Wayne Dyer is perhaps one of the best-known and loved spiritual teachers in America. He has written over 30 books, and is best known for his PBS specials on topics like "The Power of Intention," "Excuses Begone!" and "Wishes Fulfilled." He has also released a full length feature film entitled, "The Shift," in which he uses drama to illustrate some of life's spiritual challenges and how they can be transcended.
In 2003, Dyer released the book Getting Into the Gap: making Conscious Contact With God Through Meditation, through Hay House Publishers. This small volume includes a CD with an introduction and 2 guided meditations.
This book and CD set spend a great deal of time explaining what Dyer means by the phrase "Getting into the Gap" - that is, the gap in between your thoughts, where the mind is silent. It is in this mental silence that we make contact to our source, according to Dyer. He uses the first 10 words of the Lord's Payer as a method to still the mind and slip into the gap of silence between our words. Dyer also introduces us to Japa - a powerful vibrational meditation technique that enhances your ability to manifest your desires.
Overall, I would say that this book and guided meditation CD is a great starting place for a beginner who likes Christian flavor crystals in their meditation. Dyer's use of the Lord's Prayer is no doubt helpful for those who are more comfortable with Christianity than Buddhism or Hinduism. The use of the familiar Christian prayer is likely reassuring to those who are just beginning to explore their inner realms. However, as a non-Christian, I found the use of the Lord's Prayer to be more of a distraction than a help, but I am sure this won't be true for many of Dyer's followers. But if Dyer's inclusion of the Lord's Prayer entices those who have never meditated before to start, then I'm all for it!
Dyer also uses a form of chanting called Japa. Japa comes from Hinduism, and entails chanting "the sound of God." This is a form of what I call vibrational meditation, where the voice is used to set up a vibration within the body, that helps us to connect with our higher self and, eventually, with All-That-Is. Everything on the physical plane is vibrating, and when you intentionally create vibrations in your body, it can have quite a wallop! Vibrational meditation is very powerful, as it coordinates the physical and non-physical in conscious cooperation.
The meditation Dyer introduces us to is quite impactful in the 20 minute form of the meditation on the CD. The 10 minute version is a bit too hurried to fully benefit from the vibration, in my opinion, but in both the 10 minute and 20 minute versions, the focus on stilling the mind is extremely effective.
As I stated before, this is a great starting place for beginners to "get their feet wet" with meditation. The 10 minute meditation might move a bit too fast, but the pace of the 20 minute meditation is good. The mind-stilling exercises are great for those who have yet to work on taming their "monkey mind," and therefore have difficulty getting the inner dialogue to stop.
For more experienced meditators, you might find this meditation CD to be quite satisfactory, if you are into the whole Christian thing. However, most long-time meditators have explored either Buddhism or Hinduism (or both!) in depth, and might find Dyer's reliance on the Lord's Prayer to be a bit limiting of the possibilities (as it focuses you in a strictly monotheistic mode). Also, long-time meditators have most likely figured out the mind-stilling technique that works best for them, so the emphasis Dyer puts on his mind-stilling method may seem a bit overworked for those who are already there.
Getting into the Gap: Making Conscious Contact with God Through Meditation is an excellent choice for those who are just starting out with meditation and want something both simple and effective. Dyer delivers this simplified approach to stilling the mind and contacting within. My only disappointments are that it is a bit narrow for non-Christians and the use of Japa takes a backseat to the mind-stilling exercises.
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NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that Dyer is accused of plagiarizing this meditation material from a devotee of Ramana Maharshi's named Robert Adam. I am unfamiliar with Adam's work, and so do not have an informed opinion. However, I am aware that others have accused and even sued Dyer for plagiarizing in the past. As an academic, I cannot condone the unattributed "borrowing" of another author's work. However, Dyer acquired this teaching, it is still a useful practice.
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