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Natural Wakefulness: Discovering the Wisdom We Were Born With Paperback – September 14, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This welcoming book offers a wise, warm-hearted, and practical understanding of the awakened heart.”—Jack Kornfield

<p style="line-height: 150%;"> "The advice in this book will be of tremendous benefit to those who have the courage to engage their mind and heart and develop their potential. As a result, it will benefit the greater world.”—Sakyong Mipham, author of Turning the Mind into an Ally


“Many essential questions on the view and meditation practice of Buddhadharma—and everyday life—are answered here with great clarity and with a genuine heart of caring and loving-kindness.”—Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, author of The Healing Power of Mind


“Acharya Gaylon Ferguson is an exceptional meditation teacher.”—Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, author of Mind at Ease and The Essence of Buddhism <p style="line-height: 150%;">“A wonderfully wise and practical introduction to mindfulness meditation that explores and addresses all the ins and outs of the practice, the obstacles and confusions, as well as the rewards of this path. Highly recommended.”—John Welwood, author of Toward a Psychology of Awakening

About the Author

Gaylon Ferguson is a faculty member in both Religious Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies at Naropa University, in Boulder, Colorado. He is an acharya, or senior teacher, in the Shambhala International Buddhist community. After studying meditation and Buddhist philosophy with Tibetan master Chögyam Trungpa in the 1970s and 1980s, Ferguson became a Fulbright Fellow to Nigeria and completed a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology at Stanford University. After several years of teaching cultural anthropology at the University of Washington, he became teacher-in-residence at Karmê Chöling Buddhist Retreat Center, through 2005, when he joined the faculty of Naropa University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 4.1.2010 edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590307690
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590307694
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Judith L. Lief on June 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In this guide to meditation practice, Gaylon Ferguson places the practice of meditation squarely within the need to engage in the pressing social issues of our time. He broadens the scope of meditation and the spiritual path altogether beyond the more limited self-help approach and the even more escapist approach of disengagement and self-absorption. Gaylon gently guides the reader through the many questions that arise as one begins to meditate and infuses his writing with the gentle tones of a wise grandfather. His clarity as to the relevance of meditation to the demands of daily living and as to the way in which layers of greater and greater depth naturally unfold as one practices--and his personal joy and delight in the practice--shine through. This book on the practice of meditation is an accessible, straightforward, comprehensible and charming conversation about this simple, but oddly powerful, method of personal and social transformation.
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A cultural anthropologist and a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Gaylon Ferguson approaches meditation (as you can tell from the title) as our natural state and he suggests practices that will allow a "natural unfolding of this innate awareness and kindness." His initial title for the book was "waking up from the nightmare of materialism." He says that "The root of materialism is the sense that we are, in some fundamental way, inadequate." The first part of the book focuses on awareness of our habitual "walk-around state of being `asleep'" and our true nature of wakefulness. He compares our wakefulness to our physical health. We must exercise our bodies to realize our inherent well-being. And we must practice meditation to realize our inherent wakefulness. So the next part of the book has exercises for discovering that you are a natural meditator. Finally, Ferguson discusses the importance of community to support wakefulness. Along the way he includes some Q & A with students in which I found one of my favorite quotes in the book: "Just taking the posture of meditation, sitting up, arouses energy and confidence. It's a gesture of bravery, a silent proclamation of fearlessness: we commit ourselves to working with any state of mind that arises - sadness and excitement, boredom and joy, fear and desire. They're all welcome, fundamentally welcome."
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Lovely reading to make mindfulness easy and attainable for regular folks. The antidotes are helpful and I was sometimes delighted with some little golden nuggets, such as, "distraction is married to dissatisfaction." Yoga teachers will find this a great tool for class.
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Format: Paperback
As a professional psychologist who teaches mindfulness and related meditation techniques, I frequently receive questions from my clients if there is any book that explains both philosophy and techniques of mindfulness. This book is the one. I highly recommended it not only to clients, but also to health professionals who are interested in learning the theory and art of meditation.
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Gaylon Ferguson is a Shambhala Buddhist teacher and college professor at Naropa University who has led meditation retreats for almost 40 years. This is the perfect book if you are new or looking to deepen your shamatha/vispashana/peaceful-abiding/ mindfulness-based meditation practice.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is clearly written, and the author gives practical advice on how to meditate. This was the perfect read in preparation for a workshop on meditation.
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Format: Hardcover
Had the privilege to attend a teaching (one day workshop) from the author/teacher Gaylon Ferguson, and his book reads just like his workshop. Very practical advice, surrounded by the foundational teachings and sources he gained insight from.
Highly recommend it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book it makes you aware that everyone is born with the wisdom to do anything they want to do. You have to learn how to use it.
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