W. T. Hoffman
This is a nice little self help book, that talks about cognitive therapy, and meditation. (tho Griffiths doesn't call it meditation.) The book requires about 90 minutes to read, and covers a bit about Griffiths life, his study of self help books, his own talk therapy and Prozac use, finishing with his own method for overcoming depression and worry. Its called POP: Pieces of Peace. Its a method to help the consciousness stop worrying about the future, or regretting the past. (BE HERE NOW, was the famous book by 60s guru Baba Ram Dass, who was attempting to teach people the same idea.) Anyway, the idea is that when we are at peace, we are in the moment. Sure, its all been said and done before, but isnt it nice to be reminded of this from time to time? For musicians, painters, dancers, athletes, being in the moment is a commonplace occurrence. Your full attention is paid to the moment, so you transcend worry about any time but now. For those who practice meditation, you quickly find out, that making your mind empty, and being fully aware of your body's breathing, embracing the here and now, is hard work. Turning off the mind, takes practice. Griffith says that you're lucky to be able to do this for a couple of seconds, in a one minute meditation attempt. However, like anything else, you get better at it, the more you do it. Before you know it, the pieces of peace, turns into a life of peace. The only observation I'd like to make on this book, has to do with Griffith's view on Religion. He was brought up a fire and brimstone Christian, and it ruined the truths of that religion for him. He removed himself from grace, to the point where he was blaming much of his depression on feelings of inadequacy caused by fire and brimstone sermons. For anyone who's cracked the surface of Jesus' teachings, you quickly discover how unchristian that hellfire Christianity really is. I never saw the truth, until I studied Buddhism. The truth is the truth, whether Jesus, or Buddha is talking. After the avatar leaves this plane, the chain of initiation is often broken, leaving the ideal spiritual state unrealized, by the leaders of the Church or community. So they teach from their own limited spiritual awareness, and not from the revelations of the founding prophet. Jesus told us not to worry. "Consider the lilies of the field. They neither toil nor spin, but Solomon in all his splendor, was not arrayed in as fine as clothing as them." So many things Christ taught, was about how to NOT worry. ("Let the dead bury the dead", etc.) This is so central a concept, that the basic prayer of Christ, said, "Give us this day our daily bread", leaving life worries to God, not to man's efforts. Of course, the other central concept ,was being non judgmental. That hasn't seemed to impress many Christians either, over the years. So unfortunately, its' very difficult to gain spiritual insights, thru many organized forms of Christianity today. So many of us, study eastern religions, hoping to discover a method to overcome the darkness, in our lives. I found the best method of overcoming worry and anger, firmly rooted in the practices of Christian mystics and monks. First, use the Jesus prayer, as a way to short circuit the worry of the mind. (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner------------its based on the prayer of the blind man to Jesus, in the Gospels. Repeat it ad infinitum. Much used in Orthodox Christianity.) The other method, is meditation on the Gospels. Lectio Divina, its known as. So, when you're ready to curse someone, think back to how Jesus would respond to the same problem. And believe me, there's nothing going on in this world, that Jesus didn't seem to have to deal with. Pull together some prayer for world peace, meditation, a Jesus prayer for really tough times, meditation on Jesus' teachings, and a kind heart. That should help you beat chronic, severe depression. You'll still be sad from time to time, after all, even Christ as a "man of sorrows", and even Solomon said, "Much wisdom is much Sorrow". However, you probably wont go saving up pain medicine, in order to check out early. So, I say all this just to let you know, the culprit of people who are not helped from Christianity, isn't any lack of a viable path inside the gospels, or the history of the great saints, but rather ignorant, hateful preachers, lustful priests, and greedy TV evangelists, clouding over and obscuring the truth of Christ. If you look enough, you'll find medieval meditation guides written in Europe, great saints who found the path, and the utter truth of a good life, in the gospels. If you still cant see it, listen to Siddhartha Gautama, aka Lord Buddha, teach the same truths. Once you're eyes and heart open up, go to Jesus, to discover the completion of the teachings. Christianity is a viable path to peace. It was founded by a POP (Prince Of Peace.) I was provided a free book for review purposes.
W. T. Hoffman