Lunchtime Enlightenment

Humming for half an hour? Dancing around the room with eyes closed? Laughing out loud, morning and night? Speaking in gibberish? I don't think so!

Logical and inhibited as I am, some of the suggestions in this book are non-starters. But Pragito Dove is a neat name, and Lunchtime Enlightenment is a neat effort: compact, thoughtful, occasionally brilliant. Its subtitle is "Meditations to Transform Your Life Now—at Work, at Home, at Play". It reminds me of Meditation Made Easy and Finding the Quiet, two other practical books on self-discovery and mindfulness.

Setting aside the bits of wackiness, Lunchtime Enlightenment offers a handbook of hard-headed techniques for mental muscle-building. Like Eknath Easwaran, Dove is eclectic. She summarizes in Part One's first chapter, "Why Meditate?":

The techniques of meditation are not the invention of any one person or one school. Observers of the human condition in many different places and times have come to the conclusion that people have greater potential for conscious awareness than they generally use. Methods were developed early in India, in the fifth to twelfth century in the Syrian and Jordanian deserts, in tenth-century Japan, in medieval European monasteries, in Poland and Russia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, again in India in the twentieth century, and at other times and places.

Whatever method you choose—and in this book, you will learn many—meditation is a way of getting quiet so that you can notice what's happening inside. If a man wants to break out of prison, he first has to study the layout and routine within the prison so he can see how he might break free. To break free from stress and the other patterns of behavior that lead to unhappiness, you must first get to know how you function. Then insights and understandings will arise, and a gateway to freedom will open up.

I love that jailbreak image, an apt metaphor nicely told. Likewise other remarks in Lunchtime Enlightenment. Memorable clips to follow ...

(cf. Afraid of Chairs, Cat Bellies and Dog Noses, ...) - ^z - 2010-10-21