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Thoughts Are Not the Enemy
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A revolutionary new approach to meditation: a mindfulness of "thinking "that accepts and investigates the thoughts that arise as you meditate--from the author of "Unlearning Meditation." In most forms of meditation, the meditator is instructed to let go of thoughts as they arise. As a result, thinking is often taken, unnecessarily, to be something misguided or evil. This approach is misguided, says Jason Siff. In fact, if we allow thoughts to arise and become mindful of the thoughts themselves, we gain tranquillity and insight just as in other methods without having to reject our natural mental processes. And by observing the thoughts themselves with mindfulness and curiosity, we can learn a good deal about ourselves in the process.
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About the Author

JASON SIFF was a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s, where he began studying Pali and teaching meditation. After he left the Buddhist monastic order and returned to Los Angeles in 1990, he studied counseling psychology and worked as an intern for four years, at the end of which he decided to devote his life to meditation teaching instead of practicing psychotherapy. He cofounded the Skillful Meditation Project around that time, and began teaching meditation as his primary occupation, further developing his own approach to awareness meditation practice, which is called Recollective Awareness. Since then he has been invited to teach by several lay Buddhist sanghas in America, Canada, and Australia. He has also taught at Esalen Institute and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Reviews

"Jason Siff has developed Recollective Awareness meditation as a way of revealing and recounting the rich inner landscape of mental life during practice. My own clinical and reflective practice suggests that developing such recollective skills is a part of making sense of our lives and bringing peace to our inner storms."--Daniel Siegel, author of The Mindful Brain and Brainstorm "Siff's book reads like a novel, but don't let the pleasure stop you. His instructions plug a common vulnerability for many meditators who get tied in knots, trying to discard thoughts as 'distractions.' Instead, Siff upholds the possibility of establishing a gentler, more respectful relationship with every part of our experience, learning from our thoughts and allowing calm and insight to arise naturally."--Kate Lila Wheeler, author of When Mountains Walked and Not Where I Started From "A respectful, intelligent, and refreshing approach to mindfulness of thinking. Rather than viewing thoughts as problems for meditation, Jason Siff describes a holistic approach to freedom through a wise exploration of thinking. For anyone who struggles with thoughts in meditation this book teaches a way out of the struggle."--Gil Fronsdal, author of The Issue at Hand and translator of The Dhammapada

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