Awaking the Luminous Mind is about incorporating awareness into your everday life with a focus on Tibetan practices. The goal, according to the author, is to discover the hidden jewel in ordinary experiences. The focus of the book is on how to overcome difficulties through the practice of stillness, silence and spaciousness. Those who enjoy Eckhart Tolle's work, will enjoy this book as well.
There's nothing new here but it does reinforce the concept of having an Empty Mind to move the reader through difficult emotions such as fear, jealousy and anger. Similar to Tolle, Rinpoche refers to the the low energy state of dis-ease as The Pain Body.
In Chapters 1-4, Rinpoche discuses the principle of Inner Refuge: Pulling in for self reflection when life feels like it's off course
In Chapters 4-8 Rinpoche gives Heart Advice: Facing the experiences of your life directly and with authentic awareness. The goal is to integrate your spiritual practices and values into your everyday life.
What I liked
Rinpoche says, "We need a sense of where to turn when we become confined or encounter difficulties. In my tradition, we obtain this help by going for inner refuge."
I liked the concept of Inner Refuge. It's something I hadn't quite heard from Eckhart Tolle as a strategy for dealing with life's troubles. What I got from this concept is that you go into Inner Refuge by getting quiet and removing yourself from every day issues by spending time alone in silence. Then, there is the Inner Refuge in every day life--when you can't take time off to sit in the silence for an extended period of time. Rinpoche shows the reader that Inner Refuge can be found in the middle of life's craziness. It can be practiced at work, in a loud airport, in your home when your family members are making demands of you.
Attempting to practice Rinpoche's Inner Refuge myself when I was thrown a few curve balls recently, I had a hard time shifting my energy from the chatter monkey mind where fear resides and the still mind where peace resides...but eventually I did. It takes intention to put yourself back in the driver's seat but it works. It takes conscious consciousness.
If you really want to be at peace and find the space where solutions reside, the author and many before him will tell you that consciousness is the answer. To move yourself from pain to consciousness, you must have a willingness to shift the energy which is sometimes difficult. Rinpoche shows you the way to get to that space.
What I didn't like
I was looking forward to the meditation CD that came with the book but found it uninspiring.
Because of the issues I was dealing with in my own life, I had a hard time focusing on the concepts. When I made time to sit and focus, I recognized that this was a book I should have read BEFORE I was in the eye of the storm and so should you. The concepts work to dissolve pain and conflict in your life and open up the energy for new solutions to flow through you. The only challenge is that you've got to want peace more than you want pain. Your intention is what will get you into the empty space where solutions reside.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
R. Ann Rousseau writes about metaphysical, spiritual and astrology topics on her blog Explore Beyond the Usual. She is author of the new novel Portsmouth, A Love Story.
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