McMahon outlines a feedback technique for enhancing the quality of meditation.
The author, who has a doctorate in psychology, found her frequent meditation sessions greatly improved when she focused on a dot. Concentrating on the spot, she writes, helped her immediately notice when her mind wandered. McMahon provides advice like this, as well as ruminations on the value of meditation in this tome. Multiple questionnaires give readers a chance to develop, refine and elevate their meditation skills. Unfortunately, this potentially handy workbook is marred by excessive metaphors, quotations and anecdotes. The text frequently wanders and rambles, including dozens of stories about the author’s precocious daughter as well as her karate teacher–whose influence extends to sharing the book’s byline–most of which grate. Heavy reliance on secondary sources undermines the text’s authority on increasing benefits from meditation. For a more streamlined, welcoming manual, the author could have trusted the reader to understand her points after a brief illustration, instead of unnecessarily relying on anecdotes and generalizations. Equally distracting are dubious claims of dramatic improvements, such as the story about a woman who meditated her way out of terminal cancer or the assertion that advanced meditation results in happiness even in prison. The book’s discussion regarding accountability is excellent, however, reminding readers of their active role in improving meditation skills just as one regularly brushes teeth or exercises. For those with a competitive streak, the text enticingly suggests a high-quality meditation practice which gives one an edge in other activities.
A meditation manual hampered by clutter.