When we travel, we have limited space in our bags. We try to take only what’s important and leave the rest behind. We would be wise to treat our stories the same way. We carry around our stories in our mind and heart. Some of these stories don’t serve us very well. They weigh us down.
The renowned Indian pandita, Aryadeva, said, “To merely question that things might not be as they seem can shake the very foundation of habitual clinging.” Pythagoras questioned whether the earth was flat. Aristotle questioned whether the earth was flat. This questioning spirit changed the way we understand the shape of the world we live in.
This book provides powerful examples of people who had a turn of the mind as a result of Naikan, a quiet self-reflection method from Japan. People handcuffed by their past. A woman who hated her mother, a man estranged from his father, a pregnant woman in an accident, a couple struggling with their marriage . . . If you’re willing to deeply question your life, you may come to understand the world, and your place in it, in a new way. You may find that your heart is softened, your mind is open and your spirit for life has been renewed.
Drawing on Eastern spiritual and psychological traditions, Naikan is a structured method of reflecting on one’s life, one’s relationships with others and the impact we are having on the world around us. Through Naikan we develop a natural and profound sense of gratitude for blessings bestowed on us by others and a healthy desire to find meaning in our life and inspiration to contribute to the happiness and welfare of others.
This collection of essays, parables and inspirational stories explains what Naikan is and how it can be applied and practiced regularly as a personal method of self-reflection.
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Stone Bridge Press (November 2001)
Product Dimensions: 6.9″ x 5.9″ x 0.7″
Based on original anthropological fieldwork, this fascinating book provides a detailed ethnography of Naikan in practice. In addition, it discusses key issues such as the role of memory, autobiography and narrative in health care, and the interesting borderland between religion and therapy, where Naikan occupies an ambiguous position. Multidisciplinary in its approach, it attracts a wide readership, including students of social and cultural anthropology, medical sociology, religious studies, Japanese studies and psychotherapy.
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Routledge (May 14 2009)