Practical Meditation Review: My Take On This Book

Practical Meditation Review: Stress CycleMeditation itself is a huge subject, so ideally a practical book that outlines meditation topics that covers some of its history, its benefits, its different traditions, its different techniques would be a great book to have.

This is where the meditation book Practical Meditation comes in. This is my Practical Meditation Review and this is my take on this book.

There are different meditation techniques available, each with their own pluses and minuses. There is no one meditation technique that suits everyone all of the time. Many different meditation techniques evolved over time. It makes sense to quickly and effectively learn a number of meditation techniques to help determine which ones are better suited for you.

Meditation is known to help with emotional stress.

What is Practical Meditation?

Practical Meditation is a simple step by step practical guide to learning about meditation. The book is by Giovanni Dienstmann who has spent a lot of time learning and practicing different meditation techniques from different meditation traditions.

He has distilled these approaches and in his explanations throughout the book he explains them in a simple step by step way. There are loads of illustrations throughout the book. The explanations are explained in a non-secular way.

Practical Meditation Review – Great Book About Meditation

This is a great book about meditation. The book can be read in different ways depending on your needs. It can be read page by page from the first page to the last page. Or it can be read by picking pages at random, with this approach you are pretty sure to learn something interesting about meditation that you did not know no matter your experience of meditation. It can also be read as a reference book where you specify something specific to search for using the table of contents or the index.

The book itself has five main themes. The first main theme is about understanding meditation. This is followed by meeting the meditating mind. Starting your practice is the next main theme. The next main theme discusses different types of meditation. This is followed by the integrating and deepening theme.

Understanding Meditation

This main theme covers what is meditation, busting meditation myths, meditation traditions and so on. This is all fascinating and includes a number of proven benefits that meditation provides.

Meet The Meditating Mind

This main theme covers starting your meditation journey to get:

“some immediate calm to your life with a first taste of meditation”.
Source: Giovanni Dienstmann in Practical Meditation.

This covers learning about five different “mini-meditations”. The reader is encouraged to try out these five different “mini-meditations” with the purpose of determining which of them work best for you. This is followed by what to expect from your meditation practice and how to avoid potential problems on your meditation journey.

All great information and a lot of this information is actionable.

Starting Your Practice

This provides practical advice on setting up your daily practice along with some tips designed to help you with your meditation practice. One of them is called “Never Zero”. I first learned about the “Never Zero” concept when I did Giovanni’s meditation online course.

This concept has helped me greatly in my meditation practice. Using this concept I have now practiced meditation for over 800 consecutive days in a row. I do not think I would have done this without knowing this “Never Zero” concept.

The Many Types Of Meditation

The author of the book has experimented with over 80 different types of meditation in his meditation journey. He explains using illustrations some of the most popular and accessible meditation techniques, each of which you can practice at home following his simple easy to follow steps.

Most of these are explained over two pages. There is usually a clear illustration along with a brief introduction to the technique and the reasons why to choose this technique along with key facts plus usually about six simple step by step instructions on how to practice that technique.

Integrating And Deepening

This theme discusses how to integrate meditation into your daily life along with advice on how to use meditation to manage daily life challenges in for example negative emotions, problem solving and how to improve performance in different areas of your life.

Pros And Cons Of Practical Meditation

Pros

  • Learn meditation in a structured way: The five main themes discussed in the book give a good solid overview of what meditation is all about.
  • Learn about different benefits of meditation: This includes brain benefits, wellbeing benefits and stress reducing benefits.
  • Learn about how to start your own meditation practice: Adding a new daily habit to your schedule is easier said than done. This includes practical suggestions and recommendations to help you add this new daily habit to your schedule.
  • Book can be used in different ways: As a reference guide or as a practical how to guide or pick pages at random to learn about meditation.

Cons

  • Small type font: I find that the font type used in the book can be difficult to read. I think it should be bigger and bolder in places.
  • Opening topic should be different in my opinion: I would have preferred that the opening topic went straight into practicing some meditation techniques, rather than a lot of theory before getting to practicing some meditation techniques.
  • Each meditation technique discussed was too short in my opinion: I would have preferred more detailed information about each of the meditation techniques discussed. The format of a two page summary is short for each of the meditation techniques discussed however four pages would have been better. With more room to discuss each technique, a bigger type font could be used. I guess that it is very difficult to get the balance right. 🙂

Conclusion

Now that you have read my Practical Meditation Review and my take on this book you are sure to see why I like it. If you are looking for a book about meditation that acts as both a reference guide and as a practical guide, this book is sure to please. The book is suited for complete beginners to meditation as well as people who are already experienced meditators.

