on January 11, 2002
I received this book as a gift, and have to say that I was a bit skeptical. I've read the Power of Now, and thought it was quite wonderful - but had no idea how to get to this amazing place that Eckhart was describing. Now I do.
Present Moment Awareness, when combined with the focus tool, is nothing short of powerful and truly life changing. Instead of talking about all sorts of goody-goody stuff and trying to make himself some kind of a guru, this author shows that anyone can free themselves and become more and more "enlightened". Nobody is or can be more than a human being, and recognizing this can set you free!
Why suffer and toil through life, when you (or anyone for that matter) can flow through it. Shannon stated that "life can be less of a struggle and more of a pleasure when you learn what it means to be present in the moment." I've found for myself that this is very, very true.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~Theodore Roosevelt
The entire concept of "Present Moment Awareness" is based on a desire for peace or perhaps is as ancient as the "taking no thought for tomorrow" concept.
While distorting experiences are sure to evade your peaceful space, it might not be as difficult to pull back and observe what is occurring as you might think. There is a moment when you are so consumed in the moment it can devour you. This book is not about being consumed by the moment, but rather watching the moment pass by.
It is amazing that people often feel as if they always need to be doing something, as if to escape their thoughts or the reality of their situation. They find it difficult to genuinely relax and enjoy moments in their life because they feel an certain "level of dissatisfaction" with their lives. Many times they are limited by their past failures or threatened by the thought of failure in the future, otherwise known as "worry." This worry then limits our potential to experience good.
Shannon Duncan encourages us to live our life with a "relaxed confidence." He explains how humans want to be valued, noticed, understood, respected and loved. When our perception is distorted, we can have a different version of reality.
"When your perspective on life shifts, changes in your feelings and behavior will naturally follow suit. Your life can become less of a struggle and more of a pleasure when you learn what it means to be present in the moment." ~Shannon Duncan
You are still allowed to have emotions, but they are "observed" and not taken as seriously. You "pass through the dissatisfaction."
This book will encourage you to:
Let go of the mental static
Decrease your inner turbulence
Just "Be" in the moment
Let go of daydreams and worries
Release overwhelming emotions
Shift your Perception
Stop being tense and emotionally reactive
Stop creating your own emotional suffering
Cease pointless wrestling with circumstances beyond your control
Realize your dreams
Focus on the good in your life
Improve communication with those around you
This book is part of a program and you might want to order the "Focus Tool." At first I couldn't figure out what this was until I saw a picture on the back flap of the cover. It is a waking alarm clock that has vibrating or audible alerts, perhaps like a beeper. There are various exercises you do when the beeper goes off. These change throughout the book, but all are to bring you back to the present moment.
Perhaps the best way to enjoy the moment is not to be worried about your eternal destiny. This was not discussed and I think it is crucial to being able to live a worry-free existence. This is not a religious book however as James Baldwin once said: "If you're afraid to die, you will not be able to live."
May you find the peace only God can give while you live in the present moment.
~The Rebecca Review
on July 31, 2002
This is a good one!
I had just finished The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle (which I reviewed favorably here), when this book came into my hands. I could say many of the same things about it that I said about Mr. Tolle's book. There are a few differences, but the basic message is the same: right Now is where all life occurs. The past is finished and cannot be changed, and its main function is to enable us to use the wisdom gained there to make our choices Now. The future is not yet here, and is not predestined. Our choices, which we can only make right Now have a dynamic effect on what the future will hold. All actions, choices and changes are made in the immediate Now. Everything that was ever done was done in a Now.
The other message which (Mr.) Shannon Duncan teaches is the importance of examining the beliefs and prejudices you hold.
As Dr. Robert Anthony said, "If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?" Or, Ludwig Borne's statement, "Getting rid of a delusion makes us wiser than getting hold of a truth." But perhaps Henry Ford got more directly to the point when he said, "He can who thinks he can and he can't who thinks he can't. This is an inexorable, indisputable law."
We have all heard people say things like, "I've never been good at math." And so, of course, they are not good at math. And those who say, "I've always loved to paint" are usually proficient at painting. Such preconceptions and thoughts are a powerful form of self-suggestion, or self-hypnosis, if you wish.
What if you examined your self-assessment and your beliefs about what you can and cannot do for their objective accuracy? Will the negative assessments stand up to close scrutiny? What objective evidence is there that suggests their accuracy?
This is the kind of thing this book is about, together with some relatively simple exercises to help you achieve inner peace.
Like The Power of Now, the refreshing thing about this book is not that it contains any wisdom not previously available--for those conversant with Eastern wisdom, many of these observations are "old hat," but the Vedas, the writings of the Buddhists, and the Tao are so filled with Eastern jargon and nomenclature that it makes the lessons found there hard to assimilate for a Westerner. The refreshing thing about this book is that it was written in plain English by a contemporary Westerner--and written very well indeed, I might add. It is extremely easy to understand, and the exercises are relatively easy to accomplish with any investment of effort at all.
I recommend this book highly; especially to those souls who are unnerved by their chattering minds, and whose own thoughts of remorse over past actions or fears of the future are causing them mental anguish.
You will find peace here, if you read this book, take it to heart, and practice the author's exercises.
author of The Road to Damascus and other books
on July 25, 2002
Very enlightening. The focus of this book can only help
anyone who cares about their well being.
