Meditation for the Love of ItJanuary 18, 2011 7 Comments
One of the guiding mantras here at the Interaction Institute is the idea that “the success of an intervention is directly proportional to the inner condition of the intervener.” This idea and our commitment to “the love that does justice,” help us to uphold those practices that nurture our inner condition and facilitate our capacity to love. It is with this commitment in mind that I share the following review:
Sally Kempton has written a wonderful book. Meditation for the Love of It is a breath of fresh air in this current wave of meditation literature. Pleased as I am by the booming interest in the practice of meditation, I am often frustrated by what feels like a one sided perspective of a beautifully multi-faceted tradition. A masterful teacher, a great writer who is able to transmit her own direct experience of the Self, Sally Kempton makes accessible a rich meditation tradition that could otherwise be relegated to the inaccessible realms of esoterica.
Writing practically, in a book that is so rich with exercises that it could almost be called a manual, Sally invites us into the tantric traditions and the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism that has so formed her own practice. I have often felt that meditation aficionados can get so into the wisdom of “suchness,” and the great practices of being with “what is,” that we can actually neglect the radiance of spiritual attainment and our capacity to reach states of bliss and God Realization. Reading Sally’s skillful teachings on the “Kundalini Shakti,” her unabashed work with “enlivened mantras,” and her reference to the power of lineage and the authenticity of awakened teachers truly is cause for celebration among those of us that seek a more complete picture of the meditation traditions.
Don’t misunderstand me – Sally does not set out to write an “alternative take” and neither does she set up her teachings in stark contrast to more prevalent schools of meditation, her writing is inclusive, flexible and inviting. Familiar with her tradition, given my own practice and engagement with the same lineage of teachers, I am the one that is seeing contrasts and celebrating the uniqueness of her offering. But she is not only making us aware of an old and relatively unknown school of meditation (at least here in the West) she is also simultaneously aligning herself with the schools of evolutionary enlightenment and integral spirituality that are the most exciting new developments in the meditative traditions.
Meditation for the Love of It has the potential of fully serving different audiences, if you are new to meditation you will find it a delectable and practical introduction. If you are a serious meditator you will find a powerful boost to your practice. If you come from one of the great Buddhist traditions that have boomed so beautifully in the West, you will find a new and complimentary perspective and if you practice in one of the yogic lineages that have blossomed in our culture you will find the sort of deep resonance that can move practice forward.
I am deeply grateful for Sally Kempton and for all that she brings, thankful for a teacher that can share the fruits of her own devotion and practice. One of the coolest parts of her book is her “three week meditation breakthrough program,” I can’t wait to try it out – I’ll let you know how it goes!
PS: If you are interested in starting a meditation practice, consider our community, we start with at least 5 minutes a day for 28 Days