REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
There is so much information packed into this amazing book. I suggest you read this book, by taking your time, digesting each chapter with thoughtfulness. When you discover the wisdom contained in each one, you will know the mental laws that define the power of thoughts. There truly is a cause-and-effect relationship between our thoughts and our experiences in life. Her practice tools are easy to understand and to incorporate into your life. And, don’t take it all too seriously….the ending is humorous….and resonated with me…. ~ Deborah Lloyd, Author Believe and It Is True
1½ hour interview on Buddha at the Gas Pump on You Tube
~ Buddha at the Gas Pump, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojd_HeRD33c
Barbara's new book is a practical spiritual handbook that offers readers a complete guide to the awakening consciousness that is emerging on planet Earth and how to be a part of it. It's one of those few guidebooks that you can base your entire program of personal and spiritual growth upon, and go a very long way. It is reliable information throughout and contains both profound theory and a very helpful program of exercises you can make part of your daily life. The promise of this book is that it shows readers how to find a way out of suffering by waking up to the nature of reality and the nature of mind, to find the peace and happiness they seek in the present moment... indeed, to spiritually awaken.
~ Peter Shepherd, Trans4Mind.com
“Best selling author Barbara Berger has written a straightforward guide to understanding how the mind, and consciousness, relates to reality and the search for happiness. Her approach is truly “psychological thinking,” meaning that it illuminates thought that sees itself. Step-by-step she presents complex metaphysical notions, and then by asking the very questions we are asking in our own minds about these concepts, proceeds to unpack any confusion, objections, or uncertainty with equal clarity and simplicity. She provides both tools and investigation practices for taking care of our own thinking, and the path to true happiness. The simplistic style of this book actually reveals a profound depth of insight and a commendable ability to distill big thinking into manageable bites of food for thought. In the wave of emerging books framing spiritual principles into a pragmatic and reason-based understanding of the mind and consciousness, this one stands tall and is highly recommended.” by Julie Clayton, New Consciousness Review ~ New Consciousness Review
Barbara Berger's book "The Awakening Human Being", in my opinion, is a gem. Barbara not only captures the essence of deep wisdom as taught by leading figures in the consciousness field and long training programs of self mastery but also distills information and lessons on meditation, release from unhealthy thought patterns, and accepting happiness in a straight forward yet potent presentation. She provides simple to follow exercises while also suggesting directions for further growth and wisdom. It is a book that I could not stop reading and was excited to share with my wife and friends. ~ George Douvris , His newsletter
Review by Bonnie Cehovet – August 10, 2013
“The Awakening Human Being” is a tap on the shoulder from universe to not only remain in the present, but to remain aware in the present. Her focus is on waking up the nature of mind, through the use of what she terms “Mental Laws”. I dearly love the “toolbox” of effective techniques that she offers her readers to help them live a happy, harmonious life. That in itself makes this book worth its weight in gold!
The book is divided into three parts: Part 1 – Principle (The Mental Laws/the Way the Mind Works), Part 2 – Practice (Using the Power of Mind Wisely, and Part 3 – In Your Life (Putting It All Into Practice). There is also a bonus section where Bollum talks to Barbara – a take-off on Smeagol/Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings”, where two parts of Barbara converse with each other – the part that is waking up to reality, and the part that is still confused. This is absolutely hysterical … and yes, I for one did see echoes of conversations that I have had/continue to have in my head!
In her introduction, Berger starts out by asking the question “What are you seeking?” No matter what response is given, when broken down to its essence, we are all seeking happiness. Rather, we are all seeking a way out of suffering, and a way into happiness. Where do we make our mistake? We are looking for happiness outside of ourselves, rather than through connecting with reality. That would be the reality that is, not the reality that we create with our thoughts. She goes on to talk about the nature of laws – both physical laws and mental laws. She presents a beautiful list of what laws are, which includes: “Laws are invisible principles”, “Laws are impersonal”, ”Laws are always operating”, and “Laws are scientific”. The last definition is key to this book – “Laws are scientific”. This book takes a scientific look at the mind, our conscious self, and how they relate to reality and the search for happiness.
