While the thought of meditating intimidates many
people with its implications of sitting in a Zen-like state for hours, quick, life–enhancing meditations
are accessible to everyone. Twenty such meditations are laid out in the new personal growth book,
“A Creative Toolkit of Meditations” (Balboa Press; November ’13).
The meditations are designed to reduce stress and increase calm,
so that “even those with a busy ‘monkey-mind’ will benefit from the selfreflection
and meditations,” said author William W. Blake.
“A quiet, calm mind sets the stage for a happy, fulfilled life, and
meditation provides the bridge between the two,” explains Blake, a
meditation teacher and descendent of poet William Blake’s brother, John.
“Meditation practice shows us that we can choose which thoughts
to entertain and which to observe and release.”
Reader friendly, with interesting anecdotes illustrating its concepts, A Creative Toolkit of
Meditations offers thought provoking insights on issues such as unhealthy patterns developed in
childhood and obsessive negative thoughts and behaviors. Each chapter includes straightforward
meditations to help readers recognize unhelpful patterns and behaviors, and gain access to their
innate wisdom. Readers can mix and match to build their own practices, choosing to focus on the
chapters (and their meditations) to which they are drawn.
As Mr. Blake points out in the book, life consists of two journeys: growing up and waking up
(enlightenment). They are distinct, but interrelated. Chapters One through Three define and illustrate
“growing up.” Growing up provides background and meditations to become more functional, happy,
giving and community-involved.
Chapter Four details “waking up.” Here, the book states that spiritual seekers (everyone to
some extent) must struggle through their dark night before arriving at awakening or enlightenment. “After we blow through our uncomfortable dark night, intuitive knowing transforms us into
more secure, friendly people. More encouraging, when we wake up we now experience an immense
freedom and clarity. ‘Wow’ becomes our descriptor for life,” Blake writes. This section includes three
easy meditations to facilitate waking up.
Chapters Five, Six, Seven and Eight integrate growing up and waking up to positively
influence every area of one’s life.
Blake concludes that while a sound meditation practice requires courage and perseverance,
according to considerable research the payoff is a longer and happier life.