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Practical Meditation Book Review: Simple Step-by-Step Guide?

Practical Meditation Book Review: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide?

This is my review of the book called Practical Meditation.

The Practical Meditation book itself outlines 39 different types of meditation techniques along with other meditation information. Learning about so many different meditation techniques allows you to decide with an informed mind which of these techniques resonate with you the most.

For anyone who wants to learn about meditation, this book may help.

Practicing meditation during the day may be something that someone working from home may be able to include in their daily routine.

The full name of this excellent book is Practical Meditation – A simple step-by-step guide” by Giovanni Dienstmann. This is a great book in my opinion to learn about the practical aspects of meditation along with other related meditation topics. The book itself is split up into different sections. It may be used as a guide or as a reference guide.

The one thing that it is not is a quick guide.

Instructions are provided in the book which allows you to actually practice these yourself. With this practice and this information you can opt to do the meditation techniques that resonate with you the most.

Meditation has loads of benefits. However there are also different meditation techniques. If the first meditation technique that you learn is one that you do not like, you may never bother to learn additional meditation techniques which you may like.

Let’s get started.

Setting the scene

Inside my review of the Practical Meditation book, I reveal my pros and cons. The book outlines 39 different types of meditation techniques and other topics.

For me, these meditation techniques are explained in such a way that I was able to determine quickly and with efficiency which of those techniques I liked and which I do not.

This is important in my view because if I learn a meditation technique which you I do not like, there is a risk that I might not bother to learn other meditation techniques which I do like. I have to practice meditation in order to get the benefits from it. 🙂

Naturally with 39 meditation techniques to choose from, some of them did not resonate with me so I simply did not bother to try them out at this point in time. Of course, they might resonate with me another time so I can simply reference the book again and see then.

As you may know, Meditation itself is a huge subject. Finding a practical book that outlines a number of meditation topics, including some of its history, some of its benefits, some of its health related benefits and some of its different traditions would be a great educational and practical book to have.

I am just not sure that a simple step-by-step practical guide should contain this information.

If the book also included a chapter outlining 39 of the most popular and accessible techniques from the main traditions which can be practiced at home in simple steps, that would be a great benefit. It does and it is. 🙂

I found the Practical Meditation book to be such a great book to have. This book covers all of the above.

I consider practicing different meditation techniques myself important so that I can decide for myself based on my personal experience which meditation techniques to continue using and to drop the others. The other meditation topics I am interested in is learning more about the benefits of meditation, especially the health benefits.

This is my review of the Practical Meditation book and this is my take on this book.

As already mentioned, the Practical Meditation book outlines 39 different types of meditation techniques. The great advantage of this in my opinion is that I can effectively and with efficiency see which of these different types of meditation techniques I resonate with the most and consider following up on. That is, follow the instructions in this book to actually practice that meditation technique myself to see if I like it.

There are different meditation techniques available, each with their own pluses and minuses. There is no one meditation technique that suits everyone all of the time. This is both good and bad. 🙂

Many different meditation techniques evolved over time. It makes sense to me to quickly and effectively learn a number of meditation techniques to help determine which ones are better suited for me at the present time.

Meditation is known to help in many different ways.

What is the Practical Meditation Book?

The Practical Meditation book is a simple step by step practical guide to learning about meditation. The author of the book has spent a lot of time learning and practicing many different meditation techniques from many different meditation traditions. He is also able to communicate this information across very well in this book which is a great plus.

He has distilled these approaches and in his explanations throughout the book he explains them in a simple step by step way. There are loads of illustrations throughout the book.

The explanations are explained in a non-secular way which is a great plus in my opinion.

Practical Meditation Book Review – Great Practical Guide about Meditation

This is a great practical guide about meditation.

The book can be read in different ways depending on my needs. I can read it page by page from the first page to the last page.

Or I can read it by picking pages at random. Using this approach I am very sure to learn something new and interesting about meditation that I did not know earlier.

Or I can read it as a reference book where I specify something specific to search for using the table of contents or the index.

The book itself has five main themes. The first main theme is about understanding meditation. This is followed by meeting the meditating mind. Starting your practice is the next main theme. The next main theme discusses different types of meditation. This is followed by the integrating and deepening theme.

Understanding meditation

This main theme covers what is meditation, busting meditation myths, meditation traditions and so on. I found this theme to be fascinating and was delighted that it included a number of proven benefits that meditation provides.

For me, I basically do meditation because it has a number of proven benefits. I find it good to see these proven benefits written in this book because it reconfirms my desire to continue doing meditation myself on a daily basis.