Each mental law builds on the one before it, beginning with how thoughts arise and disappear. The tone of this book is user friendly – the facts are presented with a dose of humor, and ways, in which the reader can check them out for themselves, as they operate in their own life, are presented. A simple statement in this book can be quite profound … such as “There is a difference between you and your thoughts, “, which Berger calls the key to freedom.
Throughout the book are insets entitled reality checks that highlight important information in each chapter. We might read about “Reality checks: Content versus context”, or “Reality check: Quantum mechanics”, or “Reality check: The mind-emotion-body connection”.
“Be the love you want to experience.” (from the book)
The material in this book echo’s like material elsewhere, but much expanded, and with a focus on Oneness … not just wholeness, but Oneness. We are here to be part of a functioning whole, not just to be the best individual that we can be.
Berger provides her readers with two different types of tools of empowerment: focus tools and investigative tools. Focus tools include gratitude lists, power questions, noticing the support around you, meditation, contemplating the nature of reality, and letting everything be. Investigative tools include no comparisons, doing the work, focusing on the real, and expectations versus reality.
Confused about how to put it all together? Berger presents sample daily programs, with elements that the reader can tailor to their own lifestyle and needs. It all comes together in one neat package! More than just a book to read, here the reader is given ways to effect changes into their life that will bring them the harmony and happiness that they desire.
© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet ~ Bonnie Cehovet, http://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/review-the-awakening-human-being/
How to mind your mind by Jane Matthews (Review of the Awakening Human Being)
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Understanding that it is our thoughts that create our reality, that we can think ourselves happy and at peace or think ourselves misunderstood and miserable, is one of those turning points in life. As Louise Hay says in the book that was my turning point, “You can heal your life”, once you understand that it’s only a thought, and thoughts can be changed, you are taking back the power to shape your own life.
You can choose to think rain puts a damper on the day or tug on your wellies and go out and enjoy that wet dusty smell that means the vegetables will swell and there will be cool water coming out of the tap on a hot summer’s day.
You can choose to think of life’s challenges as proof that you were born unlucky, or see every setback as a chance to learn a little more about yourself (and yes, it’s OK sometimes if the first reaction is to groan ‘oh no, not another learning opportunity’).
Thinking or being thought?
For most of us, however, it’s a turning point onto a path that has as many kinks and twists in it as the headphones on my MP3.
I’ve been using affirmations for almost a decade and I love the way choosing my own thoughts can bring me peace, help me stand a little taller, or let go of difficult situations (‘all is well’). But I also know there are just as many times in a day when my mind switches to automatic, replaying the thoughts I grew up hearing: it’s not safe, it’s not fair, there’s not enough.
Or when it clicks from automatic into overdrive – usually in the middle of the night – and suddenly I am terrorising myself with thoughts of failure, not being good enough, bad things happening to those I love…and on and on, out of control.
If there’s one question I am asked more often than almost any other in workshops it’s how to change the soundtrack, not just once but over and over again, each time we wake to a new day, and throughout all the hours of that day.
A guide to the power of the mind
I’m not sure the title of Barbara Berger’s book, “The Awakening Human Being: a guide to the power of the mind”, does justice to its simple brilliance. ‘How to think yourself happy’ might have been a more compelling title for a book that clearly answers precisely that question I’m always being asked: how do we change our thoughts?
Barbara’s aim is, first, to unpick the way our minds work, then to offer a range of simple and practical tools to help readers direct their thoughts towards a life of happiness – and to being present in life right here, right now.
Among the most powerful tools she shares is the technique of experiencing peace in every moment through staying detached. It’s a technique described by Byron Katie in the inspirationally titled Loving what is. But in Barbara’s hands what it means to practice acceptance and non-attachment is brought home more clearly than anything else I have yet come across.
