© and (P)Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Jina van Hengel
Quite disappointed by the sound quality on this audiobook. The gong/bell comes across very distorted - very annoying as a newcomer to meditation - I probably wouldn't mind if I was totally chilled after a year's meditating !! But as the bell is the point focus for the meditation - the central part and point of this audiobook - I'm disappointed at having shelled out money for this - even with the special offer.
"not for beginners"
This book consists of two meditations from Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh's centre in France. The first has an introduction from TNH and then consists mainly of a bell ringing to help keep you mindful. The second is led by Sister Jina and consists of three meditations to help with developing mindfulness and compassion. If that is what you are looking for then they are great.
If, hoever, you are a beginner and would like an introduction to TNH, then can I recommend 'The Art of Mindful Living' (also available on audible) instead, as that is a better introduction to TNH.
"Beautifully recorded, incredibly blissful"
I agree with the previous reviews that some experience in meditation is helpful, yet with time and practice concentrating on your breathing between the bells of Plum Village becomes effortless... Thich's introduction in itself, though short, is already worth the entire audiobook...
The second part of the audio, recorded by Sister Jina, is amazing!!! Her voice is so sweet that I would listen to her forever... Her proposed exercises are very easy to follow and very calming and soothing.
That was certainly one of my greatest acquisitions in audible.com! Thank you, Audible! Please continue to publish more of these...
"Be aware of what you're getting!"
The description calls these 'guided meditations', I wouldn't. They are great meditations, but they are not guided. It's a short talk (a few minutes) and then a long section of gong (the first one is forty minutes, the others are shorter).
If it's what you want, it's great, but if you want something really guided try one of the several 'How to Meditate' options. (I'm partial to Pema Chodron, but that's just my opinion.)
words communicate and help us ... until they don't. in the practice of mindfulness, stillness matters far more than words. i found the forty minute bell track to be exceptionally helpful. the timing of the rings (and the beautiful sound itself) were a way for me to concentrate my breath and reach a deep level of relaxation. amazingly deep. this audio may not be for beginners since that first forty minute track is "only" a well-timed bell sound, but even if a beginner started with that track and confidently stayed with it for a week, i would bet that beginner would soon find him/herself to be an intermediate in mindfulness practice. and of course the final three tracks with sister jina van hengel's soothing voice and guiding words add greatly to the value of this audio. mindfulness is all about practice through attention and stillness. this audio is a definite aid in the practice of mindfulness. but in full disclosure, i must add that i am already a big fan of TNH. his teachings are simple but not simple-minded. for example, try living for a full ten minutes his statement "if you are at peace, at least there is peace somewhere" especially if there is any turmoil near at hand. see for yourself how paradoxical and difficult "simple" can be. but of course with practice, a peaceful state can be reached. this forty minute bell sound meditation, sans words, is a big help along the way. go for it.
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