Friday, January 21, 2011

Non-Fiction: Meditation for the Love of It: Enjoying Your Own Deepest Experience by Sally Kempton

Love comes up again and again in Meditation for the Love of It (Sounds True) by former swami Sally Kempton. Love of yourself -- inner and outer -- and, in many very real ways, love of others, too. In her foreword to the book, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) likens Meditation for the Love of It to a road map. “Think of the book as the most important travel guide you’ll ever encounter.”

The book is sensible, straight forward and easy to follow. An astonishingly simple map for navigating the often too mysterious road to our own inner lives.

Kempton starts us at A then goes to B and so on, each practically shared and sensibly told piece of information following the last in perfectly logical progression. And, suddenly, what seemed unattainable and, as I said before, deeply mysterious, seems in our grasp. The ultimate how-to guide to your own spirituality.

Along with step-by-step instructions, Kempton offers many tips. Here, for instance, are five tips to help you get out of your head and into your heart:
• The real key to going deep in meditation is wanting to go deep. The more you crave the tastes of the inner world, the easier it is to mediate, the deeper you’ll go.

• Stop worrying about technique. Drop the preconceived notion of a successful meditation. Instead, treat it as an exploration. Your meditation is an entry into the cave of the spirit.

• Be creative, play. For example, when you sit to meditate, you might ask, “What will happen if I breathe with the feeling that I’m being breathed by the universe?” Give it a try and note what happens.

• Pay persistent attention to the energy that presents itself as you meditate. This kind of attention or “presence” is soft. It’s a relaxed, yet intentional willingness to be fully present with yourself. Treat with tenderness whatever arises.

• If your relationship with the inner world becomes troubles, boring, or more intimate than you bargained for, don’t give up. This relationship, like others, requires patience; it changes over time. Undertaken with love, the best is yet to come.

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