Review: Water and Air by Neill

★★★★★ Water by Neill

We all wish to have the strength to find our own inner happiness and the peace we require to survive and thrive. However, there are times in life when we need a nudge in the right direction, or a calming whisper in our ear. For moments like that, Water and Air, the first two meditation guidebooks in a new 5-part series, can help quiet the raucous world around you.

Coupled with an audio CD, Water and Air are distinctly different books, but both seek to achieve similar goals. Water is Book 1, and the accompanying disc taps into musical styles from around the world and throughout history, providing an enjoyable and ambient background for the activities, meditative suggestions and artistic projects contained in the book.

Delving into some of the most sacred mantras from various oral and religious traditions, this book will inspire readers with its quiet simplicity, while also providing the empty space to examine oneself. Asking the hard questions about your desires, achievements, failings and weaknesses is a challenging task, but Neill, the author of this book, understands that only by facing the truth of yourself can you control the flow of your mind. The mantras and sutras in Book 1 are both ancient and modern – timeless tools to soothe stress and clear your head – aiding in the search for self and true peace.

Air by NeillAir is the second book in this revelatory series, and it has a slightly different tone than Book 1. It is written in a call-and-response style, thus leading to the type of chanting that people often associate with deep meditation.

This book is also filled with advice, and works as an excellent foundation for a personal meditation practice. From simple tips to existential questions, the guidebook is meant to challenge, not simply provide answers. It stresses the unique nature of meditative practice, and urges readers to find their own path, listening to their bodies and hearts throughout the construction of inner calm.

The musical accompaniment of Book 2, as with Book 1, has also been designed and recorded by the author, and is a more interactive musical experience than the disc for Water. It includes explanations of the individual mantras on the tracks, as well as certain insights or guidelines for how you can integrate these mantras into your daily practice.

The writing of each one of these books is simple and straightforward, utilitarian in its sparseness. However, this is precisely in line with the intentions of the book and the tradition of mantras, sutras, and meditations. Stripping away unnecessary words is akin to the way in which meditation can strip away useless or damaging emotions, and in these books this style is very effective.

Air and Water were both written as a cathartic avenue for the author’s own pain, and can offer a similar catharsis to a dedicated reader. Put together, these books have the potential to be very helpful for achieving some degree of mindfulness and inner peace, as Neill offers a unique voice and a valuable perspective that can benefit most anyone.

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