Meditation for Non-Meditators – “Hit the Pause Button”

June 27, 2014


Meditation for Non-Meditators

by Janet Nima Taylor

Paperback: 162 [ages

Publisher: Create Space (2013)

Click here to order directly from Amazon: Meditation for Non-Meditators: Learn to Meditate in Five Minutes

Some books change your life. This one did mine. Though I have read other works on meditation which I wanted to believe in, what I like about Janet Taylor’s is that it’s a no nonsense approach. I learned you can’t do it wrong. So sitting in my La-Z-Boy outside on the terrace, looking at the trees and how the sun comes through their blowing leaves, notebook in hand, I meditate for 3, 4,or 5 minutes. And it works, or at least is a start.

The author says: “Just trying to meditate has a positive physical impact… And “the practice has shown to re-wire your brain by increasing the newtual networks devoted to positive mental states.”

I love the way she encourages readers to skip ahead if they are impatient (and I am). Yet there is back-up for those with specific questions. “We often hear that meditation is about ‘letting go’” she writes, “but that is only half the practice… Let things come and go. Allow it all to arise, be experienced, perhaps, then allow it to go.”

I must admit I didn’t particularly care for her other book, Buddhism for Non- Buddhists. It starts out well (This is American Buddhism. This isn’t about wearing strange robes. This isn’t about living in a cave or having to sit on the floor in the pretzel position… The Buddhist practices can be simple, practical and applicable.) but then Janet Nima Taylor feels compelled to give us the five attitudes, four noble truths, eightfold path, and I remember the ten commandments, the eight beatitudes, the seven deadly sins and am right back in a church with statues, priests in robes, kneeling/sitting/standing on command. I realize this is twenty-five hundred years of tradition, but that’s not what I want—it is what I have been trying to escape.

Toward the end of the book, things become more personal. She asks, “Who or what are you?” “How is Buddhism different?” “Do we have a ‘self’‘ or a ‘soul’?”

I’m sure that this all fits together, but I’m a bit impatient for that. That’s why I loved the five minute meditation of her Meditation for Non-Meditators.

In the early days of TV, kids would come over to my house and we’d watch TV station test patterns. But we didn’t need any Cliff Notes to do that.

4 out of 5


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