book club: meditation for the love of it

Hello there!

I took last week off, so we've got two whole books to look at this week! The first one is Meditation for the Love of It by Sally Kempton. 

Sally Kempton is hands down one of my favorite writers. Her ability to explain esoteric concepts is uncanny, and I really credit this book for bringing my meditations to another level. 

When I was working at Google, I fell in love with meditation. I got involved with leading weekly (then daily!) meditation groups, and eventually spearheaded an effort to write an introductory meditation program. This program launched just before I left Google last July. 

I started reading this book when I was working on writing the meditation program. I was meditating everyday, and it started to get...boring. Well, not boring, but sitting with my mind and observing my thoughts felt so, so, challenging. 

Enter Sally Kempton. Meditation for the Love of it opened me back up to the joy of meditation. She introduced me to new techniques and some advanced practices. Sitting down and coming back to the breath was really helpful for me. When I went through a healing crisis and could not walk, her techniques even helped me meditate through the pain and find a place of (almost) peace. 

Living from your own center takes effort, but it is also exciting. When you see life as ongoing spiritual training, you live inside a view that lends significance to even the most ordinary interactions. You don’t think so much in terms of winning or losing, success or failure. Instead, there is only the training, the consistent effort to come back to the love and lucidity you carry inside, and to bring the values of the inner world into your outer actions.
— Sally Kempton, Meditation for the Love of It

I put this book on my list because I wanted to finish it. That said, I'm not really in the place where I need to fall in love with meditation again. My meditation practice is so robust, and sitting is one of my favorite parts of the day. But, if I do find myself needing some advanced techniques, I'll revisit this book again. Her writing is so, so good, and I get inspired every time I read her writing. Plus, I don't feel like we ever really stop learning how to meditate. (Oh, and if you're looking for a great intro to meditation article, check this one out). 

Which leads me to The Web that has No Weaver by Ted Kaptchuk. I picked up this book almost a year ago when I wanted to understand Chinese Medicine. I started reading it back then, and decided I needed to go to school for acupuncture (which led to quitting Google last July and starting my master's degree program at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine). I wanted to revisit it now that I've spent two quarters in acupuncture school. 

I really think this is probably one of the better non-textbooks out there. That said, it is boooooooring. Chinese Medicine is deeply fascinating, and I don't really get inspired reading this book. I actually find our textbook to be much more interesting. 

But if you are really interested in Chinese medicine, I'd actually recommend looking for a public class offered by your local Chinese Medicine college. In San Francisco, ACTCM frequently offers a class called Understanding Chinese Medicine, and I'm sure other schools do as well. You might also check out Between Heaven and Earth by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold, which I find much more enjoyable to read. I've also heard great things about The Complete Illustrated Guide to Chinese Medicine

So, there we have it. Two super informative books on healing arts that will change your life. Moving forward, we're going to explore How to Read the Akashic Records by Linda Howe, and Autobiography of a Yogi

Happy reading!

Interested in deepening your meditation practice? Learning Reiki is actually a way to bring your meditations to an even deeper level. I'll be teaching Reiki I and II this spring. Let me know if you are interested, and I'll send you the details!