Now Embracing The Present Moment Reviewed By Karen Dahood of
Karen Dahood

Reviewer Karen Dahood : Karen lives in Tucson, AZ. After 35 years as a writer for businesses and nonprofits, she has turned to writing mysteries,the subtext of which addresses ageism, unpreparedness for aging, and America's wealth of experience and wisdom. Learn more about eldersleuth Sophie George at the Website Moxie Cosmos; Making Sense of Life Through Writing.

By Karen Dahood
Published on June 25, 2011

Author: Robert A. Singer, Jr.

Publisher: O-Books (John Hunt Publishing Ltd.)

ISBN: 978-1-84694-524-3

Click Here To Purchase Now: Embracing the Present Moment

Author: Robert A. Singer, Jr.

Publisher: O-Books (John Hunt Publishing Ltd.)

ISBN:  978-1-84694-524-3

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

- English Nursery Rhyme.

I have been trying to meditate (which is probably counterproductive), so it was with great excitement that I signed up to review Now Embracing The Present Moment, by Robert A. Singer, Jr. The stated purpose was “right on” as far as I am concerned. We tend to think always about tomorrow so miss life as it happens.

I have had some hurdles to leap before forming the right statements about this book. One is that there are 99 meditations and they are supposed to be read one a day; therefore, I am not letting them do their work. Secondly, it took a lot of reading to even get to the meditations, including two pages of “Praise for Now” (advertising), a “Foreword” by a peer, “The Author’s Note and Introduction,” and a confusing “Dedication” by the author and his sister to her deceased son Ed.

I think it is in these front pages that there is real potential value in this book, if only it had been stated clearly. Robert Singer’s physically daring nephew died; his pain was mentioned; and there was a plea to readers to not mask pain with alcohol and drugs. This section ended with a website address to use if you wished to learn more about this young man. I went there, and read a letter to him from the commander of a prison boot camp commending him on his physical stamina, teamwork and “nearly flawless perfection.” The website also contained more promotions for books, songs hinting at Ed’s problems, and mysterious allusions to “Ciavarella’s greed”and “Kids for Cash corruption.”

Thoroughly unfocused, I then began to read through some of the meditations, each beginning with a famous quote. Number eight was “’Our life is frittered away by detail….simplify, simplify.’ Henry David Thoreau.” Number ten: “’I couldn’t wait for success so I went ahead without it.’ Jonathan Winters.” Following each quote are further interpretations by Singer, broken halfway by the command: “Do It Now.”

I gave a few pages to my English professor husband to look at and asked him what he thought. He said, “pompous . . . vapid . . .and ungrammatical.” He’s very harsh, but I have to agree to some extent. I would add that Singer depends on the jargon of a 1970s self-help guru. (Maybe he should take a refresher course in English Composition.)

All of this was redeemed somewhat by 18 engaging essays at the end addressing the question: “Is it possible to live in the Now?”

So there. A bad review. But, not really. David Singer has good intentions — he wants to save the world — and he has good credentials, grounded in Eastern philosophy. I did not follow the URL to his website, which would have told me more. I think the real problem is that the book was rushed. It should have been two books, one about meditation and another about the nephew and the lessons to be learned.

Much of the blame can be placed on the pressure of self-publishing. We authors must constantly be hawking and hyping our own books. In this case, the generous spirit of the author was overshadowed by the need for book promotion. He also needs an editor, and maybe, like me, he is trying to get things done on a limited budget.

Frankly, I would like to know more about Ed and would be pleased if his story were told and directed to those many young and old people who are masking pain with alcohol or drugs. Throw in some meditations. There’s a real need for unmasking and confronting ourselves each day. Such a book might sell very well marketed through the many organizations that pick up the pieces of our Humpty Dumpty lives.

Click Here To Purchase Now: Embracing the Present Moment