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The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom Hardcover


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The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom + The Bhagavad Gita (Classics of Indian Spirituality)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780553803983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553803983
  • ASIN: 0553803980
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Rod Stryker and The Four Desires

"…Deftly outlines the essence of the human condition and explains how to work with our desires—instead of against them—to find long-lasting happiness in both the material and spiritual realm…Stryker serves as a marvelous guide, one who teaches us not only how to progress on the path, but also how to light our own way. His writing is engaging and even entertaining…The Four Desires will give you a road map for your spiritual journey—and for the ups and downs of everyday life, too." —Yoga Journal

"A compelling and inspiring guide to finding happiness in every aspect of life….a gateway to a new level of fulfillment." —Yoga International

“Rod Stryker’s teachings have given me a whole new lens with which to see the world and my own potential; his teachings are sparks in a powder keg. My life has exploded with beauty, mystery and depth under his tutelage.” —Jennifer Nettles, Grammy award winner, songwriter, lead singer, Sugarland
 
The Four Desires is a provocative interactive workbook for living your best possible life. The end game here is to know your highest, most authentic self, and create a road map to living out your dreams. (Who wouldn’t want that?) Stryker is a masterful guide, and the journey he creates is fun—and abundantly fruitful.” —Kaitlin Quistgaard, editor-in-chief, Yoga Journal
 
“Rod Stryker is one of the truly bright lights of modern yoga. He connects to the sincere seeker’s heart, while his straight forward scholarship emboldens the mind. The Four Desires is an outstanding book, advancing the integrity and luster of modern yoga.” —John Friend, founder of Anusara yoga
 
The Four Desires is a rare accomplishment: a book of valuable, profound wisdom that is easy to learn from, live by, and love. I will be carrying a dog-eared copy of it for years.” —Mark Bryan, author of The Artist’s Way at Work
 
“For decades, Rod has led yoga practitioners on the path of inner and outer fulfillment. The Four Desires offers practical and profound teachings from which people of all backgrounds can benefit. It is a treasure that is destined to become a classic.” —Shiva Rea, creator of Prana Flow yoga

“Read The Four Desires slowly, savor its wisdom, and then do the exercises to help embody that wisdom. It will help you live your best life.” —Erich Schiffmann, author of YOGA: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness
 
Profound enough for the advanced practitioner yet accessible to anyone looking for guidance on their journey, The Four Desires is filled with the wisdom and authority of Rod Stryker’s years of practice, study, and teaching.” —Sally Kempton, author of Meditation for the Love of It
 
“Anyone seeking inner healing and lasting happiness must read this book.” —Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, chairman and spiritual head, Himalayan Institute
 
“Rod Stryker guides us to uncover the beauty, power, and purpose of our lives. This insight leads us to live more meaningfully and richly. This book is an incredible gift to have as both teacher and student, and I am excited to use it as a resource for my own continued growth and self-discovery.” —Seane Corn, yoga instructor, co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World
 

About the Author

Rod Stryker is the founder of ParaYoga®. Widely considered one of the preeminent yoga and meditation teachers in the United States, he has taught for more than thirty years. A longtime resident and teacher in Los Angeles, he now lives in Colorado with his wife, Gina, and their four children, Jaden, Theo, Asha, and Atreya.

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to make a true difference in their life.
Colorado MountainGirl
And just reading the book may help some people realize that THIS IS IT - this is the right moment to get serious about the direction of my life.
Kathryn Bennett
For those who are looking to create a life of purpose, this book is a helpful, practical and nurturing guide.
L. M. Keefer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By David Bennett VINE VOICE on June 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Stryker bases his book on four "desires" derived from the Hindu religion. They are dharma (the desire to fulfill your life's purpose), artha (the desire for means, such as money and security), kama (the longing for pleasure), and moksha (the desire for freedom and spiritual fulfillment).

