Unlearning Meditation: What to Do When the Instructions Get In the Way

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Shambhala Publications, Jul 6, 2010 - Religion - 240 pages
Meditation without instructions—a path to tranquility and insight that you can discover all on your own
 
When we meditate, our minds often want to do something other than the meditation instructions we've been taught. When that happens repeatedly, we may feel frustrated to the point of abandoning meditation altogether. 

Jason Siff invites us to approach meditation in a new way, one that honors the part of us that doesn't want to do the instructions. He teaches us how to become more tolerant of intense emotions, sleepiness, compelling thoughts, fantasies—the whole array of inner experiences that are usually considered hindrances to meditation. The meditation practice he presents in Unlearning Meditation is gentle, flexible, permissive, and honest, and it's been wonderfully effective for opening up meditation for people who thought they could never meditate, as well as for injecting a renewed energy for practice into the lives of seasoned practitioners.
 

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Contents

Being Realistic about Meditation
3
Gentle Intentions
11
Instructions as Rules
21
Unlearning for Beginning Meditators
27
Inconsistencies
31
Putting Meditation Experiences into Words
39
Personal Stories
47
Qualities
57
Questions Surrounding Samadhi
131
Part Three Multiple Meditative Processes
135
A Theory of the Meditative Process
137
The Primary Transition
149
Unlearning Meditation and the Generative Process
157
The Three Developed Meditative Processes
161
The NonTakingUp Process
173
The Connected Process
181

Part Two Impasses and Calm Spaces
69
Impasses in Meditation
71
An Impassable Impasse
75
A Partially Cleared Impasse
83
GettingThrough an Impasse
93
Effortless Calm
105
Meditating with Drifting Off and Waking Up
113
Drifting to Absorption
123
How to Use these Meditative Processes Skillfully
185
Part Four Leveling the Hierarchy of Experiences
189
Assessing Meditative States
191
A Postscript to Unlearning Meditation
199
Acknowledgments
201
Index
205
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About the author (2010)

Jason Siff is the head teacher of the Skillful Meditation Project. He teaches meditation and leads retreats throughout the United States and in Australia.

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