Cover image for Meditation & its practices : a definitive guide to techniques and traditions of meditation in Yoga and Vedanta
Meditation & its practices : a definitive guide to techniques and traditions of meditation in Yoga and Vedanta
Adiswarananda, Swami, 1925-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Woodstock, Vt. : SkyLight Paths Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
xvii, 472 pages ; 24 cm
Part one: the process of meditation -- The meaning of meditation -- The meditative state -- The goal of meditation -- The benefits of meditation -- Meditation in the system of yoga -- Meditation in vedanta -- The sacred texts on meditation -- The three key factors in all meditation -- Part two: objects of meditation -- Objects of meditation in yoga and vedanta -- Meditation on a divine form -- Meditation on a divine incarnation -- Meditation on the Lord as inmost self and supreme teacher -- Meditation on Virata Purusha, the cosmic person -- Meditation on the sacred word om -- Meditation on the Gayatri mantra -- Meditation on the great Vedic sayings --Meditation ona sacred text, word or mystic syllable -- Part three: centers of consciousness -- The centers for meditation -- Dualism, nondualism, and the centers -- Part four: methods of concentration -- Withdrawal and concentration of mind -- Posture -- Time and place, spiritual vibrations, and geographical directions -- Physical condition, eating habits, and exercise -- Self-analysis -- Mystic worship -- Japa, or repetition of a sacred word -- Pranayama, or control of breath -- Part five: progress in meditation -- Milestones of progress -- Mystical experiences and realizations -- The transformation of character -- The sacred texts on progress in meditation -- Part six: obstacles in meditation -- Obstacles in meditation and ways of overcoming them.
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Material Type
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Item Holds
BL627 .A33 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BL627 .A33 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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The complete sourcebook for exploring Hinduism's two most time-honored traditions of meditation.

Meditation is a subject of universal interest, practiced by seekers of all traditions on the quest for serenity, peace, and blessedness. Among the many traditions of meditation in Hinduism, Yoga and Vedanta have passed the test of time, proving as vital today as they were throughout the ages in helping seekers overcome the maladies of life and attain the greatest spiritual fulfillment. In one comprehensive volume, Meditation & Its Practices illuminates the principles of the Yoga and Vedanta meditation traditions, the meaning of meditation, its goal of Self-Knowledge, the methods by which concentration is developed and the ways of achieving self-control. Defining key concepts in clear terms, this complete guidebook covers every aspect of this ancient spiritual practice, including:

Goals and Benefits of Meditation Objects of Meditation Methods of Concentration Posture, Physical Condition, Eating Habits and Spiritual Exercises Mystical Experiences and Realizations Obstacles in Meditation and Ways of Overcoming Them

Drawing on both classic and contemporary sources, this comprehensive sourcebook outlines the scientific, psychological, and spiritual elements of Yoga and Vedanta meditation, the results of which lead not to the seeker's dreams and visions but to the transformation of his or her character.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Meditation and Its Practices0 is an extensive guide to Vedanta meditation, a nondualistic Hindu belief system with four basic principles: divinity of the individual soul, unity of existence, oneness with the Ultimate Reality, and harmony of religions. Under Vedanta philosophy, meditation is the way for the individual to realize his or her oneness with god, or the Ultimate Reality. Swami Adiswarananda, senior minister of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York, explores the scriptural background of Vedanta and gives explicit, practical instructions for practicing meditation in this tradition. --Jane Tuma Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Asserting that meditation leads to direct perception of ultimate reality and samadhi, a "state of blissful superconsciousness," Adiswarananda (Senior Minister of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York City) surveys the vast topic of meditation in the Yoga and Vedanta traditions within Hinduism. He begins by discussing meditation's characteristics, goals and benefits, then explores various objects of meditation, including a particularly informative chapter on the "most sacred of all sacred words," Om. Next, he examines the mechanics of meditation, such as chakras, posture, eating habits and japa, the practice of repeating a sacred word or phrase. He then turns to the tricky subject of charting one's spiritual progress, discussing mystical benefits of meditation, such as visions and psychic powers. (He does caution readers about the subjective nature of such phenomena, insisting instead on the centrality of reason, orthodox Hindu scriptures and especially the real-world transformation of one's character as gauges of effective meditation practice.) Finally, he rounds out the tome with a discussion of obstacles in meditation and methods of overcoming them. The sheer scope of the book allows Adiswarananda to strike a graceful balance between liberal inclusiveness and conservative exclusiveness: one may choose the meditation method that seems most suitable, but straying from that chosen path undermines one's efforts and is "fraught with danger." Yet his microscopic attention to so many intricacies makes distinguishing between Yoga and Vedanta difficult and prevents the book from being a practical, how-to guide to meditation, limiting its appeal to very serious students. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Yoga and Vedanta, two of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy, offer seekers freedom from the vicissitudes of life if they correctly and persistently follow the path of meditation to achieve contact with the Ultimate Reality. Here, Adiswarananda, senior minister at the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York City, sets forth the process and objects of meditation, the three centers of consciousness, the methods of concentration, and the marks of progress in and obstacles to meditation while comparing and contrasting each within the religious contexts of Yoga and Vedanta. His presentation, accessible to the general reader though somewhat redundant, brings together widely scattered teachings and draws heavily on quotes from Hinduism's standard works (e.g., The Upanishads, Pantanjali's Yoga-sutra). An optional purchase for most collections where works such as Georg Feuerstein's The Shambhala Guide to Yoga satisfy the needs of most.-James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of North Carolina Lib., Asheville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.