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The Life We Are Given (Inner Workbook) Paperback – October 20, 2005
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Michael Murphy and George Leonard have been watching and inspiring the human potential movement (the fountainhead for the "instant enlightenment" approach) for decades- in fact, they gave the movement it's name. And, in the four decades that have passed since Murphy founded his world-famous Esalen Institute, they've learned an important lesson: there is no quick fix. No instant moksha, no express nirvana, no overnight transformation. Real change takes years or decades of intensive work. To this end, they have founded a new kind of practice for a real new age: Integral Transformational Practice, or ITP- which is introduced in "The Life We Are Given".
ITP is not a seminar, it's not a weekend retreat. You have to be willing to give up, evolve, and let the chips fall where they may. Moreover, you have to be willing to engage in intensive practice over long periods of time- years, at least.Read more ›
Before reading on, if you are someone who is looking for a way to transform your life and to create new and healthy habits--if you don't already have a practice of your own--I DO recommend this book. The program is simple, logical and very encouraging. Not to mention it's simply a great place to start.
The book is basically a concoction of meditation, Yoga, fitness, affirmations, and a healthy diet. Obviously these are things you can practice on your own, seperately, but I suppose the ITP is a convenient way to combine these if you're unfamiliar with them otherwise.
Now for my problems with the book.
1) Despite having an acute interest in transpersonal practice, meditation, yoga, and other "spiritual" disciplines, my "New Age" radar goes off a few times during this book. Even though things like visualization and affirmations can be effective, they're just as effective in different mental forms...i.e., not so sugar-coated. I may be splitting hairs here, but I prefer my practice to be described to me in terms that will make sense beyond "your hand cares for your heart."
2) The other qualm is the self-congratulatory tone of the book. Murphy and Leonard are amazing men, who have contributed a lot, but they seem to stand on a pedestal here as if they've stumbled across something groundbreaking, when its not. The ITP is simply a recipe of practices that already exist on their own and that CAN be practiced on their own.Read more ›
I however, will be sending this book back. Why?
Because it's full of stuff I, and most likely everyone who has done some reading in the self-help and self-improvement section, already know(s).
Let me explain:
This is what "Integral Transformative Practice" (ITP) consists of:
1 - A simple routine (called "ITP Kata") of Tai Chi or Chi-kung like exercises and stretches, to be done 5 times a week or more.
2 - Affirmations
3 - Exercise (cardiovascular and strength)
4 - Healthy diet (low fat in this book :-) ) and
5 - Meditation
Now, as you can see you can most likely create your own little routine with books you already own.
There's a bit about the importance of doing this work within a group of dedicated ITP practitioners (nay for a loner like myself), and some info about energy work (ch'i if you prefer) and such.
It was a bit dissapointing because there are no grand promises, no new and exciting revelations. It's simply "Do this stuff and you'll be healthy and happy."
So, in conclusion: Good for beginners, bad (or at least boring) for your average hardcore self-help nut.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is another book on the stack to be read, so no review now. I am reading Leonard's book "Mastery" now. Then I will open this book.Published on August 30, 2013 by no name offered
George Leonard is famous for, among other things, repeating the mantra: Practice, practice, practice. Read morePublished on October 14, 2011 by Walter J. Smith
The first three chapters in this book are a classic for those who wish to develop a personal practice of self transformation and growth. Its easy to read and very accessable. Read morePublished on February 13, 2011 by Larry J
I just finished The Life We Are Given(TLWAG.) The examples and techniques are interesting, and I am incorporating the ideas in my schedule. Read morePublished on January 30, 2007 by Peter C. Labrie
The authors have been leaders in the human potential area for many years: Michael Murphy is the founder of the Esalen Institute, and George Leonard is author of a number of books. Read morePublished on May 9, 2005 by Douglas Eby
If you really want a method that will lhelp you make changes to yourself and in your life, this book will point the way. Read morePublished on August 28, 2004 by Trouser Roller
I really liked this book. I am an avid reader and would recommend adding this book to your must read list. Read morePublished on December 6, 2003
This book is one of the most enlightening books I have ever read! It is a tremendous help for people who are ready and willing to make the painful but exhilarating transformation... Read morePublished on September 17, 2003