Here's How to Get Started At Meditation
I'm constantly getting emails from people who say they want to get started with meditation, but are confused by all the spiritual schools out there. There are so many different approaches and competing techniques, and so many teachers (asking for money).
What do they do? How do they get started? Where do they start?
Gosh, people write me that AFTER reading all the free materials on the website, so I must be doing something wrong. I talk about this all the time but they want to know how to know that the path they select is a correct one, other than going by gut feeling, and that they're not wasting their time, money or getting cheated.
Hinduism says do this, Tibetan Buddhism says that, the qi-gong and Taoist folks are doing this, Zen is doing that, Gurdjieff followers are promoting this, Edgar Cayce adherents are studying that, Rudolf Steiner folks want this, and so on it goes. Boy, it sure is confusing unless you have a good guide who in a non-denominational, non-sectarian way, really tells you what's going on. Truth be told, not all the approaches out there are correct.
Some schools are legitimate, but if the teacher students select to follow is "off his rocker" or out for money, you're in trouble. I can tell you to use your wisdom, but how do you know what's wise? Where is the yardstick or set of principles you should follow?
Yes, it's confusing, and that's why I asked Master Nan (who is recognized as a Zen master, Tibetan esoteric master, Tao school master and Confucian master... who knows martial arts and yoga and Chinese medicine and so forth) to give a set of lectures on this so that people could know what IS the path to enlightenment, and what they SHOULD be and SHOULD NOT be doing in their cultivation work.
I don't know why this lecture set has never been popular because that book -- which is NOT available in Chinese -- is probably the most elegant of his writings available in English and tells you exactly what's wrong with many cultivation schools, what NOT to do, and how to practice correctly. Maybe I named it wrong, but if you want the correct lay of the land that quickly puts everything in perspective, you should get this book: => The Insiders Guide to Spiritual Practices
I cannot tell you how many times during the year I've met people who think they've been cultivating and they're Smack Out violating the principles he goes over in this book, which tells why most Chinese Taoists went into Buddhism to find enlightenment, why most Hindu approaches reached samadhi but not enlightenment, how people get lost within Tibetan Buddhism and tantra, and how even the Zen school has declined. Loads more schools are discussed. Most New Age approaches, for instance, are worthless ? but do you know WHY?
I wanted Master Nan to do this for years to make clear the way for students, and finally he gave this set of lectures. We had 3-5 translators, 5-8 editors, a wonderful set of topics, fantastic material, it reads well and yet it isn't popular.
Maybe I gave it the wrong title or wrote it up wrong because every time I get an email asking how to get started, this book comes to mind and they're not interested. Yet I know what's in the book so I know this is right for most people. Most people are totally ignorant. I'm a little better than most, and I was blown away by the insights he related.
After reading this book, I can guarantee that you'll have an immediate opinion on Mormonism, Scientology, yoga, Taoism, qi-gong, Zen, wicca, Shintoism, creative visualization, prosperity consciousness (manifestation), shamanism, drugs, The Power of Now, and so forth. Use the principles within, the conclusions become clear!
I don't have time for essay emails, so I usually pull some bits of information from this book and send folks so they won't go astray. Put this together with "Tao and Longevity" and "25 Doors to Samadhi" and you have the methods to practice, the gong-fu these methods will produce, and the lay of the land of the spiritual landscape in front of you.
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