About the Book
What is meditation? What is to be gained from it? And what is
the connection between meditation, asana postures, and other yogic practices?
These are complex questions and surprisingly difficult ones to answer. But
author Rolf Sovik, Psy.D., has done a superb
job of communicating both the practical aspects and the philosophical
foundations of that powerful shift in consciousness we call meditation.
Taken as a
whole, the book guides you, with patience and understanding, through the
various stages of the inward journey. You will learn how to:
a steady posture that leads to a feeling of stillness
deep, diaphragmatic breathing
breath awareness in the nostrils
mantra to refine your inner focus
you're a novice or an advanced student, you will appreciate Sovik's
rich and often startling insights into the mystery of meditation. And you'll
walk away with a clearer understanding of why you should undertake this
"Moving Inward is a clear, seamless entry into the eight classical
limbs of yoga... New and understandable insights on breathing, relaxation, and
meditation ... Excellent and informative ... Highly recommended for students
and teachers alike." -Lilias Folan,
author Lilias! Yoga Gets Better With Age.
About the Author
Sovik, one of America's few true authorities on the
subject, has created a remarkable resource. Beginners, as well as experienced meditators, will be illumined by Moving Inward its wisdom, clarity, precision, and scope. Reading Moving Inward I experienced doing just that - moving inward and
being reminded of the joy and peace that await a still mind." -Rod Stryker, founder of
thirty years have passed since I sat across a low table from the person who
inspired me to meditate. The room was small-a makeshift space, created for a
brief interview with the accomplished yogi and visiting teacher Swami Rama.
During our few minutes together, he seemed to assess me. Then quietly and with
a deep voice he asked, "Do you meditate?"
As he spoke,
I remember feeling that his voice had emerged from a remarkably calm place.
Nonetheless, a rush of thoughts went through my mind in response to his
question. I had made a number of experiments with meditation. I had sat quietly
with a group of friends, trying to be as present and mindful as possible. I had
also read many well-known books and essays on meditation. But the truth was
that I did not meditate regularly and I was not certain how to meditate.
Further, I knew I was sitting in the presence of someone who did.
answered, "Not really."
same deep and quiet tone he replied, ''You should learn to meditate. I will
teach you." In that moment I gratefully accepted his offer.
time I was twenty-five years old and earning a very modest living playing the
cello in Minneapolis. I created a small meditation space in my apartment and
began attending weekly classes with one of Swami Rama's principal students who
directed a local center called simply the Meditation Center. As a musician, the concept of daily practice was
well engrained in my mind, and soon I was meditating morning and evening.
months later, in the summer of 1973, Swami Rama returned for another series of
lectures. The setting was idyllic-a grassy hill overlooking a small lake in the
farmlands of southern Minnesota. There, a lecture tent had been set up to
provide shelter, and students pitched smaller tents around it for sleeping. A
soft breeze blew through the tents and overhead, a broad sky domed the land.
day Swami Rama sat on a small platform, lecturing and answering questions. As
he spoke, a sense of timelessness pervaded the gathering. His aim, he said, was
not simply to inform. "Lectures give indirect knowledge. This is useful,
but does not lead far. Direct knowledge of inner life is superior. It comes
from the experience gathered in meditation, and it is the highest
emphasized that meditation is not a process of fantasizing. "Imagination
is the opposite of direct experience," he stressed. "Meditation is a
systematic method. When this is understood, meditation becomes reliable and
leads to deeper experience." He then proceeded to explain how to meditate
and which were the most important features of the meditative method.
talks, full of the good-humored stories and personal
anecdotes that often dotted his lectures, were confidence building. During that
summer I received a personal mantra to use in meditation and became even more
convinced of the importance of meditating regularly. As I did, the inner and
outer terrain of my life gradually changed, and within a few years I became a
resident at the Meditation Center, where I deepened
my practice, helped with administrative matters, and learned to teach. It was
the beginning of a new vocation.
next two decades until Swami Rama's death in 1996, I was fortunate to maintain
periodic contact with him. For his part, he more than fulfilled his early
promise to me. He provided meditation instruction and, at crucial moments, lent
advice on other matters as well. He encouraged me to return to graduate school
for doctoral studies in psychology. He opened doors for trips to India, Nepal,
and Tibet opportunities to learn more about the meditative tradition. With his
support, I began teaching within the Himalayan Institute, the organization he
founded in 1971. And in his final years, he unfailingly visited the Institute's
center in Buffalo, New York, where my wife and I
settled in 1991.
tells the bare story. As it unfolded, meditation acquired more than theoretical
or technical meaning for me. It brought my own habit patterns, emotions,
drives, and spiritual aspirations into sharp relief and offered itself as the
tool for sifting them-a work still in progress.
part, Swami Rama regularly reminded students of the Buddha's words: light thine own
lamp. He placed responsibility for following the meditative path
squarely on the shoulders of each student. In doing
that, he also made sure that the preliminary means of practice were available
what this book is really about. It is an extension of the training that I have
been fortunate to receive over the past years. It fleshes out the details of
practice and illustrates how meditation can become a daily habit. It resolves conceptual problems that might otherwise
hinder progress. And it is meant to anchor meditation at the heart of yoga,
where it really has been all along.
leads to the simple pleasure of knowing one's self.
student, pondering this in ancient times, replied honestly to his teacher,
"I do not think I know myself." He continued, "My ignorance is
such that I cannot even say that I do not know myself." This was an
admission that lies close to the truth for most of us. It echoes the doubts that raced through my own mind many
years ago, when Swami Rama asked me whether I meditated. For the most part, the
remedy for such doubt does not lie in collecting more information about
ourselves or in more contemplation. Self- knowledge is acquired through an
altogether different way of knowing, one in which the mind is engaged in being.
This is meditation the path we are about to explore.
The Spirit of Meditation
Cultivating a Steady
a Good Sitting Pose
Methods for Training the Breath
Art of Relaxing
on the Run
for Breath Awareness
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Meditation and Mantra
Your Self: The Mind in Meditation
Complete Meditation Practice
of Pearls: Using a Mala
The Study of the Self: Svadhyaya
Recommended for Further
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
for saving your wish list, viewing past orders, receiving discounts, and lots more...
Email a Friend