Exquisite Love: Reflections on the spiritual life based on Nārada’s Bhakti Sūtra

Sarvabhava Press
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 The Bhakti Sūtra attributed to Nārada is a collection of 84 aphoristic statements in Sanskrit, dating to the tenth to eleventh centuries in India, on the nature of love for Divinity, which the text describes as the highest, most exquisite form of love. Translating, explaining and interpreting 21 of those statements, William K. Mahony brings these teachings into our contemporary world through his thoughtful and articulate extended reflections on the qualities of this love and on the contours of a life oriented toward strengthening, refining and elevating it. The book also includes Mahony’s translation of Nārada’s Bhakti Sūtra in its entirety.

Basing his reflections on the understanding that God is absolute Love, Mahony speaks of a divine Heart present in our own human sentiments and expressions of love in all its modes, directions and degrees of intensity. He offers readers guidance into ways a Heart-centered spiritual life can open them ever more fully to the reality of Love itself.

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About the author

William K. Mahony, PhD, is Professor of Religion at Davidson College. A specialist in the history and philosophy of religions originating in India, he brings to his reflections in “Exquisite Love” his understanding of the spiritual life in general, which is illumined both by his commitment to intellectual clarity and by his deep appreciation of contemplative and devotional sensibilities.

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Additional Information

Sarvabhava Press
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Published on
Dec 15, 2014
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Philosophy / Eastern
Religion / Spirituality
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Meditation is like a love affair with your innermost self. At times it can be ecstatic and entrancing, other times simple and still—and sometimes you might not even feel its profound effects until later.
Now with Meditation for the Love of It, Sally Kempton shares practical secrets to help us turn meditation into an unconditional embrace of the fullness of our experience—on and off the meditation cushion. With the gentle wisdom and compassion of one who understands the nuances of practice, she opens us to the joy of exploring the deep and mysterious inner landscape of the heart, mind, and body.

Drawing on her 40 years as a teacher and a fellow meditator, Sally teaches us how we can connect to our inner longings and creative “shakti” energy to allow the transformative gifts and blessings of meditation to unfold. With playfulness and devotion—two key attitudes in sustaining a daily practice—she shares indispensable guidance for this voyage of self-discovery, including:
How to tune in to your own “meditation channel,” a bandwidth of tranquillity, energy, and joyWhy you don’t need a quiet mind to meditateHow the force known as Kundalini can fuel your practiceConnecting to your ever-present Inner Beloved to let go of conditioned ideas about yourself and make space for the True Self to come forthRipening your practice beyond technique into the “sweet mysterious expanse of spontaneous meditation”More than 20 practices for bringing the peace and insight of meditation into your daily life
“Remember: what you seek in meditation is your own Beloved, your own inner intelligence, your own Awareness, and your own Truth,” teaches Sally. Meditation for the Love of It points us back to our own intimate heart of hearts, our own deepest experience, and the bliss of existence itself.


Introduction:  Awakening to Meditation
Chapter One:  The Lure of Meditation
Chapter Two:  How Do We Experience the Inner Self?
Chapter Three:  Preparing for Practice
Chapter Four: Choosing the Right Doorway
Chapter Five:  Moving Inward:  The Practice of Oneness
Chapter Six:  Working with the Mind, Part I: Navigating the Thought-Stream
Chapter Seven:  Working with the Mind, Part II: Liberating Your Thoughts
Chapter Eight:  Letting the Shakti Land
Chapter Nine:  Where Do You Find Yourself?   A Road Map to the Meditation Journey
Chapter Ten:   Coming Out of Meditation:  Contemplation, Recollection, and Journal Writing
Chapter Eleven:  The Daily Life of a Meditator:  Holding Inner Attention
Chapter Twelve:  The Three-Week Breakthrough Program
Chapter Thirteen:  The Process of Ripening
Epilogue:  Let the Inner Dance Unfold


“This is the classic wisdom of the East, cast in a very personal and accessible form.  It is authoritative and inspiring and will make you want to meditate for the highest reasons and in the most effective ways.”
—Andrew Weil, MD, author of Spontaneous Healing and Meditation for Optimum Health

“A thoughtful, intuitive, and uncommonly well-written book, which can only be welcomed be all who follow the way of meditation.”
—Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard

“Sally Kempton is one of the great realized teachers on the meditation path, whose Integral understanding of life merges seamlessly with her mastery of meditation.  She is a guide for our time.”
—Ken Wilber, author of A Brief History of Everything

“Love this book!  I’m grateful to Sally for this how-to guide to the soul and am excited to deepen my own experience of meditation through her inspiration and guidance.”
—Seane Corne, international yoga teacher and activist, cofounder of Off the Mat, Into the World
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