- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: New World Library (November 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1608683699
- ISBN-13: 978-1608683697
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Secular Meditation: 32 Practices for Cultivating Inner Peace, Compassion, and Joy A Guide from the Humanist Community at Harvard Paperback – November 3, 2015
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Hardwiring Happiness and Buddha’s Brain
Everyone, regardless of views or beliefs, can develop happiness and wisdom. In Secular Meditation, Rick Heller and the Humanist Community at Harvard offer a straightforward way for nonreligious people to connect with their inner capabilities for compassion and clarity.”
Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
An ideal introduction for those new to the practice, as well as a valuable compendium offering fresh perspectives for seasoned meditators.”
Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism Without Beliefs and After Buddhism
"This book is an ideal guide for those who want to study meditation and mindfulness but are put off by the focus on Buddhism or religion in general."
Library Journal (starred review)
'The very short review of Rick Heller’s Secular Meditation: If you’re curious about secular meditation and mindfulness, there’s finally a book for you. And it’s a good one.”
In simple, accessible language, Secular Meditation introduces practices that profoundly transform our hearts and consciousness. Through a rich weave of stories, teachings, meditations, and inquiry, this book offers trustworthy guidance on the journey of awakening.”
Tara Brach, Ph.D., author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
This book at once simple and profound is a joy to read. Rick Heller manages to capture the essence of traditional Buddhist practices and translate them into a no-nonsense secular format. His suggestions for practice are straightforward and can be easily incorporated into daily life.”
Kristin Neff, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Self-Compassion
This book has the potential to benefit many people. Rick has a light and yet substantial style that makes his writing lovely and approachable. He is clearly practicing what he is writing about, which makes for an authentic and sincere offering to this world. ”
Narayan Helen Liebenson, guiding teacher at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Society
Secular Meditation is a clear and generous adaptation of Buddhist and other practices for the humanist community. It is a great book for people who believe that the human mind can be trained just as the body can but who are uncomfortable with any supernatural claims. It is simple and accessible, opening doors to generosity, clarity, and joyfulness in this life.”
James Ishmael Ford, author of If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break
Rick Heller combines his secular humanist worldview with his expertise in guiding weekly meditation sessions, producing a unique reference work that’s approachable, practical, and based firmly in the natural world. This book fills a gap in the current literature: a workable guide to meditation in theory and practice for a secular audience.”
Ted Meissner, founder of the Secular Buddhist Association and host of the Secular Buddhist podcast
Rick Heller’s book represents a milestone in the emergence of a truly naturalistic form of contemplative practice. It will do much to help more people find happiness in life.”
Daniel Strain, executive director of the Spiritual Naturalist Society
I can’t say for sure, but we may be seeing the beginning of a major revolution. This revolution is in some ways a natural next step from the Scientific Revolution that occurred about five hundred years ago and the Neolithic Revolution that occurred many millennia before that. Ever since the Neolithic, human spirituality has tended to center on a literal interpretation of organized myth. The Scientific Revolution decentered those myths. So is humanity now left without a source of deep meaning and moral compass? Perhaps not. The Mindfulness Revolution offers a totally new direction: industrial-strength psycho-spiritual growth based on industrial-strength attentional skills concentration power, sensory clarity, and equanimity. This book offers a rich banquet, inviting you to taste many flavors of mindfulness.”
Shinzen Young, director of Vipassana Support International
Secular Meditation is a wonderfully practical book grounded in the latest neuroscience. Rick Heller shows readers how one can mindfully learn to love others and be loved by others. It provides a step-by-step guide for anyone who wants to live a happy life.”
Paul J. Zak, PhD, author of The Moral Molecule
Secular Meditation by Rick Heller is a wonderful door-opener for people who are interested in the benefits and how-to of meditation and mindfulness practices but who are skeptical about the religious sources. Heller, the meditation teacher for the Humanist Community at Harvard, has collected thirty-two practices that will have something for every curious reader. His style is warm and engaging, with great stories sprinkled in, and he pulls the reader into trying out attention and kindness practices from all different angles to find their right fit.”
Christiane Wolf, MD, PhD, coauthor of A Clinician’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness
About the Author
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-8 of 20 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The blurb pages of the book read like a who’s who of the worlds of mindfulness and nondogmatic Buddhism, including Stephen Batchelor, Sharon Salzberg, Rick Hanson, Tara Brach, and other luminaries, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Rick does not neglect the theoretical aspects of the philosophy of humanism and how it relates to Buddhism and other philosophical systems, such as stoicism. He also shares neurological, psychological and social research that sheds light on human behavior and the effects of meditation. But the emphasis here is thoroughly on practice, and the result is a compendium of meditation and mindfulness techniques that extend from simple seated practice to integrating present moment awareness in the thick of daily life. Included are a rich bibliography and resource list.
I think my favorite aspect of Rick’s book, besides its comprehensiveness, is its emphasis on loving kindness. In fact, this is the only book on meditation for beginners that I’m aware of that actually starts, not with body or breath contemplations, but with loving kindness and compassion practice. It’s an unusual choice because heart cultivation practices can be quite challenging for many people, experienced meditators as well as beginners. But I believe that these techniques are a powerful source of inspiration and motivation that help us reap the fruits of our practice.
Rick brings this heartful attitude to every imaginable kind of contemplative practice: cultivating all four brahmaviharas; awareness of the breath, sound, and body; working with mantras; walking and other movement practices; noting of thoughts and emotions; mindful eating; and even mindful reading, contemplative photography, and just watching TV. If you think you can’t meditate, I think you will find some practice here that you can do.
Heller's prose is clear, lucid and earnest. He has a stake in the game and speaks from both his research and experience, introducing us to the perplexities he has encountered, resolved and still struggles with in developing his own practice. He's. It's a book that invites conversation and lays a cornerstone for further research. In this Heller's volume is a contribution to both the secular and spiritual communities.
Some of the secular meditation practices that Heller introduces, such at the Metta practice he describes early in the book, are derived from spiritual practice, but modified in language and organization to fit the secular model, and at a deeper level depart from different intent. The book's unstated premise is that such variations in the design and motivation of the practice will have the same or equally beneficial effect as the sources from which they draw. While there may be and most likely are physiological, social and psychological benefits from focused attention, tuning in to and offering compassion and deliberate entry into and expansion of joy when approached from a purely secular perspective, the question does arise, is there something powerful lost when we locate our meditations exclusively in the physical self, rather than reaching beyond ourselves into the mysteries? This guide to secular meditation presumes not, but the question is worth exploring as a matter of science, as a matter of practice and as a basis for dialogue. In raising the question, Heller's book offers us not only useful practices, but the foundation for a rich and rewarding conversation that can extend for many years to come.