More than ever, mindfulness is on the agenda of both corporate officers and individuals. Regardless of the reason for getting into this healthful habit–whether it’s to achieve self-awareness or physical well-being–the mechanics for doing so range from simple breathing exercises to transcendental meditation. Yet most avoid the practice of meditation, believing it too complicated to understanding its workings.
Enter teacher Mara M. Zimmerman, who excels in taking readers one step at a time, dispelling myths and gently revealing realities. Zimmerman’s writing is elegant, easy, and powerful: “The better we care for ourselves and find a balance of our wants and needs, the better we are in the world.” She starts with a “why I meditate” story, portraying herself as a well-rounded positive person with a need to shore up occasional fails. The actual background on meditation follows. In the first of three sections, the varying world forms and philosophies are defined–Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, among others–and are accompanied by the whys, as well as the celebrity whos (ie Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sting).
The next two sections answer questions about the connections between body and mind, in addition to detailing the how-tos. Each of the different meditation systems are explained in depth. There’s an examination of the Sefirot, attributes that interact with each other and the outside world and of Chinese medicine and its twelve meridians, a description of the energy distribution in and around us. Also discussed are the seven major chakras, including location, body part association, colors, what they do, and other elements.
Those explanations lay the foundation for the how-to chapter, perhaps the most important in the book and one deserving more than one read. Zimmerman provides readers a toolbox of ideas, first, to think about and second, to try–perhaps a one-minute meditation, focusing on a mantra, or on sending self-love–with instructions for each. She professes no favorites. Because, bottom line, what Zimmerman does espouse is taking things one step at a time: paying attention, being quiet, breathing and not worrying about other mind matters. It is, after all, the right approach to managing the unceasing challenges of life.
Whether to relieve stress or to get in touch with one’s intuition, HOW TO MEDITATE AND WHY is one of the best resources around.
~Barbara Jacobs for IndieReader