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The Meditative Mind: The Varieties of Meditative Experience Paperback – January 3, 1996
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About the Author
Daniel Goleman is the New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking book Emotional Intelligence. A psychologist and science journalist, he reported on brain and behavioral research for The New York Times for many years, and has received several awards for his writing. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including three accounts of meetings he has moderated between the Dalai Lama and scientists, psychotherapists, and social activists. Goleman is a founding member of the board of the Mind and Life Institute, a cofounder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, and codirector of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.
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The problem is that he is an expert in the Buddhist style of meditation, which is clearly apparent as he gives a more detailed and comprehensive overview of it. His description of the other paths is very simplistic and for some is simply superficial.
The last chapter on how to meditate is the worse and gives less that what you would find on Wikipedia.
It expected him to dissect each path and describe the general land marks of that path then provide corresponding ones in other paths but it was not as mature as I imagined.
Overall good book, but with above deficiencies !!
Things that I liked about the book include the following.
Goleman says that the true context of meditation is spiritual life but he doesn't show religious or political preference in presenting the material.
Some of the historical background of meditation is described.
Details are given for preparation for meditation, the path of concentration, and the path of insight. This information is from the Buddhist point of view but I believe some of it applies to other forms of meditation.
Eleven forms of meditation (paths) are described. They include some that I had heard about and some that I didn't know about. It was good to have a discussion of this variety of approaches in one book
I appreciated the chapter that described the essential unity among all of the paths of meditation.
In the chapter on the psychology of meditation, Goleman describes Eastern and Western psychological constructs and their meaning for meditation practices.
While the book is not inspirational literature, information presented on the benefits of meditation inspired me to look further into the subject.
Goleman cites his sources of information and this creates a valuable list for further reading.
The only regret that I have about the book is that it was published in 1988 and some of the material hasn't been updated for research since twenty years ago. Still, it is the best introduction to meditation that I know of.
If you are looking for reading that will help you solve problems in life, I suggest the books by Albert Ellis such as A Guide to Rational Living.