The emphasis on the mind in meditation can be somewhat misleading: If we pay attention only to mental processes and overlook the experience of the body, we can remain stuck in our heads and not be able to break free of the involuntary thinking that we find so claustrophobic and toxic. This short, practical guide helps us embrace the fact of our embodiment—the experience of the sensations, movements, and gestures of the body—and to realize that mindfulness is the natural state of awareness of a body that has learned how to experience its feeling presence. Johnson takes us through the three primary principles of the posture of meditation: alignment, relaxation, and resilience. He devotes a large part of each chapter to specific practices to help the reader experience different aspects of physical presence. This book is of interest to meditators of all traditions—Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews, and others—as well as therapists, bodyworkers, and anyone interested in body-centered psychology and other natural modes of healing.
News & Reviews
"Johnson not only knows meditative traditions—most intimately, the mindfulness tradition of Buddhism—but is also a professional body worker with an expert's knowledge of human physiology. In this brief but ample book, he shows how meditation helps us in three major ways. We become, he argues, aligned not only in terms of posture but in deeper terms of our connections to our bodies and to the earth itself. We also become more relaxed, not lazily but in an alert and lively fashion. Finally we become more resilient, our immune systems may get a boost, we become more graceful, but those alterations stem from a greater spiritual flexibility. A fine, approachable, and useful book."— Booklist
"Finally a book on meditation instruction that fully addresses the role the body plays in spiritual growth. It's inspiring and free of obscure language."— Utne Reader