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Present Moment Awareness: A Simple, Step-by-Step Guide to Living in the Now Paperback – August 5, 2004
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Shannon Duncan has taken major concepts from ancient traditions and modern psychology and distilled them into an easy to understand guide to awareness. His book makes these often nebulous and difficult to understand concepts available to anyone desiring personal and spiritual growth. Roger Jahnke OMD, author of The Healer Within I heartily recommend this genuinely illuminating book. Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Wit To be who we really are is the point of life. This book is a wonderful help in achieving that goal. Brother Wayne Teasdale, author of The Mystic Heart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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As a striving entrepreneur, Shannon Duncan had always thought that money and success would bring him happiness. But when he retired a multimillionaire before the age of thirty and could buy almost any possession or experience he wanted, he realized that the source of happiness was definitely elsewhere. Through a series of realizations, brought about through self-exploration and study, Duncan realized that what he was really searching for was to feel good about himself, and thus feel safe and peaceful in the world. Once he gained the opportunity to realize what wouldn't bring him peace, he began to understand that peace was always within him, underneath the turmoil, if only he would surrender enough to see it.
Duncans book, Present Moment Awareness, has already become a self-published word-of-mouth phenomenon, garnering praise for its practical, down-to-earth advice for living in the present. Filled with easy, accessible anecdotes and exercises, Present Moment Awareness shows readers how they can drop their emotional baggage, calm their worries about the future, and start enjoying the peace and happiness that can only be found in the present moment. Through a series of simple but enlightening concepts, Duncan shows how we can discover the true causes of our stress and discontent, transform our emotions from rulers into advisors, and start enjoying our lives, right here and now. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Interestingly enough, the word "meditation" only appears *once* in the entire book, seemingly by accident when the author was relating an anecdote. This is probably by design - perhaps he didn't want to turn off people who have felt let down by other more Eastern-spirituality-laden books on the subject. Then again, this may not really be a book about "meditation" per se. It is really about living in the present, rather than obsessing about the past or future.
I ignored the author's advice and simply bookmarked the various exercises, then read my way straight through the book. When I had finished I thought that the author was credible and inspirational enough that I tried them out, and found all of them to work roughly as described.
An excellent work that I will read again.
I had just finished The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle (which I reviewed favorably here), when this book came into my hands. I could say many of the same things about it that I said about Mr. Tolle's book. There are a few differences, but the basic message is the same: right Now is where all life occurs. The past is finished and cannot be changed, and its main function is to enable us to use the wisdom gained there to make our choices Now. The future is not yet here, and is not predestined. Our choices, which we can only make right Now have a dynamic effect on what the future will hold. All actions, choices and changes are made in the immediate Now. Everything that was ever done was done in a Now.
The other message which (Mr.) Shannon Duncan teaches is the importance of examining the beliefs and prejudices you hold.
As Dr. Robert Anthony said, "If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?" Or, Ludwig Borne's statement, "Getting rid of a delusion makes us wiser than getting hold of a truth." But perhaps Henry Ford got more directly to the point when he said, "He can who thinks he can and he can't who thinks he can't. This is an inexorable, indisputable law."
We have all heard people say things like, "I've never been good at math." And so, of course, they are not good at math. And those who say, "I've always loved to paint" are usually proficient at painting. Such preconceptions and thoughts are a powerful form of self-suggestion, or self-hypnosis, if you wish.
What if you examined your self-assessment and your beliefs about what you can and cannot do for their objective accuracy? Will the negative assessments stand up to close scrutiny? What objective evidence is there that suggests their accuracy?
This is the kind of thing this book is about, together with some relatively simple exercises to help you achieve inner peace.
Like The Power of Now, the refreshing thing about this book is not that it contains any wisdom not previously available--for those conversant with Eastern wisdom, many of these observations are "old hat," but the Vedas, the writings of the Buddhists, and the Tao are so filled with Eastern jargon and nomenclature that it makes the lessons found there hard to assimilate for a Westerner. The refreshing thing about this book is that it was written in plain English by a contemporary Westerner--and written very well indeed, I might add. It is extremely easy to understand, and the exercises are relatively easy to accomplish with any investment of effort at all.
I recommend this book highly; especially to those souls who are unnerved by their chattering minds, and whose own thoughts of remorse over past actions or fears of the future are causing them mental anguish.
You will find peace here, if you read this book, take it to heart, and practice the author's exercises.
author of The Road to Damascus and other books
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For a more intense study, try "Awareness: The Key to Living in Balance (Insights for a New Way of Living)" or...Read more