Five out of Five Stars! This is a good one!

I had just finished The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle (which I reviewed favorably also), when this book came into my hands. I could say many of the same things about it that I said about Mr. Tolle's book. There are a few differences, but the basic message is the same: right Now is where all life occurs. The past is finished and cannot be changed, and its main function is to enable us to use the wisdom gained there to make our choices Now. The future is not yet here, and is not predestined. Our choices, which we can only make right Now have a dynamic effect on what the future will hold. All actions, choices and changes are made in the immediate Now. Everything that was ever done was done in a Now.

The other message which (Mr.) Shannon Duncan teaches is the importance of examining the beliefs and prejudices you hold.As Dr. Robert Anthony said, "If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?" Or, Ludwig Borne's statement, "Getting rid of a delusion makes us wiser than getting hold of a truth." But perhaps Henry Ford got more directly to the point when he said, "He can who thinks he can and he can't who thinks he can't. This is an inexorable, indisputable law."

We have all heard people say things like, "I've never been good at math." And so, of course, they are not good at math. And those who say, "I've always loved to paint" are usually proficient at painting. Such preconceptions and thoughts are a powerful form of self-suggestion, or self-hypnosis, if you wish.

What if you examined your self-assessment and your beliefs about what you can and cannot do for their objective accuracy? Will the negative assessments stand up to close scrutiny? What objective evidence is there that suggests their accuracy?

This is the kind of thing this book is about, together with some relatively simple exercises to help you achieve inner peace.

Like The Power of Now, the refreshing thing about this book is not that it contains any wisdom not previously available--for those conversant with Eastern wisdom, many of these observations are "old hat," but the Vedas, the writings of the Buddhists, and the Tao are so filled with Eastern jargon and nomenclature that it makes the lessons found there hard to assimilate for a Westerner. The refreshing thing about this book is that it was written in plain English by a contemporary Westerner--and written very well indeed, I might add. It is extremely easy to understand, and the exercises are relatively easy to accomplish with any investment of effort at all.

I recommend this book highly; especially to those souls who are unnerved by their chattering minds, and whose own thoughts of remorse over past actions or fears of the future are causing them mental anguish.

You will find peace here, if you read this book, take it to heart, and practice the author's exercises.

Joseph Pierre, author of The Road to Damascus and other books
(this review taken from


I work in the field of psychology. I've also meditated for many years and sometimes teach that as well. I've found your book to be a fresh approach to melding several psychological, philosophical and spiritual disciplines. I particularly like how you blended meditation, bodywork, and psychology into your core exercises. I'll be very interested in following your future work.

V.G. Baghn, California


Reading Present Moment Awareness was a delight because it really put my mind at ease and calmed my mind static down. It makes you realize that we all go through our everyday lives that seem inescapably busy and always work or hope for something later. We are so consumed with tomorrow and our own plans that we do not see what is right in front of us. This book allows you to stop your repetitive day and look and just observe what is going on around you. So much is happening all the time and we hardly ever notice it. This book helps you realize what you are missing in your busy little lives.

A. Dervishi
High school Student, San Diego, CA

As a high school student I often feel overwhelmed with homework and tests. Going through the exercises in your book has allowed me to stop stressing out so much and concentrate on one task at a time. This has really helped me a lot!

Gil S.
San Diego, CA

Hello Shannon!

I would like to let you know that I enjoyed reading your book. Even though I am quite familiar with the Buddhist literature on mindful awareness as well as the psychological empirical literature on mindfulness (by Ellen Langer), the specific concrete steps you've suggested in the book as well as the Focus Tool itself certainly provide the practical means for attaining mindful awareness. I am personally as well as intellectually interested in mindful awareness. As an academic research psychologist, I would like to someday examine the effects of present moment awareness on cognitive tasks (e.g., decision-making, creativity, problem-solving, etc.) as well as on psychological well-being.

Thank you very much!

Ronan Bernas

What an enlightening and inspiring book. I feel like it was written just for me. So many of the concepts fit me to a T, especially the one concerning "mental static." I am 70 years old and only wish I'd read this when I was much younger, but it just proves "you are never too old to learn." I really love the CD (Quiet Ponderings) - what a perfect escape. It is so calming and leaves you feeling so renewed and peaceful.

Frances Scott
Enid Oklahoma

Hi Shannon,

I have been using the focus tool on most days and find it particularly useful as a reminder to just breathe  In so doing, I have discovered that I hardly breathe at all! It's terrible. I'm amazed that I'm still alive! Regarding your book, I appreciate the simplicity of the exercises, and the way you have captured the essence of the practice with few words. It makes it easy and keeps me interested. I have read many books on mindfulness, and have often found the text to be unnecessarily lengthy and repetitive.

Best Regards,
Yvonne Suter

Thanks too for your personal attention as well as your fabulous book. Present Moment Awareness and Eckhart Tolles book The Power of Now, have had a huge impact on me.

Doris McPhee

Being a very future oriented person, in spite of many years of meditation and regular excercise, I noticed I often was not fully appreciating the moment and have been consciously doing so since reading your book. Even when concerned about current challenges, I have found myself focusing on subtle things such as the birds sings or the trees dancing with the wind. I noticed that I was content in the moment and this was really impactful. As a trainer, I am much more focused and attentive with my audience if I take the time to be more relaxed, by being present. One other time I was very tired and my head was buzzing from the day. I was in my car driving back from LA and I just focused on the present moment. I got so relaxed so quickly, I almost fell asleep!

