Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Lamp in the Darkness - Review

A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times (Jack Kornfield)

I thought this book was very helpful. It was full of inspiring aphorisms that evoked a sense of comfort. Each chapter contains a guided mindfulness exercise all of which possessed an originality in content rather than just reiterating more well known exercises. It also comes with a CD which has audio orations of some of the meditations.

Even though the title mentions difficult times, I don't think one necessarily needs to be suffering to find this book useful; it can also be used as a guide to help understand past experiences more deeply. Some of the work in this book is very difficult emotionally (you may want to work through the exercises with a therapist). I have heard similar statements from many, if not all, self-help books, but never was one able take me on such an emotional journey simply from reading the words. That's not to say other books and exercises aren't useful, just that, personally, I find they take more creativity and work to be as beneficial.

Despite all the positive things I've said here, I wouldn't rely on this book soley as a means of overcoming difficulties, but then I wouldn't recommend any one thing for such purposes.

Final Rating: Of all the self-help type books I've read, if I could only have read one, I think this would be it.

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