Meditation as a Way of Life By Alan L. Pritz
Recently, Pagan Pages was contacted by Quest Books to offer the book, “Meditation As a Way of Life” by Alan L. Pritz, for a book review. As the Meditation columnist and long time Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher, the book was forwarded to me by my editor.
While it was not broken down as such, to me, the book was written in two parts; one being the spiritual journey of Reverend Pritz and the second being the *how-to* of meditation.
As an interfaith minister, Reverend Pritz states that he deems spirituality as “nondenominational and ideally suited for inner awakening”. I agree with this statement wholeheartedly.
Reverend Pritz does go on to share with us how he got to where he is presently. This is his personal spiritual journey and he tells it with relish.
His begins with finding himself drawn to the martial arts, which in turn led to an interest in the metaphysical, leading further on to the study of yoga and meditation. It eventually found him reading “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda, to whom he eventually became a student. He shares his experiences and stories and how they relate to search for spiritual awakening.
I found the book to be very well-written and there is no doubt that Reverend Pritz not only practices what he preaches, but loves it. Loving your subject is most important when teaching it to others and his love does shine through.
The remainder of the book is a guide on meditation. He explains how to study on your own, and how to find a teacher and a spiritual community when you are ready.
He explains the intricacies of attaining enlightenment through your spiritual meditation practice, and the 12 principles of growth and understanding. He describes the do’s and don’ts of the best behavior to guide you on your own path and creating your own destiny; these behaviors being mental, physical and spiritual in being.
The chapter on energy was very illustrative in describing what it is, how to build it, how to use it. This was, of course, followed by the chakras, those energy centers within out bodies and the proper use of breath.
The best way to start a practice is demonstrated in both words and illustrations for the beginner. The long-time practitioner will also benefit, as you never know so much that you cannot learn more. There are helpful hints on how to commit to a daily practice, how to focus on mindful meditation and expand your awareness, using mantra and prayer.
While better health, stress relief and serenity are the by-product of of both yoga and meditation, ultimately we wish to attain a higher consciousness, to connect with Spirit or Infinity. This, too, is explained in lay-person’s terms — why we wish to connect and how we can accomplish something that sounds impossible, but is attainable.
As someone who meditates, teaches, but who practices a Goddess-based spirituality, I had only one problem with this book. Reverend Pritz states that meditation is *nondenominational”, and that as an interfaith minister, the book has an “interfaith perspective”. This is true; he talks about Christianity, Buddhism and Islam. He mentions Spirit having no gender and the Feminine was mentioned once or twice. However, the bulk of the references and quotes from various sources, the Bible amongst them, predominantly skew to the Divine as the powerful “male” Father-Deity of the Abrahamic religions. As much as I liked the book, and I did, I would have liked to see it more inclusive to those outside the traditional religions, as meditation truly is for all.
In closing, “Meditation as a Way of Life” reveals a very good guideline, based on Reverend Pritz’s experiences, studies and teachings, on how to start meditating and to reap the benefits of it in both your daily and spiritual/religious lives. If meditation is something you would like to add to your life, then I would recommend you use this book as one of your guides.