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TIME SHIFTING by Stephan Rechtschaffen


Creating More Time to Enjoy Your Life

by Stephan Rechtschaffen

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-385-47849-6
Publisher: Doubleday

 Yet another book teaching busy Americans how to slow down and savor the moment. Rechtschaffen, a founder of the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, offers a series of lessons in mindfulness. The busier we are, he advises, the more we need to take time off, practice random acts of purposeless fun, or listen to Mozart, rather than let ourselves be frantically driven through our precious existence by society's deadly time fixation. A pivotal concept for Rechtschaffen is that different moments and situations have their own distinct time rhythms. Time shifting is thus the art of adjusting (``entraining'') to the unique rhythm of each new event, so that we can truly experience it and be fully present in the moment. Rechtschaffen, who counts Thomas Moore, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Ram Dass among his spiritual teachers, offers a series of practical rituals to facilitate these shifts, including breathing exercises and meditation. In the second half of the book, Rechtschaffen applies these exercies to such areas as self-care, relationships, sports, health, the raising of children, and aging. He finds much to criticize about our distracted, workaholic society, and argues, drawing on his travels, that we need to pay greater attention to the very different approach to time found in many traditional societies. Few would dispute the truth of much of this. But as he reels off his this-is-how-it-is anecdotes and trite statements (``Paradise is where you are right now''; ``Relationships based on sex are bound to fail if we're bent on conquering the object of our love''), Rechtschaffen's facile, often preachy style reduces his truths to truisms. (First serial to New Woman magazine; Literary Guild Selection; author tour)