Review: Effortless WellBeing: The Missing Ingredients for Authentic Wellness, by Evan Finer

I learned about this book, Effortless Wellbeing: The Missing Ingredients for Authentic Wellness, last fall from an article in Elephant Journal, and I blogged about the article then.

I’ve finally read it and want to share with you my impressions and include some samples.

It’s a remarkable book, short and sweet (160 pages). It’s both secular and practical — it doesn’t promise enlightenment or dazzle you with flashy red herrings, but shares thoughts and techniques and practices that can definitely enhance wellbeing.

Published in 2003, it synthesizes many spiritual teachings into three essential skills and four essential practices, includes some of the author’s critical notions about being on the path to wellness, and ends with weekly journal pages where you can track the development of your skills, practices, and awareness.

I like the writing style, direct and heart-felt. I got the impression that the writer has achieved authentic wellness himself and is sharing the keys to how he did it, speaking directly to you from his wisdom.

It’s as if he took Einstein’s formula to heart:

Keep it as simple as possible, but no simpler.

The three essential skills to master are:

  • Relaxing the body
  • Breathing
  • Calming the mind
He describes simple techniques for learning these skills and advises discarding a technique once you’ve learned it. I like that. 

Of course, mastering a technique is up to you, but he provides all the tools you need.

I like his language usage. For instance, 
You are striving to feel very very deeply into yourself, into your vibrations, your essence.
Compare that to “relax your toes.” 
Essentially, Finer recommends practicing the three skills while in four physical postures: lying, sitting, standing, and moving. 

So for instance, you would practice relaxing the body while lying down, while sitting, while standing, and while moving. Same with breathing and calming the mind. The skills become anchored in a variety of postures and thus become more available. 

This is a way to expand a sitting practice into more of your life. 

I wouldn’t exactly call it effortless, though. Daily or near-daily effort is definitely required to learn these skills and practice them using these postures, but once learned, they become unconscious competencies. Only after you have developed the discipline to practice and learn these skills and integrate them do they become effortless.

That said, a serious practitioner of these skills would notice a difference in their wellbeing within a short period of time. 

Some of Finer’s “critical notions” are his thoughts about:
  • Vibrations.
  • Intention.
  • Cause and effect.
  • Integrity.
  • Acceptance and responsibility.
  • Death as an advisor.
  • Barriers to progress.

Do any of those sound worth investigating?

The journal part of the book includes enough two-page weekly forms to track your practice and assess your progress to last for 21 weeks. 

This book cuts through a lot of noise to get to the core practices for developing yourself. If you want to become a more centered, wise, and well person and live a more pleasant and fulfilled life, this is a good book to learn from. 

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