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YOGA /

Book Review:

MEDITATION AS A WAY OF LIFE BY REV. ALAN L. PRITZ REVIEW BY: JENNIFER DERHAM, MA, EDS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AND FOUNDER OF MN YOGA + LIFE

Forget the fluffy, new-agey stuff. Meditation As A Way of Life is a no b.s. guide to meditation. If you want a quick and dirty Meditation for Dummies type of read, look elsewhere. Meditation As A Way of Life is intelligently written and saturated with spirituality. The central tenet of this guide is strong, authentic, and bold, which is why I loved it. Pritz says that meditation is a method by which we become closer to God. Period. Mindfulness, peace, a sense of calm, etc., are powerful byproducts of a consistent meditation practice — not the ultimate goal. It’s our separation from God, and focus on the external, that often underlies human misery. This is not a religious book in the traditional sense. It’s free of dogmatic bias, and in fact, respectfully explores religion versus spirituality. Pritz explains that we are made to seek connection with our Source, and quotes Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin to underscore the point, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Pritz makes a similar point using the words of Patanjali, “By total surrender to God, Samadhi (enlightenment) is attained.” Throughout the book, he proves himself as a spiritual scholar, and not one to play religious favorites. I appreciated Pritz’s nondivisive approach. He draws parallels between religions. For example, he explores the connection between the sacred words, Aum, Om, Amen, Hum, and Amin. Likewise, the often difficult-to-understand concept of one God manifested as three, is illustrated using Taoist, Vedic, and Christian frameworks. He refers to God as God, but also as the Source, Infinite Spirit, Divine Mother, and the Holy Spirit in addition to exploring what, or who, God is. Pritz, an interfaith minister, references an inclusionary ambrosia of visionaries such as Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, Rumi, Martin Luther King Jr., Chief Seattle, various saints, and scholars.

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Meditation

Mantras unique to secular, Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions are shared. Physical, mental, and spiritual applications of the Yamas and Niyamas are offered, as well as various breathing and meditation techniques. Pritz sprinkles in poetry, excerpts from sacred texts, and everyday anecdotes as beautiful illustrations. Because this book is inclusive of various religious and spiritual ideals and practices, one may wonder if it’s watered down to appeal to the masses. It’s not. For those who may draw upon a Life of Pi type of spiritual belief system such as myself, that is part of the allure. As Iyengar states, “As bees savour the nectar in various flowers, so the Sadhaka absorbs things in other faiths which will enable him to appreciate his own faith better.” While Meditation as a Way of Life is not a light vacation read, it will attract those seeking more. It captures, in a meaningful way, the very definition of yoga, to yoke, or unite, which Pritz contends, “is the ultimate goal of meditation.” To quote the author, this book will help people “through meditation and spirituality to achieve greater life balance, happiness, and growth.” ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rev. Alan L. Pritz, a spiritual disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, is an Interfaith Minister, and has trained in inner sciences for more than 40 years. Selected by the US Army Reserves and Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN as a Meditation & Life–Balance Provider, he provides personal/ couples meditation instruction and spiritual life coaching and counseling, plus related corporate programs and coaching through his Minneapolis practice, Awake In Life. To learn more about his services see, Awake-InLife.com.

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Profile for YOGA + Life® Magazines

MN Yoga + Life Magazine | Winter-Spring 2016  

Yoga For Everyone! Minnesota Yoga + Life Magazine - Minnesota's Only Yoga, Wellness & Lifestyle Magazine

MN Yoga + Life Magazine | Winter-Spring 2016  

Yoga For Everyone! Minnesota Yoga + Life Magazine - Minnesota's Only Yoga, Wellness & Lifestyle Magazine

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