MEDITATION SECRETS FOR WOMEN
Discovering Your Passion, Pleasure, and Inner Peace
by Camille Maurine & Lorin Roche, Ph.D.
HarperOne, 2001. ISBN: 0062516973
Publishers Weekly - *starred* review (rare)
"This is an excellent, empowering resource for novices, as well as for those who have spent a lifetime meditating."
"In this powerful book, the husband-wife team of Maurine and Roche explore the particular needs women have in meditation. They point out that most ancient meditation texts were meant for cloistered male monks living a celibate life, with meditation techniques used to "eradicate passion, emotion, and sexuality." Maurine and Roche find that women require precisely the opposite approach: an ability to use meditation to embrace their psyches including passion, emotion and sexuality. Maurine (who comes from an eclectic background of Transcendental Meditation, Zen, esoteric yoga, dance and Tibetan Buddhism) and Roche (who teaches Himalayan meditation and is the author of Meditation Made Easy) employ the various components of their backgrounds to argue that women should custom-tailor their meditation practice to suit their individual needs and circumstances. With tips, exercises, meditations, reflections and other women's stories, Maurine and Roche share enthusiastically and thoroughly what they have found works for women, leaving the dry legalisms behind. If one's mind rambles, they say, that's all right, flow with it and turn it into meditation. If one is nursing a baby, she should become a nursing meditator. The book conveys a strong sense that both Maurine and Roche delight in women and their gifts. This is an excellent, empowering resource for novices, as well as for those who have spent a lifetime meditating." (Publishers Weekly, February 2001. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information)
"...Broadly appealing yet never condescending or less than intelligent."
"Husband and wife...Maurine and Roche have written a commodious, busy, entertaining book on meditation for women. They use advice, examples, exercises, and life-stories to show women how to relax and then reclaim their power. Peppered with interesting ideas and filled with tempting section headings such as "Hecate's Knife" or "The Right to Swoon," this is broadly appealing yet never condescending or less than intelligent. It should appeal to many women readers. Highly recommended." (Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"...A nurturing book, filled with acceptance, warmth, and encouragement."
"The field of meditation has been not just a man's world but a monk's world," write Camille Maurine and Lorin Roche, Ph.D., who assert that the techniques that worked for "reclusive and celibate males" need updating for contemporary women. In Meditation Secrets for Women, they introduce a refreshingly modern, female-oriented approach to meditation that encourages 'luxuriating in the sensory world, resting in the simplicity of your own being, enjoying yourself shamelessly."
Meditation fills a need that women crave: to carve out time for themselves "to rest, to restore, to settle in." Rather than impose rules and strict discipline, however, the authors encourage women to rejuvenate themselves, open up, and affirm their "womanness" through meditation.
Meditation Secrets for Women presents 12 "secrets" in 12 chapters. Each secret is a theme, such as "celebrate your senses," "claim your inner authority," "ride your rhythms," or "love your body." Each chapter starts with a poem and includes explorations (questions for you to ponder), skill circle (practical tips for skill building), meditations, and reflections. This is a nurturing book, filled with acceptance, warmth, and encouragement. If you've tried to meditate but found it too restrictive, dull, or difficult, this book will give you a different, distinctly womanly, approach.
