Happiness and Success

Happiness and Success, Full Version, Edition originale: Bonheur et Réussite – Version intégrale, copyright and written by Raphaël Savoy.

The Preface states: “this book has one essential objective: to create the tiny spark that will light up your whole perspective and life.” Further that it “is suitable for anyone who is discouraged, weary, and or depressed by a life which can sometimes be stressful, harsh or unfair.” And a commitment: “I promise that you have in your hands a complete and very powerful method of personal development.” With respect to presentation: “I aimed for this book to be pragmatic, functional and useful.” Eleven chapters follow and provide discussions of varying length on individual components required to understand his method along with a Summary/conclusion and a short Bibliography.

Discussion: It is difficult to determine how successfully the reader can extract his/her individual requirements or needs from the author’s provision of this “complete and very powerful method of personal development.” Similarly to the plethora of other offers of help to the obviously disturbed population of today’s world, he has recited the problems most encounter and why; discussed the peculiarities of the manner in which the human brain is involved (humans have the unique inability to not think); the presence of reality and how to face it – facts, incidents, thoughts; the need to clarify and categorize the ideas; gain confidence; restore faith – a factor largely missing today; indulge in positive thinking and be able to change one’s point of view; then letting go of the bad and acceptance of the good; living in the moment (carpe diem) and mindfulness (practice NOT thinking); the importance of love (existing only on a lower level today), forgiveness, generosity and gratitude; and finally the action required to gather all of these elements together to reach the desired goal of peace and happiness. Pictograms are employed throughout to set apart statements the author considers particularly important for the reader to retain. Emphasis is placed on the importance of rereading the book to gain all of the important elements. Similarly, the action steps must constantly be repeated with the admonition that, as with sports or other endeavors, practice makes perfect. A number of helpful quotations, some amusing, e.g. Einstein – “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former” are included along with numerous helpful suggestions, e.g. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Jesus); “Much of our stress comes from living mentally in other people’s business.” In some ways the procedures are quite similar to one or more of the seven important types of the practice of meditation.

Summary: Another worthwhile addition to the growing number of self-help manuals to aid an obviously growing mass of disturbed individuals in the frenetic world we seem to have made. Individuals with two to three jobs to survive, need for constant telephone availability, constant upgrade of electronic equipment, need to fulfil requirements of one’s children plus one’s own, political/world unrest, road rage and more.

4* Worthwhile addition to growing number of self-help books for disturbed individuals.




MEDITATION for Beginners

MEDITATION for Beginners, a book copyright and written by Tony Smith.

The sub-title indicates that the objective of the book ostensibly is to provide the basics of the practice of meditation so the interested reader can discover “How to Find Inner Peace and True Happiness.” The contents include a disclaimer, an Introduction, ten individual chapters, a conclusion and a few Inspirational Quotes. Specifics: Introduction – a brief overview of content; Chapter 1 – History of Meditation as a Religious Practice – Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism. Islam, Christian and how Meditation became a secular practice. Chapter 2 – Health Benefits from the Practice to restore and/or maintain existing physical, mental and emotional ‘health’ with some details on activity of immune response, emotions, inflammation and even some specifics on such as Norepinephrine, Serotonin and others. Chapter 3 – Science of Meditation. #4 – Misconceptions about. #5 – Emotional, Mental and Physical Preparations to begin. Chapter 6 – Types of Meditation (simplest); #7 – Mantra Meditation; #8 – with visualization; #9 – other forms. Chapter 10 – Turning it into a habit. Conclusion – a summary. Inspirational quotes from several prominent practitioners and a list of other books by the same author conclude the presentation

Discussion: The author has presented the essentials of meditation for the neophyte and suggestions of how to begin to employ them. The presentation is straightforward and in a manner that any interested neophyte easily may understand. Portions are almost too simplistic and there is considerable repetition. However, the manner is not unusual and employed often by lecturers in any field of endeavor to ensure understanding by all members of the varied-level audience. The reader perhaps should be offered a slightly stronger worded suggestion that additional advice from a practitioner might be most beneficial. However, the author indeed has provided exactly what he had intended for his targeted audience.

5* Author’s objective reached.