On one hand, nearly every Buddhist book I have ever purchased and read--which is a lot, might I add, over the past 20 years--is essentially the same; that is to say, at the heart, there's always a similar message. The main difference being: can the teacher actually write (or, in many cases, can the editor translate a talk well)? There are some Buddhist books which I have found indispensable; I've read them over and over again. Some I can barely get through.
My. Bayda is a good writer, clear and uncomplicated; he isn't fixated on Buddhist terminology and I think his teachings are accessible to anyone, regardless of one's practices or path. If you've read Pema Chodron, Charlotte Joko Beck, Barry Magid and other contemporary Buddhist teachers, Mr. Bayda's writing style will be familiar.
I have read all of Mr. Bayda's books and, for the most part, I've found all of them useful. This one, for me at least, is a stand out because it's helpful in course-correcting a personal weakness: getting lost and giving up. I have been an on-again, off again meditator for the past 20 years; I have sporadically attended Buddhist centers and adhered to the practices. Yet, I always eventually get frustrated and give up (temporarily) -- precisely for the reasons that Mr. Bayda discusses so eloquently in this book. While I am not convinced he has anything brand new to say on the subject, I found his insight more direct and accessible than many other teachers writing on the same subject. Mr. Bayda, in my opinion, specializes in taking what happens on the mat, and in the mind, and applying it to the proverbial real world -- which is messy, complicated, confusing, irritating and sometimes outrageously beautiful. He teaches as someone who has really lived.
Sometimes "spiritual books" can really get in the way of practicing; they offer idealized views of what practice is supposed to look like, and give the voice in one's head another reason to berate ourselves: "I am not doing this right"; "there's no use, I give up," etc., ad nauseum. Not this book. Instead, it shows how the obstacles are universal, and how we can skillfully work with them -- including seeing the obstacles as the path itself. The book is a map that, in addition to showing the path, shows the many obstacles along the way -- offering suggestions for how to work with them, rather than avoiding them altogether (because that's not possible).
Find yourself frustrated with meditation? Ready to give up? This book is for us.