Transforming the Self with Ancient Wisdom


His Holiness the Dalai Lama writes in the foreword of the book Be the Change, “Meditation is an important instrument for shaping and transforming our minds.”

The authors Ed and Deb Shapiro, who have taught meditation and personal development for more than twenty five years, interweave their thoughts with comments of more than one hundred meditation practitioners including teachers, scientists, activists, musicians, environmentalists, yogis, therapists, and doctors about how meditation had changed them.

These practitioners of meditation have explored how meditation can awaken human potential and transform the world with a caring and compassionate environment. Robert Thurman, the celebrated Buddhist scholar says in his comments, “We can recover from helpless addiction to externalities, impermanent possessions, distracting entertainment, and disappointing preoccupations by turning on our freely intuitive intelligence, tuning in to our deepest heart through mindful meditation, and dropping out of despairing self-centeredness into the embrace of the lovingness of creation!” Researchers have concluded that even two weeks of practice of meditation for thirty minutes a day can produce measurable improvements in the human brain. “The qualities of acceptance, kindness, generosity, and compassion are the only choices we have in order to transform both ourselves and society,” Ed and Deb Shapiro advise.

There are various forms of meditation, from silence to unified sound. We can create a powerful form of meditation by unifying our voices when reciting mantras and shlokas. Ed and Deb Shapiro add, “Sounding together loosens the barriers of separation which allows for a healing of both cells and souls.”

The authors of “Emotional Wisdom,” Mantak Chia and Dena Saxer, offer advise for emotional healing and self empowerment through balancing energies and demonstrate how these energies can cure common ailments, such as asthma, allergies, and diabetes. The practical remedies derived and traditional Chinese medicine are convincingly presented in the book who define Tao as the natural order of the universe.

Chia and Saxer explain the essence of the five-thousand-year old philosophy of Taoism as a path to divine experience by unifying human beings and things. The book focuses on ways to live a long life with abundance of happiness, health and harmony. It consists of practical tools for self healing from painful emotions. The Tao masters, who proclaimed that human beings are microcosm of the macrocosm, the universe, created exercises and meditation to maximize life forces by following the movements and elements of nature, such as the trees, mountains, rivers, winds, and sun. They taught us how meditation can help us empty our mind from negative, superficial and repetitive thoughts that disturb the peace and block our perceptions.

Even death was made tolerable by Taoists, who termed death as one’s passing on to another state of energy, a transformation that returns us to our origin.

The Taoist philosophy devised six healing sounds that release= the unwanted emotions. The arm movements activate the meridians while inner smiles foster love and gratitude in our bodies, minds, emotions and Spirits make us feel relaxed and radiant. The authors recommend that regularly doing the Six Healing Sounds and Inner Smile transforms, balances, and harmonizes all our emotions.

Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World

By Ed and Deb Shapiro Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 342 pages

Emotional Wisdom: Daily Tools for Transforming Anger, Depression, and Fear

By Mantak Chia and Dena Saxer New World Library, 218 pages

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