Meet the meditating mind

This main theme covers starting your meditation journey to get:

“some immediate calm to your life with a first taste of meditation”.
Source: Giovanni Dienstmann in his Practical Meditation book.

This covers learning about five different “mini-meditations”. I was encouraged to try out these five different “mini-meditations” with the purpose of determining which of them work best for me.

This is followed by what to expect from my meditation practice and how to avoid potential problems on my meditation journey going forward.

I found this all great information and that a lot of this information is actually actionable without referring to other resources.

Starting my practice

This provides practical advice on setting up my daily practice along with some tips designed to help me with my meditation practice. In meditation “speak”, a daily practice is simply actually doing meditation on a daily basis. Nothing more, nothing else.

One of these six tips is called “Never Zero”. This is an interesting concept and can be applied to other areas in my life where applicable. Anyway, this concept has helped me greatly in my meditation practice. Using this concept I have now practiced meditation every single day for some time, over three years at this stage. I do not think I would have done this without knowing this “Never Zero” concept.

This “Never Zero” concept allowed me to do this for my meditation practice.

The many types of meditation

The author of the book has experimented with over 80 different types of meditation in his meditation journey. He explains using illustrations 39 of the most popular and accessible meditation techniques, each of which I can practice at home following his simple easy to follow steps.

Most of these are explained over two pages. There is usually a clear illustration along with a brief introduction to the technique and the reasons why to choose this technique along with key facts plus usually about six simple step by step instructions on how to practice that technique.

I found that this standard overview approach for these different meditation techniques useful, practical and educational but too short. I can start to do these meditation techniques with these instructions however I may need to deepen my knowledge on some of these meditation techniques using other means.

Integrating and deepening

This theme discusses how to integrate meditation into my daily life along with advice on how to use meditation to manage daily life challenges in for example negative emotions, problem solving and how to improve performance in different areas of your life.

I found the information in this theme to be good, helpful and practical.

My pros

  • Learn meditation in a structured way: The five main themes discussed in the book give a good solid overview of what meditation is all about.
  • Learn about different benefits of meditation: This includes brain benefits, wellbeing benefits and stress reducing benefits.
  • Learn about how to start your own meditation practice: Adding a new daily habit to your schedule is easier said than done. This includes practical suggestions and recommendations to help you add this new daily habit to your schedule.
  • Book can be used in different ways: As a reference guide or as a practical how to guide or pick pages at random to learn about meditation.

My cons

  • Small type font: I find that the font type used in the book can be difficult to read. I think it should be bigger and bolder in places.
  • Opening topic should be different in my opinion: I would have preferred that the opening topic went straight into practicing some meditation techniques, rather than the theory stuff before getting to practicing some meditation techniques.
  • Each meditation technique discussed was too short in my opinion: I would have preferred more detailed information about each of the meditation techniques discussed. The format of a two page summary is short for each of the meditation techniques discussed however four pages would have been better. With more room to discuss each technique, a bigger type font could be used. I guess that it is very difficult to get the balance right. 🙂
  • The title of the book does not do justice to its content. The content is way better than what the title suggests: In my opinion, the book is not a simple step-by-step practical guide. The book is a very detailed illustrated book about different meditation topics which are just skimmed albeit well. Each of those meditation topics are huge so any book attempting to cover a number of topics by necessity will most likely skim the subject matter. The book includes a historical overview about meditation and different meditation traditions which I think is out of place in a simple step-by-step practical guide. It also in my opinion fails to live up to its title. A shorter guide focusing completely on being a simple step-by-step practical meditation guide would have been way better. The other meditation topics in the book being omitted completely from this book as it is “out of reference” or rename the book title to reflect more its content.

Reasons to buy this book

  1. I found this book was a good and effective way to learn about different meditation topics.
  2. Outlines 39 meditation techniques. This allows you to try out different techniques to see which ones resonate with you the most.
  3. Acts as both a reference guide and as a practical guide.
  4. Suited for people who are already experienced meditators. I think that complete beginners to meditation may get lost in all of the material. A lot of theory is read in the book before getting to the stage of actually doing meditation. A lot of readers may not actually read as far as actually doing meditation.
  5. I recommend getting the Hard Cover version as this book has illustrations which are best seen in print form.
  6. Reading the Practical Meditation book I have learned some more about meditation. I learned some of its history, some of its benefits, some of its different traditions and some of its different techniques.
  7. I chose the Practical Meditation book and considered it to be a good source to learn more about different aspects of meditation.
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