutual love and respect. It starts with you.
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I came across Easwaran's book after having read a few others on the subject - nothing comes close to this one in making the concept of meditation come alive in the minds of people who are not clear on the subject. Easwaran has the knack of getting to the heart of the matter in a flash, and then gently explaining the concepts in a simple fashion, with wry, and sometimes subtle. This is a book by a man who's been there, and done that. Highly recommended for any individual who wants to try to rise above the stress and strain of daily life.
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By A Customer on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Excellent book on meditation. I wanted to practice meditation for a long time but was afraid of picking a book that wouldn't provide a good path to it but delve in some kind of abstract practice or ritual. I happened to buy "Upanishads" by the same author and was highly impressed by the simplicity but yet clear Upanishad translation. So I bought this book on meditation. The book is simply fabulous. Not attached to any religion or mysticism but encompassing the message of all, Eknath Easwaran clearly brings the importance of meditation in clear and lucid language. Now I regularly practice meditation. And have found a great deal of change in myself. The book on Bhagavad Gita and Dhammapada by the same author are also great reading. A series of great books from the true master.
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This is one of the best books anyone interested in meditation, spirituality or simply a calm, peaceful and happy life can hope to read. Easwaran outlines a very simply eight point program to help us through our daily lives grow towards a better, happier and more peaceful future. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone with spiritual inclanations, or a desire to slow down her or his hectic life.
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Eknath Easwaran's "Meditation" is a book that came to me at a time in my life when it was sorely needed. Having read many books on the subject of meditation, I found Easwaran's approach to be both simple and practical. The affect this book has had upon me is very deep, and I recommend it as a fine companion for anyone who is embarking on a spiritual journey.
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