Preface

I recently accompanied my wife to a Yoga center in Ocala, Florida, where I chanced upon a book, The Surrender Experiment, by Michael A. Singer. This book is about the author’s journey into life’s perfection through the practice of meditation. He desperately wanted to get rid of the voice that chatted incessantly inside his head.

I was fascinated by how this author was able to establish himself into deep meditation quickly and comfortably. He had no teacher. He had only the book, Three Pillars of Zen, by Philip Kapleau to guide him. This book answered his real questions, like “Who am I that watches that voice talk?” It guided him simply to sit down in a quiet spot, watch his breath go in and out, and mentally repeat the sound Mu with his focus centered below his belly button. This simple formula worked like a charm.

This surprised me because not many people get such results so quickly in meditation. Even the book, Three Pillars of Zen, describes the practice of meditation in monasteries to be arduous, and monks taking years to reach enlightenment. An instance of a person making rapid progress through meditation is unheard of. I was curious to know about the example that Buddha set.

Buddha left home in search of self-realization when he was twenty-nine. By the time he attained enlightenment he was thirty-five. It may seem that it took him six years to attain enlightenment, but Buddha spent most of those years practicing asceticism, which almost killed him. Once Buddha realized the middle way of mindfulness (seeing things as they are), he abandoned asceticism. It was then a matter of months before he attained enlightenment.

This book is written on the premise that when meditation is practiced correctly, it takes months, and not years, to reach enlightenment.

This book therefore focuses first on defining the terms meditation and enlightenment so they are understood correctly. Second, it provides a number of simple exercises that guide one smoothly through the gradients of meditation.

Many of us have dreamed of a grass-root movement of spiritual awakening spreading throughout the world like wild fire. May this book provide the spark, which makes this dream become a reality.

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Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

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