Yoga and the Quest for the True Self

by Stephen Cope

Bantam Books | October 5, 1999 | Hardcover

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self is rated 5 out of 5 by 1.
Millions of Americans know yoga as a superb form of exercise and as a potent source of calm in the midst of our stress-filled lives. Far fewer are aware of the full promise of yoga as "the way of the fully alive human being"--a 4,000-year-old practical path of liberation that fits the needs of modern Western seekers with startling precision.

Now one of America's leading scholars of yoga psychology--who is also a Western-trained psychotherapist--offers this marvelously lively and personal account of an ancient tradition that promises "the soul awake in this lifetime."  Drawing on the vivid stories of practitioners at the largest yoga center in America, where he has lived and taught for more than ten years, Stephen Cope describes the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga--a practical science of development that urges us not to transcend or dissolve the self, but rather to encounter it more deeply.

In this irreverent modern-day Pilgrim's Progress, Cope introduces us to an unforgettable cast of contemporary seekers--on the road to enlightenment carrying all the baggage of the human condition: confusion, loss, disappointment, addiction, and the eternal conflicts around sex and relationship. As he describes the subtle shifts of energy and consciousness that happen at each stage of the path, we discover that in yoga, "liberation" does not require us to leave life in the world for some transcendent spiritual plane. Life itself is the path.

Above all, Cope shows how yoga can heal the suffering of self-estrangement that pervades our society, leading us to a new sense of purpose and to a deeper, more satisfying life in the world.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 384 pages

Published: October 5, 1999

Publisher: Bantam Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 055310313x

ISBN - 13: 9780553103137

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic book I am currently reading this book, and I cannot recommend it more highly for a Westerner who wants to understand yoga's spiritual side.
Date published: 2006-02-21

– More About This Product –

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self

by Stephen Cope

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 384 pages

Published: October 5, 1999

Publisher: Bantam Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 055310313x

ISBN - 13: 9780553103137

Read from the Book

Waking Up is Hard to DoYou see, I want a lot. Perhaps I want everything the darkness that comes with every infinite fall and the shivering blaze of every step up.So many live on and want nothing and are raised to the rank of prince by the slippery ease of their light judgments.But what you love to see are faces that do work and feel thirst. You love most of all those who need you as they need a crowbar or a hoe. You have not grown old, and it is not too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret.--Rainer Maria Rilke, Das StundenbuchI leaned against a doorframe and quietly surveyed the party swirling around me. Laughing revelers spilled through the doors of Mark's big living room onto the bluestone terrace and down the sweep of lawn. It was just dusk, and a warm May breeze brought the scent of lilac. Mark throws parties like his theatrical productions, I thought: lavish and well attended. I wondered anxiously if Sean would show up with his new lover.I took a deep breath and sighed, turning back into the big kitchen at the rear of the house. The antique harvest table in the center of the room was abundant with the kind of food we eat when we're supposed to be having fun--casseroles stuffed with ricotta; desserts made with whipped cream; salads sprinkled with pine nuts and feta cheese. The odor of warming lasagna, my contribution to the party menu, wafted from the oven. It was a relief to be alone for a moment. My eye caught the pile of d
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From the Publisher

Millions of Americans know yoga as a superb form of exercise and as a potent source of calm in the midst of our stress-filled lives. Far fewer are aware of the full promise of yoga as "the way of the fully alive human being"--a 4,000-year-old practical path of liberation that fits the needs of modern Western seekers with startling precision.

Now one of America's leading scholars of yoga psychology--who is also a Western-trained psychotherapist--offers this marvelously lively and personal account of an ancient tradition that promises "the soul awake in this lifetime."  Drawing on the vivid stories of practitioners at the largest yoga center in America, where he has lived and taught for more than ten years, Stephen Cope describes the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga--a practical science of development that urges us not to transcend or dissolve the self, but rather to encounter it more deeply.

In this irreverent modern-day Pilgrim's Progress, Cope introduces us to an unforgettable cast of contemporary seekers--on the road to enlightenment carrying all the baggage of the human condition: confusion, loss, disappointment, addiction, and the eternal conflicts around sex and relationship. As he describes the subtle shifts of energy and consciousness that happen at each stage of the path, we discover that in yoga, "liberation" does not require us to leave life in the world for some transcendent spiritual plane. Life itself is the path.

Above all, Cope shows how yoga can heal the suffering of self-estrangement that pervades our society, leading us to a new sense of purpose and to a deeper, more satisfying life in the world.

About the Author

Stephen Cope is a psychotherapist who writes and teaches about the relationship between contemporary psychology and the Eastern contemplative traditions. He holds degrees from Amherst College and Boston College. He is currently Scholar-in-Residence at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts, the largest residential yoga center in the world. This is his first book.

From Our Editors

Yoga is becoming very popular in the Western world. Now you can learn the latest in yoga psychology with Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. From healing suffering to bring new purpose to your life, Stephen Cope shows readers all of the benefits of yoga. Throughout this book, Cope introduces readers to an unforgettable cast of characters on a search for enlightenment. In our fast-paced world, it is necessary to take some time for relaxation and reflection. Yoga will help get readers in touch with his or her spiritual soul.  

Editorial Reviews

"A down-to-earth, wise, spiritually mature and compassionate teaching that integrates the best of yoga and our own Western humanity. Destined to be a classic." —Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart "What a delight to find a book on spiritual practice that's as compelling to read as a good novel. This honest, intelligent, and beautifully written book is required reading for anyone interested in spiritual practice today."—Lilias Folan, host of the PBS series Lilias!"A tour de force...a book grounded in yoga psychology that will be meaningful and useful to spiritual practitioners in many traditions."—Sylvia Boorstein, author of It's Easier Than You Think and That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist"Intellectually precise, profoundly moving, and gratifyingly accessible...Stephen Cope has written a book that offers hope that the fruits of spiritual practice and the attainment of wisdom are not for some more enlightened person, but for you and for me."—Donna Farhi, international yoga teacher and author of The Breathing Book"With rare clarity and wit, Stephen Cope shows us how yoga can guide us through the maze of our psyche--and home to our own soul."—Anne Cushman, former editor in chief, Yoga Journal, and co-author of From Here to Nirvana"Yoga and the Quest for the True Self is a splendid bridge between traditional yoga and the concerns and needs of contemporary Western seekers. Stephen Cope takes you straight to the heart of yoga."—Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., founder-president
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