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The Art of Effortless Living Paperback – June 4, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A popular college professor who married a wealthy college beau, at 27 Bacci seemed to have it all. But her success suddenly vanished with the emergence of a nameless disease that stole her vitality and left her mysteriously incapacitated. For three years, she was treated by every doctor she could find, until she realized that healing would come only from inside herself. Leaving her marriage and career behind, Bacci embarked on a quest for self-transformation through meditation and yoga. Focusing primarily on bodywork, Bacci spends the bulk of this self-help manual teaching the "inner arts" that she asserts are not just neglected, but discouraged in our culture, "stifling the ultimate source of our sense of fulfillment." Examining a life spent doing rather than being, Bacci deftly describes addictions to fear and anxiety, which she says produce stress and its attendant ailments, from arthritis to cancer. She offers many suggestions for developing an alternative, "effortless" lifestyle, through breathing exercises, meditation and visualization, techniques for physical and emotional awareness, and connection to a higher self. Occasionally, Bacci implies that changing one's own viewpoint and behavior will magically change everyone and everything else as well. However, she skillfully presents the bodywork she's been performing with clients since the early 1980s and explains the philosophy behind it in calm, accessible prose with plenty of examples and exercises for cultivating "receptivity and non-resistance." (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Here is a Book of Changes—a profound and potent guide to making transformative shifts in body, mind and spirit. At once wise and passionate, The Art of Effortless Living offers state of the art knowledge and practice in the development of the inner life. The author’s journey from mainstream to deepstream presents a model for our own self-discovery. The result can only be new ways of being for self and society.” —Jean Houston, Ph.D., bestselling author of fifteen books, including The Possible Human and The Search for the Beloved


“This book contains a piece of essential wisdom—that by letting go we gain more, not less. Because most of us are obsessed with the idea of making things happen, we seriously need the lesson of The Art of Effortless Living.” —Larry Dossey, M.D., author ofReinventing Medicine and Healing Words


“Dr. Ingrid Bacci’s marvelously readable and immensely practical book shares decades of her own experience exploring and developing a wide range of ways of healing and enhancing health—physical, emotional and spiritual. I loved reading it, and continue to draw upon its resources of wisdom.” —Elaine Pagels, Ph.D., author of The Gnostic Gospels,The Origin of Satan, and Adam, Eve and the Serpent


“Bacci deftly describes addictions to fear and anxiety…She offers many suggestions for developing an alternative, ‘effortless’ lifestyle…She skillfully presents the bodywork she’s been performing with clients since the early 1980s and explains the philosophy behind it in calm, accessible prose.” —Publishers Weekly


“Along with profound as well as practical suggestions for healing, The Art of Effortless Living cultivates a confidence in the path of knowing, feeling, sensing, and releasing all that is in the way of our own healthy self-empowerment.” —Spirit of Change


"Ingrid Bacci eloquently describes the parallel lines of inner and outer healing.”—Peter J. D’Adamo, B.Sc., N.D., author of Eat Right 4 Your Type


