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Cynically Sweet (Booklikes)

I'm not the most active user here on Booklikes. In fact, sometimes I forget that it even exists. However, I endeavor to come back and post more stuff that I enjoy.

My reviews aren't guaranteed to be something you agree with and my perspective on books isn't something most people generally want. However, I still hope that there's something you can gain from them and you don't feel as if you've wasted your time reading them.


Don't just take my word for it; read the books yourself and form your own opinion!

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Shift Into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Openhearted Awareness

Shift Into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Openhearted Awareness - Loch Kelly To put it simply, Shift Into Freedom by Loch Kelly is a spiritual book. Though it is quite different in comparison to others I've read. Kelly is a psychotherapist and meditation teacher. In my view to the book, it seems he takes an information based look into meditation.

It's a good thing, of course; I appreciate how the author takes a lot of points of view into account. There are references into many different types of religions, as well as examples of practices from each and how they might relate to the reader. Even if you aren't religious, there is still information to obtain from these examples as it takes into account the efforts of others and how they obtain peace and awareness. There are quotes from experts in the field and he's also provided unique stories as to how he aids his students in their own paths to meditation, offering examples into their daily lives. There's obviously a lot of work and research that the author has done. There's a lot of information to gain from the book and, subsequently it is very text-heavy. However, that's certainly not a bad thing; the author takes a very in-depth look into meditation. The information is presented well, I think.

Having said that, I think that some might find the amount of information intimidating; it's a book about finding calm and it's a lot of stuff to take in. Some might find it a bit too much information to take in at once. However, if one takes it a bit at a time, I think they'll really appreciate the knowledge. My suggestion, if this is the case, is to simply take the information a little. It's worthwhile to savour the book, rereading if you feel it necessary (there's nothing wrong with doing that for such an in-depth book), and understanding these practices, in relation to yourself.

In addition to the paperback copy, I also received a copy of the audio tracks related to the book. It takes, in the author's own voice, a deep look into the meditation and provides exercises. I think it's very useful considering that reading is a different practice than listening. If one is reading the book, they will likely need to put it down in order to begin their exercises. With the audio version, we can simply pop it into a player and then listen to the author guide you, whilst doing whatever feels comfortable. I think that's a great option; not everyone feels comfortable in the same places or positions as another might. The audio is well done. There isn't any white noise (that I can hear) and the author takes his explanations slowly so that the feeling is calm and people are able to understand. I also appreciate the rate of his speaking as it gives people the ability to take in each word or sentence at a reasonable rate (and leaving gaps between some portions), letting us understand each portion before moving on to the next. My only fault to the audio copy is that it might be worthwhile having a content guide with the case, that isn't printed on the discs; one can't always see the content that's printed on the disc if it's in the player.

Overall, I feel that this book really does take on a different view to meditation and self help, one that I haven't found in others I've read. There's a lot of information to guide me and the author provides a lot of varying exercises to help me achieve peace. Personally, I don't think I gained all the wisdom I can from just one read, but returning to the book in future will definitely allow me to revise the information and gain new perspective into it, after initial meditation. Everyone learns at different rates, with different examples and information. The author has taken a lot of consideration into this, providing information that will help so many different people. I think it's a well done and quite unique view on meditation and peace.

I won a copy of this book via a First Reads giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.