David Collett’s Review of Meditation for Beginners Book

My friend, David Collett, in Australia just wrote to tell me he wrote up a review on his website for the latest Meditation for Beginner’s Book – Secrets for Success. It is quite a nice one too! Thanks David!

See the review here.

Oops, the site is down. Well, you can find it at Amazon, I grabbed most of it that would fit and put it there a while back.

Actually, I’ll put it below.

Book Review by David Collett of Vern Lovic’s, Meditation for Beginners – Secrets for Success:

In business there are many books written on what we should all be doing to improve; yet many of the authors are simply writers who have not created a successful business themselves. If you went and spent time with the author, you won’t see them running a successful business.

For me there is no difference in the way I observe Vern behave or speak in person compared with what he writes about on meditation. That is very important.

In chapter 1, Vern covers twelve areas where he feels there has been a change in his life since he started meditating on the breath. The twelve areas he identifies from his own direct experience can all be described as a change in attitude and/or a change in the way he emotionally responds to external events as well as what is happening internally. Just those changes alone, ignoring the Jhanas completely, help to explain where the motivation comes from to want to write about meditation and to share it with others.

The activity is so innocent, quick and costless yet provides such large dividends across many areas, when one begins to realize some of the benefits, it is hard not to want to share it with others, so at least they could try it themselves if they want to.

That’s the feeling I get with Vern. He knows from his own experience that simply spending some time with the breath each day completely and unexpectedly changed his life for the better.

If you found a small money tree in a forest somewhere that grew leaves of $100 notes and it only produced two per day, it is likely you wouldn’t tell anyone about it. You would keep it to yourself.

If that same little tree was producing 400 to 500 $100 notes a day, in time you would realize there is too much just for you. You would want to tell others about it. That’s a little how good meditation feels. It feels really good and you just wonder to yourself why more people aren’t doing it.

Vern’s Note –

David actually met me here in Thailand a couple years ago when he came for an extended meditation retreat over a few months at Wat Pah Nanachat in Ubon Ratchathani. This is a forest wat meditation center for foreigners – anyone that speaks English.

I found David to be extremely knowledgable about meditation and we had the most engaging conversations over a couple of hours.

I do hope to see him again!

Meditation for Beginners – Book is Finished

Meditation for Beginners - Secrets for Success book by Vern Lovic

First good edit is finished on the new book, and I’ve sent it to the editor to work her magic. I’m so glad to be nearly finished with this second meditation book. It is exactly what I wanted to say about the subject, and I hope it will be well received.

I will be selling this ebook at Amazon and here at Jhana8. The price will be very affordable, probably just $3.99.

Jhana

Thinking a lot about jhana these days. It’s a big topic in the new meditation book I’m writing, so I’m thinking about it more than I ever have.

Jhanas are states of mind that begin when the body and mind are relaxed and the mind is highly focused on some object of meditation. Though Buddhism and other traditions teach that it is imperative to follow very specific rules to get into jhana and move between the jhanas, I’ve found this completely unnecessary. Instead, I used the very method the Buddha used to make the mind ready for jhanas to ‘visit’. The subject will be covered in-depth in the new book. I do hope, if you have an interest in the subject, you’ll have a look when it’s released. True to form, the book will be about $2.99, the same as the first book, “Meditation for Beginners – 22 Day Course.”

I see jhana as the fast-track to big changes. Once getting jhana pretty regularly, the revolution of the mind begins. As far as I can see, the changes, once made, are permanent.

I’ve struggled in the past to describe jhana with words. Every person that has experienced them comes to the same conclusion – it is not easily done. A comprehensive description is never possible, and reading the description does not give the reader the exact experience, nor could it approach it. Words are infinitely incapable of describing these states. It’s sort of like saying, describe the color orange – without using anything else that is orange to tell the person what it is like.

So, having exhausted myself trying to come up with words for the jhanas that could transmit the experience, today I had a thought…

What if I could draw jhana?

There is this driving force inside me that wants to share the experience with others, and yet, I haven’t found a way to do that yet. I’ve made some attempts at description using words here at this site, and at others. I have to say that I’ve never come up with a great description of any of the jhanas using words. They defy description. Then today I wondered if drawing an image of jhana could help people grasp it somehow.