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Books; Reprint edition (June 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399527931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399527937
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My life had the usual struggles at work and with relationships from family to the clerk at the Motor Vehicle Department. Those struggles began to change as I read Effortless Living. I began to look at my relationship to the issues that I struggled with. I found that what I was doing that wasn't working was being generated by who I was being. If I was being fearful then I my words or behavior were skewed by the fear that was partnering my experience. Ingrid's book isn't a "how to change" book - rather it's an invitation to become present to what is happening. The awareness that has grown in me during my reading of Effortless Living has transformed my ability to wake up to my repetitive behaviors, see who I'm being and allow transformation to enter my life. The most positive outcome has been letting go of a successful career in New York and moving to Maui to begin a new life that is in line with who I (and my family have grown to be). Like all great teachers, Dr. Bacci doesn't tell us how to be - she leads us to the threshold of our own mind.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Giuseppe C. HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I'll admit I'm a tough audience when it comes to popular self-help books. The themes are predictable, repetitious, derivative. So the value of the text largely comes down to a question of the author's rhetoric.
Though a practitioner of the Alexander technique, Bacci is open to numerous complementary systems, most particularly those Eastern views of self that emphasize "being" over "doing," that locate success and failure in personal consciousness, not in individual performance or in the products of the Western Puritanical work ethic. Through numerous engaging examples, illustrations, explanations she manages to be an effective and inspirational "coach-teacher." While making it clear that living effortlessly requires the effort of concentration and practice, she makes the goal seem both worth while and accessible.
Besides stressing and suggesting ways of heightening personal consciousness, Professor Bacci incorporates many elements from what used to be called "transactional analysis." Once we stop trying to prove our worth through our accomplishments, we can began to approach human relationships from a more mature, less exasperating perspective. More often than not, her points strike home. And when she comes up with an occasional lame illustration, she almost invariably follows it up with a real "zinger." I can attest that I felt energized and empowered after reading some of the chapters.
While Professor Bacci's approach strikes me as a valuable counterbalance to the present-day obsession with measuring success and failure in the materialist terms of society at large, the reader may at the same time feel compelled to qualify some of her own positions as extreme.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By beth grossman on August 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There are only a handful of books in my whole life that have made a significant difference-- causing a major shift - a growth spurt. A kind of book that as I read it and even after Im finished I must keep it with me at all times. THE ART OF EFFORTLESS LIVING is that kind of book.
It addressses Fear and identifies how we allow it to paralyze us in so many aspects of our life - work, relationships, health, etc. Dr. Bacci explains the significance of making friends with our Fear rather than having it be our enemy. Thus using Fear to our benefit - to live our lives effortlessly and to its fullest.
Dr. Bacci provides various exericises and techniques that actually result in the releasing of one's fears, thus living a life filled with energy and passion -- not anxiety.
Dr. Bacci's personal experience is incredibly inspiring in itself. As I reader - I feel fortunate she choose to share it. This book has made a major contribution to my life and to those who I have shared it with.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dear Reader to be: As I was reading The Art of Effortless Living, I was hoping it was true. That my life could be effortless. I have grown up struggling and striving to do right, be happy and just get through the daily requirements of life. Every page offered me new perspective as well as encouragement and suggested actions to move away from striving and toward what I like to call"gliding." Now that I've read this book: same life, same stuff, with more confidence, looseness, liveliness. Here are a couple of my favorite excerpts from this wonderful book: "It's the gap between who you are and who you want to be that gives you leverage. The essence of right living lies in believing that your life is so important and has so much promise that you ask more of yourself than anyone else would ask of you. Not because you want to prove yourself but because you want to be everything that you really can be." To be oneself " fully, openly, grandly and freely as possible." I do hope you order this book, enjoy absorbing it and then maybe you'll report in here about your new "effortless" life. (P.S. If I did have a big sister, I would hope she'd be just like this book.)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on August 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Blending scientific research and case histories from hundreds of clients she has helped, Dr. Bacci shows that the best way to handle stress, frustration and creative blocks is by focusing on relaxing mind and body. The prescription is so simple that you may be tempted to dismiss it--until you try it for yourself and discover that it works. Dr. Bacci makes a very convincing case that by doing less--by focusing on becoming peaceful and calm--you can actually achieve more, whether at work, in sports or in your personal relationships. You can become more effective and more productive while putting out less effort. It seems magical, however there are some very sound scientific principles at work. This is the first book I've come across that explains the science in clear, accessible language. The Art of Effortless Living is an important, inspiring and practical book, with easy-to-follow techniques listed at the end of every chapter. I read it at a time when I was working hard and feeling anxious and frustrated; overnight, with the help of Dr. Bacci's techniques, I learned a new, healthier and far more effective and pleasant way to handle life's challenges.
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