Sometimes the best way to see what is, is to look at what is not. Living As a River takes the idea of each of us each having a separate self and does a great job of blurring the edges between us - until they virtually disappear. This doesn't mean you disappear, of course. You will still get up tomorrow and slog to the bathroom to do business. This book might, however, shift a person's perspective about themselves in relation to the world.
Ultimately, the book hopes to allay human fear by pointing out the obvious we often deny: everything's always in flux or impermanent. To put our sense of security into things that seem permanent but are not is cause for fear. Bodhaipaksa has the reader take a look at "Self" by way of a tour through the Meditation of 6 Elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space and The Conscious Element. There are no exercises or steps to follow, only an enjoyable read on the tour bus.
Bodhipaksa writes, "We imagine there's a "thing" called an eddy, and that this thing is embedded in another "thing" called "water." But when we reflect more deeply we see there's only flow. " In other words, we humans are a process, or maybe I should say life is a process. No movement, no life. Our bodies are in a constant exchange with the elements of our world. That is the core of the 6 Element Meditation - to realize how much of what we consider us is actually borrowed. The author opens up the enormity of this element-exchange and backs it with data from science (not a lot of data, just enough to illustrate).
Why is this material is so attractive to this reviewer? I believe if we all bravely look at what we share in common and how intertwined we are, it would seem a self-advantage to support all life everywhere. I'm also of the opinion that keeping up with science deepens one's spiritual sense and makes the stuff of life even more amazing. If you haven't learned any science since, let's say, 1940, you're perceptions are outdated! Knowing what's been recently discovered about our universe heightens one's enjoyment of the miraculous.
The book contains a Reader's Guide which gives suggestions and asks questions related to the main content. I find it helpful. Just reading through the 12 paragraphs jogs my memory, or I can focus on one at a time as a contemplation or meditation point.
If you've ever asked yourself what it means to be human, this is a book to savor. If you believe we are all separate individuals, this book will challenge you. Enjoy.
Living As a River
Finding Fearlessness in the Face of Change
"I could describe the book in just two words: "Embracing change." So that's what the book's about. It uses the structure of the Six Element meditation in order to face up to the reality of change, and to help us let go of clinging so that we can embrace impermanence." Bodhipaksa
“A highly readable mesh of science and spirituality regarding who we are by way of who we're not.”
Review, comment, debate.
The least movement is of importance to all nature.
The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
~ Blaise Pascal ~
(quote from the book)
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"As the body makes a journey across the continent of life, from the coast of conception to the far shore we call death, it too is continually changing, the physical and mental components forever being replaced." (pg. 67)
We are like violins,
We can be used for doorstops, or we can make music
~ Barbara Sher ~
(quote from the book)
More books by Bodhipaksa
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Blog Buzz about Mindfulness
All that is born, all that is created,
all the elements of nature are interwoven and united with each other.
~ Gospel of Mary Magdalene ~
(quote from the book)
THIS CD CONTAINS THREE GUIDED MEDITAATIONS
MYSTIC WATERFALL: a meditation for chakra healing. Cleanse your chakras in this healing waterfall meditation while consciously letting go of patterns that no longer serve you.
INNER WISDOM:a meditation for receiving insight.
LIFE VISUALIZATION: a meditation for manifestation. In this guided meditation, empower and energize yourself while envisioning yourself manifesting your goals and dreams.
Once referred to as "meditations without borders", the Ease of Being does not represent any particular tradition. It gives you the freedom to relax into your own, unique healing journey. One customer stated, "These meditations are unique - you can just float with them". If you listen with an open mind and heart, The Ease of Being can take you straight to the "heart of healing"! (amazon)
For those eager to begin a meditation practice of their own, TRACK 1 offers clear and concise instructions on how to set up and maintain a meditation practice at home. TRACKS 2 and 3 provide guided meditations of mindfulness of breathing. TRACK 4 provides ways of transforming difficulties encountered during mindfulness. TRACK 5 offers a guided meditation on the traditional Buddhist framework of the "Four Applications of Mindfulness". (amazon)
You can listen to the four meditations all the way through or one at a time. This program is arranged for listeners to have choices. If you are new to meditating, you may wish to listen to this in its entirety so that you can become accustomed to getting yourself into deep relaxation. Thereafter you will notice that it will become easier for you to let go. You will be surprised at the benefits it provides each and every time you play it. Expect to release at different levels each time. (amazon)
This CD contains 4 of the best guided meditations from Meditation Oasis podcast. Accompanied by beautiful music, Mary Maddux's soothing voice gently guides the listener to meditate easily and effectively.
Track 1: Breath Awareness Meditation.
Track 2: Effortless Meditation.
Track 3: Emotional Ease Meditation.
Track 4: Letting Go Meditation.