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Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path Paperback – October 1, 2009
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—JOHN WELWOOD, author of Toward a Psychology of Awakening
" Essential reading for those on the spiritual path, and for those who want to see effective spiritual paths developed in our culture."
—CHARLES TART, author of Altered States of Consciousness
About the Author
Mariana Caplan, PhD, MFT, E-RTY 500, is a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, and author of eight books in the fields of psychology, spirituality, and yoga. She has been teaching workshops and trainings online, in yoga studios and universities, and at major retreat centers throughout the world since 1997. She is the founder of Yoga & Psyche International, an organization created to integrate the fields of yoga and psychology globally, and lives in Fairfax, California. Learn more at realspirituality.com and yogaandpsyche.com.
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Things I love:
- The organization of this book deserves a special mention. Each chapter is carefully and accurately named, with subdivided sections and numbered lists. This makes the book very easy to follow, possible to read out of order, and a pleasure to read in bite sized chunks.
- The glossary of Sanskrit terms, coupled with definitions wherever they are first mentioned, makes for a much easier read, and less misunderstandings than books where this isn't provided.
- The author's range of experience and education. She is definitely not a hack and I appreciate that she has a diverse background, and is not biased toward anything in particular.
- Her willingness to state unpopular opinions about spirituality. Who really wants to stare this type of statement in the face (paraphrased): "There's nothing special about you that's going to lead you to enlightenment anytime soon, or sooner than anyone else."
- I can relate to just about everything she's saying, and it rings true for me.
Things I question:
- Is the author self realized? I always take pause when receiving any information on self realization from someone who is not, even when it's about discernment. Can she really know that what she is stating is the truth?
- Is it really true that a lifetime of sadhana (spirtual practice) is required for spiritual progress (if there is such a thing?) What about the myriad of stories of people who have had spontaneous awakenings, or whose path involved intense depression, but not practice?
- Can we be sure that dealing with psychological issues is indeed required for spirituality? I've heard from highly credible sources that this is quite the opposite, that psychology and spirituality are not, in fact, related pursuits.
Overall, this is well worth a read, and I'm very glad to have found it.
I am eternally grateful to Mariana Caplan for putting so much knowledge in one publication.