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The body is of course integral to meditation, but there are only a few books that focus this specifically on the body and the meditative experience. Awake Where You Are addresses that need, and additionally integrates psychological concepts, which provides a more familiar entry point for people less familiar with Buddhism.
Pulled around by desires and distractions, we’re so easily disconnected from ourselves.
Life is happening right in front of us, and within us—but still, we manage to miss so much of it.
Awake Where You Are provides the antidote, inviting us to go deep into our own bodies, to inhabit our sensory experience carefully; to learn the art of living from the inside out, and in the process to find ease, clarity, and an authentic, unshakeable freedom.
The practices in the book literally bring us back into our skin, where we can reconnect with a more rich, meaningful, and peaceful life. Aylward writes with sophisticated subtlety, as well as the heart-opening simplicity and clarity born of deep experience.
And this book is more than a meditation guide—it’s a guide to living an embodied life. You’ll learn about the following areas and practices:
- Understanding and liberating our primal human drives. Aylward explains how the three primary drives—survival, sexual, and social—function within us, and how we can engage their energy to explore, understand, and liberate them.
- Integrating psychological understanding with meditative practice. Awake Where You Are goes beyond the broad brushstrokes of Buddhist psychology, inviting the reader into an exploration of their own particular psychological history and conditioning.
- Investigating the nuances of love. Readers will learn to see the classical Buddhist heart qualities, or brahmaviharas (loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity) as distinct flavors of love, and as the natural resting places of a free heart.
About the Author
After experiencing strong intimations of the spiritual as a teenager, Martin Aylward traveled to India at the age of nineteen to explore meditation. He spent most of the next five years in monasteries, ashrams, and meditation centers in India and Thailand, including two years in a hermitage in the Himalayas with one of his teachers. As well as having the good fortune to learn from and practice with many different teachers, both Asian and Western, Martin has spent much time in solitude with his real guru, Nature—and his teaching often emphasizes contact with Nature as a resource for Awakening.
In 1995 he co-founded the Tapovan Dharma Community in the French Pyrenees with his wife Gail. Gradually, the number of visitors increased beyond the capacity of the place, and in 2005—just ten years after opening—they relocated to Le Moulin (Moulin de Chaves), a former Zen monastery in the Dordogne, Southwest France, where Martin and Gail continue to live with their two children. In addition to guiding Dharma practice at Le Moulin as resident teacher, Martin has been invited to teach Dharma around the world since 1999.
His approach draws on extensive practice in the Buddhist Theravada tradition, as well as the influence of Non-dual teachings and the Diamond Approach.
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