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  • Strength in Stillness

  • The Power of Transcendental Meditation
  • By: Bob Roth
  • Narrated by: Bob Roth
  • Length: 4 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51

Bob Roth is one of the world's most sought-after teachers of transcendental meditation - a highly effective form of meditation that goes beyond mindfulness to produce a deeper and long-lasting sense of peace. Every day we face a growing epidemic of stress. People of every race, age and income all make the same confession: 'I am so stressed'. There is a simple practice that dramatically changes how we respond to life's stresses: the Transcendental Meditation technique.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I bought the wrong book

  • By Zara on 07-12-18

Really misleading, should have known better before

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-03-19

Super disappointing book and yet again conforms the ubiquitous vagueness around TM. Here is the thing. If the author really is as philanthropic as he claims in his book, he would shed actual light on the subject and teach people how to practice TM. He says in multiple occasions that he wanta everybody to have access to this simple and yet powerful art. Instead he obscures the topic with sales pitch mumbo jumbo as every other self announced TM guru out there does. If they were really Interested in the progress toward enlightenment and alleviation from suffering for everyone, they would give the tools needed to at least start the journey of the curious student. That would be a thousand times better and more helpful than what has been delivered with these 224 pages of nothing. What a hypocrisy.

I have been studying mindfulness and vipassana in various forms and traditions over the last years and even though I would call myself an intuitive self-learner knowing that there are people who find it difficult to bring up the motivation to dive into any subject just with books and videos and would prefer the guidance of a real teacher. But here is the catch. You can and should learn on your own, study guides by masters because they do work. Yes, you will probably not reach a level of intricate perfection as reached in the presence and under the guidance of a teacher, but you can go far without, especially if you have a real interest. My opinion is that especially with a very intangible subject as meditation, in contrast to a bodily form like ballet for example where the teacher can observe every subtle move of the student and immediately give corrective feedback. For mediation a teacher has to guess as he can not tell, by looking at the meditation student who sits there motionless with eyes closed, and have a very good clue of what is going on inside the mind of the student. All he can do, except for finer nuances further up on the learning curve, is to give preparing advice and instruction and react to feedback, descriptions and questions by the student. This can be transmitted through a book indeed, believe me,where the book addresses at least common nature questions and pitfalls thousands of meditators had to struggle with before.

I am convinced TM works amazingly but It is the cultish halo around TM that condemns people who dare to speak about the inner (simple) workings of it to keep the secretive character and that pushes its ridiculously overpriced courses and then its teachers have the audacity to claim that all they do is for purely philanthropic motives, for the higher good of humanity. It's a shame and sad to witness. Another claim that the mantra given is exclusive, a mandatory rite of initiation exlcusive for the student that only a teacher is able to give is also utter nonsense. Every anchor object, bodily sensation, breath, mental object or sound / mantra works. It is the anchor that counts, there is no magic abiut it. None at all. So why all this secrecy? To make a good buck. Just as I thought this book would be an exception. But there we are, left only with another shallow pitch, nothing of the slightest substance. I have no doubt that Bob is a great teacher but being a great teacher means also to give away actual teaching to people who show interest and expectation to be guided and who paid for the teaching which is (supposed to be) this book. I give still 4 stars on story telling because Bob is a good writer and knows how to convey a good story.

Trust me when I say that there are really amazing books out there who guide you step by step through all the subtleties of becoming a skilled meditator, maybe not in TM but any other form. 'The mind illuminated' by Culadasa just to name one brilliant example of teaching you the art of theravada mindfulness and insight meditation in microscopic detail along with explanations of the inner workings of the mind accompanying each step or level.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful