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Mark Books

Book review editor, digital storyteller, inveterate scribbler of words, pictures and postcards.

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Meditation: A Simple Eight-Point Program for Translating Spiritual Ideals into Daily Life

Meditation: A Simple Eight-Point Program for Translating Spiritual Ideals into Daily Life - Eknath Easwaran I haven't read this sort of book in a while, though I used to read Alan Watts (who I would recommend) quite a bit. I picked up "Meditation" because one of my goals this year is to meditate more regularly.. Eknath Easwaran's book came recommended to me by a friend, and it was easy to find in the used bookstore as it was published back in 1978 and was something of a bestseller.

Neither Easwaran's "passage meditation," in which a person in meditation repeats a singular passage - he recommends beginning with the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, nor repeating a mantram (mantra) in non-meditation times resonated with me. But that doesn't mean this little book wasn't worth reading.

Easwaran has (I should say "had" since he "shed his body" in 1999) a very easy-going, jocular voice and is able to express spiritual principles in a very palatable way. Some of his eight-points are universal truths - slowing down, putting others first, training the senses... and he borrows from numerous spiritual traditions in expressing these.

For instance, he refers to a Sufi metaphor of three gates through which one's speech should pass before being spoken -

"Are these words true?"
"Are these words necessary?"
"Are these words kind?"
(p.159)

I had heard this said before, but I never knew where it came from. "Meditation" is full of these sorts of simple guides for living more spiritually.

Anyone interested in meditation and open to exploring different ideas will benefit from and likely enjoy Eknath Easwaran's short book.