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It's a Meaningful Life: It Just Takes Practice Paperback – March 1, 2001

4.9 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Like many great teachers, it is not what he says that makes Bo Lozoff so inspiring, it is how he says it. Named one of the top 100 spiritual visionaries by the Utne Reader, Lozoff is a renowned lecturer and the cofounder of the Human Kindness Foundation, which sponsors the Prison-Ashram Project (originally started with Ram Dass).

Having spent 35 years studying interfaith teachings, Lozoff speaks with a humble authority, drawing upon the wisdom of Buddhism as effortlessly as he quotes Saint Paul or recounts stories from Judaism. As a seeker, he knows what it takes to sustain a spiritual practice, which is why half of his book is devoted to this crucial task. Although he offers practical advice, he never falters into a superficial "how to" voice. Rather, Lozoff uses a spiritually mature narrative to demonstrate how life can be a meaningful process, instead of "a climb to the top." Essays include a practice for facing fears, mantras for everyday life, and a prayer of humility.

Where the first half of the book addresses the "Inner Journey of Communion," the second emphasizes "The Outer Path Toward Community." Considering his life work, such as offering spiritual guidance to prisoners, it is not surprising that Lozoff gives equal time to living a life of service. Starting with understanding one's life calling, and moving through commitments to loved ones and the greater world, this section sings with intelligence, nudging us beyond practice and into a life worth living. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Lozoff, whom the Utne Reader has named one of the nation's 100 Spiritual Visionaries, has written a compelling criticism of the anomic era in which we live. In our age, Lozoff writes, we don't take the time to enjoy everyday pleasures, such as having dinner with family or watching the sun set. "Our civilization," he writes, "is in serious trouble": consumerism runs rampant, and people are increasingly estranged from one another. It is his contention that integrating simple spiritual practices into our daily lives can help make life more satisfying and meaningful. Lozoff does not prescribe certain spiritual practices that he thinks every person ought to undertake. Rather, drawing on a wealth of traditions from Tibetan Buddhism to Hasidic Judaism, the author presents an appealing pastiche of practices from prayers to breathing exercises. Readers will learn about classic mantras (Om mani padme hum, the Tibetan Mantra of Compassion and the Jesus Prayer) and more contemporary ones, such as "No hard feelings." But Lozoff's daily practices are not limited to the obviously spiritual--in his discussion of "living simply," he urges readers to get out of debt, to give away an old book when they buy a new one and to eat more home cooking. Books on how to invest life with spirituality are a dime a dozen, but Lozoff's thoroughgoing and trenchant criticism of contemporary society helps his cry for simplicity stand out in the crowd. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Compass; Reprint edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140196242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140196245
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christian J. Bechtel on April 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a powerful and focused manual for living a more mindful life of service in todays hustle and bustle world. A great strength of the book is its organization which digs deeply first into strengthening our inner practice through a daily spiritual discipline and dissolving our fears. The second half of the book speaks to how we can then take this inner strength and use it to deepen personal relationships with spouses, significant others, children, and friends. What also makes this book so powerful are the "practice" sections at the end of each chapter which give the reader a practical way of incorporating spiritual disciplines and ideas into your life. The author also has an uncanny way of dissecting and blowing apart all of the excuses we make to avoid spiritual practices. The author does all of this however, while still being quite modest and sharing the various struggles that he and his family has had. The motivational clarification that the book contains on page 31 alone is worth the cost of the whole book.
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By A Customer on April 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a rare, exceptional book that combines thoughtful, evenhanded scholarship with practical applications. The book does a superb job of highlighting some of the common denominators present in various world religions and translating these beliefs and tenets into sound guidance for people of all faiths. I very much appreciated the author's efforts to locate common ground for all people and to use these points of intersection to teach, to educate and to focus wayward readers on fundamental truths. A good book with excellent intentions--this from a devout, practicing Presbyterian. Buy it today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bo's latest is even clearer and more poignant than his earlier books. In this latest spiritual guide Bo provides insight and valuable complementary exercises to make the reading all that more powerful and effective.
What truly amazes me is how Bo can keep writing with such relevance and power and yet never repeat his earlier books (which I also felt excelled in relevance and power...).
Rather than read as a novel, I've treated this as a workbook, savoring each point and companion exercise and then moving to the next one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." Bo Lozoff does something about another of our major complaints, the isolation, individualism and crass materialism promoted in modern American culture.
He has done this by providing an exemplar - his own life - and setting out twenty-six specific practices that can still our rancour and increase community and happiness.
Doing is NOT as easy as reading -- but the book lingered with me, and working with just one or two of the practices has, I believe, helped me to be more resilient and more dependable in stressful time, and has helped me make better choices about where to put my energy and resources.
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This book provides the nuts and bolts for a more meaningful life. It has useable ideas for being a better and happier person. I wake up every morning and say, "May I be a simple, humble, kind presence on the earth today." I eat only one portion and it's helping me lose weight. I especially like his ecumenical use of all religions. This book makes sense. I've given copies to friends and family, I read it over and over. It's a wonderful book!
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Format: Hardcover
Mr Lozoff has once again shown us how a lived life can change those who have the benefit of exposure to it. For years he has lived the way for prisoners and now he brings a broader path into the view of those of us who are doing our time on the outside. The meditations and practices reach out to us wherever we are and bring us to ourselves, pure magic and only a brief exposure to the depth that he assures us is within each of us.
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Format: Paperback
Invoking Radical Christianity, Buddhist tenets, and a wide and wise approach including many wisdom traditions, Bo Lozoff has written a jewel. Bo interweaves his own story, told with searing honesty, with the promise (to the reader) of learning the habit of radical transformative action. I have begun simple meditation because of this book. It is making all the difference. With this book, you can throw yourself a life-line, benefiting yourself and others. It just takes practice.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got so much out of this book that i bought 5 more as gifts. Practical exercises i could do to live a meaning spiritual life. I love this book. I read a chapter daily til the end and now i'm going back and studying. Excellent.
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