Johnson's (First You Sigh, 2000) sound, well-paced self-help book on meditation and mindfulness.
A native Texan and horse-ranch owner, Johnson offers a book of meditative practices that she’s tested and used as a teacher and in her own personal meditation. The book begins by addressing any apprehensions the uninitiated reader may have about meditation in general, ego-study and other self-awareness topics. But instead of pointing out the flaws of society’s fast-paced left-brain–dominant structures, Johnson suggests practical approaches that harness human nature instead of denying it. For example, she suggests that instead of trying to dismiss their egos, readers should learn to embrace them as internal protection mechanisms. Only when you understand the true value of the ego, Johnson suggests, can you begin to live a life of harmony. She explains that people’s thoughts don’t need to be the dominant forces that control their feelings, and learning to control one’s thoughts can help a person begin to explore the self, the body and the tangible world. Johnson compellingly presents meditation as a private process of learning about oneself, with no “correct” way to do it. She recommends trying out different visual, sonic and sensory styles of meditation until something fits. Overall, the book portrays meditation as the process of understanding how one functions. It’s a framing that makes sense and contrasts with the ample time that many people spend deciphering how external entities work, from corporations to governments to technology. This self-discovery process may help readers better manage their thoughts and emotions and lead to the calmer, happier existence Johnson encourages.
A well-illustrated, concise guide to meditation.