December 3, 2008

Quiet Mind: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation (Susan Piver, ed.)

This revised and updated edition of Joyful Mind: A Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation is the ideal book for anyone interested in starting a meditation practice, regardless of faith (or lack thereof).  This collection of short essays, compiled and edited by Susan Piver, is accompanied by a cd of guided meditation instructions, a definite plus, especially for a new or even an inexperienced practitioner.  The essays themselves are straightforward and direct, and include Buddhist authors like the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Sharon Salzberg, yet the instructions and meditations themselves are nontheistic, removing challenges to anyone’s faith (a point addressed in the FAQ in the back of the book).  There are a few different ways to use this book, but ultimately the idea is to read a selected essay then listen to the corresponding guided meditation; a great way to reinforce and practice the skills discussed in the written text. The only issue I had with the book is that it is printed in China, which may or may not be an issue for some people.  From Shambhala Publications and also available from your local, independent bookstore. (Tell them you saw it on Elephant Journal!)

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