Book Review: “Meditation” – Erica Brealey & Nicholas Wilks

“Anyone who sincerely attempts to practise meditation as it is described here will be rewarded with a greater sense of inner peace and strength”

-Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I have in my possession numerous books that are wonderful for furthering ones understanding with regard to meditation and spiritual philosophy. This is one such book, given to me by some friends who, as luck would have it, found it.

Meditation is a brilliantly simple read, outlining sometimes complex issues in a clear and balanced fashion. I would say this book is perfect for beginners to meditation–for those who want an insight into a world that, especially in the West, is under reported and under valued. However, those of you who have been practising for a time would do well to give this book a read to refresh yourself on all aspects of meditation.

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I wish I had read Meditation a long time ago myself. If I had this book in my collection when I started my practise two and a half years ago, various useful information would have been at my disposal. It has often been the case, you see, that I have had to discover things for myself–and these “things” have been complex, out-of-the-ordinary and confusing. A book such as this would have come in handy.

The methods described by Brealey & Wilks are concise, helping beginners decide which style of meditation is best for them. The authors also give a concise guide of the benefits of the practise, the philosophy surrounding it and advice about finding teachers once you have established your findings.

As you’ve seen, the foreword is written by the Dalai Lama himself, a man who can attest to the benefits of meditation and meditative philosophies. Another quote from his input I’ve picked out is the following:

“Real peace and happiness come from within. The key to a happy life is to develop a calm and happy mind. If you have that, whatever the external circumstances, nothing will disturb your inner peace.”

This, for me, is the great truth of meditation. It shows you the way to peace and happiness through showing you that your power comes from within you, not the outside world. No external force can give you lasting peace. Our world is full of great wonder–the very fact that we’re here in the first place, regardless of your worldview, is a miracle. Yet we focus on all the bad things that happen to us, collecting untold negative mental baggage along the way. But, through establishing a practice of meditation, one can work through issues and begin to enjoy the subtler parts of life without constant mental rambling.

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