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The Doors of Joy: 19 Meditations for Authentic Living
by Daniel Odier
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We know from countless spirituality and self-help books that authentic joy has no object - it is truly free and boundless. And yet, try as we might, how many of us can say that joy is more than a fleeting feeling? Daniel Odier's approach, which is based in part on his study of Chinese Zen, is refreshingly straightforward. All it requires is a willingness to disengage from our habitual ways of thinking, and practise being present throughout the day. He calls his method, "The Practice of Consciousness." Its purpose is to unlock our spontaneity and recover our innocence and creativity. He writes, "Consciousness manifests itself as presence. To work with presence is similar to learning a musical instrument. To enter this state, take a sensation such as the feel of your bare feet on the ground. Enter deeply into the contact; breathe by relaxing your abdomen; and after fifteen or twenty seconds, leave the sensation and return to your habitual mode. Doing this thirty, forty or fifty times a day allows us to enter into a deep acquaintance with sensation."
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