Initial reaction: One of the better meditation guides I’ve personally come across, especially for someone beginning the practice. It details the steps needed to create your own meditation program and have it work for you, which is invaluable considering how much goes into tailoring the program for one’s needs.
I really liked the easy to understand dissection of the composition of meditative practices in this book by Robert Butera. “Meditation for Your Life: Creating a Plan That Suits Your Style” is an open introduction and approach to creating a meditative program that suits the needs of the individual. Butera does suggest trying meditation classes to see what’s out there, but also notes it’s possible to look at fundamentals of the practice to create something that works well for you individually. That said, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for someone who is already an advanced practitioner of meditation, but rather someone who may be new to it.
I liked how he dispels many assumptions and misconceptions about meditation practice to start, as well as asks the reader to assess any goals they may wish to start with overall. From there, the narrative is broken up into examining the six types of meditation, as follows:
4. Devotion, Prayer, or Intentionality
6. Contemplative Inquiry
Butera examines each type with self-reflective questions, incorporations of Buddhist terminology and expansion, and an open approach that can be perused even by those who practice non-denominational meditation. I found it easy to understand and helpful from a health perspective, though I’ll admit some of the sections read a bit slower than I would’ve liked. I thought the resources were helpful, though was surprised that there weren’t any electronic links or that there weren’t more listed for reference.
Still, it was worth the time perusing and I appreciated Butera’s overarching teachings, friendly approach, and openness for the narrative. It was very helpful, and I’ve a feeling I’ll come back to this for reference when it comes to my meditation resources.
Overall score: 4/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.