Book Review | The Lotus Effect

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“By the same token, you aren’t information; you are that which is in formation—the indefinable essence that manifests as thoughts, feelings, and sensations. In short, you aren’t mind, you are the consciousness behind it.”
Pavel G. Somov, The Lotus Effect: Shedding Suffering and Rediscovering Your Essential Self 

Author Information

This book, written by local psychologist Pavel G. Somov PhD., details the importance of separating your true essence from that which you are not. Dr. Somov is the author of seven self help books including Present Perfect, Eating the Moment, and The Smoke-Free Smoke Break. He works primarily through a mindfulness approach in his profession in order to focus on growth, wellbeing, and self-awareness.


 

I read this book in the span of a weekend, and only that slowly so that I could take in all the information that was presented. The book is relatively small, but the amount of stuff crammed within its pages took a lot of mental cognition to comprehend. Reflection after each chapter is highly recommended when reading The Lotus Effect. After all, it is a book on self improvement, not meant for entertainment but meant for you to think and rethink.

The title, The Lotus Effect, is based on the idea of a lotus flower that blooms immaculately from the muddy environment that it was planted in. The petals of the lotus flower are self cleaning, meaning that it does not take in any of the environmental muck around it. These factors simply bead up and slide off the petals, leaving it pristine and pure. In the same way, he encourages the reader to brush off the environmental elements that might be dragging you down, muddying your consciousness, and creating stress in your life.

I found myself being reminded of the movie Fight Club as I read through the exercises in this book. I am not my job. I am not my associations. I am not my weight. “You are not your fucking khakis.” The point of these statements is to de-identify with everything that ties you to this world so that you can re-identify with what you truly are; the essence of your being. It’s a lot to wrap your mind around, but once you begin to understand the principles he is trying to convey, you begin to really start rethinking the way you see the world around you, and yourself as well.

This book not only details his principles, but also includes several mindfulness exercises you can participate in as you read. These include writing on your mirror with an erasable marker. Fun! Of course, you don’t have to do the exercises detailed in the book. It’s enough just to imagine it in your head. But these exercises really help you to visualize the points he is trying to make.

Should you read it?

Yes! I recommend this book to anyone feeling stuck in life, or tied to materialism. This book offers a unique perspective on mindfulness, and helps draw awareness to what really matters; the essence of your being. It’s a quick read, but I encourage you to spend some time on it, pausing for breaks to really let the information sink in so that you can get the full effect of the message. I can see how this information might not resonate with everyone, but the point of the book is to think, so even if you draw a negative conclusion after reading it, I’m sure you can walk away having learned something about yourself. And I think that’s kind of the point.

 

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