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How to Meditate

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  403 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
This bestselling guide offers a realistic and straightforward approach to achieving inner peace, stress relief and increased self-knowledge.
Published June 1st 1982 by Bantam Books (first published 1974)
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(showing 1-30)
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Nov 18, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meditation can get a bad rap. Often times, the strong opinion of religious folks can deter other folks from walking the meditative path. New age religion folk have their twist, yogis have their twist, Christians have their twist, etc. This book is written in the twist of a learned psychologist who seems to have his head on completely straight.

I like how he discusses the many different paths one could take for meditation. He also keeps things nice and simple. He has a diverse approach by quoting
Bernie Gourley
LeShan’s book is a secular and scientific guide to meditation. By secular, I don’t mean to suggest that it’s devoid of mention of religion. On the contrary, How to Meditate delves into a wide variety of meditation styles that have roots in religion, and it quotes from spiritual teachers across a range of religions--including the mystic branches of Christianity and Islam. I mention the latter because the book seems tailored to bringing individuals into meditation that do not normally think medita ...more
Jim Parker
Apr 03, 2017 Jim Parker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good basic guide to meditation. Does not really go very much in depth but is very clear and easy to follow for the beginner.
May 30, 2012 James rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a short introduction to meditation without a particular religious bias this is the book for you. Organized into twelve chapters each of which discuss a basic issue regarding meditation, the book is as practical as one can be when discussing this concept.
Why do we meditate? LeShan suggests on the opening page of the book that "We meditate to find, to recover, to come back to something of ourselves we once dimly and unknowingly had and have lost without knowing what it was
Sophia Park
May 14, 2011 Sophia Park rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I was recommended this when I went looking for some kind of guide into the world of meditation. I was told it was simple, practical and honest, and after reading it, that's probably the best way to put it.

This book is frank, personal, but confident. It presents a plethora of schools of mysticism - whether Christian, Hasidic, Buddhist or otherwise - and maintains a balance, an objective view on how they can affect one's meditation practice.

It details schools of meditation, how to engage in those
Jul 03, 2010 Una rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book such a high review because it's not only well-written but a welcome departure from magical crystal guru bs. It includes a respectful summary of different approaches and instructions regarding different types of meditation, but also includes such chapter headings as "alluring traps in meditation and mysticism" and " 'vibrations,' 'energy,' and other cheap explanations of things." At no point did I roll my eyes and I came away from the book feeling like I could (and wanted to) sta ...more
Cody Weston
Overall a sound and straightforward introduction to meditation for personal growth. My only complaint is that it veers into the hokey from time to time, discussing such topics as ESP. In my opinion, these discussions detract from the credibility of the text, but I found enough to like that I still recommend the book as a first look into the topic.
Feb 06, 2008 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent how-to book and introduction into what meditation is, it's difficulty and very interesting comparisons to religions. I recommend it, if you are interested in finding out more on meditating or have an interest in learning :)
John Nelson
Feb 10, 2016 John Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is beautiful and mandatory to those who want to take meditation as a serious discipline. Meditation has been cheapened by modern society in the same way Yoga has, as well as nutrition. By that, I mean: yoga is treated as a weird form of gymnastics and body weight workout, fixating on the one physical portion of the Yoga system and disregarding the whole spiritual discipline framework. And with nutrition, the fixation has been to "lose weight", where as nutrition should be treated to gi ...more
Nov 10, 2014 Wine rated it it was amazing
This was a great no bs starter book on meditation. It was written well, easy to read, short/sweet, and gave me a good idea of how & where to start practice.

I could appreciate the way the author cautions the reader about phony gurus and warns us not to get caught up in the meaningless confusion between science and mysticism that meditation can often lead to. While not discrediting the practice itself, he earned a lot of credibility in my opinion by showing that he has a good head about himsel
Jun 29, 2013 Rusty rated it really liked it
This little book gives a quick look at meditation, the types, and benefits for those who practice it. A simple procedure called Breath Counting is given for readers to try. The procedure is difficult to master but can be attained. Here's how: Find a comfortable position - sittintg, laying or standing - set a timer for fifteen minutes and begin. Count breaths: one, two, three, and four. Repeat the counts one through four concentrating on only counting breaths until the timer ends. blocking out al ...more
Jonathan Vazquez-Perez
I've been trying to make meditation part of my regular routine and wanted to get this book to kind of just get an idea of how to go about it and how to think about meditation in the first place. For me personally I do meditation for the very practical effects of it, I feel a sharper focus, more clarity in my thoughts, less emotional reactivity, more centered, more aware of my thought patterns and feelings... basically if I were to summarize it; meditation is a great way of exercising executive c ...more
Jun 07, 2015 JP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to
LeShan presents this book in an awesome, easy-to-pick-up way. I received this book at a very difficult time in my life, and when I was way too young to effectively wade through the difficulties of teaching yourself to meditate and seeking inner quiet on your own.

