Guest article by Michelle L. LeBlanc…
If you are anything like me, I enjoy a book that sees the benefit of spiritual practice without the assumption of the supernatural intertwined, not that I am completely closed to the idea, but due to my religious background, I have learned to trust those who give more “naturalistic reasons” for their perspectives – rather than those who give “personal experiences” or “faith-based” reasons.
Thus, this book is great in that it takes everything from a purely naturalistic, science-based perspective – while at the same time, showing the wonderful spiritual benefits of meditation as well. Such practices that help calm the mind, reduce stress and teach one how to engage in more of a loving-kindness mindset…not only towards others – but towards our own selves as well.
The author (Rick Heller) does not get into a deep teaching on meditation or discuss much of his personal journey as much as I would have liked, but he does a great job in breaking down a variety of meditation / mindfulness practices into short chapters by giving a brief description of each one and their benefits. He also walks you through a “hands on” practice of each one to help you get started – which is quite helpful to those who are just starting off in meditation and even those who have been doing it for quite some time.
The other thing I really liked was how Rick not only shared the inspiring parts about meditation, but he shared the pit falls to be aware of when practicing meditation as well. He encourages his readers to use a healthy form of skepticism regarding such practices and not just to accept everything that is taught about it. To me, that alone enhances the credibility of his research because he is encouraging people to keep an open mind as well as an open heart – to learn and seek for truth and to never stop growing in our understanding of it.
Rick simply brings a really good balance of spirituality and common sense to the practice of meditation. So I gladly recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about the different practices of meditation.
In closing, I would like to say a special “thank you,” Rick, for providing such a great balanced perspective on the topic!
The Spiritual Naturalist Society works to spread awareness of spiritual naturalism as a way of life, develop its thought and practice, and help bring together like-minded practitioners in fellowship.