Reverse Meditation: How to Use Your Pain and Most Difficult Emotions as the Doorway to Inner Freedom (Paperback)

Reverse Meditation: How to Use Your Pain and Most Difficult Emotions as the Doorway to Inner Freedom By Andrew Holecek Cover Image
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Disruptive practices to revolutionize your relationship with meditation and fully engage with the full breadth of your experience.

Why do we meditate? The main reason most modern people start meditating is because it helps us feel better—reducing anxiety, improving sleep, decluttering the mind, and so forth. “But where does your meditation go when things go bad?” asks Andrew Holecek. “Where is your spirituality when ‘rock meets bone,’ as they say in Tibet—when the crap hits the fan?”

Reverse Meditation is for anyone who wants to bring the challenges of life onto the path of awakening. When things get hard, it’s time to turn your practice on its head—and throw out any assumption that meditation exists to insulate you from the confusion, difficulties, and uncertainty of life. “By putting your meditation into reverse,” Holecek teaches, “you’ll actually find yourself going forward. Step into your pain and you can step up your evolution.”

With his signature blend of depth and accessibility, Holecek invites you to explore:

• Three core forms of meditation—mindfulness, open awareness, and the boundary-smashing reverse meditations
• How to know when you’re ready to engage with reverse meditation
• On-the-spot practices for snapping into a meditative mindset in difficult situations
• Contraction and expansion—how to dismantle habits of avoidance to become more open, resilient, and fully alive
• How reverse meditation opens you to a direct experience of the fundamental perfection of reality—just as it is

“These unique meditations are designed to reverse our relationship to unwanted experiences, which means going directly into them instead of avoiding them,” says Andrew Holecek. “It’s not an easy journey—yet this path leads to the discovery of unconditional happiness, basic goodness, and true freedom in the most turbulent situations.”

About the Author

Andrew Holecek is an author, speaker, and humanitarian who offers seminars internationally on meditation, lucid dreaming, and the art of dying. He has studied sleep yoga, bardo yoga, and other traditional practices with living masters in India and Nepal. Andrew’s books include Dreams of Light, Dream Yoga, and Reverse Meditation. His work has appeared in Psychology Today, Parabola, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, Utne Reader, Buddhadharma, Light of Consciousness, and many other periodicals. He hosts the popular Edge of Mind podcast and is the founder of the Night Club community, a support platform for nocturnal meditations. Learn more at

Praise For…

“Andrew has done it again! First he nudged us toward lucidity in the sleep bardo with his awesome book Dream Yoga. Then toward more lucidity in the life bardo with the even more awesome Dreams of Light. Now he brilliantly demonstrates how there need be no gaps, even when we confront the untoward, when we are jarred out of positive awareness by adversity and pain and injury, and we turn it all into advantage in his latest great work, this wonderful Reverse Meditation. I cannot recommend it highly enough—a great read and immensely useful for thriving and evolving positively in this world of obstacles.” —Robert Thurman, professor emeritus, author of Wisdom Is Bliss and the Bantam Books translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Reverse Meditation is a brilliant masterpiece that illustrates that Andrew Holecek’s extensive exploration of inner space has given him a unique perspective of outer space. Andrew understands that each and every one of us is in space at this very moment. Not only are we all traveling through the Universe on this spaceship that we call Earth, but we also generate the illusion of solid ground through our individual egos. Andrew clearly demonstrates that many of the problems we all face can be traced to our futile attempts to give our egos a place to stand. Through reverse meditation, we can mold ourselves into the softest, most open, yet strongest and most indestructible thing in the Universe—space itself. Nothing can hurt space! A must-read for anyone who wants to improve their life and expand their horizons.” —Ron Garan, former NASA astronaut, author of Floating in Darkness

“Meditation sometimes becomes dualistic: we learn to let go of thoughts and feelings, to cultivate an empty mind. What do we lose when we split ourselves like that? What might we realize if, instead of contracting in the face of pain and other unwanted experience, we open up to them—realize our nonduality with them? Reverse Meditation shows us how to do that and how it can transform our lives.” —David R. Loy, author of Money, Sex, War, Karma

“Holecek encourages active attention and diligence toward disarming the harsh inner critic that can surface within; the practices and anecdotes presented in this book will provide readers with an opportunity for doing just that. His aim is to help release the tension that we can create through the fear of failure, and ease into an expansive space of open, loving awareness.” —Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Life

“Cleaning the mirror of the heart, so that our True Face can be clearly reflected—free of all distortion that comes from, as Andrew Holecek writes, the ‘contraction’—is the fruit of all spiritual practice. In this wonderful, wise, and insightful book, we find a clear path… a deep intuitive explanation of where we are, where we are going, and how to get there.” —Krishna Das, Grammy®-nominated musician

“One of the most important books on meditation to ever be written, Reverse Meditation is a must-read how-to manual for transforming our painful contractions into expansive freedom. Reversing our habitual tendency to turn away from our pain and discomfort, Andrew Holecek masterfully adapts ancient technologies of awakening into contemporary, accessible practices of transformation, skillfully showing us how to turn toward our suffering in order to experience the spacious freedom that abides at the heart of every moment.” —Zvi Ish-Shalom, PhD, professor of world wisdom at Naropa University and author of The Kedumah Experience and The Path of Primordial Light

Product Details
ISBN: 9781649631053
ISBN-10: 1649631057
Publisher: Sounds True
Publication Date: July 11th, 2023
Pages: 240
Language: English