Unlearning Meditation

What to Do When the Instructions Get In the Way
By Jason Siff
 - Paperback



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Shambhala Publications
Pages: 224
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
ISBN: 9781590307526
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When we meditate, our minds often want to do something other than the meditation instructions we've been taught. When that happens repeatedly, we may feel frustrated to the point of abandoning meditation altogether. Jason Siff invites us to approach meditation in a new way, one that honors the part of us that doesn't want to do the instructions. He teaches us how to become more tolerant of intense emotions, sleepiness, compelling thoughts, fantasies—the whole array of inner experiences that are usually considered hindrances to meditation. The meditation practice he presents in Unlearning Meditation is gentle, flexible, permissive, and honest, and it's been wonderfully effective for opening up meditation for people who thought they could never meditate, as well as for injecting a renewed energy for practice into the lives of seasoned practitioners.

News & Reviews

"A creative and illuminating approach to meditation practice." —Joseph Goldstein, author of Insight Meditation

"A radically illuminating book for practitioners to newly understand their meditation through loving interest in what is actually going on, beyond any instruction or ideal." —Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart

"A wise, practical, and radical book that sheds new and wondrous light on dharma in the West." —Joan Halifax Roshi, author of Being with Dying

"Jason Siff is one of the most distinctive and engaging voices of the emerging Buddhist culture in the West." —Stephen Batchelor, author of Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

"Siff presents a way to practice meditation that is radical in its gentleness and openness." —Tricycle Magazine

"[Siff] offers a commonsense, slightly but subtly radical, existential attitude. He wraps up this steady, brisk (but never superficial or pandering) guidebook by boosting the confidence of those often kicking themselves for not meeting the exacting standards of master teachers. Siff’s ‘skillful meditation’ empowers the individual. His book may benefit Buddhists most, but its guidance will inform anybody wishing to begin or refresh meditation." —The New York Journal of Books

"Siff frees meditators from their own expectations, and ultimately, any guilt about not following the rules. With a gentle style that’s encouraging, wise, and even playful at times, Siff provides a very useful guide for those who want to meditate, but need to ‘unlearn’ in order to move forward. He blends his Eastern and Western experience to give the work spiritual rigor and grounding, while still appealing to a broad audience. Readers don’t need to be Buddhist, or even familiar with its philosophical concepts, to benefit from Siff’s clearly articulated, thoughtful advice." —ForeWord Reviews

"[A] refreshing approach to meditation practice. Unlearning Meditation is an extremely valuable contribution to our emerging Western Dharma." —Inquiring Mind

Reader Reviews