‘What happens if we drop our thoughts about the meaning of what’s going on?’ she asks, then describes how it works in her own life. ‘The first thing I always notice is that it suddenly gets very peaceful and quiet. There is this moment with whatever is going on. And I’m just in it or I am just it! For example, this moment right now, just me sitting in front of my computer…or this moment drinking a cup of tea. Or brushing my teeth…That’s about it. Life is right before me. Plain and simple. And it’s very simple.
‘Usually we don’t see this because we’re so busy living our interpretation of what’s going on…Your experience is your interpretation of what’s going on…it is our identification with our thoughts that makes us suffer.’
Beyond absence of thought there are all those thoughts and beliefs, all those interpretations, which don’t support our growth or peace of mind, and here too Barbara draws from Byron Katie’s work to replay three of the most powerful words any of us committed to choosing a new soundtrack can use: is it true?
Well, is it true I’m not good enough, is it true there is not enough time, or money, or that I am not deserving? Or any of the other beliefs that have often led me to behave in ways that prevent me loving myself, believing in my dreams, finding peace in life?
Barbara takes us through some of her own demons, demonstrating how challenging a thought such as ‘life doesn’t support me’ can be turned around into the realisation that not only is it not true, but that thinking the thought leads her to feel stressed and scared; whereas allowing the possibility that life does support her makes her feel good. Her conclusion – that it’s not life but her own thinking that’s not supporting her – is something we could all do with engraving on our walls!
I love Barbara’s personal and compassionate tone, and the careful way in which she explains and reinforces all the learning brings the book as close to actually being in one of her workshop as it’s possible to be in print.
But most of all I love the way her book brought me back again and again to the simple truth that as we mind our minds we experience for ourselves the Buddha’s truth that ‘It is your mind that creates this world’.
The Awakening Human Being by Barbara Berger with Tim Ray, O-books 2011
http://www.bestyear.co.uk/site/index.php/site/blog/ ~ , Jane Matthews UK blogger
THE AWAKENING HUMAN BEING by BARBARA BERGER with Tim Ray
The authors intention in writing this book is to alert the reader to the nature of reality, to identify the obstacles to living that reality, and to offer tools to enable the reader to move towards it.
The book is divided into three main sections - firstly, the eleven mental laws that determine how the mind works; secondly, section two looks at the importance of using the mind wisely, and offers two sets of tools in order to facilitate this - a) focus tools, and b) investigation tools. Thirdly, the final section is all about how to put the first two sections of the book into practice in daily life.
In her introduction Berger begins by looking at the nature of reality, stating that it is our unrealistic expectations of life that lead to great unhappiness, and that it is our thoughts about something that determine our experience of it, rather than the thing itself.
This leads on naturally to the first part of the book, which is about the eleven mental laws that govern us all, no matter who we are. Some examples of these laws are as follows:- law no. 1 - thoughts come and go, and "no-one knows why or where thoughts come from....." (p.23). Law no. 4 - cause and effect - "the thoughts that we entertain - determine our experience of life" (p.36). In other words, it is how and what we think of something that makes it what it is for each individual, e.g. one person might experience cold weather as something unpleasant, whilst another might see it as bracing and energising - the weather is the same, but the responses are different. Law no. 9 - substitution - if our thoughts are causing us to be unhappy, it is no use telling ourselves not to think of that thing, because by its very nature there is an immediate focus on it. Instead, its a shift of focus thats required.
These examples demonstrate the authors extraordinary clarity of thinking, and her straightforward writing-style, making her book accessible right from the outset. In this chapter, as in the rest of the book, Berger makes repeated invitations for the reader to test out her statements for themselves rather than just swallow her words whole. To this end, she gives simple step-by-step guidance.
