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Guided Meditations for Difficult Times: A Lamp in the Darkness Audio CD – Audiobook, CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jack Kornfield, PhD, trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India and has taught worldwide since 1974. He is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practices to the West. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology and is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society and of Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. He has written more than a dozen books including The Wise Heart; A Path With Heart; After the Ecstasy, the Laundry; and more.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 2 pages
  • Publisher: Sounds True; unknown edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591799279
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591799276
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While I've read some of Jack's books, I'd never heard him speak--either in person or on CD. He's one of the most respected Buddhist teachers in the West, so it was a pleasure to finally do so. His voice is, as one may expect from somebody whose been meditating for over 40 years, very peaceful and claming. Just turning on one of the tracks was enough to relax and clam me. I had wondered from the description on Amazon if it would just be eight guided meditation sessions--but it is far more... there are lots of teachings interspersed among them, plus, if you go to the SoundsTrue website, you can download two additional guided meditations. All in all, one gets three CDs--each with over an hour's worth of material on them. For me, it allowed me to host my own little weekend retreat, listening to one CD each day. With four small kids, the chances of me actually going off to any sort of retreat are slim--so I really appreciated the depth and wisdom of the materials I was given.

Most of the guided meditations are 20 minutes in length--which I feel is a good length for most people. I am not a Buddhist, yet I still feel like I gain a lot of wisdom and insight from Buddhist teachers such as Jack Kornfield, Ani Pema Chodron, and the Dalai Lama. Like Pema, Jack is an American--so there are no accent issues to overcome. At the current time, I see myself coming back to CD 3 the most--and the meditations on it. But, I think as needs/situations change, I will find myself returning to the others as well.

For some reason, I don't do well with meditating by myself, but love guided meditations. If you are like that as well, I think you'll like these. I also have enjoyed the guided meditations of Bodhipaksa, whom you can find on Amazon and on the web.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In some ways the title of these lessons is unfortunate. 'Meditations for Difficult Times' would suggest that one should turn to these when life gets bad. While there is nothing wrong with that approach I found these very centering now, when things aren't bad.

In the first CD, there is this wonderful passage:
"If you can sit quietly after difficult news;
If in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm;
If you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy;
If you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate;
If you can fall asleep without a drink or a pill;
If you can always find contentedness just where you are - you are probably a dog.
The one who knows realizes that difficulties are a part of every human life."

The meditations are delightful and will help you find love and compassion for yourself within you. You will find that every problem is workable.

There is a reason that Jack Kornfield is a master of meditation - the lessons he offers are so grounded, so well stated, you can't but help come away with more clarity in your life and more understanding of life.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The first thing that impressed me about this collection was that there are 3 CDs included for the price you normally pay for one. A clue that Kornfield is offering you a lot with this set - literally! I've always admired his work, but have never heard his voice, so that was also nice.

Usually, guided meditation CDs just have the meditations. This one has teachings interspersed with the meditations. That might have felt intrusive from anyone else, but if you are truly going through tough enough times to get this CD, you want to hear what someone with a PhD in psychology has to say to you. I found the teachings incredibly comforting and validating, and just as useful as the guided meditations. You will note both the Buddhist philosophy and psychology elements.

The meditations themselves are also excellent though, and I found Kornfield's voice comforting and not cloying, like some people can sound when guiding you through a meditation.

Here is what you get:

CD 1 Recognizing Our Pain
1. Introduction
2. Our deepest knowing
3. The wisdom of hardship
4. Centering and stabilizing our lives
5. Guided meditation: the earth is my witness
6. The quality of compassion
7. Guided meditation: shared compassion

CD 2 Moving Toward Healing
1. Introduction
2. Illuminating your lamp of wisdom
3. Guided meditation: the Buddha in difficulties
4. Releasing our burdens through forgiveness
5. Guided meditation: the practice of forgiveness
6. The power of healing
7. Guided meditation: the temple of healing

CD 3 Our True Potential
1. Introduction
2. Consciously moving through your pain
3. Guided meditation: The Zen of an aching heart
4.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Three discs each with a specific learning area:
disc 1:recognition of our pain: 4 sections of teaching totalling 30 minutes and 2 guided mediations @ ~20 minutes each
disc 2: moving towards healing: 4 sections of teaching totalling 22 minutes and 3 guided mediations @ ~14 minutes each
disc 3: our true potential: 4 sections of teaching totalling 26 minutes and 3 guided mediations @ ~12 minutes each

The teachings are buddhism orientated, they are none the less quie universal with references to other religions as well (well love is universal and was never meant to be divided up into religious segments).

I actually found it hard to distinguish the teachings between the pain and the true potential segments, so I think you can listen to them out of order and not feel you have missed a step! I found it useful to separate the teachings and the guided mediatations into separate folders on my ipod as I was not a fan of the teachings stacked between the meditations.
The mediatations were good, but I have to note that some of them sounded more like the teachings than the meditation style that I am normally acustomed to; maybe the speaker's tone does not change much between the teaching and the meditations! So my slightly lower rating reflected that the mediatations were not as soothing and deep in getting you calmer when you come out at the other end.

i find that if you follow your energy, you will automatically choose the right mediation for you for that day far that moment. I am going through a grieving process and had found the teachings enlightening and a reminder of who we are and that we are stronger than we could imagine ourselves to be.
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