For 30 years Ed and Deb Shapiro have taught meditation, body/mind awareness, yoga, and personal development. They are the authors of many books including Voices from the Heart and write regularly for The Huffington Post. In this wide-ranging and illuminating work, the Shapiros share snippets of their interviews with more 100 meditation practitioners from all walks of life including Marianne Williamson, Robert Thurman, Byron Katie, Ellen Burstyn, Dean Ornish, Matthew Fox, Ram Dass, Sakyong Mipham, and many more. Biographies and websites of the participants are located in the back of the book.
Meditation, according to the authors, is a multipurpose spiritual practice that can calm us down, lessen stress and anxiety, tame anger, animate us to deeds of kindness and compassion, open our hearts to others, bring serenity, and enable us to bring peace and love to a troubled world. To give an idea of the quotations to be found in this book, here are a few examples:
• "Mindfulness is the awareness that arises when we non-judgmentally pay attention to the present moment."
— Jon Kabat-Zinn
• "For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."
— Lily Tomlin
• "I still see anger arise, even after thirty years of meditating. But now, when it does, I can say, 'Hello, old friend' and I invite it in for a cup of tea."
— Ram Dass
• "Do not seek perfection in a changing world. Instead, perfect your love."
— Master Sengstan
• "Stop punishing yourself! Put down the whip! So much of the punishment we give to others is a projection of how we actually treat ourselves. So be gentle with yourself!"
— Joan Borysenko