Contemplative Practices in Action:

Spirituality, Meditation, and Health

This groundbreaking primer illuminates contemplative methods that can improve mental and physical health.

Contemplative practices, from meditation to Zen, are growing in popularity as methods to inspire physical and mental health. Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health offers readers an introduction to these practices and the ways they can be used in the service of well-being, wisdom, healing, and stress reduction.

Bringing together various traditions from the East and West, this thought-provoking work summarizes the history of each practice, highlights classic and emerging research proving its power, and details how each practice is performed. Expert authors offer step-by-step approaches to practice methods including the 8-Point Program of Passage Meditation, Centering Prayer, mindful stress management, mantram meditation, energizing meditation, yoga, and Zen. Beneficial practices from Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, and Islamic religions are also featured. Vignettes illustrate each of the practices, while the contributors explain how and why they are effective in facing challenges as varied as the loss of a partner or child, job loss, chronic pain or disease, or psychological disorders.

    • Foreword by renowned author and scholar Huston Smith, subject of the five-part PBS special, The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith
    • Contributions from 13 expert authors
  • Case studies showing how contemplative practices are being used to cope with modern stress and disorders among groups as diverse as caregivers, pregnant women, people living with HIV, and veterans dealing with PTSD

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Philosophy of Gorakhnath – Original Christianity and Original Yoga

This volume contains the essence of the writings and teachings of Mahayogi Gorakhnath. It is well pointed out that while the ultimate object of the search is the same for a Yogi and a philosopher, their modes of approach are different, the latter’s being intellectual and the former’s intuitive and spiritual. The task of a Yogi does not require any subtle intellectual speculation or the framing of hypotheses and theories. The quest of the Yogi is a direct spiritual experience of truth on a high plane of consciousness. The highest state of Samadhi attained by the Yogi is neither purely subjective nor objective. It transcends both categories and it is really an integrated experience beyond formal description. Such a transcendent state of consciousness is alone called Samadhi.

This book is an attempt to present a systematic and consistent account of the philosophical background of the spiritual culture associated with the names of Yogi Gorakhnath and other adepts of the Natha school. The account is mainly based on an original Sanskrit text of the school attributed to Gorakhnath, which is believed to be a faithful record of some of the traditional views of the school. The author has ably accomplished his self-imposed task which is difficult not only for the great depth of yogic wisdom implied in the teachings but also for the great paucity of necessary materials.

The author has said everything worth knowing for a beginner in regard to the philosophical outlook of Nathism. The ultimate reality- Brahman and Para-Samvit; the inter-relation of Siva and Sakti; the gradual unfoldment of the supreme Sakti and the origin of the universe consisting of an infinite series of world-systems; the appearance of the individual souls and their relation to the cosmic Purusa; the supreme ideal of human life; the relation between macrocosm and microcosm; the universe as the body of the transcendent: these are some of the topics on which the learned author has tried to throw light. As Nathism represents a particular aspect of Hindu spiritual life, the writer has done well in dealing at some length with the ideal of Hindu spirituality in general.