This new edition coincides with a significant anniversary. It was twenty-five years ago that I was in vited.
Under the auspices of the Associated Students of the University of California, to deliver a series of
talks on meditation on the Berkeley campus.
By autumn of 1967, that series of talks had become the first academic course on the theory
and practice of meditation to be offered for credit at a major American university. While funding lasted,
it drew hundreds of students and hundreds more auditors – including, I like to remember, perhaps a
That was the real beginning of this book. Previously I had simply worked instruction in
meditation into my talks on world mysticism. At Berkeley I found myself facing the welcome challenge
of a large number of serious, enthusiastic students who wanted to know the subject from A to Z – and
not just intellectually, but practically as well. It was for them that I developed the systematic
presentation you will find in this book. I taught them the same program I had followed myself; and after
several more years of on going weekly classes, while drew thousands of people of all ages and
occupations, I distilled my presentation into this book. It is the kind of manual I had wanted when I was
learning to meditate, but could never find – direct, simple, practical, and based completely on personal
For this second edition I have added some new material at the end, but I found very few lines
in the text that I wanted to change. That did not surprise me: every detail had been worked out long
before, and the principles are timeless. I have taught this program so long, helped so many people apply
it over so many decades, that I know every step of the way.
I can say this in humility because in an important sense this is not my method of meditation at
all. It is simply my presentation of principles and practices which are themselves age-old. in every
culture there have been men and women who would find familiar what I present in the following pages.
But different epochs have different needs, and our own times – the tumultuous end of the twentieth
century, the crisis of the industrial age – cry out for universality. “though we call it by different names.”
The method of meditation presented here can be followed equally well in any religion or in none. I think
that is the real secret of its appeal. It belongs to no movement, asks for no change of beliefs: it simply
allows you to take the ideals you respond to and gradually, gracefully, make them part of your character
and your life.
At the same time, although there are no new truths in these pages, I feel deeply gratified to
get letters every week telling me that this little book speaks to people’s hearts in a way that nothing else
has. It is doubly gratifying to learn of new applications: this method of meditation is being used in health
education and twelve-step recovery groups, recommended by therapists, even made the basis of
programs for teenagers. These developments are fulfilling one of my most ardent dreams: that over the
years I might be able to extend to millions this precious skill that has such power to transform one’s
Back of the Book
The principle of meditation is simple: You are what you think. By meditating on words that embody your
highest ideals, you drive them deep into your consciousness. There they take root and begin to create
wonderful changes in your life-changes you have wanted to make, but have not known how to bringing
This book is a complete guide to a program of meditation that fits naturally into your
life-even complementing an active religious practice.
Eknath Easwarn taught meditation and its application to daily life for more than 30 years. He
offers specific, systematic tools to
Sharpen concentration release deep reserves of energy leave behind painful
memories an live fully in the present develop unsuspected capacities for insight and
understanding learn to love more fully than you had thought possible discover your unique
contribution to life deal effectively with stress transform ager
About the Author
Eknath Easwaran is respected around the world as one of the great spiritual teachers. He was Professor
of English Literature at the University of Nagpur, India, and an established writer, when he came to the
United States on the Fulbright exchange program in 1959. As Founder and Director of the Blue
Mountain Center of Meditation and the Nilgiri Press, he taught the classics of world mysticism and the
practice of meditation from 1960 till his death in 1999.
Brahma Sutras (81)
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