“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” - Often attributed to Plato but likely from Ian McLaren (pseudonym of Reverend John Watson)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Too personal?

I tend to listen to the radio while I shower and get ready for the day. During the week I listen to KNX, the local outlet of CBS Radio. The format is "all news all the time," but on weekend mornings it's food news. This interests me not in the slightest. So I'll often turn to KPFK, the local Pacifica outlet. Here, I'll often find intelligent (though frequently infuriating) discussion.

Last Sunday, there was a woman being interviewed regarding meditation and mindfulness. I've not practiced meditation but she claimed that, among other things, regular practice of meditation would have a beneficial effect on ability to concentrate, to imagine, and to reduce stress. These things all sounded good but, being in the shower, I couldn't log onto a website or take notes. Thus, I remember neither the interviewee's name nor the name of her book.


Here it is the next Saturday and I wondered if her book might be available in a Kindle edition (I'm too impatient to wait for a print version - perhaps meditation could help). So I went to the Amazon site and searched for "meditation mindfulness". The first couple of pages returned didn't trigger the "ah ha" reaction so I thought I'd search for an appropriate book even it it wasn't the one the KPFK person wrote.


I found a book on the second page that had a title that sounded appropriate, "Meditation for Beginners: Techniques for Awareness, Mindfulness and Relaxation (For Beginners (Llewellyn's)). Gosh, sounds perfect, I'm a beginner!


I thought I'd check the reviews, the synopsis, and the author information and found the following:
A professional astrologer for over twenty-five years, Stephanie Jean Clement, Ph.D., is a board member of the American Federation of Astrologers and a faculty member of Kepler College and NORWAC. Her Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology has prepared her to work with clients in defining their creative potential and refining their creative process. Her published books include Charting Your Career; Dreams: Working Interactive, What Astrology Can Do for You; The Power of the Midheaven; Charting Your Spiritual Path with Astrology; Meditation for Beginners; and Mapping Your Birthchart.
 
Seriously? What do I make of this? There's pretty much nothing such a one could say about any subject that I could take seriously. Does this represent the reality of the supposed benefits of meditation?


Update: Based on Michael Tobis' comment and a brief review of the conclusions for the papers at the page he linked, I decided to not dismiss meditation and mindfulness out of hand. I went to the archives of KPFK (they handily archive many of their broadcasts) to find the book and author - it's Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program. It doesn't seem Kindle-friendly in that there are CD's included in the dead tree version and, according to a reviewer, some formatting issues in the Kindle version as well. I guess I'll see if I can locate the book at a Barnes and Noble or Borders. If not, I'll order from Amazon and wait out the couple of days.

3 comments:

Michael Tobis said...

yeah. but

http://psyphz.psych.wisc.edu/web/pubs.html

King of the Road said...

Thanks. I really did hope that it wasn't stars, crystals, harmonic convergence, and out of body travel. Do you practice meditation? If so, how does it benefit you and what method did you use to learn it?

Arjan Guden said...

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