3 out of 4 stars
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What does meditation look like to you? If you’re like me, it’s a calming yet frustrating experience. You sit down, focus on your breathing for a while, and then go about your daily life. You try to make a routine of it but continually make excuses and end up quitting. That is, of course, until you’re stressed again and decide to use meditation to cope.
This cycle is common to people who have tried to meditate. The purpose of Inspirience: Meditation Unbound by Richard L. Haight is to stop this cycle and to incorporate meditation into every aspect of your life. In this way, you can reach what the author refers to as “inspirience,” seeing the oneness of the universe.
This is a relatively short book. The audio version that I had was about four hours in length. In that time, Haight gives six different meditations, each with a different purpose, which are repeated at the end of the book for the reader’s convenience. He discusses his path to inspirience, his experiments with meditation, and how readers can encounter inspirience for themselves.
Haight uses his own personal anecdotes to help the reader understand the concepts he discusses and why they are useful. Some of these stories require the reader to be very open-minded and trusting of Haight. For example, he claims in one section that he was able to meditate so deeply that a coyote and a bobcat both saw him, acknowledged him, and then moved on, knowing he was not a threat. These types of stories are mixed with everyday tales that offer the reader some advice or prove the author’s point. The stories are what stuck with me after I finished reading, and they were easily my favorite thing about Inspirience.
There was very little to dislike about the book. I was unable to detect any errors in the audio version of the text, and the author did a great job of explaining the points he was making. Listening to the audio version was almost a form of meditation in itself. The only real thing that bothered me was that some of his advice was hard to take. In one meditation, he says, “Once you notice the spaciousness, simply expand the feeling globally to the entire universe.” That sounds good in theory, but there is nothing “simple” about it. Also, this book claims to be much more unique than it actually is. I’ve heard much of what Haight was saying elsewhere, whether it be through other meditation resources or religions. Those who are expecting an entirely new approach to meditation will be disappointed, but those who go in seeking the author’s personal view and advice will not be.
I am giving Inspirience: Meditation Unbound 3 out of 4 stars. The aforementioned problems and repetition of concepts kept me from giving it the full four stars. However, I did enjoy this book. The author gave many helpful tips and fascinating anecdotes about how he came to the conclusions that he did. He uses some concepts I have heard in religion and mentions the supernatural a few times, but the main focus is always on meditation. You do not have to be religious to follow this book; you simply need to be open-minded.
The concepts discussed in Inspirience are best suited for adults because of their complex nature. If you are looking for an easy, simple read, this is not the right book to choose. This one would be best for those with a love of philosophy who want to try a different form of meditation and better themselves in the process.
Inspirience: Meditation Unbound
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