Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Relaxing into Meditation : Review by Mark McHugh

"The chapters of this book describe in a very practical way a sequence of exercises in relaxation and meditation.

The first six chapters are purely relaxation and breathing exercises then the seventh is a careful and very practical guide to the postures of sitting for meditation as a preliminary to the meditation practices described in the remainder of the book. Patterns so that meditators can make their own cushions and mats are included as an appendix. The author describes (and gives a pattern for) a sitting “band” used by Tibetan meditators. This fits around the back and knees and looks like a very comfortable and supported sitting position which I am looking forward to trying.

The remaining chapters of the book describe more properly meditation practices although the first few practices could be used as both meditation and relaxation practices. So the book starts with relaxation practices and then phases gently on to meditation practices. The meditation practices have their roots in the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. There isn’t any kind of philosophy or religious dogma. It focuses completely on meditation as a skill, a practical skill than enhances life and promotes well being.

Chapter twelve is the clearest introduction to the practice of meditation that I have heard or read but I hope many readers will come to know that in these words is the greatest of all possible gifts. The term Ngakma Nor’dzin uses for the primary meditation practice is “letting go”. This phrase by itself is a very clear and wonderful explanation of what meditation practice is. The book continues with chapters devoted to the support of this primary meditation practice with advice on how to begin and sustain a daily meditation practice as well as some exercises and yogic techniques that will help with the inevitable aches and pains of sitting still for a while as well as helping with the problems of sleepiness and restlessness.
There are two contemplative practices described “friend, enemy and stranger” and also loving kindness meditation. These therapeutic and transformational practices are supported by the established “letting go” meditation practice.

The final chapter is a longer review of all the practices described in the book and describes the benefits of a regular meditation practice. There is also some advice on the subject of a teacher and a supporting group to sit with.

The book is an excellent introduction to meditation for the individual but will also be a very good resource for the introduction of a relaxation and meditation practice to a community group, a work-place group, adult education group or perhaps a nursing home. The author has taken particular care that the practices are accessible and safe for older people.

The words of this book are full of love, joy and care. ( )"

Relaxing into Meditation Ngakma Nor'dzin
Aro Books worldwide  ISBN 978-1-898185-17-8 http://bit.ly/nrprim

Mark McHugh reviewed Relaxing into Meditation on Librarything.com  (http://www.librarything.com/work/10257145)



Relaxing into Meditation by Ngakma Nor'dzin
Aro Books worldwide  ISBN 978-1-898185-17-8 http://bit.ly/nrprim

Available from Lulu.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, and other bookshops worldwide.

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