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The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind Paperback – April 13, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 244 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Indispensable for anyone wanting to understand the mind. A superb, clear set of exercises that will benefit everyone." -- Paul Ekman, Professor Emeritus at University of California San Francisco, and author of Telling Lies and Emotions Revealed

"This is the best kind of practical manual: a balance of clear instruction, theoretical background, and personal sharing. Alan Wallace never talks down to you; his calm authority, borne of years of practice under the best of teachers, shines through. I recommend this book to those of any spiritual tradition--or none--who wish to grow as human beings." -- The Reverend Anthony Freeman, Editor of the Journal of Consciousness Studies

"An indispensable guide, not only for anyone who attempts to meditate, but for all those who aspire to cultivate a more harmonious relation to the agent that determines the quality of every instant of our lives: our own mind." -- Matthieu Ricard, co-author of The Monk and the Philosopher and of The Quantum and the Lotus

"Scholar, scientist, and adept practitioner Alan Wallace teaches the faculty of attention in a clear, concise, and profound manner. This book is a brilliant comprehensive analysis on the stages of the development of attentional balance and will be a classic in the field." -- Joan Halifax, abbot of Upaya Zen Center and author of The Fruitful Darkness

"Attention is perhaps our most precious commodity. Alan Wallace provides a tutorial of a rigorous form of attention training, shamatha meditation, described in Buddhist texts and practices. Wallace notes that current interpretations of meditation practices such as mindfulness may not reflect the [Buddha's] original intent. In the current rush to apply many Eastern traditions to our Western culture, some very important elements of the original teachings and practices run the risk of being lost. This careful study of shamatha is likely to lessen such losses." -- Susan L. Smalley, Ph.D., Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

"A useful and stimulating resource for experienced meditators, while for those newer to meditation it gives an interesting and sometimes inspiring overview. The book is structured around each of Kamalashila's ten stages of meditation, with interludes outlining important supportive practices. There are also some instructions on how to achieve lucid dreaming as a basis for dream yoga-making the dream state a basis for insight. [...] The book contains much that could enrich the practice of anyone who already meditates regularly." ―
Wildmind Newsletter

"This is a bold little book. Its subtitle is a boast and a lure, echoing the muscular self-help books that promise to make you better, stronger, faster. But
The Attention Revolution is a cleverly disguised book about pure shamatha meditation, which Wallace defines here as 'a path of attentional development that culminates in an attention that can be sustained effortlessly for hours on end.' Wallace is a former monk and translator for the Dalai Lama, and now a scientist and religious studies scholar who's logged thousands of hours on the cushion. Currently he's drumming up support for The Shamatha Project, a one-year residential retreat for thirty people that will involve scientific evaluation of the subjects before, during, and after the retreat. One imagines that this book could be the participant manual. The Attention Revolution follows a rigorous ten-stage framework described by the eighth-century Indian Buddhist contemplative Kamalashila, but Wallace repeats often that you don't have to subscribe to any particular creed to experience the benefits of shamatha-you just have to do the work." ― Shambhala Sun

"Are you in a chronic state of distractedness? Maybe you think it is just part of modern life, yet there is an answer. It's called meditation. But this is not just another book on meditation. Attention is the key: identifying just what it is that requires attention, and how to focus on it. Analytical yet practical, Wallace's style conveys very clear instructions with calm authority." ―
Mandala

"The mind falls into two ruts, excitation and laxity, and both are hindrances to attentional development. [In
The Attention Revolutlion,] Wallace reveals the value of meditation techniques developed in India and Tibet and explains why he is convinced they can help us all improve the faculty of attention. With great elan and rigor, he explores the ten stages of attentional development from directed attention all the way to shamatha, the last stage which may require 10,000 hours of practice. Wallace also includes interludes on the meditative cultivation of loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, equanimity, tonglen (giving and taking), lucid dreaming, and dream yoga. Along the way, he offers cogent observations on genuine happiness as a symptom of a healthy, balanced mind." ― Spirituality & Practice

"Alan Wallace--ex-monk, Tibetan translator and big-wig scientist--explores how we (don't) pay attention in
The Attention Revolution. You put it down feeling that meditation isn't about some existential leap to another ethereal plane, but rather the gradual and incremental development of what is ours to begin with." ― Elephant Journal

About the Author

Daniel Goleman is the internationally bestselling author and coauthor of several books, including Emotional Intelligence, Focus, and Altered Traits. He was a science reporter for The New York Times, was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and received the American Psychological Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his writing. He lives in the Berkshires. Find out more at DanielGoleman.info.
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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0861712765
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Wisdom Publications; F First Edition Thus (April 13, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780861712762
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0861712762
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 244 ratings

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B. Alan Wallace began his studies of Tibetan Buddhism, language, and culture in 1970 at the University of Göttingen and then continued his studies over the next fourteen years in India, Switzerland, and the United States. After graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science, he went on to earn his Ph.D. in religious studies at Stanford University. He then taught for four years in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and is now the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies (http://sbinstitute.com). He is also Chairman of the Thanypura Mind Centre (http://piamc.com) in Thailand, where he leads meditation retreats. He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than forty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and Buddhism, including Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic: A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice, Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity, and Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
244 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Dr. M. Treacy
5.0 out of 5 stars I own hundreds of books on the topic of meditation (I do research in the area) and this is one of the top two or three that I ha
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 21, 2015
18 people found this helpful
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Chookster
4.0 out of 5 stars Lucid and Clear
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 6, 2016
7 people found this helpful
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Burnt Norton
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book on the nine stages of shamatha (mental quiescence) ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 4, 2017
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alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 25, 2018
2 people found this helpful
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Umar
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 5*
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 9, 2018