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Combines cognitive psychology with Zen, Taoist, and Vedic practices to empty the mind
• Explains how eliminating external stimulation can alleviate stress and anxiety for a calmer state of mind
• Details meditation practices, such as open-awareness meditation, contemplation of Zen koans, and Vipassana meditation, and explores methods of digital detox
• Draws on classical yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism as well as cognitive science to explain how and why to fast the mind
Stop planning, stop comparing, stop competing, stop thinking, and just breathe deeply for a minute . . . Our undivided attention is something we are rarely able to give for reasons ranging from digital overload to the cultural conditioning of equating busyness with purpose. Just as you might choose a fast from eating to detoxify the body, the best way to overcome this modern mental overload is to periodically fast the mind.
Drawing on the spiritual philosophies and meditative practices of classical yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism, Jason Gregory explains how fasting the mind directly impacts your habits and way of being in the world to create peace and calmness in your life as well as allow you to build a firm psychological defense against the increasing bombardment of distractions in our world. Applying psychology and cognitive science to samsara–the cycle of suffering created by our attachment to the impermanent–he explains how overreliance on the rational mind causes imbalances in the autonomic nervous system and suppresses our natural spontaneity, feelings, and intuition. When we are unable to relax the mind deeply, we enter a destabilizing state of stress and anxiety and are unable to liberate the true Self from the impermanence and limitations of the material world. Sharing Zen, Taoist, and Vedic practices to help you empty your mind and gradually restore your natural rhythms, the author shows how to give the mind time to truly relax from stimulation so it can repair itself and come back into equilibrium. He details simple meditation practices that are easy to implement in daily life, such as open-awareness meditation and contemplation of Zen koans, as well as the advanced techniques of Vipassana, a Theravadic Buddhist discipline centered on seclusion from all worldly stimuli. He also offers methods for digital detox and ensuring a good night’s sleep, a major support for healing cognitive impairment and restoring a state of equanimity.
By fasting the mind we strip away the distractions and stresses of modern life and return to our original nature as it exists deep within. We become more consciously awake in every moment, allowing us to feel the real beauty of the world and, in turn, to live life more fully, authentically, and peacefully.
PRAISE FOR FASTING THE MIND
“Jason Gregory not only explores the threat of cosmopolitan priorities to our physical and mental functionality, but more importantly, he leverages ancient wisdom to create an actionable plan, allowing the reader to embrace tranquility.”
David Perlmutter, M.D., author of Grain Brain and Brain Maker
“A highly intelligent and profound work sorely needed in our modern, overstimulated world. Jason Gregory blends modern science and ancient spiritual wisdom to show us why mental overstimulation is so harmful. He then offers us a pathway to healing the mind, achieving emotional balance and moving deeper into true self-awareness. Enlightening and transformative on multiple levels. . . . a must-read for all seekers.”
Brad Willis (aka Bhava Ram), author of Warrior Pose and The 8 Limbs of Yoga
“I love ‘mind fasting’ because it gives us a fresh take on the word meditation and re-enlivens the concept of entering silence to rediscover our true, harmonious nature. Especially today, we need this reminder: Dive into boredom! Dump the need for speed! Delete distractions! Jason Gregory brings his wealth of historical and cross-cultural knowledge to this practice, making it interesting, simple, and doable.”
Penney Peirce, author of Leap of Perception and Frequency
“Jason Gregory advises us to slow down, breathe, and embrace the silence at our core. Gregory is the White Rabbit of Through the Looking Glass who once advised Alice, ‘Don’t just do something, stand there.’”
Dana Sawyer, author of Aldous Huxley: A Biography
“Who doesn’t want a stronger more settled mind? No matter how enlightened you are or aren’t this book will make you stop and think in new ways.”
Jason Nemer, cofounder of AcroYoga
“Fasting the mind is the missing link for embodying pure happiness and eliminating your stress and anxiety. This book is wise, deep, thorough, and well-researched. . . . Put down your smartphone and not only read this book, but use it! Get onto your personal path to inner peace, optimal health, and enlightenment–a return to your true nature–as you clear away all the interference.”
Lisa M. Selow, author of A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Guide
“Fasting the Mind discusses with depth and clarity one of the most important aspects of internal cultivation. . . . the mind must be disconnected from distracting stimuli in order for change to take place. Jason discusses with skill and accuracy why this is vital to our practice and places this ancient concept into a modern context. Vital reading. . . .”
Damo Mitchell, author of White Moon on the Mountain Peak
“Stop distracting yourself, take time to breathe, and let this fascinating book soak in–your nervous system will thank you for it. Fasting the Mind is a treasure of a book in a world that so badly needs it.”
Kingsley L. Dennis, Ph.D., author of The Phoenix Generation
“A mixture of modern-day science and astute scholarship gleaned from the ancient texts of wisdom cultures, Fasting the Mind contributes to the understanding of how the mind can be transformed from self-centeredness into an inseparable union with all that is . . . when consciousness lives with just what is. For the sake of all beings, we need to listen, ingest, and live this reality.”
Rodney Smith, author of Awakening: A Paradigm Shift of the Heart
“Goes straight to the point in language that is both thoughtful and uncompromising. . . . Slowing down, pulling back, checking indulgence, and paying attention allow us to smell the roses and appreciate the beauty and magic of life.”
Robert Sachs, author of Becoming Buddha and The Ecology of Oneness
“A concise, ambitious, and fascinating exploration of all things awakening. From social stress to our nervous system, the Vedas to Zen, Jason Gregory guides readers in a very accessible way to the truth of their being.”
Chris Grosso, author of Indie Spiritualist and Everything Mind
Published by Inner Traditions, June 13, 2017.
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