Winner of the 2010 Gold Nautilus Book Award!
“If there is one book you read about meditation this should be the one. Hear about some of the cool people who are doing it and why you should do it too.”
Sharon Gannon, Jivamukti Yoga
From running an orphanage to being a political adviser, from being held in a prison cell to living in a crowded city, meditation has changed people’s lives. Be the Change is a fascinating exploration of how meditation can not only awaken our latent potential, but also transform the world, creating the foundation for a caring and compassionate future.
As a prisoner in a Chinese jail, Kirsten Westby was able to find solace by sitting quietly in contemplation. Deeply affected by walking on the moon, astronaut Edgar Mitchell went from exploring outer space to discovering the vastness of inner space. Coping with HIV, Mark Matousek found healing through group meditation. Seane Corn used her yoga and meditation expertise to work with child prostitutes in LA.
In the last few decades, people in all walks of life have begun to realize the profound benefits of meditation. While this ancient practice is personally transformative by calming the mind and reducing stress, awakening the heart, and deepening insight, can meditation also change the world for the better? We invited many of today’s most notable voices explore this issue, reflecting on how looking within has resolved issues such as anger and fear, inspiring them to work toward a more caring and peaceful future.
Be the Change was conceived in response to a need to make sense of what is happening in the world at large. We wondered, “Could something as subtle and understated as meditation also have an affect on business, conflict resolution, or politics?” And on an even wider scale, “What change could happen if something so simple were to become a global movement?”
Interwoven among our own thoughts on the subject are the words of more than one hundred meditation practitioners from various walks of life, from Ellen Burstyn—Oscar award-winning actress—to Jon Kabat-Zinn—director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, from Marianne Williamson—bestselling author and renown inspirational speaker—to Richard Davidson—Professor of Psychology at Wisconsin University.
Enlightening and inspiring, Be the Change is essential reading for all who desire to make a difference in their own lives and in the world.
From the foreword by the Dalai Lama: “I strongly recommend anyone interested in meditation not to simply read what these people have to say, but to try it out. If you like it and its useful to you, keep it up, and if it isn’t, just leave it. Treat this book as you would a cookery book. You wouldn’t merely read recipes with approval, you’d try them out. Some you’d like and would use again. Like cookery, meditation only makes sense if you put it into effect.”
From the foreword by Robert Thurman: “Thank goodness Ed and Deb have so beautifully enfolded the gifts of all the fascinating individuals in this book, within the moving stories of their own lives and transforming experiences! In this living book Ed and Deb have masterfully woven the many voices into a symphony—the insights and stories harmonize and contrast with each other in a marvelous rich flow that is both calming and energizing, creating a single collective yet selfless voice.”
While most books put forth the views of the authors as experts, this book puts forth the views of many experts with the authors as guides to the experience. And it’s an experience worth having!You may not be interested in changing the world, and that’s fine. If you are interested, that’s wonderful. Most of us, however, have enough to do just to put up with daily frustrations and concerns. Isn’t it overwhelming, sometimes?
The problem with these daily frustrations and concerns is all of them trigger the flight or fight response. That means stress — the whole cortisol elevation, chronic fatigue, heart problems scenario. And unhappiness. You can’t change what comes at you. But you can change how you respond to it. The insights in this book can help you find the inner stillness that refuses to give stress a foothold.
This book may not transform the entire world, but if it can surely help you transform your inner world. And that’s worth a lot.
M. L. Lamendola
I’ve read many books on meditation and yours is so warm, human and accessible that it makes me smile. Meditation is more of a character in your book than the subject of it! … Meditation is the magic carpet that carries all the people telling their stories, on a journey that transforms them from whatever they were before to something better after … as the reader I get to be along for the ride. Thank you Ed and Deb Shapiro!
This is by far a stellar book…. truthfully, one that anyone can relate to! Something I would like to share with others readers who might be considering this purchase… you will be pleased! Why do I say this? Well, first of all, it is put together very well and the stories and advice really stick because they are presented in such a harmonious layout. The eyes never get tired from reading this book, as my experience with many books has been, that they tend to tax our vision.
Having said that, it is obvious that authors were mindful of this, thats why it has been so fun and easy to read. It is a page-turner of insights and methods… things that we can do for ourselves, and more importantly, without sacrificing our own personal beliefs! At the same time, there is so much helpful information, and it is presented so elegantly, I love it. Thank you and bless you both for writing such an inspiring and motivating book!