This is the follow-up book to “The Art of Happiness”, written by the same author.
Meditation is, according to this book, the “inner transformation through training the mind.” It is a challenging and daunting prospect. Meditation is a difficult discipline to master and practise effectively. The structured way in which Matthieu Ricard leads his readers, provides people wishing to embark on the art of meditation with a strong framework to build upon, and practical help to achieve their goals.
Matthieu Ricard provides the reasons why we should meditate, as well as explaining how we should do so. Meditation has been scientifically proven to have a beneficial influence over the mind, helping it to be less stressed and more clear-thinking. In medical experiments, scans have shown meditation to have a measurable and positive effect on the brain. It markedly works to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure and helps concentration and focus. The author’s scientific background and credentials are impeccable. His intentions in writing this guide are even more altruistic. Matthieu Ricard’s goal as a devout Buddhist is to reduce suffering in others and lessen the burdens faced by humanity through changing people’s attitudes to those burdens.
His advice is easily digestible and simple to follow. Ironically, a great deal of thought has to be given to have a mind free of any thoughts at all. The various steps on this spiritual journey, given in small doses at a time, enable a degree of competency to be achieved before progressing to the next stage. He also provides sources of inspiration throughout the book that have worked for him, and practical information on the positions of the body that will enable optimal balance and posture for meditation. It is a practical and spiritual guide. It embraces the Buddhist principles of freeing the mind from needless suffering. Ricard advises that there is some considerable effort, as for anything worth achieving, involved in mastering this art. The chances of success are greatly increased by the guidance, explanations and a progression of mental exercises he provides to help in the journey to attain the perfect contemplative state.
As in “The Art of Happiness”, Mathhieu Ricard explains that meditation is an ability that can be mastered through practice, just as Happiness can be developed as “Life’s most important skill.” This book promises the attainment of heightened sensations, clarity of mind, serenity and inner peace through hard, methodical and regular practice of this art. For a mere $9.99, it could be the best value life-changing read for health and happiness in this difficult, materialistic and confusing world.