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A Gradual Awakening Paperback – 23 Sep 1993
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"Levine's message and service fill an essential need in America today." --Psychology Today
"A simple and gently written book by a man who shares his own personal experiences and insights into how meditation can work and how we can become aware of ourselves. A beautiful book, recommended for anyone interested in their own deep growth." --Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
-Levine's message and service fill an essential need in America today.- --Psychology Today
-A simple and gently written book by a man who shares his own personal experiences and insights into how meditation can work and how we can become aware of ourselves. A beautiful book, recommended for anyone interested in their own deep growth.- --Elisabeth Kubler-Ross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Poet and meditation teacher Levine writes simply and gently about his own personal experiences with and insights into vipassana meditation. An inspiring book for anyone interested in deep personal growth. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
What, for me, makes this book and the Vipassana method so meaningful is the fact that it is an open meditative style. What I mean by that is that it is not a concentrative style that "locks down" onto an object or mantra but is a technique of using a primary sensation that enables the practitioner to become skilled in wakefulness; continually returning to this primary sensation also enables one to continually practise the skill of letting go of any bodily sensation, emotion or thought that arises and passes; so one notes the arising and then returns to the primary sensation. The point is that everything is acknowledged as valid material for experience but the attention does not "stick" - one merely allows these phenomena against the background primary sensation.
The author provides four guided meditations that deal with different perspectives, but using the same techniques of attention to whatever arises and passes in awareness. These guides are written much as they would be spoken if he were talking you through the meditation step-by-step, in person. Around these four guides he structures his chapters which are devoted to different aspects of mind and the illusory nature of what we like to call "normal everyday life". One might say, "Well, so what's so different about all of that?" The point is that the author's comments and the whole structure and idiom that he uses are superb; he really gets right to the heart of the dysfunctional everyday mind and teases out all of the nuances of resistance and attachment that the average practitioner is likely to experience.
I feel that the best of the 4 guided meditations is the first one on Vipassana meditation. The second one on loving kindness has good points in it but it is essentially a rather sentimental visualisation exercise. The third and fourth on Energy in the Body and Dying are profound but again they do involve some visualisation and verbal/symbolic support. They are, I am sure, very powerful and useful exercises but, for me, the first guided meditation is the only one that is strictly meditation.
I strongly recommend the book to anyone who is interested in discovering true meditation.
Written in crisp clear prose there's nothing mysterious here, if you want that kind of thing there'a plenty else to choose. It won't serve you as well though.