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Three Steps to Awakening: A Practice for Bringing Mindfulness to Life Paperback – 7 Jan 2014

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Three Steps to Awakening: A Practice for Bringing Mindfulness to Life + Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Being Truly Alive + Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation (Shambhala Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc (7 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590305167
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590305164
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.3 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Words of Expectation on 2 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Larry Rosenberg describes himself as a 'minimalist' and his approach is a very distilled but wonderfully thorough and precise guide to Insight Meditation. This new book inevitably covers some of the same ground as his earlier 'Breath by Breath'. While the former was structured around an extended interpretation of the anapanasati sutra, following the Buddha's own instructions on how to develop full mindfulness of breathing, this book condenses these instructions into a less formal and elaborate pattern. If anything this makes this new book even more useful as an encouraging stimulus to continuing meditation.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has developed an interest in mindfulness meditation or MBSR and is curious to understand how this practise develops over time. What happens to you if you continue to develop mindfulness? Rosenberg is a trust-worthy and experienced guide to anyone who has an inkling that 'waking up' might not just be an admirable ideal but an absolute imperative.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
a gem 13 Dec. 2013
By Massachusetts - Published on
Format: Paperback
There are many fine meditation books written by Buddhist teachers (for example, "Seeking the Heart of Wisdom", "Miracle of Mindfulness" and "Mindfulness in Plain English" come to mind) and this book fits easily within that group. Where this book shines, in particular, is the clarity and accessibility of the language, concepts and examples used to explain core Buddhist meditation principles. The book is free of jargon yet firmly grounded in Buddhist teachings. It illustrates the maxim that in Buddhist meditation, the fundamental principles are simple but must be carefully and clearly explained to be understood and practiced correctly. From a practical point of view, the book offers considerable guidance regarding formal practice. But, the most important contribution may be its focus on the integration of mindfulness practices into daily life. I am aware of no other book that offers this level of clarity and practical wisdom regarding this aspect of the practice. The book ends with (and might well be summarized by) the following quote from the late Chan master Sheng Yen: "Practice should not be separated from living, and living at all times should be one's practice."
Disclosure: Larry Rosenberg was my teacher for nearly 20 years, and his teachings continue to provide essential guidance for my practice.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Deep, concise and clear 4 Jan. 2014
By K. Knox - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It occurred to me as I finished this book that in a way Larry Rosenberg has written the same book three times (I'm referring to his first book, "Breath by Breath;" his second, "Living in the LIght of Death;" and now this one.

"Breath by Breath" was an instant classic - a true "desert island" guide to both mindfulness of breathing and carrying the practice off the cushion into every part of daily life. For many practitioners it can easily be the first -and last - meditation manual they will ever need.

"Living in the Light of Death," which came out some years later, offers even greater clarity and really does, as Rosenberg so wryly puts it, "attempt to answer the question of whether there is life BEFORE death" by showing us that the groundless, infinite mystery most of us spend our entire lives avoiding is always there to free us if we turn towards it instead and make it our practice. Unlike a zillion other books that offer speculation about what happens after death, it is a guide to how to live, moment by moment, developing a heart-mind that is ready for whatever comes next, whether the "next" in question is next moment or next life.

"Three Steps," in the context of these two other classic, essential books, is so short, so jargon-free and simple that a casual reader might miss the profound "pith essence" nature of the instructions it contains. It is the distillation of four decades of intensive practice and inquiry and an enormous amount of teaching. The three steps (mindfulness with breathing, the four applications of mindfulness, and choiceless awareness) are taught as precisely and concisely as possible, with helpful Q & A from students interspersed.

Rosenberg pays homage to all of his teachers here, but particularly to Krishnamurti, ending with a lovely afterword about his teaching and its impact. The flow through the three steps is something like this: get concentrated and settled; use your now-focused awareness in service of liberating insight; drop any residual clinging, and live in self-existing wakefulness, freedom and service. "Three Steps" joins Larry's two other books on a small shelf I've reserved for quintessential practice texts. I'm so grateful for his work.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A LIVING Master at his Best 27 Jan. 2014
By B. Simmons - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are few teachers of Larry Rosenberg's Caliber on the planet...period. His self-effacing, comedic (and minimalistic) delivery is deceptive; there is nothing ordinary about this man. He was one of the first Western teachers in the 60's to drop out of a Top University position (on nothing but faith), give up everything he had, and blaze an epic trail through Asia, studying with the most celebrated Masters of the 20th Century in the most trying circumstances imaginable. When he came back he founded the first Urban Vipassana Center (CIMC) and firmly planted undiluted Buddhist wisdom straight into US daily life (now nearly every major US City has one).

In this book he has distilled all he has learned and practiced through 4 decades of study, practice and intensive reflection into the most practical techniques available, contextualized in the most accessible teachings of Buddhadharma I've read anywhere.

He opens the book with a quote about the relentless passion of Hokusai "The Old Man Mad About Drawing." In truth, Larry Rosenberg IS Hokusai...The Old Man Mad About LIVING.

If an Octogenarian this passionate about Waking Up doesn't get your heart pumping, forget about any other Dharma books...they ain't gonna work for you.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Clear, direct and simple practice for resting as choiceness awareness 13 Feb. 2014
By Tom Thompson - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have been a meditation teacher for over forty years in the non-dual tantric tradition. Meditation teachings can become very complex and arduous with all sorts of levels, stages and states that one seems to have to attain. Someone once said, "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." This book teaches a simple practice that leaves one abiding as non-dual awareness. There is nothing to believe or accept. This is a tantric practice as it is completely life positive. This is about your life. Hobo Kore Dojo - your life is your practice hall (dojo). Read the book, do the practice, and your life and the lives of everyone around you will be transformed for the better. This is a short, clear, powerful book. I highly recommend it to anyone serious about meditation and true spiritual awakening. Gassho to Larry.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Nothing More to Say 27 Feb. 2014
By SnowDog - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After finishing the book, I cleared off my dharma bookshelves and delivered a box full of books to the used bookstore. If you like it simple and straight ahead, and I do, then this is the one for you, Dharma friends. Time and time again-- I had to stop reading and make my way to my body breathing, my heart sounding, and the silence of early spring (OK, very early) in Vermont. And, if you are a wee bit of a rebel like me, Larry's voice cuts through the mist like the knife of Chuang Tzu's dexterous butcher. Thwack.
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