The authors are a married couple who have been teaching meditation to women for 50 combined years. Maurine is also a dancer and healing practitioner. Roche is the author of Meditation Made Easy. – Joan Price
More Praise for MEDITATION SECRETS FOR WOMEN:
"I first learned to meditate when I was 20. I sat with my mantra for 20 minutes, twice a day, for seven years. During my ob/gyn residency, I had to stop. My rigid approach no longer worked. Unbeknownst to me, I had discovered one of the meditation secrets so beautifully described in this book: Women's mediation insights and needs are often very different from the traditional methods used for centuries by men in monasteries; though our need to connect with the Divine is as strong as a man's, we need not deny our bodies and instincts to do so. Meditation Secrets for Women teaches you how to meditate with full access to the emotions and body wisdom that are also a part of the Divine." - Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, www.drnorthrup.com "How refreshing! A sensible meditation guide that honors and enhances our natural way of being. Bound to be sacrilege in some circles, the information herein is a welcome change from the anti-matter nihilism of many spiritual systems." - Anodea Judith, PhD, author of Eastern Body, Western Mind and Wheels of Life, www.sacredcenters.com "In reading this provocative book we can almost hear the relieved sigh of the many-armed goddess as these talented authors bring embodied meditation into the 21st Century. At last!" - Emilie Conrad, founder of Continuum, www.continuummovement.com "Camille's writings encourage us to welcome all aspects of our experience as an embrace of life. Her various songs of "yes" open portals into a deep field of acceptance." - Susan Harper, founder of Continuum Montage, www.continuummontage.com "This is a book I am using and can recommend. The authors systematically and poetically enable women to go beyond constricted attitudes toward meditation practices in order to discover their own sensuous, intuitive and passionate relationship to meditation as a life support system." - Mary Dougherty, President, C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago "Thanks for giving me the opportunity to praise such a fine work! Your book is wise and wonderful. Its perspective integrates matter and nature and all the sensuosity and simplicity into their rightful places in an individualized, balanced, meditative practice. It is revolutionary--returning the whole human being to the joy, restorative serenity, and embodied, psychological and spiritual expansiveness that you beautifully show us can be within the reach of women. And men, too. Unlike many meditative sourcebooks, this book deals well with psychological and physical issues that can stress daily life, and unlike many psych texts, it shows the reader ways to accept and work with "problems" to enhance and ripen spiritual practice." - Sylvia Perera, author of Descent to the Goddess
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MORE REVIEWS FROM READERS
~ An encyclopedia for a woman's sovereignty. Reviewer: Pamela Preston from France: 'Meditation Secrets for Women' transcends the popular genre of self-help and how-to books to an unprecedented approach of wisdom applicable to the woman of the 21st century. This book is an encyclopedia of solutions that a woman can refer to. Here she will find her own passion, pleasure, and inner peace. This is a revolutionary concept in an age of quickly accelerating technology that pulls the woman away from her source of being - namely the body. Camille guides us to our inner sanctuaries through her lifetime experience of bodywork, indepth psychology, and the dance. Through her gentle voice, she assures us we shall find our sacred gifts. Through meditation and movement techniques, to the identifiable stories of other women, to her own personal meditations and prayers; not to say a distilled overview of spiritual teaching from East to West and back again, this most wonderful book points the way for a woman to 'claim her inner authority.' This is precisely what the woman of today needs to do. This book is a first and a last resource of meditation for the woman of the 21st century. In Camille's words: 'Amazing. The power floods back into my body. Like a transfusion of my own blood. This is my body. This is my life. Oh. I see....No one else can give me power. And no one can take it away. Nobody else knows what I should do or be. Someday I will simply rest in this truth. Someday all women will remember their sovereignty... Now there's a prayer.' And there's a book.
~ A wonderful tool for evaluation! Reviewer: Tally from Providenciales, T&C Islands, BWI:
A saying I have always found a good reminder, is: "If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got" If we are to evolve as a species, making valuable and powerful changes in the way we function is certainly something to look into as we find our best and authentic selves. Meditation Secrets for Woman is not only one of those tools for valuable and powerful change, it is itself a unique and authentic creation of the authors. No where else have I ever read such "new thinking" re meditation and self growth. Thank you Camille and Lorin. Get this book, do not pass up on the chance at, and do not deprive yourself of, this new paradigm of experience!
~ It's about time. Reviewer: A reader from Santa Barbara:
I always sensed something was off as I explored and practiced a multitude of meditation techniques. I felt I was being asked to cut off a huge part of my zest, passion, and basic instincts. I never could identify what was wrong...was it me? At last a book that speaks directly to the heart of the beast---I am a woman meditating in a man's sensibility. Yes there is a difference between our basic energetics and how delighted and relieved I am to discover there are a set of very female ways to enter into the flow of meditative peace and truth. I know the apparent distinctions between male/female is not ultimately the answer...inclusivity is love and all that...but as we practice in daily real life yin/yang defines the world of duality and so THANK YOU CAMILLE AND LORIN for allowing me to enter the realm of the sacred via my present form...as woman. No more cutting off my nose to spite my face. Hooray for the celebration of the me-ness juiciness that will lead me into the wholeness of meditative bliss and joy!
