Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life

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3 editions of this work

Al who practice awareness must sooner or later face and see through such habit-energy. Joan shows us how she learns and tests these guidelines in the fire of her own life. I was very moved. I recommend this book to Zen, Vipassana, and nontraditional practitioners of mindfulness meditation. When the book ends, Joan Tollifson is in a strong and hard-earned position to take herself and all of us even deeper into the world of mind.

She has the rest of her life to do that. What so many people including me enjoy about this book is that its not by a teacher but by a student. She doesnt miss a beat. About Bare-Bones Meditation Born with only one hand, Joan Tollifson grows up feeling different, finds identity as a bisexual lesbian and a disability rights activist, but also sinks into drug addiction and alcoholism. Inspired by Your Browsing History. The Pocket Meister Eckhart. Collected Works, Volume 2. Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri and Muneera Haeri. Daniel Goleman and Richard J. The Penguin Book of Hell.

No Time to Lose. The Practice of Pure Awareness. The Places That Scare You. From to , the eight-year period that is the focus of this memoir, Tollifson ricocheted between these two centers, continually searching not just for a spiritual home but for the perfect one.

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To a nonpractitioner of meditation, her concern over whether it is better to meditate on a cushion or in an armchair seems petty, her hero worship of her teachers seems juvenile, and her repeated changes of mind about the form of meditation that is right for her become wearisome. What Tollifson skims over and what might have made an interesting story is her transformation from a drug-dealing addict and alcoholic living in bars to an ultraleftist dedicated to fomenting revolution and then to a sober and celibate meditator. Tollifson's life has not been an ordinary one, and if she chose to, she could undoubtedly tell an extraordinary story.

A mostly dull, often repetitious exercise in self-indulgence. There was a problem adding your email address. What it actually is: An insightful, autobiographical book about her inner and outer "life-adventure".

Waking Up from the Story of My Life

Tollifson is very open and quite frank about her adventures, coming across as an honest seeker of that nagging, missing piece of the puzzle. She definitely shows that everything in life is meditation, regardless of its appearance.


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  • Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life;

Her early travails and many wanderings, vividly chronicle her existential longing, and are what make this book an authentic and compelling read What inspires me about Tollifson is her self-aware honesty. In these memoirs, whatever her thoughts and feelings, she is clear about them, and she doesn't hide them. Born with only one hand, she already feels different before she discovers her lesbianism. She goes through alcoholism and drug addiction, becomes a political and disability-rights activist, embraces Zen Buddhism and Advaita, and finally lets those go, leaving a bare-bones spirituality which has no form.

As a woman I particularly appreciate Tollifson's struggles with authority as she works through the impulse to reach for a book or a teacher or a lover when uncertain, and instead learns to be still and listen inwardly. Very much enjoyed this blatantly honest account of her spiritual process.

Bare-Bones Meditation

Full of heart wisdom! A relevant description of a woman's journey from a highly political perspective on the world, to becoming aware of the constructs and biases in what seems to be justifiable disenfranchisement. It doesn't happen in an instant, but in months and years of inner work and outer living experiments. A worthwhile and helpful read!

Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life

Waking Up from the Story of My Life. One of the best books I have read in a long time and the timing was perfect. The author's life story is powerful and she demonstrates in her writing the constant struggle of letting go of attachments, expectations and judgments. It was a relief to me to hear in her writing an honest depiction of how someone else thinks and contradicts themselves almost within the same moment. My meditation practice and the impact meditation has on my daily life has improved because of this book.

All the spiritual "great" standards. Second,this is a review of a book about a subject that words cannot explain. That being said if "you" are looking for a clear and concise book on radical nonduality this is on "my" must-read list. Do "yourself" a favor, if you don't just "choose" to "wake up" on "your own". Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.


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This book starts out strong, and will be worth the read just for the honesty and wit the author brings to the story of her early life. Later it devolves into repetition, which may only be a result of the author's honesty: