Moving Inward: The Journey to Meditation | Himalayan Institute

Moving Inward: The Journey to Meditation

by Rolf Sovik, PsyD

What is meditation? What is to be gained from it? And what is the connection between meditation, yoga postures, and other yoga practices? In these pages, Rolf Sovik, PsyD. draws on 35 years of teaching experience to explain both the practical aspects and the philosophical foundation of meditation.


This book will guide you with patience and understanding through the various stages of the inward journey. You will learn how to:

  • Establish a steady posture that leads to a feeling of stillness
  • Develop deep, diaphragmatic breathing
  • Relax systematically
  • Establish breath awareness in the nostrils
  • Use a mantra to refine your inner focus

Both novice and advanced students will appreciate Sovik's rich and often startling insights into the mystery of meditation. And you'll walk away with a clearer understanding of why you should undertake this journey.

Product Details

Publisher: Himalayan Institute
Copyright: 2005 Last printing 2012
ISBN: 978-0893892470
Pages/Length: 197 pages
Paperback/hardcover: Paperback
Dimensions: 9 x 6 x .6 inches

Meditation / Yoga

About the Author

Rolf Sovik, PsyD., is spiritual director of teh Himalayan Institute and co-director of the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo, New York. He is also a clinical psychologist in private practice, with a special interest in applying yoga in the treatment and prevention of mental health problems. He has been practicing, teaching, and training teachers in the Himalayan tradition since 1972.

He holds a doctorate in psychology from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology, a master's degree in Eastern studies from the University of Scranton, and an udnergraduate degree with majors in philosophy and history from ST. Olaf College. He has studied yoga in the United States and in India and Nepal and was initiated as a pandit in the Himalayan tradition in 1987. Prior to beginning his studies in yoga, he trained as a cellist, performing widely throughout the Midwest. He is a board member of the Himalayan Institute Teachers Association and a regular contributor to Yoga International magazine.

More on Moving Inward

Moving Inward begins with a description of the eight limbs of classical yoga-- which start with two collections of attitudes, then address the needs of the body, nervous system, and the mind, and finally progress to the three phases of the meditative process itself -- then unfolds in sections that generally follow the same design. Along the way we learn a wealth of information on everything from cultivating a steady posture to proper breathing techniques to the art of relaxing to the meaning of mantra. Yet the book does more than instruct. It inspires.

Besides capturing ideas that are, in the strictest sense, indescribable, Sovik's words are pure poetry. Consider teh following passage on the state of mind that arises during meditation: "Mindfulness has been likened to the relaxing experience of sitting near a strea,. watching the water flow by. As the water wends along, one pointed in teh stream is replaced by the next without arousing or engaging attention. Similarly, a meditator experiences awareness itself as having stepped away from the automatic stream of mental activity. Observing that stream without intentionally engaging in it, the mind is directed even more deeply toward its focus. In this manner, meditation leads to inner stillness and a quiet, joyful remembrance of awareness resting in its own nature."

Ultimately, the reader comes to understand that regardless of what inspires him or her to start meditating, the act takes on a life of its own. "if we are fortunate, whatever brought us to meditate will prompt somethign greater than itself to emerge," writes Sovik. "It will blossom into a state of mind that cannot be contained in words. That bountiful fullness of consciousness is the fruit of meditation. It is the reason that our hearts persist in practice. It is the unknowable into which we surrender our modest knowing. Thus, in its paradoxical way, when the call of meditation whispers to us, it does it with sounds that return us to silence."

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