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Present Moment Awareness: A Simple, Step-by-step Guide to Living in the Now [Paperback]

Shannon Duncan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

13 Oct 2003

The concept of Present Moment Awareness has become a huge spiritual phenomenon through the massive success of THE POWER OF NOW. Now, in this down-to-earth, practical book, Shannon Duncan brings us a truly accessible, step-by-step guide for living in the present.

A self-made millionnaire, Duncan soon realised just how far removed happiness was from wealth. Through self-exploration and study, he began to understand that happiness only comes to us once we are at peace with ourselves. And that the key to finding our personal peace is through becoming truly present. Through easily-absorbed anecdotes and exercises, he shows us a simple process by which we can discover the true causes of our stress and discontent, drop our emotional baggage, calm our self-limiting worries about the future, and start enjoying the peace and happiness waiting for us now.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (13 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340830298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340830291
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 12.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 957,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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)

Book Description

Following the bestselling success of THE POWER OF NOW, this is the first all-practical guide to how to live in the present moment.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I have so far bought six copies of this book in total. I have one dog eared and battered copy next to my bed, the others have been given as gifts to friends who I thought might get some use out of it.
This is a book that was recommended to me and it basically explains Mindfulness with all the Buddhist language and links removed. Sometimes the Thich Nhat Hanh books on Mindfulness can be a little hard going, I can see that it would be easy to get bogged down in all the Buddhist references and terminology if that isn't your bag. This book is the answer to that.
It uses plain english to explain the concept of Mindfulness, of being aware and appreciative of the present moment. It shows the benefits that this can bring, shows you how to free yourself from the habitual thought processes that steer you, shows how they steer you and not always in a good direction. It talks you through practice exercises, teaches you how to be Mindful. It is a truly wonderful book and I've got so much from it. Whilst learning to be Mindful isn't something that you're going to learn over night, this book is a very valuable tool in the learning process.
When people ask me now what I mean by Mindfulness, I just recommend this book.
It can change your life. Seriously.
It's changed mine for the better. Opened my eyes and given me the opportunity to move forward. A fantastic book, if I could give it 6 stars, I would.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real eye opener 16 Feb 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can relate to so much of this book. It's helping me to realise things that I'd missed before, despite having read lots of these books.
The author describes how to be in the moment - turning your back on fears from the past and fantasies of the future. And that's scary!
But when he describes how you limit yourself with your beliefs, and how reacting "unthinkingly" to your emotions can be so harmful, you know that you have to read on and try to apply it to your life.
It's a way of COMPLETELY transforming your life - for the better I believe - but that takes a lot of courage. It might also take me a few reads to really absorb the information and the insights.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a believer! 11 Jan 2002
By "jimbo231" - Published on
I received this book as a gift, and have to say that I was a bit skeptical. I've read the Power of Now, and thought it was quite wonderful - but had no idea how to get to this amazing place that Eckhart was describing. Now I do.
Present Moment Awareness, when combined with the focus tool, is nothing short of powerful and truly life changing. Instead of talking about all sorts of goody-goody stuff and trying to make himself some kind of a guru, this author shows that anyone can free themselves and become more and more "enlightened". Nobody is or can be more than a human being, and recognizing this can set you free!
Why suffer and toil through life, when you (or anyone for that matter) can flow through it. Shannon stated that "life can be less of a struggle and more of a pleasure when you learn what it means to be present in the moment." I've found for myself that this is very, very true.
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Living Today 29 Dec 2002
By Rebecca of Amazon - Published on
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~Theodore Roosevelt

The entire concept of "Present Moment Awareness" is based on a desire for peace or perhaps is as ancient as the "taking no thought for tomorrow" concept.

While distorting experiences are sure to evade your peaceful space, it might not be as difficult to pull back and observe what is occurring as you might think. There is a moment when you are so consumed in the moment it can devour you. This book is not about being consumed by the moment, but rather watching the moment pass by.

It is amazing that people often feel as if they always need to be doing something, as if to escape their thoughts or the reality of their situation. They find it difficult to genuinely relax and enjoy moments in their life because they feel an certain "level of dissatisfaction" with their lives. Many times they are limited by their past failures or threatened by the thought of failure in the future, otherwise known as "worry." This worry then limits our potential to experience good.

Shannon Duncan encourages us to live our life with a "relaxed confidence." He explains how humans want to be valued, noticed, understood, respected and loved. When our perception is distorted, we can have a different version of reality.

"When your perspective on life shifts, changes in your feelings and behavior will naturally follow suit. Your life can become less of a struggle and more of a pleasure when you learn what it means to be present in the moment." ~Shannon Duncan

You are still allowed to have emotions, but they are "observed" and not taken as seriously. You "pass through the dissatisfaction."

This book will encourage you to:

Let go of the mental static
Decrease your inner turbulence
Just "Be" in the moment
Let go of daydreams and worries
Release overwhelming emotions
Shift your Perception
Stop being tense and emotionally reactive
Stop creating your own emotional suffering
Cease pointless wrestling with circumstances beyond your control
Realize your dreams
Focus on the good in your life
Improve communication with those around you

This book is part of a program and you might want to order the "Focus Tool." At first I couldn't figure out what this was until I saw a picture on the back flap of the cover. It is a waking alarm clock that has vibrating or audible alerts, perhaps like a beeper. There are various exercises you do when the beeper goes off. These change throughout the book, but all are to bring you back to the present moment.

Perhaps the best way to enjoy the moment is not to be worried about your eternal destiny. This was not discussed and I think it is crucial to being able to live a worry-free existence. This is not a religious book however as James Baldwin once said: "If you're afraid to die, you will not be able to live."

May you find the peace only God can give while you live in the present moment.

~The Rebecca Review
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to achieve inner peace 31 July 2002
By Joseph H Pierre - Published on
This is a good one!

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.

Joseph Pierre

author of The Road to Damascus and other books
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Present Moment Awareness 25 July 2002
By Dean - Published on
Very enlightening. The focus of this book can only help
anyone who cares about their well being.
I am 64 years old with a favorable past and many
pleasant life experiences and accomplishments. However,
constant reminders of those not so good times and the
uncertainty of the future has made for a difficult mind
set. My son referred this book to me and I have to say
it has made a significant difference in dealing with
past issues and future concerns.
Today is what life is all about. This book with it's concepts
and examples allows the reader to focus on what is important
in life and how to accomplish that objective in a simple and
practical way. Very highly recommended reading.
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So compelling, I shared it with my students 19 Nov 2002
By "inspirelearning" - Published on
I required students in my high school class to read Present Moment Awareness because of its simplicity and relevance to everyday life. The book provided me with tools to cope with fear, stress, uncertainty, and emotional turbulance and I immediately saw the value for young people. The response was tremendous. One student even asked his mother, who he described as "stressed out", to read the book. He was certain it would help her find the balance he had achieved. I encourage you to not only read the book and practice the exercises for present moment awareness, but also to share this valuable resource to the young people in your life.
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