~ Speaks to my Heart! Reviewer: Sally C. Smith from Wales, Ma United States:
I love this book. It really speaks to my heart. I like the picture on the cover too. I smile when I look at her form. It says, I'm not a man! This book is so rich that I can dip into it at anytime and get something I need. I took the books that made me feel bad to the goodwill. It has a different message than women usually get in this culture. I need all the help I can get when it comes to accepting and cherishing myself as I am. What is in this book I have not found anywhere else. It is helping me get to know myself.
~ Nitty Gritty Fun and Wisdom. Reviewer: yogabaca:
Being a meditator since the age of 13, you'd think I'd been there and done all of that, yet the authors Maurine and Roche still managed to offer page after page of sweet surprises. They give ways to navigate through every wild urge, desire, mood, thought habits, negativity, restlessness, and make it a fun adventure, so that you can actually be at peace with the way you are in the moment. Their approach(es)is indeed a roadmap to passion, pleasure and inner peace, just as the title suggests.
I feel relief in the way they encourage the reader to embrace the full spectrum of their humanity, rather than denying, suppressing, or pushing away our very common quirks. With their ideas I am able to see the humor and feel compassion for myself.
I keep their book bedside, like a bible, and open randomly to try out some of their ideas for a day or a week. It is written with an extraordinary combination of poetry, intellect, and with a nitty gritty earthiness making it very practical. As a woman meditator the ideas in this book spark facets that most "meditation techniques" left dormant,if not dulled. This book is for any one who wants to flourish in their aliveness, men included. I offer my heartfelt thanks to these authors, who so courageously share techniques "contrary to popular meditation beliefs" and bring us back to our senses.
~ BEAUTIFUL AND UNIQUE. Reviewer: Andy Todes from Philadelphia, PA United States:
Some books are so brilliant you could easily give 100 reasons why you love them, and how they've improved, enriched, and deepened your life.
So here, then, without much head scratching, are my top 10 reasons for loving "Meditation Secrets for Women" with all my heart:
- "Meditation Secrets for Women" is supremely easy reading. Its 292 pages (much meatier - and juicier! - than most meditation books) fly. Now this may not be important to some people, but, heck, who wants to battle through a dry, arid wasteland of intellectual ramblings? Fortunately, you'll find no such thing here. The writing is by turns funny, serious, sensuous, electrifying, and poetic, but never less than wise.
- "Meditation Secrets for Women" is carefully broken down into 12 easily digestible chapters, with each chapter covering exactly one secret.
- Secret. That's the key word. "Are they really 'secrets'," you may wonder, "or is this just some hokey scam to get me to fork over my hard-earned dough?" No, they're secrets, all right. Not the kind of hush-hush secrets that have been passed down from master to pupil for thousands of years (far from it, in fact, as you will soon see), but the kinds of secrets that have been denied women too long.
- You see the sad fact is that many contemporary women (and men!) have been taught meditation techniques designed for monks over a thousand years ago. And as the authors quite rightly point out, these techniques aren't just plain irrelevant to life in the 21st century, they're highly dangerous as well. If you've ever tried meditating to "kill your ego," "block your desires," "blunt your instincts," or "purge your mind of all thoughts," (to name just a few toxic objectives) you know how devitalizing and dehumanizing this type of meditation can be.
- I'm delighted to say the authors Camille Maurine and Lorin Roche espouse a completely different kind of meditation. At last, here is approach full of love, joy, spontaneity, movement, sensuality, sexuality, daring, honesty, tenderness, instinct, passion, pleasure, adventure, and - last but certainly not least - FUN! I know this for a fact because I have been meditating under Lorin's tutelage for over a year, ever since reading his truly wonderful, "Meditation Made Easy," a beautiful and indispensible companion to "Secrets."
