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Home | Community Resources | Topics | Meditation and Prayer

Book Excerpts:

SpiritSite.com is pleased to offer excerpts from the following books.  You may click on a book's cover to begin, or on the links below:

Lawrence LeShan's How to Meditate

Eknath Easwaran's Meditation

Joel Goldsmith's The Art of Meditation

Sophy Burnham's The Ecstatic Journey

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Transforming the Mind

Echo Bodine's A Still, Small Voice

Meditation and Prayer

Many spiritual and religious paths highlight the importance of calming and clearing the mind.  As an aid to this goal, numerous forms of meditation and prayer have evolved over the ages.  We've collected some writings on mediation and prayer below, and will add more as we continue to develop the resources at SpiritSite.com. 

How to Meditate

Lawrence LeShan is a psychologist and scholar who brings a refreshingly objective approach to meditation.  In his classic book on the subject, How to Meditate (read an excerpt), Mr. LeShan puts forth the view that a meditation practice is a lot like a physical exercise program, in that "both programs should be adapted to the particular person using them with the clear understanding that there is no one 'right' program for everyone."


Eknath Easwaran came to the United States as a Fullbright scholar in 1959. In 1961, he moved to Berkeley, California, where he founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation.  In his excellent introduction to the practice, Meditation (read an excerpt), Mr. Easwaran offers a down-to-earth perspective on a meditation practice.  "Meditation will do for you what it has done for all who practice it regularly: enable you to steer your car [a symbol for the mind] expertly."

The Art of Meditation

Joel Goldsmith was a Christian spiritual healer in the 20th century who repeatedly taught about the importance of prayer and meditation.  In The Art of Meditation (read an excerpt), Mr. Goldsmith explains that God is within us; we need merely try to make contact.  If we believed that the "kingdom of God is within us," he says, "we should be willing to leave the world for a season, until such time as we could reach, touch, and respond to the Father within." 

The Ecstatic Journey

Sophy Burnham is best known for her books on angels, including the best selling A Book of Angels.  In her personal, rich new book, The Ecstatic Journey (read an excerpt), Ms. Burnham offers reflections on the mystical experience, including a revealing narrative about her experiences with prayer and meditation.  "All types of meditation are similar and all lead to the same golden center, for at the mystical level all religions have more in common than they differ," she writes.

Transforming the Mind

Based on three days of teaching in London May 1999, Transforming the Mind (read an excerpt) is an edited version of the Dalai Lama's discourse on one of the most profound and sacred texts in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The Eight Verses on Generating Compassion are known in Tibetan as 'lojong' - literally, transforming your mind. In this lucid, straightforward commentary on these teachings, H. H. the Dalai Lama shows us how to transform difficult situations into opportunities for spiritual growth.