I am 64 years old with a favorable past and many
pleasant life experiences and accomplishments. However,
constant reminders of those not so good times and the
uncertainty of the future has made for a difficult mind
set. My son referred this book to me and I have to say
it has made a significant difference in dealing with
past issues and future concerns.
Today is what life is all about. This book with it's concepts
and examples allows the reader to focus on what is important
in life and how to accomplish that objective in a simple and
practical way. Very highly recommended reading.
on November 18, 2002
I required students in my high school class to read Present Moment Awareness because of its simplicity and relevance to everyday life. The book provided me with tools to cope with fear, stress, uncertainty, and emotional turbulance and I immediately saw the value for young people. The response was tremendous. One student even asked his mother, who he described as "stressed out", to read the book. He was certain it would help her find the balance he had achieved. I encourage you to not only read the book and practice the exercises for present moment awareness, but also to share this valuable resource to the young people in your life.
on September 12, 2003
As a writer and a long time scholar of philosophy, spirituality and religion, I feel compelled to share my thoughts on this particular book.
A friend of mine had been begging me to read it for some time. She wanted to be able to discuss her experiences in practicing what Mr. Duncan had prescribed. I'll admit that I was never really interested. The volume is quite slim, and looked like any other pop-spirituality / pop-self help book. She persisted and so I set aside an evening to read it. That evening of reading turned into a full week of reading and rereading and practicing. I've not been so pleasantly surprised by a book in a very, very long time.
Initially I took the lack of pages to mean a lack of content. Not so! The genius of this work is Mr. Duncan's ability to take large and often complicated psychological and spiritual concepts, bring them together and then make them succinct and easily digestible. As a non-fiction writer, this is one of the hardest things there is to do. Without a doubt he understands what he is writing about, down to his bones, or he could never put in plain words these teachings as he has. Most other authors would have taken four or five times the number of words to attempt to explain exactly the same concepts and ideas.
This is not just a guide for beginners, but for everyone. I see this book as a manual for getting anyone's feet squarely on (or back on) the path of greater self awareness and thus greater present moment awareness. Slipping off of that path is entirely too easy in the midst of all the random teachings and ideas floating around today.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
on September 7, 2002
For all of us who've ever felt we were being pulled nine different directions simultaneously like a many-headed hydra, there are times when we feel that we just can't go on any further. If we encounter just one more interruption, distraction, or frustration -- we'll snap. Sometimes after we've snapped, we later wish we had somehow managed to hold ourselves together just a little bit better.
If the above feeling is all-too-familiar to you, you are in for a big treat when you read Shannon Duncan's book, PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS. Designed to be a guide to developing awareness of living in this moment of "now", PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS is straightforward enough for anyone to quickly begin to master some powerful meditative tools. Written simply enough for any beginner to understand, yet packed with enough truth to resonate even for life-long meditators, this book truly has something for everyone.
I felt tremendously soothed as I read this book and did the exercises in it. PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS offers the reader a very special and visceral sense of peace as one remembers simple things, like how to be gentle with oneself -- even in the midst of chaos. This is a very healing book for anyone who is undergoing stressful changes, and everyone who encounters stress in their daily lives.
on September 29, 2002
received the Power of Now (by Eckhart Tolle) and Present Moment Awareness as a gift several months ago. The recommendation was to read Present Moment Awareness first, and then to read The Power of Now.
Present Moment Awareness was an awesome, very real world account of what it means to be present and peaceful, and a very eye opening look at how often we (I) live mired in fantasies and suffering.
The Power of Now then not only built upon the tools that Present Moment Awareness had given me, but showed the great possibilities open to me as I grow in my ability to stay present.
Honestly, this combination of books moved and empowered me in a way that no other book(s) have ever been able to do.
I will be giving both of these as gifts this holiday season to everyone I care about. I highly recommend that you give yourself and anyone you love the same.
"Present Moment Awareness" defines the philosophy of not allowing the past nor the future affect your enjoyment of life today. Not only does the author present the tenets of "Present Moment Awareness" but also walks the reader through a series of exercises and techniques designed to help you achieve that state. The bottom line of living in the present moment means that emotional baggage from your past and/or concerns about the future are not allowed to destroy your bliss of the present. If you want to achieve peace and bliss in your life "Present Moment Awareness" is one of the best ways. Too much time is spent thinking about things that occurred in our past or worrying about what might happen in the future. In concentrating on our past or future we lose the time that is passing by right now. Once the present is gone it is the past. The only time we really have to choose how we will live is the present. The past is gone, the future not here yet, so live in the present, which is the only place you ever really live.
A great book to help anyone learn to accept life and live for today, it is a highly recommended read.
on August 16, 2002
Finally a reference material that has helped me cope with some issues. I've been going through a lot lately - lay offs, moving, unable to find work, etc. and life seems pretty stressful. I find myself in constant mental anguish about this or that and am unable to concentrate on any one thing or to simply enjoy activities.
A friend recommended this book to me and I'm so glad that he did. Mr. Duncan has provided me realistic tools to slow down or stop, understand what's going on around me and to enjoy living for that moment. Over the last couple of weeks I've felt better about my current situations and have come to realize that there is pleasurable opportunities in everyday living and activities.
Thank you Mr. Duncan for such a powerful tool. I would highly recommend this everyone - not just people who seem to be in crisis. Also, I've read several other books of a similar nature - such as the Power of Now but nothing has had such an impact as Present Moment Awareness.
Run out and get yourself a copy AND the kit NOW!