BE THE CHANGE:
HOW MEDITATION CAN TRANSFORM
YOU AND YOUR WORLD
BY ED SHAPIRO
AND DEB SHAPIRO
Be the Change is a fascinating exploration of how meditation can not only awaken our latent potential but also transform the world, creating the foundation for a caring and compassionate future.
Includes wisdom from luminaries such as:
* Jean Houston * Kitaro * Sylvia Boorstein * Gregg Braden * Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks * Joan Borysenko * John Hagelin * Debbie Ford * Joseph Goldstein * Gangaji * Lama Surya Das * Deva Premal & Miten * Rabbi Zalman Schachter * Cyndi Lee * Noah Levine * Wavy Gravy * Linus Roache * Ponlop Rinpoche * Don Campbell * Richard Freeman * And many more.
As a prisoner in a Chinese jail, Kristen Westby was able to find solace by sitting quietly in contemplation. Deeply affected by the experience of walking on the moon, astronaut Edgar Mitchell went from exploring outer space to discovering the vastness of inner space. While coping with HIV, Mark Matousek found healing through group meditation. Seane Corn used her yoga and meditation expertise to work with child prostitutes in Los Angeles.
In the last few decades, people in all walks of life have begun to realize the profound benefits of meditation. While this ancient practice is personally transformative in that it calms the mind and reduces stress, awakens the heart, and deepens insight, can meditation also change the world for the better? Two award-winning authors and some of today's most notable voices explore this issue, reflecting on how looking within can resolve issues such as anger and fear, inspiring a movement toward a more caring and peaceful future.
Interwoven among Ed and Deb's own thoughts on the subject are the words of more than one hundred meditation practitioners from various walks of life, from Ellen Burstyn, Oscar® award-winning actress, to Jon Kabat-Zinn, director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society; from Marianne Williamson, bestselling author and renowned inspirational speaker, to Richard Davidson, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Wisconsin University.
Enlightening and inspiring, Be the Change is essential reading for all who desire to make a difference in their own lives and in the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Ed and Deb Shapiro, authors of Be the Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, are the award-winning authors of fifteen books on meditation, personal development, and social action. They are featured bloggers for the HuffingtonPost.com and for Care2.com, teach meditation workshops worldwide, work as corporate coaches and consultants, and are the creators and writers of the daily Chill Our inspirational text messages on Sprint cell phones. The Shapiros' books include Your Body Speaks Your Mind, winner of the 2007 Visionary Book Award; Voices From the Heart with contributors such as President Gorbachev, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Bishop Tutu; and Meditation: The Four-Step Course to Calmness and Clarity. Ed, from New York, trained in India with Paramahamsa Satyananda, with Sri Swami Satchidananda, and with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Deb, from London, trained with Tai Situ Rinpoche. The Shapiros have taught meditation and personal development for more than twenty-five years. They currently reside in Boulder, Colorado.
For more information, view Ed Shapiro's Web site.REVIEW:
Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love, in a review of this book said, "Meditation can change the world because meditation changes us. The world will not change until we change."
With that in mind, and as I see it, sums up the purpose of this book. The book does a great job at influencing people to take on that challenge. The authors tell about how when people can communicate with themselves through use of meditation, they can help to change the world. At the very least, they can change themselves. I think it is a good book to get to understand what meditation can do to benefit our lives. I am not sure it tells as much of the "how to" meditate but certainly does give reason to investigate it more, and I speak as a novice at all this. The fact that the book is filled with amazing stories by so many people and that is educational and enjoyable in itself.
3 Mini Meditations to Help You Through Your Day (or Night) By Ed and Deb Shapiro
What stops you from sleeping through the night? Is it when things are not going your way or they look topsy-turvy and you just want to scream; when your life appears chaotic and you are not sure if you are coming or going; or when it feels like everything is piled on your shoulders?
Life should be an exciting and outrageous adventure. Isn't it a wonder how a spider weaves a web or a bee makes a hive? Did you ever notice the small, everyday miracles, like the fact that you can breathe in and out? But how many of us get to experience this miracle? Sometimes life just feels too awful. We want to feel good, we want to be happy, in fact happiness is our birthright. But so often there are just too many difficulties to deal with. And although we may know that meditation chills us out, if we are feeling stressed or irritable then it just doesn't seem so appealing.
So here are three mini-meditations, moments to just stop and breathe and remember why you are here. A moment to check yourself out, to look within, and to find what is really meaningful to you. You can get it together even when you think it is all falling apart.
Mini-meditations can be done on a train, walking down the street, at an airport, standing at a bus stop, in an elevator, while sitting in the bathroom (often the only place you can be alone!). Silently count your out-breath up to ten times, or walk with awareness of each step for up to ten steps. Or relax each part of your body, then silently repeat "soft belly" for five breaths.
If you are at work, then use your lunch hour to find a quiet spot, perhaps in a park, or even in the office if everyone else has gone out. If you are traveling then use that time to consciously breathe, letting your awareness follow your breath from your nose tip to your belly and back out again. If you are driving or operating machinery and feel you are getting tense, then stop for a moment, breathe into your belly and silently repeat "soft belly, soft belly." Focus on any part of the body that is feeling tight and breathe into it, until you relax and let go. Silently repeat "soft shoulders" or "soft neck" and so on.
As you walk down the street or ride in an elevator, practice a mini-loving kindness by silently wishing everyone be well, wishing that everyone be happy. In the office you can spend a few moments repeating the names of everyone you work with and wishing them happiness. On your way home from work reflect on your day and generate loving thoughts to all those you met. When you send out relaxing and loving thoughts it relaxes the space around you and often any chaotic or disturbing energies will dissipate. What you put out comes back to you ten fold
1. Mini Breath Meditation
Sit comfortably with your back straight. Take a deep breath and let it go. Begin to silently count at the end of each out breath: Inhale . . . exhale . . . count one, inhale . . . exhale . . . two, inhale . . . exhale . . . three. Then start at one again. Just three breaths and back to one. Simply following each breath in and silently counting. So simple. Do this as many times as you want, eyes open or closed, breathing normally.
2. Mini Walking Meditation
You can do this walking along a country lane, a city street, in the office or the garden. You can walk slowly, normal or fast, whatever feels right. As you walk become aware of your walking, of the movement of your body and the rise and fall of your feet. Become aware of your breath and see if you can bring both your breathing and your walking together. Just walk and breathe with awareness for a few minutes.
3. Instant Letting Go
Find a quiet place to sit, have a straight back, and take a deep breath and let it go. Then quietly repeat to yourself: "My body is at ease and relaxed . . . my heartbeat is normal . . . my mind is calm and peaceful . . . my heart is open and loving." Keep repeating this until you have let go of the tension and are at peace. Then take a deep breath and have a smile on your face!
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