Commuting by train can be a stressful waste of time. Alternatively, you can use the train as fruitfully as monks use a monastery. You can arrive at your destination refreshed, at peace and enlightened...this book shows you how.
Meditation is not in any way something weird, wacky or woo-woo. It's as normal a human activity as eating, drinking or sleeping. You don't have to be mystical, spiritual, psychic or even clever to do it. You don't have to sit cross-legged with closed eyes to meditate - it can be done in the bath, on the bus, in bed or even while you're cooking your dinner. You don't have to change your religion - or even have a religion to change. You don't need any equipment. It's so simple that even quite young children can be taught to meditate and physically undemanding enough to be accessible by almost everyone. This book is designed for people with little or no previous meditation experience, who want to learn some simple meditation techniques outside any established faith tradition or meditation lineage. These techniques are suitable for everyone. It doesn't matter if you are Christian, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu or some other faith tradition - you will not find anything here to clash with or contradict your faith. (Get your pastor or religious teacher to check out the book if you have any concerns.) This book is also suitable for people who would describe themselves as spiritual but not religious, seeking for a path, agnostic - or even atheist, as this book does not presume a belief in God. Instead of you hamster-wheeling away on your mental treadmill, meditation lets you step off and smell the roses. Or taste the coffee. Or feel the texture of the pavement under your feet. Life becomes a richer experience. You see, hear and touch more. You notice the things you didn't expect - the little yellow flower growing through a crack in the pavement, the sound of the birds singing behind the noise of the traffic, the warm, cinnamon smell as you walk past the bakers. Just sitting quietly, you discover that simply breathing can be pleasurable. You notice the cool stream of air entering your nose and then leaving again. You start to enjoy the sensations as your muscles relax. Slowly, behind all the thought-chatter, behind all the everyday noise, you become aware of a stillness and a silence that is always in the background. As you begin to relax, you realise how tense you've been all day and you can let go. You can enjoy just being with yourself for a while without the cast of thousands in your head. And yet, it's not like dreaming or sleepiness, any more than your hobby is. It's a state of being more aware than usual and more awake. It's being fully alive here and now instead of being lost in thought. Some people I've spoken to have been afraid to meditate. They worry that if they stop their mind, they will open themselves to being hypnotised or brainwashed or even to demonic possession. I hope you understand by now that meditation is not a process of stopping your mind (That's called coma, not meditation!) but of directing your mind. Instead of allowing your mind to drag you wherever it wants to, you take back control. It's your mind, after all! You choose to focus on what's real, rather than on what's imaginary. In that way, meditation is almost the opposite of being in a trance. In fact, it's breaking the trance that most of us live in.
Rachel Kentworth arrives at a remote Buddhist monastery, imagining that she is joining a group of seven others to meditate in a peaceful retreat for the next year. While immersed in deep meditation, her serenity is suddenly shattered when one of the group is found dead, and all clues regarding the murderer point to her. Surrounded by the stark beauty of Nova Scotia's frozen shores she must apply all that she has learned to discover the real killer, and ultimately to save her own life.The author's years in retreat form the basis of this story which offers a unique interplay between an intriguing mystery and a contemplative journey.
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