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on January 18, 2009
I read about a number of meditation techniques before finding this book. One of the interesting methods I found is inspirational reading. It appeals to me because I wanted something that seemed more substantial than using a simpler approach such as mindfulness or focusing on an object. Easwaran's approach combines inspirational reading with two other forms of meditation: passage meditation and the use of a mantram. The title is a little misleading because the book covers more than passage meditation. Still, it is an excellent book. The eight parts of Easwaran's approach fit together well. I also like the fact that his methods can be fit to one's religion.

Easwaran's book is not an overview of the many methods of meditation. If that is what you are looking for, I can recommend two books. One is Meditation: The Complete Guide by Patricia Monaghan and Eleanor Viereck. The other is The Meditative Mind by Daniel Goleman. If you want reading on dealing with problems in life, I suggest the books of Albert Ellis especially A Guide to Rational Living.
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on September 27, 2010
I have been meditating using Easwaran's Eight Point Program for about a year, and I have attended a retreat where I met numerous individuals who have used this program for years and even decades. There is no doubt in my mind that Easwaran's insights into the mind and the spirit are genuine, and that his program is a powerful tool for becoming a better person, and for ultimately reaching life's supreme goal: the realization of the unity of all things.
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on October 24, 2008
This book has literally changed my life when I read it (the previous edition) 7 years ago when I was taking course in meditation based on his teachings at UC Berkeley.

In Easwaran's method of passage meditation, you choose spiritual texts or passages that embody your highest ideals, memorize them, then send them deep into consciousness through slow, sustained attention. Over time, the ideals in the passages become part of your life, part of who you are. This meditation method fits with any religious or nonreligious philosophy - counselors, yoga teachers, health professionals, and educators recommend it with confidence to their clients and students. Easwaran is an experienced teacher who offers clear instructions, points out the pitfalls, and conveys the deep joy, security, and selfless energy that regular practice can bring.
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on March 29, 2011
Twenty years ago, I picked up an earlier edition of Passage Meditation because I wanted to know what meditation was all about. This book fulfilled that wish and much more. It presents an eight-point program for daily practice, including meditation on inspirational passages drawn from many of the world's great wisdom traditions.

This practice has given me practical tools to live life to the fullest. It has helped me deal with negative habits of thought and behavior in an artful way. It has given me a purpose in life greater than my own self-centered goals, and the means to work toward it. This purpose is inclusive of all the important aspects of life: including family, work, religion, relationships, recreation, education, culture and citizenship. It asks us to start where we are, not to leave our family or professional contexts, but to thrive within them; not to change our religion, take up another religion, or necessarily have any religion at all.

The core of the presentation is training the mind, a most valuable life lesson. When we are able to control our thinking process, slow it down and focus our attention, we have more clarity and better judgment. We have a more positive outlook on life and a greater capacity to thrive ourselves and to work with others to make the world a better place. This new edition has a wonderful new preface, but it is essentially the same time-tested text that has changed the lives of thousands of people around the world.
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on November 11, 2013
Before buying this book, I read the entire thing for free on [...] devouring it in about a week.

It is so clear and practical that I was able to start practicing the disciplines described in the book right away. Even before getting to the end of the second chapter, on the mantram, I had chosen a mantram and was repeating it as often as possible. When I visited my parents a couple weeks later, for the first time in years I was able to restrain harsh words from coming from my mouth at my father--just by the repetition of the mantram.

A few weeks later I started meditating, and, unlike with other meditation practices, I have been able to stick with it for the past few years without missing a day.

I bought the book when I wanted to read it a second time, and discovered that there is an inspirational introduction, also by Easwaran. It includes a description of how he "discovered" the eight-point program of passage meditation: "In meditation I found a deep connection between the wisdom in those passages and the way I conducted myself throughout the day."

Now I'm going to retreats given by the BMCM in Tomales and reading the blog with meditation tips on, but I still reread Passage Meditation regularly, finding new insights and practical tips every time. About time I write this review!
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on February 14, 2011
I am not certain that one kind of meditation is any more useful than another... but Eknath's passage meditation has been for me the easiest to stick to. And I think that is the real point, to consistently attempt to quiet and focus the mind. It's a lifelong process, and he explains his method well and provides convincing arguments for it's usefulness. I've been doing it for more than two years now, with a few breaks, and I feel like it's given me better control over my mind and better discipline overall. Could be said for anything done consistently, but for me, passage meditation has done the trick.
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on March 27, 2011
In the passage meditation book Sri Eknath Easwaran gives a lofty goal in daily living and then in very simple and practical manner tells us how to get there. Before I read this book I never thought that I could sustain a daily meditation practice. This book has given me a purpose and positive direction in life. Each chapter offers a very practical tool that can be applied in daily living to overcome our impediments and to thrive on the challenges that life offers us.
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on September 9, 2011
This book was inspiring, and exactly what I wanted. A practical, yet mystical guide into the deeper interior ways of the soul.
I recommend it highly.
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on May 24, 2014
Desire to change your life? Want to become a more spiritual person? Consider reading this fascinating book and putting some of its recommendations into practice. Passage Meditation lays out Easwaran's eight point program on how to meditate. The author suggests that to become enlightened, we need to focus on inspired texts and passages. You can select passages within your own religious tradition, learn from traditions different than your own, or choose something non religious if that is your fancy. The key is selecting a mantra or passage for oneself (such as the prayer of St. Francis) and then repeating it slowly, and letting the passage change your life.

I love the simply practicality and grace with which Easwaran writes. His several works are brilliant, counter cultural, and he invites us to slow down our lives, and be mindful of the books we read and the movies we watch. It brings to mind a phrase I once heard; thoughts lead to actions, actions lead to behavior, behaviors lead to character, character leads to destiny.

Highly recommended. You will not be disappointed.
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on February 7, 2013
Having read two other books by Eknath Easwaran; "Seeing With the Eyes of Love" and "Words to Live By" I would rate this book third. There were some very good points, especially about not rushing your practice at first but limiting your meditation time to no more than half hour, and the importance of the mantram. When he writes about saying your mantram prior to stressful situations (like surgery) I found it to be very valuable. The author convinced me of the importance of memorization of favorite prayers, Psalms, and other spiritual materials.

For those with a Christian background a book I discovered years ago, "The Light Within" by Laurence Freeman has become my mini- bible. I've read it over and over again.

Hope this review is helpful to other seekers out there. We are all on the same journey.
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