Meditation is more than staring at your navel. It is a way of transforming life from the inside out. Former Buddhist nun Martine Batchelor knows this from a decade spent in a Zen monastery. Combining theory and practice, Batchelor transforms her own meditation experience into a manual that echoes the simple elegance of Zen. Ten chapters focus on different aspects of meditation, and each is broken down into background, practice, and a final guided meditation. For example, the chapter on daily life first explains the difference between formal and informal meditation, then discusses the many opportunities for informal meditation and how we can learn from those experiences. In the "Practice" section of the chapter, Batchelor offers specific methods for informal meditation, and finally, ends with a page of instructions for how to cook mindfully. Two things that set Meditation for Life
apart from other books of its kind are the well-chosen personal anecdotes that Batchelor uses to illustrate her points and the stunningly meditative photographs by her husband, Stephen Batchelor--photographs that could legitimately comprise a collection of their own. --Brian Bruya
An illustrated guide to meditation features eighty photographs highlighting various meditative practices from the three major Buddhist traditions: Theravada, Tibetan, and Zen.