Meditation: An In-Depth Guide Paperback – 2 Jun 2011
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"Regardless of religious beliefs or life situations, any reader would benefit from the Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation (MBSM) techniques clearly outlined here. There are many user-friendly books that teach basic meditation, but this edition is particularly unique in its authors' life stories and expertise in the mind-body connection. Bedson spent time in India learning from masters at a Tibetan monastery, and Gawler, diagnosed with swiftly fatal osteogenic sarcoma at the age of 24, overcame his painful disease through meditation and lifestyle change and has remained cancer-free since 1978."
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About the Author
Dr. Ian Gawler, founder of the Gawler Foundation, has appeared widely in the media, and is sought after as a presenter and speaker at conferences around the world. As the conductor of many workshops and retreats in his native Australia as well as internationally, he has drawn large crowds for more than thirty years.
Bedson is a qualified cousnellor who has studied natural medicine in India, South-East Asia, the Philippines and the United States. He has university qualifications in philosophy and counselling.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Gawler and Bedson’s practice is called Mindfulness Based Stillness Meditation. They train us with four steps that are carefully illustrated in their text.
The first step is Preparation, which has to do with the practical details of meditation, i.e. where we sit, our posture, etc. The second step is Relaxation, how we learn to relax our mind and body. The third step is Mindfulness; that is, learning to pay attention to what is going on now, in this present moment. The fourth and last step is Stillness. Learning how to quiet the ever present conversation we have with ourselves and instead rest in our being in the moment will be a challenge for many of us, myself included.
Why meditate? My guess is that my readers have already answered this question; but to reinforce what you already know, the benefits to our health and well-being that come from a meditative practice are well-documented. And as Gawler and Bedson point out, research continues at prestigious universities around the world. I stopped searching for articles after I had found twenty-five pages of support for the value of mediation on the Internet.
Most people know that we Americans are an anxious and highly stressed people. Sadly, too much unhealthy stress makes people ill. I found statistics on the Internet that tell me that more than 80% of the ill health we experience is stress related. Mediation helps reduce stress; that fact is well documented.
Let’s cut to the chase, for that is exactly what Gawler and Bedson do in their book. On pages 42 and 43 our authors introduce us to the “Direct Approach to Meditation.” They call this approach “Just Sitting” and it involves nothing more complicated than sitting quietly in a comfortable chair and being in the moment, free to be our-self. At the end of Hermann Hesse’s famous book Siddhartha, this is just what Siddhartha does. He quietly sits down and listens to the river that flows by him, allowing the river to teach him lessons that are beyond words.
Gawler and Bedson tell us that we never need to do more than take the direct approach to meditation, but for those who want a guided practice, the rest of their book is for them. I would give their book more than five stars if Amazon allowed it. I think anyone who buys this book will be pleased with this outstanding approach to the practice of meditation.