Moving on to section two, this part of the book looks at just how we are creating our experience of reality and what that experience is. Further on in the book, the author states that "you can live a happy life now - no matter what your circumstances are" (p.92) - all you have to do is to make the choice to be happy. This does seem like a huge pill to swallow when considering , e.g. people who are living in extreme poverty and starvation; people living in fear for their lives on a daily basis.
Berger then presents the reader with two kinds of mind tools that are necessary in order to achieve the sort of change she is talking about. Firstly, focus tools. She makes the fundamental point that whatever a person focuses on, grows, and therefore focusing on positive thoughts can only improve a persons life, whilst being focused on negative thoughts will inevitably bring more misery. Some examples of the focus tools are:- 1) gratitude lists - literally, making lists each day of things to be grateful for such as having a comfortable bed, having running water, having good friends - the kind of things that we take so much for granted that we dont often think about them. Focus tool no. 4) What it takes to eat my breakfast, which is an exercise in appreciation of all that has gone into that experience, e.g. the farmer who planted and harvested the grain for the toast; the hens that laid the breakfast eggs; and the beauty of the crockery in use. Focus tool no. 8) Let everything be - i.e. just be with what is in any given moment without judging or resisting it. In all, there are eleven focus tools which do seem to encompass every aspect of being.
The authors investigation tools are techniques "that can help us identify, question and lessen our attachment to the negative thoughts and belief, that are preventing us from experiencing the goodness of life which is fully present right now" (p.132). There are five of these tools, two of which are - no.1) No comparisons - it is only by comparing this to that that we get angry, discontented and upset etc.. She is making the point that if this moment were the only one we had, and we had no memories of any other moments, it wouldnt be possible to compare it to any other moment, and the consequence would be peace of mind. No.3) Focusing on the real - when in crisis and panic begins to take over, it is very helpful and grounding to focus on the concrete, e.g. the chair on which were sitting, the book on the table next to us, the plants across the room.
Throughout this section of her book Berger consistently offers practical exercises, things that we can actually do rather than just reading airy-fairy ideas that might be interesting in themselves but of no practical use.
The final chapter of Bergers book is devoted to the putting of all the above into practice. The structure that she offers is that of a daily programme, making the obvious yet often overlooked point that to make any change takes consistent practice and dedication. She suggests three different levels of daily practice, which she calls "Getting Real Light"; "Getting Real Regular"; and "Getting Real Turbo".
Following on immediately from the daily programmes, Berger talks about the fact that change is a process that is not necessarily an easy one - "....this is not to say that the journey will not be challenging. The reality is - the journey is challenging - and sometimes very challenging!" (p.171). In order to assist the journey (reviewers words), the author suggests that it is a good idea to have people for support, and also to be of help and service to others.
Bergers final comments are about the Ripple Effect - ie. when we change, our world changes, and consequently the way we relate to others changes. Therefore the way others relate back to us changes, and this is the way the world changes for the better - starting with me.
At the end of the book is what Berger calls "Bollum Talks to Barbara" - Bollum being her own personal Smeagol/Gollum (Lord of the Rings). It is written in conversational style and peppered with humour yet is very pertinent and gives a smack-in-the-eye view of the kinds of internal conversations we all engage in.
Having got to the end of the book, it has become evident that the vast majority of the book focuses on the wonders of reality and how we can chose to be happy. Early on in the book it seems as it Berger isnt going to mention that change can be really hard work, but as the book progresses she does address this. Perhaps this is a reflection of her own thoughts that what we focus on, grows. Therefore, too much focus on the difficulties would probably have created obstacles and kept the reader stuck in the idea of this being too hard to do, i.e. seeing problems, not solutions.
It is hard to express in words just how profound this book is. The amount of information that Berger has put across is astonishing and leaves one feeling that this is food for the soul. She has absolutely delivered on her intention and her book is a must for anyone who is serious about changing their lives.
By Willow Merrymoon / Feb. 11, 2012
~ Merry Willowmoon, online reviewer