55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2008
Stephan Bodian, author of the popular Meditation for Dummies and co-author of Buddhism for Dummies offers his most lucid, subtle and eloquent writing to date in Wake Up Now. This is the best guide to the "pathless path" of genuine nondual spiritual awakening that I know of - written by someone who clearly knows the terrain first-hand. It is a particularly valuable pointer for the growing numbers of serious seekers and finders in the west who have had significant spiritual glimpses or awakenings yet have been puzzled by the complexity of the process and the persistence of residual psychological conditioning. Bodian deftly lays out five stages of awakening: seeking, awakening, deepening and clarifying awakening, embodiment and living the awakened life. He devotes several chapters to the nuances and challenges of the post-awakening process, breaking new ground in the process. I don't know of any other book that does this with such clarity. In addition to being a spiritual teacher in his own right who has been mentored by several of the best - Jean Klein and Adyashanti - Bodian is a licensed psychotherapist. This unusual and highly useful blend of direct spiritual illumination and keen psychological insight and experience has led to something entirely new in the spiritual literature. So often awakening is portrayed as the highest spiritual realization. With Wake Up Now we understand that awakening is actually the beginning of another phase of maturation - one that embraces the full multidimensionality of the human experience. Bodian is a first-class writer as well. The prose shines and the inclusion of periodic "breath and reflect" exercises within the chapters and Q & A sections at the end of most of them further engages the reader. This subversive book can undermine your self/world view and guide you to an authentic embodied awakening. I highly recommend it!
- John J. Prendergast, Ph.D. (senior editor of The Sacred Mirror and Listening from the Heart of Silence)
72 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2008
As I read this wonderful book, I reflected that there just hasn't been such a book up to now. Books on awakening generally fall into one of two categories: they aren't really about awakening, but some kind of New Age fantasy like "awakening the chakras," or they are the words of someone who is supposedly awakened and is mildly frustrated that you, the reader, haven't yet realized what they have realized. How helpful is it, really, for someone to keep asking you "who is thinking that thought?" It may work in person, as you receive the teacher's transmission, but in a book... Can any other readers relate?
Stephan Bodian, on the other hand, quite brilliantly demystifies the whole process of awakening. After reading the book you will feel that your own personal awakening is accessible, and you may even be inspired to move your attention in that direction. And if you're not, Stephan will at least clarify for you why you find yourself resisting your own dissolution, in ways that are non-shaming. He has obviously "walked the walk," and is describing a territory he knows well, AND he is an ordinary, humble human being dealing with the same messy challenges we all face.
Read this book.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2008
I found this book extremely useful. The language is clear and easily accessible which is remarkable because that clear language identified my deepest experiences and then pointed me towards deeper water. The book comes with a warning and I think that is apt as this text is dynamite for blowing away everything you might think of yourself as and leaving you with a clear experience of who (or what) you are. If you want to wake up now, I definitely recommend it.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2008
Like many people, I have often felt "stuck" in ego, with its painful patterns of reactivity. I still feel this way, but now with a significant difference. The following excerpt had a strange effect on me, as if without knowing it I'd always had a pair of eyes inside me that remained closed. When I read these words, the eyes opened. "The ego is not your enemy, it's a dedicated general in what it perceives to be the battle called life...You could say that the ego is the screenwriter, director, producer, and star in the movie called Life, but none of it has anything to do with you. When you step out of the film into the clear light of reality...the love that you are ultimately embraces the ego as a devoted servant that has mistakenly assumed the role of master. In reality, it's just a function or mechanism without any substantial or abiding reality." While I've read many books, this is the first amazon review I've written, as I feel this book stands out in the sometimes confusing spiritual marketplace of today. To me, it's worth its weight in gold.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2008
I have been a student of the dharma for many years and currently, Stephan is my teacher. His teachings are a beautiful amalgam of the scholarly and erudite, the poetic and eloquent, and most importantly, they are clear and simple. The deep silence that envelops "all that is" is powerfully apparent in Stephan and his teachings. This man is the "real deal", humble, authentic and fiercely dedicated to truth. I highly recommend this elegantly written book.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2008
Wake Up Now is an excellent, no nonsense, clear exposition of the path to enlightenment with the path being enlightenment so there's not a long way to go, more a turning around. This book is devoid of a lot of stuff to believe in but full of what to do to become aware of who you are we are I am of what is this. Bodian made me feel like it's not hopeless, not hard, not something for others but waiting for me for you for us to just open the dharma eye and see the truth which has always been. I love Advaita Zen and this is it.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2008
There is a new way of awakening that is happening to human beings outside the confines of traditional teachings and institutions, and there are few teachers skillful enough or experienced enough to guide seekers along this pathless path. Stephen Bodian is one of them. As far as this way of awakening can be described and mapped, Stephen does an excellent job. For those who are ernest about true awakening and post awakened life, "Wake Up Now" is an essential guide book.
Stephen spent his life searching for the truth and finally found it where it always is. He studied and trained with great teachers in Zen, Advaita Vedanta, and Mahamudra. He is a trained and experienced psychotherapist. He spent a number of years as editor of Yoga Journal. Finally, his search ended with Adyashanti, a very skillful and iconoclastic Zen teacher. Adya asked Stephen to teach and this book is Stephen's teaching gift to us. I highly recommend it to those beginning the search, those half-way along the path to no-where, and those who are "done." Thank you, Stephen, for this gift of grace.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2008
From soup to nuts, Stephan serves up a gourmet feast on awakening. This book is as practical as it is profound, and is just as meaningful for someone just beginning to question what life is all about to dealing with what happens after one awakens. The section on exploring the difference between progressive paths and and a path of being helped me to see why, I had experienced so many years of suffering on the pillow, and in spiritual community. My experience from reading Stephan's book was as if someone had lifted a hundred pound weight off of me, as I felt what I had been doing in the name of spirituality for so many years. I had unconsciously begun with the belief that if I fixed my personality, did spiritual practices and rituals for hours a day, lived a life of service maybe this life I might progress to be a bit more enlightened. Stephan's book showed me that there is ultimately no I to enlighten...we just don't know it. When I live as if an I is real, there is great potential for suffering. Wake up Now gave me wonderful invitations to explore the nature behind all the "I" business. I found Stephan's warnings to be true. Reading Wake Up Now can cause you to be forever changed, more and more moments of not knowing and spontenaity, and less and less identification with an ego, who's very existance is challenged. What is this that is reading this review anyway?
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2008
Wake Up Now
I found Stephen's new book, Wake Up Now, a delightful and easy to read presentation of what awakening actually is. It's rare to find so clear a presentation that addresses the myths that surround enlightenment, and Stephen has done an excellent job noting and speaking to them. He demonstrates a profound insight into meditation not as a state that we are to achieve, but as our natural condition that is already present, and I don't think that this can be stated enough. I think this book will be a helpful read for all who desire a direct pointer to waking up in the midst of life.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2009
I've been on the spiritual path for about a decade and a half. I've looked into everything from Buddhism to Hinduism to Paganism to Gnosticism. I mean, really, you name it I've at least studied it. No matter how much I read or how much I learned, I kept running into spiritual walls because something always felt a bit off. If I had a true nature that was the very essence of my body and soul, then why would I have to work so hard to discover it? Why was I expected to follow the breath, which always meant nothing to me? Why was I expected to chant mantras and keep my eyes in an awkward angle in hopes of awakening my third eye?
It just seemed like a lot of hard work to simply be what I always was. I felt that it was simply a matter of letting go of my illusions and expectations. This book helped me explore what I always knew to be true. It is simple and short, true, but if you allow the message of the book to really sink in, I'm sure you will get as much out of it as I did. perhaps even more.