As a yoga studio owner, I often receive unsolicited promotional material in the mail. Everything from food samples, to articles of clothing, to CDs, to yoga props. Most of it I promptly give away. Every now and then a publisher sends me a book for review.
Unfortunately, the books I receive don’t usually align with the Viniyoga methodology or the yoga teachings I’ve been given. Sometimes they’re yoga related, but I’m just plain not interested in their premise. So normally I take a quick look at them, then give them to someone else or quickly file them in our lending library, hoping one of my students will appreciate them.
A pretty, tiny book arrived not long ago. I was in a hurry, so I almost didn’t even look at it. I’m still not sure why I did. But as I was about to walk it to the community bookshelf, I opened it. I’m glad I did.
Simple Meditation: A Quick and Easy Guide for Learning to Meditate is a sweet little book, only fifty-eight pages long. The left side of each is a gorgeous full-color photograph. On the right, A few words, no more than a hundred or so per page, formatted in a way that reminds me of poetry. The book’s presentation is beautiful, although some of the printing on my copy is blurred, and at times the center-justified formatting bothers me.
What really sold me on this book was how aligned it is with my own ideas about meditation. It was almost like I wrote it myself.
The first thirty-five pages outline general principles on the hows, whats, and wheres of meditation. The last twenty outline ten simple meditations any beginner can try. The techniques cover the spectrum of senses: sound, sight, sensation—smell and taste would be nice additions, but that’s a small quibble—and seven of the ten techniques are ones I’ve taught in my own meditation classes. My new personal favorite is a sweet little meditation on joyfulness. I just might have to steal for my next New Year’s Day yoga class.
The book is available for purchase through Amazon.com. I’d say look for it on the studio’s bookshelf, but this one is coming home with me.