Top positive review
142 people found this helpful
growth point for any of us
on 16 March 2010
This man's work seems to me to be one of those growth points in human culture that don't crop up too often. He's making enormously beneficial mind-training techniques available to ordinary western(ised) people, without the cultural and religious associations of their origins, which can be very challenging for most of us. I mean, you don't have to be a Zen master to benefit from this!
What I like about his approach is that it is so simple and down-to-earth. It's not "alternative," it's here-and-now, everyday, (yet demanding.)
Seems to me if more westerners used his insights and techniques, not only would they feel better about themselves and their lives (I do, already)but the planet might be a safer place to live. Maybe that's pitching it a bit high - but give it a shot and see if you agree.
The book is beautifully lucid. I think most of us need some other additional regular guidance and structure to make mindfulness part of our everyday - well, I do, anyway - but more courses are springing up, and no doubt the CDs help.
But it's not a magic bullet - it takes time and application, and in a funny way, it's quite hard work. And I think it's worth getting into it even if you are not depressed or in pain, ahead of the times when you have to face suffering, yours or someone else's - because it adds so much to ordinary life.
It has taught me to question and adapt or change some of my characteristic responses - or at least to start doing so - and that's not always comfortable. But it really is worth it.
If you're a sceptical rationalist like me, be reassured - this man isn't a freaky guru, he's a trained scientist, a genuine teacher. This isn't a cult. It won't claim to change your life in a flash. But if you give it a chance - it really will help, with a lot of - "stuff." And it can actually be very enjoyable.