Other reviewers have described the content of this book; my personal response is that i have had this book for years and still find i'm growing into it. It's wonderfully apt, written by someone who has seen a lot. It seems to anticipate the joys, dilemmas and potential pitfalls of a spiritual life - mine, at least. It cannot be described as an introductory 'how to' book on meditation. But the lucid and highly intelligent commentary on what life its like when you're engaged in spiritual practice is just wonderful. It's also important to mention the book's ecumenism; although it is written from a buddhist standpoint, the examples, and the people described are christian, sufi, hindu. I find this liberating, along with the book's rigorous insistence that immersion in eastern philosophy can be as much of an attempt to escape reality as anything else. This last aspect is one of the most valuable; perhaps it's kornfield's background as a psychologist, or perhaps it's just that he's a shrewd meditator, but he has a clear and compassionate eye for the pain caused by delusion, and how our personal problems masquerade as spiritual issues. He shows how we need to understand our own lives and issues to practice spiritually; then he demolishes the distinction, showing that these two were never separate. My response is gratitude. Thanks, Jack.