- "Meditation Secrets for Women" provides not just one or two or even three meditations, but quite literally dozens, so you can pick and choose what suits your mood or temperament at any given time. I happen to stick to my favorite "Do Nothing" meditation, but occasionally switch to some other technique (or make up my own, which the authors heartily encourage) if the mood calls for it. And naturally all the meditations in the book are based on the same simple premise: meditation is fun and natural
- Also provided is a superb reference list (organized by chapter)
- for those who wish to delve even deeper into special areas of interest. Plus there's an invaluable listing of musical recommendations.
- "Meditation Secrets for Women" is IDEAL for women AND men, beginners AND advanced meditators. There really is something here for everyone. And like all classic books (and this book will become a classic) it grows with you. Meaning, the more you explore your meditation, the more jewels the book reveals. A small aside: As a teenager I was poisoned by a couple of meditation books still available on the shelves today. Among many of their deflating techniques was this godawful drudgery: staring at an object for long periods of time while trying to banish all thoughts from your head. Try it. I guarantee you'll make yourself miserable!
- So if you get just one thing out of this book it's that thoughts are good! Your brain, your body, your desires, your instincts, your universe, and yes, even your fears are good. "Meditation Secrets for Women" will give you the tools to observe these things from a position of great safety and serenity so that you can learn from them and experience more joy and peace and beauty and insight than you imagined possible. So that life itself can become your greatest teacher, and that you yourself can become the blazer of your own wonderful trails.
- If you read this book today, chances are you'll be happily meditating a year from now and loving it. What else can you ask for?
~ The Female Voice Proclaims her Presence, February 13, 2001 Reviewer: A reader from Santa Monica, CA United States:
Finally, a thoughtful and illuminating look at the female psyche and her need to use meditation as a tool to explore our sensitivities, creativity and sensuality. Meditation has been taught for centuries as an ascetic, rigorous discipline by a spiritual patriarchy uninformed about and often alienated from female passions. This book expands the horizons of meditation to allow women to adapt it to their contemporary needs, emotions and lifestyles. It is a well researched and poetic guide that revels in the female spirit and soul. Women will use these secrets to find sustenance instead of denial in the practice of meditation.
“I would just like you to know that your book has made a wonderful difference in my life…Between being a busy wife, mother and owner of a flourishing graphic design business, I have found time to reclaim myself. Meditation has made a tremendous difference and it is now something I really look forward to when life challenges me… I relate to all that you say and use your meditations religiously. I never leave home without your book. It goes everywhere with me. Thank you for writing this for all women.” – Ainslie in British Columbia
“I am reading your book Meditation Secrets for Women. I cannot say enough about how much I appreciate it! It's a great, great book. Your experience and your insights are simply invaluable... I only regret I didn't come across it sooner...” – Dr. Julia P., Psychiatrist, Ukraine and USA
“Thank you for your incredibly positive, helpful and nurturing book on meditation secrets for women. I bought it two days ago and already it is helping me transform my life. What a gift.” – Dede in Maine
“I’m reading your book but have to take a break to let you know how absolutely thrilled and inspired I am. I absolutely love it! Reading the introduction makes me realize that the universe for years has been telling me that meditation is on my path, but has held me back from really diving in, until our path crossed, enabling me to dive right in to the juicy and feminine way, instead of having me and my perfectionist mind struggle with absolute stillness.” – Daggi in Denmark
“My friends and I deeply cherish your book Meditation Secrets for Women. It has personally freed me and lifted great weights of expectations in meditation from my heart and soul. I frequently give copies of the book as gifts to family and best friends. It is a treasure; thank you!!!!” – Mary Jo in San Jose, California
"Your book MSW has become my bible. I keep telling Lorin that every time I read it, it unfolds more and more to me. That book is 'alive.' It throbs and pulsates and i have found so many many answers in it. It has helped me help so many women. It's what guided me in teaching in Pakistan also. I thank you deeply for all of yourself that you have put in it." – Tania Kazi, New York and Pakistan
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