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Meditation For Dummies Paperback – March 4, 1999

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Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika by B. K. S. Iyengar
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Editorial Reviews Review

"To tell you the truth, you can learn the basics of meditation in five minutes," asserts Stephan Bodian, meditation instructor, psychotherapist, and former editor-in-chief of Yoga Journal. You can also study meditation for years, exploring its subtleties. Meditation for Dummies is a simple, clear introduction to the basics of meditation, including an overview of dozens of techniques, practices, and specific meditations, plus direction for going deeper. You get step-by-step instructions for a variety of meditations, including body position, mental concentration, where to put your attention, what to contemplate or notice, physical movements, and breathing. A nice touch is the recurring "traditional wisdom": ancient stories or anecdotes that make a point. This book is useful whether you want the nuts and bolts for getting started in the next minute or you want to dip your mind into different practices and philosophies. Nothing is too elementary to explain: "how to sit up straight--and live to tell about it," what to wear, dealing with fear and self-judgment, and what to do when you get "stuck." You also get plenty of information about the benefits and varieties of meditation. You're bound find and develop a practice that feels right for you. --Joan Price

From Library Journal

Absurd as it may seem, the publishers of the immense "...for Dummies" series have now produced a beginner's guide to meditation written by the former editor-in-chief of Yoga Journal, and this entry is as clearly written, carefully organized, sensible, and un-self-serious as all the others. Bodian's years of experience as a writer and teacher have served him well here, as have the presentation skills of the publisher. This handy manual will be consulted and re-read in secret as much as its more technical predecessors. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: For Dummies
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (March 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764551167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764551161
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,253,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

261 of 266 people found the following review helpful By on June 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This eloquent, insightful book thoroughly explores the simple yet subtle art of meditation. While user-friendly like all of the titles in the For Dummies series, it's also written with a wisdom born of the author's many years of direct experience as a meditator and teacher. Meditation For Dummies covers a range of subjects with humor and grace, from basic instructions to the discovery of our most profound spiritual depths.
In Part 1 Bodian clariifes what meditation is (and isn't) and offers a number of compelling reasons to adopt this "advanced technology for the mind and heart." He also traces the historical roots of meditation and describes the important foundations of motivation, attitude, and beginner's mind, which ensure a fruitful practice. "Ultimately, the great meditation teachers advise that the best attitude to take toward meditation is an open mind, completely free from all preconceptions and expectations," Bodian explains. "One of my first meditation teachers, Zen master Shunryu Suzuki, calls this beginner's mind -- and he counsels that the goal of meditation is not to accumulate knowledge, learn something new, or achieve some special state of mind, but simply to maintain this fresh, uncluttered perspective."
In Part 2, the author covers the basics of meditation practice, including pointers on posture and preparing for meditation, as well as a chapter on opening the heart and cultivating compassion. In Part 3, entitled "Trouble-shooting and Fine-tuning," he offer sage advice on developing the right relationship with troubling thoughts, feelings and sensations.
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152 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Adam Khan VINE VOICE on December 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
There are an incredible number of books on meditation, but this one is the largest collection of information on the subject I've ever seen, from the most broad perspective. Bodian is a Buddhist, but he covers many other kinds of meditation in an unbiased way. And he tells you step-by-step how to do them. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and the only helpful thing I didn't cover in my book was how to meditate, even though meditation is valuable, scientifically-validated, and good for your health, both psychological and physical. It wasn't necessary to write about it because so many good books have been written, and Bodian's is the most complete. This is a practical handbook anyone can use to learn to meditate, delivered in an interesting, easily-accessible format. I recommend it highly.
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86 of 87 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I never thought I'd write that a book with "for dummies" in the title was one of the most interesting and thorough books I've ever read, but Mr. Bodian's work definitely deserves high praise. As he says in his own review above, this book's title is a misnomer, anyway. It should be something like "Meditation for Just About Anyone/Everyone".
This book is so thorough and well thought out that it is hard to imagine anyone who is interested in learning more about meditation not discovering something of value regardless of what sparked that interest in the first place. In fact, should someone with NO interest in meditation happen to pick it up, I think they would "discover" an interest in it. It's that well done.
The reader will find information on "how-to", applications in everyday life, the history of meditation, references to other resources and much more. All that is missing is someone to do the meditation for you!
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
I meditated for hours a day for twelve years earlier in my life. I wish I had had this book! Sometimes a few pieces of simple information can make all the difference, helping you through a blind spot or a thorny hedge that's in your way. This book worked this way for me, and I highly recommend you check it out!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Nata on November 30, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books on meditation. The author is taking a very unbiased approach, and puts a lot of emphasis on the essense of meditation rather than form. He gives a lot of practical advice for beginners and experienced meditators, and shows different methods and techniques, emphasizing that it's not really the method and technique that matters - choose whatever appeals to you and works for you - what's important is the personal transformation you go through, the state of mind you reach. He compares different meditations to different pathways up the same mountain of self discovery and inner peace.
As a beginner I wanted a book that would step by step explain what meditation is all about, and how I start meditating myself. This is exactly what this book does, and much more!
If you then want to go on and read more about any specific tradition/school, or find a technic for a very specific spiritual or other purpose, go ahead! This book opens the door into the wonderful realm of personal understanding and growth. But you don't have to associate yourself with any religion or school to master the art of meditation and discover the love, joy, compassion and Truth within you, and that's exactly what this books allows you to do. Wonderful! Wholeheartedly recommended!
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