I was practicing meditation for about two and a half years before I purchased my copy and I learned quite a bit when reading this book. This book would also make an excellent gift, especially for someone who is into books and would benefit by doing meditation. I recommend getting the Hard Cover backing if at all possible. I did. This book has illustrations which are best seen in print form.

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8 thoughts on “Practical Meditation Review: My Take On This Book”

  1. I love reading books. Last year I read up to Four books, and for this year I have been making researches on the book I will read this year and I’ve been making my choice. Reading this has brought me another book I must read, I love the concept and I’m sure it will really help my life. Meditation is something one should know something about. Thanks for bringing me a choice of book to read. 

    • Hi Lok,

      Reading books is a great way to improve your knowledge base on virtually anything. I remember reading somewhere that if you want to learn more about virtually anything, read four to five books on that topic that explore that topic in detail and you will then know more about that subject than a lot of people.

      May you enjoy reading the Practical Meditation book and enjoy the meditation techniques you learn in the Practical Meditation book Lok.

      Peace,
      David

  2. I must say that your review is very helpful and informative David. I was always thinking how meditation is a very important thing in our life as it can greatly help in reducing stress and more and more people actually start practicing this. I think that I will buy this book as a gift for my sister.

    • Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for letting me know that your found my review very helpful and informative.

      Meditation is becoming more widespread and popular for numerous reasons. It is a real stress buster for sure along with a number of other benefits that make it a good practical process to do on a regular basis. It is like hitting the “pause” button on life where you can regroup and recharge before continuing on with life.

      May your sister enjoy your gift of the Practical Meditation book Daniel.

      Peace,
      David

  3. I found this particularly useful. Meditation is one of those things I know I should do but have never really done. A practical how-to guide might be just the thing I need.  I’m particularly interested in the notion of mini-meditation.  I routinely ignore my Apple Watch’s admonitions that I take a minute to breathe deeply, so I might need something really mini!

    Regardless, this will be going on my wish list at a minimum.  Thanks.

    I’m curious if there are any meditation methods you prefer. I really am time restricted so need something short and efficient I”m afraid!

    • Hi Jon,

      All five of the mini-meditations are good. Each of them can be done in a short period of time. The one I would do the most often would be a variation of “The mini-meditation 3: Counting your breaths”. This is short and sweet. Best of all, this can be done in a lot of places, do could for instance be done when waiting in a queue. However you wouldn’t do meditation where you need your full focus on the other activity like for instance driving. Driving requires your full focus and full attention.

      With some meditation techniques I find that I can integrate them into my life when I am doing other things. Counting your breath and loving kindness types of meditations I would do in bed before falling asleep. It may not be a pure meditation thing however I find that it helps to fall asleep and it works great for me.

      I am delighted to hear that you use your Apple Watch to remind you to take a minute to breathe deeply. If you take it up on its recommendation even a percentage of the time it suggests, it is better than not doing it at all. There is no need to beat yourself up if you do not always follow its recommendation. Remember to be kind to yourself. If you cannot take it up on its suggestion, I would suggest you dismiss that particular reminder, and say silently to yourself “thank you Apple Watch for reminding me to breathe” and move on with your life. Being thankful helps. Maybe later in the day when you have some time, you may consider following the advice to breathe deeply for a minute. Maybe when the laptop is booting up, or when Windows decides to do an update. 🙂

      May you find and enjoy the short meditation sessions you will find in the Practical Meditation book Jon.

      Peace,
      David

      • Thanks, I really appreciate the input. While I do dismiss the Apple Watch prompts, I have resisted the temptation to turn them off completely because I appreciate the intent. Maybe I’ll actually start doing them!

        • That is a good intention which I hope works out for you. As you dismiss the Apple Watch prompts, even silently saying “thank you” will give you a slight pause in your busy day. And if you can breathe deeply for a minute or so as it suggests that would be even better. Sometimes a slight break helps us to recharge.

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