Why read the book?
The book uses metaphor and story along with solid instruction to illustrate the inner world of meditation and what it’s like to practice. From the perspective of a beginner all the way to “effortless insight” and Nirvana.
This meditation companion gives you the tools to create a practice that’s like a friend to you and shows you how to nurture that friendship and how to let it nurture you.
How it can support you during super-busy days and through the inevitable rough patches in life.
It also shows you how to recognize progress and how to continue to deepen and grow.
This book is a companion to those on any spiritual path, at any level, practicing solo or with guidance. This book will stay beside you, nudge you, help you figure it out without getting in your way.
Here’s a quote from the section of the book called “What’s inside empty spaces?'” about what moving from a crowded, hectic, noisy mind-space into “empty space”– a quieter, more open terrain.
“…For the sake of moving into an empty space, imagine you’re the conductor of a train.
You’re in the engine car looking ahead onto the tracks. The train rolls into a dense urban area. You see a clutter of buildings and roads. There’s plenty of sound, movement, and beauty to capture your attention—like brilliant neon signs and people in fancy suits.
There’s a palpable feeling that anything can happen. As the conductor, you’re trained to navigate through the distraction and stay on track.
This urban area is like the surface of our minds, a dense and dazzling wall of distraction blocking us from empty space. We move through this wall in layers. It might take years of practice to get through.
We still notice potential distractions as we make our way.
In fact, the distractions might intensify as we get closer to empty space. We don’t exhaust ourselves by fighting off distractions or desperately trying to claw through the wall. As you conduct the train out of the city, the urban density fades into a huge open desert.
Suddenly, there’s no noise, buildings, or people. Not even a tree. There’s nothing anywhere. Or is there? Past experience rolling through open desert has taught you otherwise.
You adjust to the more open, quieter landscape, but you don’t daydream. Instead, your attention begins to perceive greater subtlety. You begin to notice things you’d otherwise miss—a deer hiding in the brush or a solitary willow tree on the horizon.
You know plenty of things could go wrong in this landscape, but you’re ready for any sudden changes. You stay aware because you still have to drive the train.
This desert is like the empty space in our consciousness where a more nuanced experience awaits us. As we anticipate this nuance to be revealed (especially if we’ve just been in a noisy space) we might feel impatient or even uncomfortable.
Naturally. In the noisy space, we were letting all the stimuli fall to the background. Now, in the more open space, we’re doing the opposite, waiting for information we can take in.
Or so it seems. We may feel an urge to fill this emptiness with something. But we trust our process and keep going. As we become familiar with empty space, the transition from noise to quiet becomes less awkward. Like the train conductor in the desert, we know that empty space really isn’t empty at all…”