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

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BARE-BONES MEDITATION: Waking Up from the Story of My Life by Joan Tollifson | Kirkus Reviews

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Please try again later. A primer on meditative practice. What it actually is: An insightful, autobiographical book about her inner and outer "life-adventure". 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. 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.

Bare-Bones Meditation

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. 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! 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.


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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. 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.

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Later it devolves into repetition, which may only be a result of the author's honesty: The title suggests that there is perhaps such a thing as "Bare Bones Meditation," but there isn't. It is a technique-free non-practice of non-dual awareness. This makes sense in light of non-duality. Tollifson's non-teacher worries that a practice implies a separate self trying to get somewhere, when there's nowhere to get, and there is no such separate self.

See all 21 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published on July 6, Published on September 28, Published on December 15, I was very moved.

Joan Tollifson - 'Painting the Sidewalk with Water' - Interview by Renate McNay

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.


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  • 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.

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