All posts in Books

New book: Psychology of Silence

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The classic introduction – available for the first time in English

This book presents the classic introduction to Acem’s theory and practice of meditation, written by the founder. Psychology of Silence provides an easy-to-read account of the technique and its effects on health and personality. The book also includes chapters on meditative silence and the cultural background of Acem Meditation. Read more…

Meditation and Culture: the Interplay of Practice and Context – new book

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Editor: Halvor Eifring

Bloomsbury Press, London, Delhi, New York and Sydney, 2015. 280 pages. ISBN: 9781472579911

What is the relation between meditation and culture?

Over the last decade Halvor Eifring has been undertaking an inter-disciplinary research project to explore the nature of ‘meditation’ and the cultures in which it is practiced and undertaken. A conference was held near Oslo in 2011, bringing together internationally-renowned scholars who sought to answer the question: What is the relationship between meditation and culture? This book is the fourth product of their contributions – with discussions of practices that travel from one culture to another, or are surrounded by competing cultures; and exploration of cultures that bring together competing practices, or that are themselves mosaics of elements of different origins. Read more…

Meditative Yoga from Norway to the world

Chinese translation of Acem’s yoga book published in October

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Meditation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Cultural histories

Meditation history front pageMeditative practices have flourished in widely different parts of Eurasia, yet historical research on such practices is limited. Research to date has focused on contexts rather than actual practices, and within individual traditions.

For the first time in one volume, the meditative practices of the three traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are examined. Read more…

Hindu, Buddhist and Daoist Meditation

Cultural histories

meditation histories coverLarge waves of global interest in meditation over the last half century have all focused on techniques stemming from Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism. This collection of essays explores selected topics from the historical traditions underlying such practices. It ventures far beyond the well-known Hindu repetition of sounds, Buddhist attention to breath and body, and Daoist movement of limbs and bodily energies. A picture emerges of meditative traditions that are much richer and more diverse than our modern viewpoint typically acknowledges. Many of the practices are also shown to be of greater current relevance than commonly recognized. Read more…

The book «Meditative Yoga» launched in Delhi

Meditative YogaThe book Meditative Yoga: integrating body, breath and mind, which builds on more than 40 years of teaching in Acem School of Yoga, was launched in India on 13 October this year by the highly esteemed Indian publishing company Motilal Banarsidass. Both authors of the book, Dr. Are Holen and Mr. Torbjørn Hobbel, were present at the book launch in New Delhi, along with a number of dignitaries from Indian society.

The Indian edition is a black-and-white version of the international edition, which was published in full-colour print on Dyade Press earlier this year. The book is a revised translation of the Norwegian edition Yogaboken – bevegelse og pust.

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The Shaking Woman

Siri Hustvedt

Two and a half years after her father died, the Norwegian-American novelist Siri Hustvedt was about to give a speech in his honour at the place where he had worked. Before she had finished her first sentence, she began to shudder violently from the neck down, her arms flapping, and her knees knocking.

She kept shaking as if she was having a seizure, but her voice was not affected, and she managed to finish her speech. When the speech ended, so did her shaking, but similar fits returned to her on several later occasions. And then she wrote a book about it: “The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves”. I read the Kindle version on an iPhone.

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I remember

Joe BrainardMemories are a central issue in therapeutic contexts as well as meditation. Both work to access memories that produce unconscious barriers in our lives, in order to let go of inner friction. In her book The Shaking Woman, the American novelist Siri Hustvedt refers to another book, by Joe Brainard, called I Remember. Every entry in Brainard’s book begins with the words “I remember”:

I remember that I never cried in front of other people.

I remember how embarrassed I was when other children cried.

And so on. While working with patients, Hustvedt observed how using the same technique automatically brings memories to the surface:

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Meditative yoga

Meditative Yoga coverThe English version of Are Holen and Torbjørn Hobbel’s book on yoga is more than just a translation of the Norwegian original. It spells out with even greater clarity how meditative yoga differs from what the authors call “yoga gymnastics”, the type of yoga taught in fitness centres around the world. The title says it all: “Meditative Yoga: Integrating Body, Breath and Mind”.

Instructive
Like the original, the book contains 150 beautiful illustrations and thorough instructions for more than 60 postures and practices, divided according to type (e.g. starting postures, inverted postures, backbends, forward bends, twist postures, balance postures etc.) and described stepwise with illustrative photos. In addition, there are separate chapters for breathing and meditation practices. A chapter on impulse practices covers a type of yoga not often met with in the West, with slow and rapid bends, twists and shakes, to let loose all bodily impulses, including the breath. Read more…

Peaceful pirate talking meditation

New book from Acem Taiwan

Polar bearWhen the Ice Age withdrew from the European continent, everybody started celebrating. Only one person got worried, gathered his family, left the continent and travelled northwards to follow the ice, thus becoming the first Norwegian. Thousands of years later, he became a viking who could wage war and sail ships across the ocean, a fearsome pirate who would rob and rape whatever came his way. As one more millennium passed, however, he forgot the art of war and became famous for his love of peace – a peaceful pirate! Then he learnt to meditate.

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