My daughter bought me this book for Christmas (or Festivus, as we like to call it). She had read it after I bought her, “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, and she enjoyed his discussion of mindfulness and meditation, as well as his take on some of the gurus in that area (Tolle, Chopra, Epstein, The Dalai Lama). She thought I might also enjoy it, and I did.
As a result of traveling I finished the book much quicker than most (I started it on the 12/29 and finished 1/10/16). It wasn’t just a result of traveling, however, as I had brought other books I was reading. It was a result of it being easy to read, and it being relatable to the novice practitioner or the more experienced.
The author is a relatively famous (I garner, but I don’t watch the news or morning shows) reporter / host / journalist. As a result of both personal and professional synchronicity he begins looking into Eastern beliefs surrounding meditation. As a result of his position, he gets to interview several of the gurus mentioned, which adds to the draw of the book.
I’m of the belief that several experts on meditation and mindfulness make it accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, there are also those that seem to claim lofty attainments, which makes it seem, for the beginner, too daunting a task or too far-fetched and thereby bologna. This book does an excellent job of illuminating that, and thereby, as I mentioned, making the ideas more assessable. Because I don’t want to give too much of the book away, I’ll stop my description there.
Prior to getting the book as a gift, I looked into purchasing it on my daughter’s recommendation. I read some of the reviews by those who purchased and read it, and was dissuaded. People didn’t like the author’s tone; found him too arrogant, or too self-aggrandizing. Though I see their points, and could have done without some of the day-by-day chronicling of his accomplishments, I did not find it as abrasive as others. I believed some was necessary for explaining his path to meditation. I also think it should be noted he gives a glimpse (if not more) into his own insecurities and self-deprecation.
I enjoy books that are personal, and they always aspire me to get back to writing my own (not enough, apparently). Overall I thought this book did an excellent job of chronicling one man’s path to meditation and mindfulness, and how it helped him despite his skepticism. I highly recommend it to those considering or preparing to start meditation.