Can jhana be described through a drawing? A photo? A scribble?

I’ve been trying to come up with something for a couple of hours, and so far it’s elusive. If you look at the header image for this website, I made the “8” in Jhana8 to appear as if it is leaning, or falling. This was my attempt at showing that jhana is similar to infinity, in that it is unknowable and completely indescribable.

Having exhausted myself thinking about a visual representation with an image or design I wondered, can it be described with music? Song? Dance? Sculpture? Numbers?

As far as I can see, a representation of jhana cannot be created using any of these.

How can jhana be a real experience and yet totally defy description of any sort? It is completely indescribable. I can only give hints at what it is… never anything resembling the big picture. I can explain tiny pieces of it, and not all that well, but at least it’s something.

It seems that most of the meditative experience is hard to describe with words. This is probably one factor that puts people off it. The milestones are ambiguous. The teachings – from Buddhists all over – often conflict. There is even disagreement over what jhana is and isn’t, the Buddhists are greatly concerned with the factors of jhana and whether they are all present or not, and which ones should be present. Then, there are experiences that occur within the individual that are phenomenological, they don’t occur with other people, they are unique to that person. I’ve had some of these strange experiences that nobody I know has ever had.

So, the goals of meditation are nebulous… the path, ambiguous. How is anyone to reach the higher states of jhana, and enlightenment if nothing is clear?

So, this is some of the problem of writing this next book. I am nearly finished, it will be another two weeks or so, but I think through the many edits I’ve done, this book will be my best effort for helping people to experience the jhanas and the changes that have happened to me with a simple meditation practice of focusing on the breath.

I think this book will be the easiest book to read on the subject, comprehensive, and yet easily understood by all. That is my goal anyway!

New Meditation Book Coming Along Well

I started a new meditation book a couple of weeks ago. It is coming along pretty well and I think it might be ready in a couple of weeks. This book will be different from my first, “Meditation for Beginners – A 22-Day Course” available at Amazon. That book is a bare-bones outline of what is needed for a successful meditation practice. It will be perfect for some people, and not so perfect for others. Such is the nature of books – one book cannot cover all aspects of meditation. So, I’ll write two, or three.

Title for the next book is not apparent yet. Maybe, another “Meditation for Beginners” and make it a series with the same main title.

This week I was able to meet again with my friend, David Collett, from Australia. He is currently staying at Wat Pah Nanachat in Warin Chamrap, a district of Ubon Ratchathani province in Thailand’s Northeast.

We had some great conversation about meditation and what is needed. We are both OK with the idea of religion being a physical act, not a religious one. We talked for hours and were able to meditate at Wat Nong Pah Pong for a bit. Yes, believe it or not, I meditated. Then I did it the next day too – about an hour by myself, I went back. I’ll go tomorrow too, if I can fit it in the schedule. I’ve got a long-haul motorbike ride tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens.

This new meditation book will be a Big Picture kind of book. It will cover everything, and yet do it in a way that doesn’t put anybody to sleep (hopefully). It’s a fine line between dishing out volumes of information and keeping it interesting. I think if the reader is interested in the topic then the book will be an easy and fun read. I’ll try my best to make it so.

Look for the book in a couple of weeks. I’ll likely just release it at Amazon, as I’m trying there exclusively for a while to see if I can get more books out there and read. Amazon seems to have the biggest group of readers on the planet, might as well go with them exclusive for a bit and see what happens.

If you have any questions or need an opinion or an ear, let me know what’s going on with your meditation practice and I’ll see if I can help. Let me qualify that… I only know about Vipassana style, Anapanasati type meditation… focusing on the breath or some other object… I don’t know anything at all about other styles.

Cheers!

Vern

New Meditation Book Coming Shortly

I have once again decided to tackle the meditation issue. It is of supreme importance that I bring more people to experience what I have. I feel like I’m hoarding it… I feel like I’m not doing all I can to bring it to the awareness of the world’s inhabitants. Sound like I’m taking myself too seriously? I’m serious! haha! I have had a couple good talks with a friend I met online, I think he saw one of my websites and some videos and wrote me from Australia.

