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Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program Paperback – Print + CD, December 29, 2010
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More About the Author
Sharon's latest book is Real Happiness At Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace, published by Workman Publishing. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books including the New York Times Best Seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program (2010), Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier with Robert Thurman (2013), Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (2002), and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (1995).
Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work. "Each of us has a genuine capacity for love, forgiveness, wisdom and compassion. Meditation awakens these qualities so that we can discover for ourselves the unique happiness that is our birthright." For more information about Sharon, please visit: www.SharonSalzberg.com.
Top Customer Reviews
I want to comment on the Kindle format, however. When it starts, you're allegedly 7% of the way through the book. Often there's one letter on a line (the first line of a chapter) and there are references to page numbers throughout the writing, which are not findable on the Kindle. There are also a number of instances where the left margin is an inch or two from the left side of the frame. I've read many books on Kindle and this one seems to have the strangest formatting problems.
"...If we were were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
...Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive."
What a beautiful thought. Neruda's "sadness", to me, is depression, the depression that underlies our restlessness, anxiety, agitation, the constant mental and physical movement and the hungry ghosts living within us that can never be satisfied. But how to be still when everything around us is moving as well as everything within?
Salzberg's gentle book offers meditation exercises that will meet us where we are. A companion CD with Salzberg guiding the reader through a variety of meditations is included.
I can't say why or how, but meditation works. Salzberg explains it best when she writes about breathing meditation:
"We become aware of a calm, stable center that can steady us even when our lives are in upheaval. The better you get at concentrating your attention on the chosen object, the breath, the deeper the stillness and calm you feel. As you mind withdraws from obsessive thinking, fruitless worry, and self recrimination, you feel a sense of refuge. You have a safe place to go, and it's within."
Learning to meditate doesn't take a lifetime. It takes practice. One step. One emotion. One breath. At a time.
First problem: Salzberg throws in numerous types of meditation. For a beginner, the first 28 days (and past that) should be focused on simply being with the breath. Learning how to exist in the moment. This is not a process that can be truly experienced immediately. (28 days is a very short amount of time!!) But rather than suggesting this most basic and essential of meditation techniques alone until the person become familiar and comfortable with it, Salzberg piles on a dozen or so other techniques as options. In doing so, she creates a bit of a garbled mess.
Second problem: Salzberg recommends doing 2 twenty-minute meditation sessions the first week, then adding additional twenty-minute days in weeks thereafter. There are two issues with this method. A little every day is far more useful than longer periods with less frequency. (Greater frequency makes it easier to get into a rhythm.) And twenty minutes may seem like a long time to a newbie, who could become easily discouraged with the monkey mind. A much more useful and non-demoralizing plan would be to start with, say, five to ten minute sessions every day for the first week, then increasing the time per session another five to ten minutes each subsequent week.
Third problem: The cover of the book promises the impossible. If you are not particularly happy, 28 days of meditating will not make you happy. It certainly will start you on the path in that direction!! But true happiness takes much longer to achieve.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent primer on mindfulness theory and practice. Describes a variety of different kinds of meditations such as mindful sitting and walking. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Pseudo Swamy
This book has been an excellent introduction to meditation for me. It is enjoyable to read and to implement into practice. Read morePublished 13 days ago by s4hwks
I am working my way thru the book slowly and I am learning a lot.Published 17 days ago by Susan Haun
I've been mediating for about 4 months and with encouraging results. I had had Salzberg and LovingKindness specifically recommended to me to help with some existential issues I've... Read morePublished 18 days ago by N. Shiyandja
Best book on meditation I've ever read. Has definitely helped my practice. Bought a copy for my nephew in college. He loved it.Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very easy read. Practical and engaging. Would recommend to psychologists or anyone interested in meditation.Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
I am new to meditation and chose this book after hearing Sharon the author on a podcast. As long as you are willing to do the work you will get something out of this. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer