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An Extraordinary Absence: Liberation in the Midst of a Very Ordinary Life Paperback – October 1, 2009
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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I received, "An Extraordinary Absence" yesterday and finished it today. I had been a seeker (mostly as a Zen Buddhist) since about 1988. I have read many books on Buddhism and spirituality and while they all had some value, none of them came so close to putting Truth into words. The other books were also like band-aids; temporary things to make you feel better, but nothing that so drastically changed your core beliefs and permanently affected how you live life.
It's been only a month since I first heard Jeff talk on the internet and I just finished his book today, but he has already changed me in a fundamental and wonderful way. I cannot imagine how many more years of useless seeking he has saved me.
*** These are the words I needed to hear since I began my search ***
and they are words that no one else has said. If this had been my first book on spirituality, maybe I could have saved two decades of futility. Then again, maybe I needed to really understand how futile my search was in order to be ready to hear these new words.
Jeff does not give any practices, things to believe, or recipes for success. This isn't a self-help or feel-good book. His message is clear and his simple words hit you like a sledgehammer; they are powerful and my life has already changed for the better because of them.
One message is that this moment never seems to be enough. This causes us to suffer. Often we create a new identity as a "spiritual seeker" who will one day attain enlightenment - THEN that will be enough. In truth, life, as it is, is more than enough already. We just cannot see it because we're too busy looking for something else, something special, anything but this!
We've been believing our *ideas* about what life should be. When these beliefs are dropped and we fully accept that the present moment IS all there is, the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
I believe this book is ideal for those who are fed up with seeking! If you are new to spirituality, there may be some ideas that seem too far-fetched or give you the idea that "he doesn't mean this literally." But if you are courageous enough to be open-minded and consider that some of your most basic assumptions about who you are are false, this book could save you years of frustration and falling into traps!
For me, the last 23 years of meditation and studying under Zen Masters have gotten me nowhere, except thrown into an abyss of despair. Luckily, it's not too late to begin anew, to throw out my own silly ideas of enlightenment and spirituality, and live right here in gratitude!
Life is no longer frustrating. I am no longer seeking, just getting better at SEEING what already is. The rest will take care of itself. :)
His concepts are as beautiful as his words. Had trouble putting it down! Very inspiring and uplifting.
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoy Jeff Foster writing, because he is a clear thinker.