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Quiet Mind: A Beginner's Guide to Meditation
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2010
Abe Lincoln once said that: "We are just about as happy as we allow ourselves to be.". This little book explores the same idea, reminding readers that the mental attitude of tranquility, requires steady discipline and practice. For a long while, I thought meditation was about the release from the "static" of one's own thought, good and bad. But the author in her selections, reminded me that meditation is more about attaining a lighter and accepting attitude towards them. There is a difference. Susan Piver provides a kind and gentle reminder that we can learn to become the change we seek...in ourselves and in the world. For this alone, her work is a both a beginner's....and a Buddhist master might say, a master's....thesis on how to approach this goal.

The book is accompanied by a CD...which elucidates six practices culled by the author from Buddhist experience: mindfulness, tranquility, clear seeing, freedom, compassion, and transformation. It's a good review for those experienced in meditation, and a great introduction for the curious.
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100 of 107 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2009
I am grateful for becoming re-acquainted with the meditative techniques in A Quiet Mind. They are, altogether a blessing. As a Christian, I am not a Buddhist by religion, nor can anyone claim that simply by jumping into the stream of meditation, although I do accept many, many theories which they hold sacred. When I began this meditation cd, I found the first three practices slightly uncomfortable; sensations arose in my body. When negative emotions arise, I am now aware that I must face them with a brave heart before they can be transformed. Yet I am also sometimes quite able to sit comfortably, and sit peacefully and transform negative emotions or memories through a process such as tong len or clear seeing. When thoughts arise, in training the mind, "thinking, thinking, thinking," I simply step into the stream and feel peaceful again as if a cloud has passed the river of consciousness. During the second meditation, paying attention to the natural flow of the breath as well as non-judgmental thinking helps to lead us to liberation.
I particularly enjoyed the Metta meditation which helped enable me to forgive. The favorite is Tong Len. The flow of the breath through my body seems to be a sort of transformation. Once I have completed the practice, I feel liberated of any negative emotions and compassionate, as if someone has opened a window to my heart and soul.
The Dalai Llama said: if one is seriously practicing, then one must not practice only for his/her own gain, but for the gain of all sentient beings without one exclusion.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2011
I looked all over for a good book on meditation and I found this at my local library. Since then, I have given it as a gift to three different people and will continue to gift it. The introduction dispells many common misunderstandings about eastern meditation practices and sets the mood perfectly. Each of the six teachers gives a concise and illuminating explanation of the method and goals of their practice and the CD that is included is great for your first few times until you get the hang of it. Also, you don't have to be Buddhist to enjoy and practice these methods of meditation and you don't have to like all six practices! Just choose one or two that make sense to you! And the Yoga lesson at the end of the CD is perfect for getting you in the right frame of mind for a good 20 to 30 minute session.
Personally, I do a little yoga, set a timer for 20-25 minutes, and light some incense before my practice. I sit in my favorite position and open with a five minute Metta practice (explained in this book) then settle in to Vipassana (also in this book) until the timer goes off. This accomplishes three things for me. It expands my feelings of good will toward people in my life, helps me learn to be in and enjoy the present no matter what it is, and helps me really intimately know myself. Additionally, I get to experience moments of joy and clarity.
Highly recommended!!!
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I've always wanted to try meditation and thought the variety of teaching and teachers would make it interesting. Indeed. Even though the CD totaled 78 minutes, it went by like a...breeze, especially for me, a busy-spark-minded beginner. The yoga poses/recording is immensely helpful for a non-yoga practitioner too. I felt refreshed and relaxed after this CD. Now I am ready for the day! The wisdom in this small book is helpful as well.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A comaprison of different forms of meditation. Zen, Vipassana, etc. Very nice intro with guided meditations. Helpful for someone like me who is not sure which path to follow.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2013
I have been wanting to practice meditation for a long time. Didn't have much idea as how to start. Bought this book to get some enlightenment on the topic and it has served me well. First, I read all of the book and the introductions to each type of meditation. Then I listened and tried to follow each meditation (one different meditation each day). There were some that I didn't find so interesting when reading about them, but more compelling once I sat down and practiced them with the CD. The book is really a basic introduction to each type of meditation, however, it's value lays in the fact that it allows you to try several different types and find the one that suits you most (though I should confess that I am thorn in between three). If you are wondering where to start this book is perfect for you.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2011
This book and CD were easy to read and listen to. I loved being able to read about various meditiation philosophies and then try the one that seemed to fit me.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 7, 2009
I purchased this book/cd today and already have found it of very great use. Just having the voices available of several teachers I have benefitted from in other books is a call for me to sit again... and I know that I will, with these meditation teachers as skillful guides...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2012
I am new to meditation, and this book is exactly what I was looking for. It gives an introduction to many different techniques, by master teachers and practitioners.

Each technique is explained simply and clearly. I like this because it gives me a real flavor for what meditation is about, in its varieties.

The book alone would have been great, but the CD is a wonderful bonus. You can use it to learn from a master, and to meditate every day.

This product is a bargain for the price. I would easily pay twice the Amazon price for this book and CD instruction.

Note, however, that the size of this book is quite small - the books is not much bigger than the CD, and just 128 pages. Each of the sessions on the CD is around 10 minutes.

If you want more info about why meditation is so beneficial, I can't recommend the following book enough. It has been life-changing for me: Train Your Brain....Engage Your Heart....Transform Your Life: A Course in Attention & Interpretation Therapy (AIT).

If you like the shamatha meditation approach - seems like a great one to start with - also check out Susan Piver's web site for links to her free videos of guided meditation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2013
Excellent. Guides are non-intrusive and compel the listener to continue after the guided session. Also provides ample material to start a mediation on one's own, and to design and maintain a practice.
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