A Gradual Awakening


A Gradual Awakening Author Stephen Levine / Preface by Ram Dass / Published by Doubleday, originally published by Anchor Books / Copyright 1979, 1989 / Paperback, 173 Pages

Here is one of those books that I wish I had a hundred copies to give out to all my family and friends.

As Ram Dass says in the Preface: “When my guru wanted to compliment me, he called me simple; when he wished to chide me, he called me clever. This book about vipassana meditation is simple…”

Anybody who ever wondered about meditation and how to do it will gain so much in reading this book. Anybody who never wondered about meditation will be drawn artlessly by the easy flow of the text. From the very first paragraphs, the reader is gently led into awareness and clarity. In no time, the reader feels that the book was written just for him.

I often have to re-read this book because a forgetful and fretful mind needs constant reminding on how to be quiet and on how to breathe. And diving back into the chapters again and again gives my mind a deeper release from all the over-thinking going on there every day. The chapters on guided meditations in the book are truly a wonderful resource for readers who want to practice meditation. Those guided meditation chapters are a gift in itself.

I am so deeply grateful I found this book. I am so deeply grateful to Stephen Levine for writing it.

After finding this one, I kept my eyes open for his other writings.

Once again, as I am a voracious forager of any and all bookstores, I was very fortunate to find “A Year to Live – How to Live This Year As If It Were Your Last”. Another beautiful and wisdom-filled book by this author. The book blurb contributed by Thomas Moore said it perfectly: “…Few books are worthy to be lifelong companions – this is one of them.”

Books that bring me to painful cathartic sobbing are always kept in the special bookshelf, always ready for re-reading sessions. These two books are homed there, always just an arm’s reach away.

I was sad to hear of Stephen Levine’s passing away this January. Trite as it may sound, all his readers can take comfort in the thought that the light of his work and his writings can continue on. Again, thank you, Stephen Levine. Namaste.


Other Stephen Levine Title in our library:

A Year to Live (How to Live This Year As If It Were Your Last) Published by Bell Tower / Copyright 1997 / Hardbound, 175 Pages


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