Because most of the concepts were new to me, I found the book challenging, but satisfying. Basically, Stryker uses the "four desires" to help the reader find his or her purpose in life by identifying inner desires and fulfilling them. Starting with finding your overall purpose in life (your "Dharma Code"), Stryker then provides meditative exercises which guide readers to explore inside their minds, to develop more specific goals and aspirations. Exercises include "Forty-Eight Hours of Fearless Action" and "Relaxing Into Greatness." Sometimes what the rational mind thinks is one's life purpose (such as "make a lot of money") might conflict with what the entire self really wants from life. Fortunately Stryker provides ways to bypass the conscious mind and overcome mental obstacles. I should note that this is not a book about satisfying every selfish whim. "Desire" in Eastern philosophy is much more complicated than this, and the highest forms of desire are selfless.

The book made me reflect on my purpose in life. I never really thought about an overarching purpose before, and when I did, I tended to think of it as relating to my career or completing educational hurdles. His ideas got me thinking more deeply about my purpose in life and what hinders my own self-development. He strikes a balance between spirituality and science, and even though the book is largely Eastern in character, he includes Western wisdom too, including Biblical quotes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. CRADDOCK VINE VOICE on July 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book shows you how to find Dharma, Kama, Artha, and Moksha in your life, through meditation, yoga poses, and exercises that reveal what is in your heart, what your unique Dharma is, and how you can create the life you dream about.

Dharma is your purpose in life. It can be a career, or if you can't make a living from it yet are compelled to do it anyway, it could be a calling. Perhaps you will have to make a living another way to support yourself, but that will be all right because you are fulfilling your purpose in life.

Kama is pleasure, and that covers a lot of ground, like good food, love, happiness, and enjoyment of Art, Music, and Literature. Though you can overindulge or sometimes find that desire is infinite, and you can't really be satisfied, there is nothing wrong with pleasure if it is balanced with the other three desires. You don't have to completely ignore your desire to follow a spiritual path.

Artha is prosperity, but it is also the means to fulfill your other desires. It can be a job, income, shelter, food as fuel to keep going, air to breath, water to drink. It is also concerned with physical health. Whatever it takes to keep you going while you are fulfilling your higher purpose.

Moksha is called Freedom in the title to this book, but it is a kind of peace of mind, or Freedom from worry. It is a kind of detachment and acceptance of whatever happens, a contentment that you can feel in spite of your circumstances.

I enjoyed reading it, but now that I have finished reading it the real work begins. It seems very simple to meditate, but can I do it consistently every day? People read self-help manuals and make resolutions, but how many people follow through?
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Thomas P. Troyer VINE VOICE on June 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have read a number of self-help books and found that most of them were silly with the useless philosophy, "be happy and everything will be alright" or the author could have summed up anything worthwhile he had to say in a short pamphlet. Many of those books are also filled with incomprehensible Psyco Babble BS. This book is quite the opposite. Because I have studied eastern literature such as the Gita for many years and practiced meditation for about 40 years, I am very familiar with many of the ideas, terminology and techniques being taught in this book. The author's knowledge seems to be correct and his practices are both clear and useful. It is doubtful that there is a better book which really teaches life skills and ways to determine whether you are on the best path to be as sucessful and as happy as you can be. His lessons are based on the ancient teachings of the Vedas; his interpretations are easy to follow and in my opinion make sense.
The meditation (TM) that I practice is different from the ones presented in this book, but they do not conflict or take anything away from my practice... so if you already meditate this book will only enhance your knowledge. At age 63 and retired, some of the lessons in this book would have been much more helpful to me at a younger age but I still found many useful and some were life changing for me. The lesson to determine my life work (direction)was a bit late for me since I long ago found myself on "my" perfect path (work). But the exercises to help me determine why some of my desires were not being fulfilled were incredible. I have already noticed changes for the better in my life with a few very simple exercises.If you practice the ideas in the book "The Secret", you might find "The Four Desires" helpful as well.
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