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Awakening: A Paradigm Shift of the Heart Paperback – 11 Apr 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • Awakening: A Paradigm Shift of the Heart
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  • Stepping Out of Self-Deception: The Buddha's Liberating Teaching of No-Self
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  • Lessons from the Dying
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; Reprint edition (11 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611801265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611801262
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.8 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"With systematic precision, and with subtle wisdom born of a lifetime of practice, Rodney Smith uses science, psychology, and traditional Buddhism to explain the unexplainable: the how and why of authentic spiritual awakening. The book's thorough and remarkable argument is bolstered throughout with subtle exercises that guide the reader to experiential appreciation. Radically simple, but never facile or easy, Awakening is an original work by a contemporary spiritual master at the height of his powers."--Norman Fischer, author of Training in Compassion

"Rodney Smith presents the results of the shift of view that spiritual practices aim for. This approach helps the reader to review his/her spiritual path from a fresh perspective and to avoid effort based on the self-paradigm that is the main obstacle to awakening. This book has much to offer and can be read and reread many times for wise reflection." --Ajahn Sucitto, author of Turning the Wheel of Truth

About the Author

RODNEY SMITH is the founding and guiding teacher of the Seattle Insight Meditation Society and a guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. He leads classes and retreats regularly throughout the United States. He is also the author of Lessons from the Dying and Stepping Out of Self-Deception


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Brilliant
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Format: Paperback
Mind blowing (literally!). I have been reading dharma books/listening to retreat talks (on dharmaseed mainly) and attending meditation retreats for over 20 years. My favourite teacher/book is Rob Burbea/Seeing that Frees. But now this one moves into joint first place. In its clarity and approach the only word I keep coming up with is 'mind blowing'. It is a 24/7 approach and removes all the barriers that I have struggled with e.g. Concepts of trying, failing, success or failure etc - my whole 'hopeless striver' 'self'. Would recommend to anyone who is committed to being free from separation and struggle.
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This is the best Dharma book I've read for years. Highly recommended.
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Fantastic book I really loved it, so clear and inspiring!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a sparkling gem 29 April 2014
By Massachusetts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
there are many excellent Buddhist mediation books that guide the reader towards developing and strengthening a meditation practice. these valuable books help one become more at ease, kinder and happier -- essentially, improving one's self through a meditation practice based upon Buddhist principles. Rodney Smith did not write such a book. instead, "Awakening" is addressed principally to the serious Buddhist practitioner who is motivated to awaken to one's own complete insubstantiality, to move beyond improving the self, and instead to abandon the ego-created self and surrender into the formless awareness that is the common ground of our existence. in short, this is a serious and comprehensive guide for those prepared to embark upon the ambitious path of waking up to the reality of our intrinsic nature. on this topic, there may not be a better book written by a western Buddhist and therefore, for the right person, this book is, indeed, a sparkling (and invaluable) gem!
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!! 27 Mar. 2014
By Bill Hartman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had not heard of Rodney Smith until I was the ad for this book in Shambala Sun. I am now reading his other book , Stepping Out of Self Deception and I also give it five starts. In both books he walks you through the path towards spiritual enlightenment from two different perspectives. In AA we use the term, "stinking thinking" which basically says you can't use the same thought processes and expect different result. In this case you can't keep your old self story and expect it to change. You can read either books first but I suggest reading them both. Many books use esoteric terms, but Mr. Mr. Uses plain language understandable by all. Buy both, you won't regret that you did!!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best I've found 19 July 2014
By John Lloyd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very Insightful - I have read many books on spiritual awakening, Buddhism, philosophy and self-help. This is one of the best I've found. It is not so much that the message and insights are different from many of the others but that they are relayed from a slightly different perspective that gets me to see deeper and more personal meaning to spiritual awakening. There is a decided Buddhist leaning to the book but I really like the way Rodney brings in other perspectives and uses nontraditional examples and analogies to deepen the message. Very well done.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Guide for Buddhist Practitioners 19 May 2014
By Michaelinwa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is another valuable resource for dharma practitioners. Rodney Smith does not cover old ground, or present well worn teachings in a slightly different way; he simply does not teach in that way. Rather he brings what sometimes seem to be profound perspectives on Buddhist teachings which help deepen my understanding of the Dharma and how to practice. I'm often fascinated by how thoroughly the author has explored his ideas, including how they play out in the real world, and it makes his teachings feel authentic.

I do, however, find the author's discussions to often be challenging to understand. As was the case with his previous book, I had to read it once, and then immediately go back and reread it in order to start to really get a feel for what he is saying. I think this is partly a result of the nature of some of his favorite themes such as self and form versus formless, and how these themes operate within us. These are not processes that we easily see and intuitively understand. The author is very comfortable with the themes and how they show up in our practice and in our lives, and he has is also very much at home talking about them. I suspect even many experienced students of the Dharma will not follow his lines of thought nearly as readily because most simply do not spend that much time thinking and talking about these issues. Getting comfortable with the terminology that is constantly used takes time, not to mention understanding the ideas in a meaningful way. Perhaps this is as expected given that the book is explaining a paradigm shift. But readers willing to take a lot of time with this book will gain new understandings that are not so comprehensively presented anywhere else.

Although the book may seem abstract at times, the author actually brings his ideas down to a practical level. For example, his discussion of how we often try to direct out practice, and the stress we often feel when we do so, will probably ring very familiar with just about everyone who practices mindfulness. The author is trying to keep people from practicing in ways that seem appropriate, but are actually not helpful in the long term, and leave us far short of the potential contained within Buddhist teachings.

I would probably caution those who are new to mediation and new to Buddhist teachings to wait until they have some practice under their belt before taking on this book. I think it is probably important to have experienced some of the things the author discusses in order to really see what he is referring to.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wise and helpful book 3 Jun. 2014
By Julia F. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many others, I've been practicing for a number of years without a teacher to provide personal guidance. This book is ever so useful in parsing out the qualities of my own practice experience, helping me to untangle the web of self a bit. I believe it's a very important book, and I'm grateful to Rodney Smith for writing it.
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