The book is very well-organized, though I feel that some of the chapters are a little redundant or unnecessary. One of the fun things about the book is that whenever one of these chapters popped up, LeShan prefaced them with some sort of
Mar 21, 2012 Craig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr LeShan is an authority on Meditation and it comes through in his book, speaking from years of experience practicing and from teaching. The first half of the book is dedicated to the several methods used to meditate and the second half talks about the pitfalls and the watch out for. I did learn a lot about how to meditate and the benefits of the process which was the main purpose of reading the book. My only criticism is that the writing is a little slow and the second half to the book tends t ...more
Dec 12, 2008 Amit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book giving different paths of meditation. It includes the essence of different philosophies of the world including mind boggling variety of Indian methods, Sufi etc. The book also tries to tie up the ancient practices with the current psycho-analytical practices. Great book if you want a balanced view of different paths to meditation. Hopefully, I will pick this book at a later time at leisure and practice more.
Jan 11, 2014 Kiersten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A straight-forward, thoughtful, practical guide to meditation. It was informative without being esoteric or kooky. The author has an admirable interest in the pursuit of 'human betterment' through meditation, all the while maintaining a healthy appreciation of modern science. I'll probably refer back to this text often.
I consider myself to be a practitioner of meditation. That being said though, I have had little formal study or knowledge of the subject; this book explained many goals/methods/ideas I've encountered and used. Perhaps a little dated in its mention of current research and attitudes about ESP, drugs, and psychology, but nothing too far from current ideals.
Matt Brockwell
Apr 24, 2012 Matt Brockwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far, I think I can safely say this: if I were to only be allowed to read one book on meditation in my life, I'd want it to be this one. LeShan is clear, concise, thoughtful and to the point. He's given me just enough information to get started, and just enough of a sense of the destination and the reward to get me motivated to keep going.
LeShan has written a lucid and clearheaded guided to various meditation practices as well as making a persuasive case for the meditative life. He also has clearly done his homework, and it was through LeShan I discovered the works of Christmas Humphreys and of Evelyn Underhill, of St. John of the Cruss and "The Cloud of Unknowing."
Dave Warawa
Dec 04, 2014 Dave Warawa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
If you've read my reviews, you will see that I read a lot of business books. For those of us who have a challenge to relax, this book will guide you in the right direction. Have patience with the techniques, as they take a while to learn and apply.
Jun 07, 2016 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Other than the stuff about ESP, I found this to be a wonderful and helpful book. It's best to read it slowly, one chapter a day to get the full effect. But reading the book is just the start. It's the practice that you really need to work on on your own time.
Selene Mikaiel
Apr 06, 2015 Selene Mikaiel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's strange when you come with something you think you've made up, then someone hands you a book and you find out it already exists. Most of the meditation techniques found in this book are so simple I'm sure many already practice it. I was glad to learn I was on to something.
Phil Smith
Mar 23, 2008 Phil Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yup. I'm trying to add discipline to my mind, which is indeed a ship at sea being navigated by a crazy crew that locked away the captain and navigator. I am secular, to be sure, and this book deals with the why and how of mediation without all the religious crap. So far, I like it...
Oct 24, 2008 Charlotte rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in meditation
An easy read and a very thorough guide to meditation. I read this after taking a meditation class and really enjoyed meditating but haven't managed to keep it up. Luke even built me a meditation bench!
Dec 19, 2007 Jer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
Not a book religious teachings or other such hocus pocus.

This book takes a brief but very detailed look at meditation. It's origins, it's use and examples of different forms. At under 150 pages, I think this is a must read for anyone who desires mental health.
Anna Dimitrova
Много приятно премерен поглед върху медитативните и мистични практики в Щатите пред 70-те. Някои неща са доста актуални и днес, особено у нас, струва ми се.
If you're interested in meditation, this is a good one.
Feb 08, 2008 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little confusing to navigate through, but definately informative.
Feb 25, 2015 Shayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Not bad, though a little heavy on the mysticism. ESP agrees with relativistic physics? Um... I don't think so.
Eugene Lee
The one word this book would trigger me to meditate on is "meh".
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