- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 1 hour and 14 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: WildMind LLC
- Audible.com Release Date: February 14, 2007
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000NHHGZW
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Guided Meditations: For Calmness, Awareness, and Love Audiobook – Unabridged
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This specific CD contains three basic meditations: mindfulness of breathing, loving-kindness and walking meditation. The first two are rather common to find, but instruction on walking meditation is a bit more unusual to find on audio.
I found all of the meditations to be simple, straightforward, uncomplicated by distracting music and well thought out. The first two do an excellent job of covering the basics and are quite good for a beginner. There are many fine points to both these meditations that one can learn later from a book such as MINDFULNESS WITH BREATHING by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu or Sharon Salzberg's book on Loving-Kindness Meditation.
I'm glad a walking meditation was included on this CD and I think this one is a good start. However, I felt this section of the CD could be better and include more instruction. There are many levels to walking meditation and perhaps the author felt it was most important to start somewhere and give people a simple practice to start.
I have found walking meditation to be particularly useful for busy Westerners and learning the various levels and fine points of this practice important. There are not a lot of audio resources for this information, but the Insight Meditation package by Salzberg and Goldstein does a pretty good job. However, their voices are not nearly as pleasant as Bodhipaksa. This additional instruction may help you to take your practice of walking meditation further, however.
Overall, I think is a very good CD and I would recommend to beginners particularly Westerners without reservation. At the same time, I would also recommend that beginners continue to grow and pick up additional resources as they progress particularly with respect to walking meditation.
I would like to mention that all of the meditations are a good length for beginners, easy to follow and stress basic points. For some beginners, thirty minute meditations may be a bit long, but you can always take the CD, learn the principles and practice any length you desire. A strong point of these CDs is there is not so much information that a beginning practitioner is not overwhelmed or trying to follow to many fine points where diminishing returns sets in.
I notice some people mentioned trouble falling asleep in other reviewers, this is a normal part of the struggle of learning to meditate. Focusing on upright posture, narrowing the attention in tighter to the object of concentration or openning the eyes briefly with a soft gaze can help at the beginning stages of practice. For people who still have trouble, 10-15 seconds of rapid breathing through the nose as described in pranayama yoga practices of Dr. Andrew Weil's tapes on breathing could also help.
As they say in Yoga: keep that beginner's mind. This CD is great for beginners but I also find it useful for those times when I want something external to help me focus.
Perhaps, in years to come, I will be so adept in my meditation practice that this will be completely superfluous. For now, it's a little luxury, a healing voice to ease me into my my own peace.
Some meditation CDs I have tried have not felt right. The voice seemed hurried, or sounded tense; the background music seemed intrusive, or there were noises that interfered with concentration. This is just perfect as an introduction for new meditators, and it's also a meditation that I return to again and again. I'd give this more than five stars if that were an option. Even my students, who are not ordinarily very receptive to meditation, relax when they hear this one!