Wakefulness is our natural state: enlightened, complete, perfect in wisdom and compassion. It’s not something outside ourselves that we need to attain or become. But it’s also true that some effort is required to get in touch with it—and that effort is what spiritual practice is about. Gaylon Ferguson highlights two essential aspects of the path of awakening: learning to trust that we are already naturally awake and committing to meditation practice. And he shows how each supports the other in our efforts to become fully who we are.
He begins by showing how to understand natural wakefulness in ourselves and how to gain confidence in it. Then he teaches the fundamentals of meditation and goes on to provide exercises and guided contemplations intended to help us experience innate wakefulness. Along the way, he shares selections from question-and-answer sessions with students from retreats that he's led that provide practical advice for manifesting awareness in daily life. Finally he shows how we can reinforce and support each other in wakefulness through community.
This long-awaited first book from this renowned meditation teacher is a complete introduction to meditation and the spiritual path—suitable for both beginners and seasoned practitioners as a source of inspiration and insight.
To learn more about the author, visit his website: shambhala.org/teachers/acharya/gferguson
“This welcoming book offers a wise, warm-hearted, and practical understanding of the awakened heart. Reading it is like talking with your best dharma friend, who helps you to shift from being lost in thought to spacious and kind attention.”—Jack Kornfield
“A wonderfully wise and practical introduction to mindfulness meditation that explores and addresses all the ins and outs of the practice, the obstacles and confusions, as well as the rewards of this path. This book is like a friendly, helpful companion, offering clear and trustworthy guidance and support for beginning or aspiring meditators. Highly recommended.”—John Welwood, author of Toward a Psychology of Awakening
“Many essential questions on the view and meditation practice of Buddhadharma—and everyday life—are answered here with great clarity and with a genuine heart of caring and loving-kindness.”—Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, author of The Healing Power of Mind
“The advice in this book will be of tremendous benefit to those who have the courage to engage their mind and heart and develop their potential. As a result, it will benefit the greater world.”—Sakyong Mipham, author of Turning the Mind into an Ally
“Acharya Gaylon Ferguson is an exceptional meditation teacher, both for having been a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche as well as for being a senior meditation teacher of many years’ standing. Gaylon’s great learning and deep experience are reflected on every page. He has achieved a rare blend of subtle scholarship, readability, and practical use.”—Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, author of Mind at Ease and The Essence of Buddhism