Beth Levin M.A. Professional Coach and Performance Consultant
Beth A. Levin & Associates

This is a great book! It is accessible and profound.

Edward Quinn
The InnerWork Company
Chester Springs, PA

It has been over six month's since I first read "Present Moment awareness". I am writing to let you know just what an impact your book has made in my life. I have four daughter's, five, seven, ten, and fifteen. Needless to say things can get a little hectic in my home. I also work in the crazy world of advertising which also lends itself to a bit of madness. After reading your book, I was finally able to put thing's into perspective. My life no longer seems to be as crazy and hectic. My co-worker's have noticed a change in me as well as my Daughter's. Living in the Moment is wonderful thing. Thank you, I will pass "PMA" along to all my friends and family. One last thing, I ordered your series of Audio Serenity CDs, and they are awesome!

D. Girdner
San Diego, CA

"Shannon Duncan is a wonderful communicator of ideas that can change a persons relationship to time and life. My listeners called in and were amazed at the simple yet powerful ideas Duncan presented in his outstanding book "Present Moment Awareness." In my opinion, it should be required reading."

Rey Ybarra
Manage Your Stress - Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs.

"Shannon Duncan has taken major concepts from ancient traditions and modern psychology and distilled them into an easy to understand guide to awareness. His book (Present Moment Awareness) makes these often nebulous and difficult to understand concepts available to anyone desiring personal and spiritual growth. I've found in my 30 years of experience in researching eastern philosophy, Chinese medicine, Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong, that these all have as their core practice bringing one's self purposefully into the present moment to create inner-peace, heal diseases and enhance vitality."

Roger Jahnke, OMD
Author of The Healer Within & The Healing Promise of Qi (Chi)

"This system has made my life fuller and more satisfying - I get more out of every day. At work, I get more work done. At home, I'm able to spend more time with my family. I have the same amount of time, but the time is more productive."

Electrical Engineer

"I've found in my practice as a marriage and family counselor that the PMA System is especially good for couples who are trying to work things out. One of the advantages of the system is that it allows you to pay attention to present issues rather than bringing up all the past issues or trying to deal with future issues. It reminds us to be with each other and to be kind to each other in the present moment."

Karen Gless, PhD
Marriage & Family Counselor

"It works well with my sixth-month-old son because I've had time to appreciate all of the little changes since I started with the program. Before that, I was so wrapped up in the tasks at hand, feeding, sleeping, and that type of thing, I didn't really get to appreciate the growth he was experiencing."

New Mom

"The PMA System is amazing in its ability to enable people to make positive change in their lives. In working with the PMA System, I've learned a lot about working with people and their addictions. I've learned how addiction comes from personal pain and trying to avoid pain, for example picking up a cigarette and smoking so you don't notice the uncomfortable feelings you're having. With the concepts of present moment awareness, I've enabled people to get past that pain and overcome their addictions in amazingly short periods of time."

Lee Overholser, PhD
Therapist & Counselor

"Shannon, On most paths to enlightenment there is a process of getting in touch with the moment, whether through prayer, chanting, drumming, meditation, pondering a koan or pilgrimages within and/or to holy places. Your PMA is the first high tech method that I have become aware of. By using a computerized timer to wake us throughout the day we make our life into a pilgrimage. While using outside stimulus from your (Quiet Ponderings) compact disc during our meditation, we are taken to holy places that provide us with a peaceful and relaxing environment, in which to ponder the specific ideas presented in your book.

When I read I try to take something inside myself to use as fuel for my journey. From my first read of your book, I am taking not only from what you wrote but also from what you did not write. On page 95 there is a hole after paragraph 4 that has given me something to chew on for quite a while. For me, PMA is not a quick fix or read - it is a process to be done again and again many times until we can rewire the circuits within to give us peace. Thank You for the new presentation of eternal truth."

David Armstrong, CA

"I have found the ideas in the book 'Present Moment Awareness' to be immediately applicable to my life. I set a goal to be "more present" instead of worrying about the future or reliving the past. The recommendations in the book PMA are helping me reach my goal."

Management Consultant

"Having been hugely impacted by reading my first book about the practice of Zen three years ago, I was curious about Present Moment Awareness from the perspective of what else I could learn amount staying in the moment with all aspects of my life. While I had already learned about the basic concepts of Buddhism, I had little direct correlation on how to translate what I had learned into a practical way to approach everyday life. Reading PMA gave me the tool with which to directly apply what I already knew about being in the moment. Specifically, the chapter on emotional reactivity is where I found the most direct benefit. That chapter taught me how to be aware of my emotions and to let them pass through me without being trapped by their intensity. For me the intensity of my emotions was the one area in my life where I was unable to stay in the moment. PMA definitely gave me insight into how to deal with emotions as soon as I become aware of them and how to process them in way that is more healthy and meaningful. Just reading that one chapter has greatly impacted the quality of my life and transcended me to a higher level of awareness. So for those of you who think you know Zen and there can be no more, reading this book will open your awareness to tools that you may have never thought were possible. I encourage even the most pronounced practitioner of Zen to read PMA."

Profoundly influenced,
Mary Adorno


Let me tell you how your book and concepts really, really made a difference. I was coming back from Jamaica yesterday where I was teaching. The airline had canceled my seat (it was confirmed and paid for). I could have gone ballistic but I was reading your section on
emotional presence and just sat back and observed. It calmed me way back from a 10 to a 5 and gradually let go with PMA.

Before the rest of the day would have been ruined, but it turned into a good day.

Thanks a bunch and keep up the great writing.

Jerome S. Osteryoung, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship