- 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)
Awakening: A Paradigm Shift of the Heart Paperback – 11 Apr 2014
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"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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
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.