I can’t ignore how important meditation is… I have to keep trying to reach people.

The original book – Meditation for Beginners – A 22 Day Course, is doing well, but maybe not hitting everyone in a way that ensures they progress. This next book will be a second attempt to reach some of them, and maybe another group entirely – those that have already begun to meditate, and hit snags in the process.

If you purchase one of the books, you can write me with any problems you have and I’ll see if I can help.

I’ll give myself 1 month to finish this next book. A couple weeks to edit, and it should be live by, lets say April Fool’s Day? Sounds like a plan.

Oh, I’m also considering adding to this site considerably in the future. I have a number of meditation websites that I can merge into one. Maybe better to get that done early this year.

Ok then, best of life to you!

Vern

Meditation for Beginners Ebook Updates

I’ve made some revisions to the pages describing, “Meditation for Beginners – a 22 day course”. Click the book above to see the revised page.

Now you can see a full description of the book (imagine that!) and a free sample. If you wish, you can download a free 12 page sample of the ebook in PDF format.

I’ll be creating a series of videos that go along with the ebook – not sure when it will be complete, but I hope to get started today on the first one.

If you haven’t yet bought this $2.99 guide, you can now buy through Paypal here at the main page, or through Smashwords.com, or at Amazon.com.

If you buy through Amazon and give the book a fair review – fair, not necessarily long – I will give you the next book in the series – for free when it comes out. I’m anticipating about 2 weeks for that one. It will be, “Mindfulness for Beginners” and will also be available here for $2.99 as well as the other channels mentioned.

 

For Under $3 You Can Do This Too

Meditation came pretty easily to me. I mean, comparing myself to others. Comparing myself to monks I know in Thailand that have practiced for a dozen, or dozens of years… meditation, jhana, it all came so easily in comparison. In less than a year I was experiencing all jhana levels.

Did I do anything special?

Not really. I followed a really simple process. Supremely simple. I sat and watched the breath for 20 minutes a day and I practiced mindfulness when I was at work or doing other things outside of meditation.

Whether there is nothing more to the process coming to visit – than what I did during that year, or whether all I did prior to that year – helped tremendously or not – I don’t know.

I was a triathlete, bicycle racer, ran in 10K races often. Did my hours of working out prepare me for having jhana visit? I don’t have any idea. My workouts sometimes went for 7 hours… bike rides could be that long in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania. Hawaii. Miami. Tampa. When I rode the bike or ran, my mind was strangely silent. This was well before I ever meditated. My mind seems to stay rather quiet as I exercise for prolonged periods. I still have thoughts sometimes, but I’m pretty much in a zone of some sort where thought isn’t necessary.

When I run, I concentrate on the rhythm of it. I focus there. I focus on looking at my body and assessing what is going on – like a dashboard checking out the engine.

When I bike I watch the wheel in front of me, and the road ahead. My head isn’t filled with thoughts of the past and future… and in this way, I was probably practicing mindfulness – without even knowing what it was.

Many times, and for hours at a time I would concentrate on my breathing… keeping up a pace that gave me the right number of breaths and the right beats per minute of my heart.

Did all that help me when I started meditating?

I’ve no idea. I hope not. I really hope that it is available to everyone as it came to me. Make no mistake – it came to me, I didn’t do anything remarkable. All my secrets are in the simple book I wrote about meditation – “Meditation for Beginners – a 22 Day Course” that you can find at Amazon and Smashwords.com.

The book is $2.99, and covers the bare essentials – and not the fluff of meditation.

I hope it helps you… if you are stuck – you should try this style. It’s the unstyle really. It tears away the religious aspect of meditation, the special words for breathing, for focus, for sitting, for everything. It’s meditation without religion.

It presents you with a super-simple method to use meditation to find relaxation. Maybe more comes, maybe not. The point is the relaxation… meditate to relax, not to become the next savior of mankind…

Go to the right column – and click the book to see more about it…

😉