“Enlightenment”—is it a myth or is it real? In every spiritual tradition, inner explorers have discovered that the liberated state is in fact a natural experience, as real as the sensations you are having right now—and that through the investigation of your own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions you can awaken to clear insight and a happiness independent of conditions. For decades, one of the most engaging teachers of our time has illuminated the many dimensions of awakening—but solely at his live retreats and on audio recordings. Now, with The Science of Enlightenment, Shinzen Young brings to readers an uncommonly lucid guide to mindfulness meditation for the first time: how it works and how to use it to enhance your cognitive capacities, your kindness and connection with the world, and the richness of all your experiences. As thousands of his students and listeners will confirm, Shinzen is like no other teacher you’ve ever encountered. He merges scientific clarity, a rare grasp of source-language teachings East and West, and a gift for sparking insight through unexpected analogies, illustrations, humor, and firsthand accounts that reveal the inner journey to be as wondrous as any geographical expedition. Join him here to explore: Universal insights spanning Buddhism, Christian and Jewish mysticism, shamanism, the yogas of India, and many other paths How to begin and navigate your own meditation practice Concentration, clarity, and equanimity—the core catalysts of awakening Impermanence—its many aspects and how to work with them Experiencing the “wave” and “particle” natures of self Purification and clarification—how we digest mental blockages and habits through inner work Emerging neuroscience research, the future of enlightenment, and much more For meditators of all levels and beliefs—especially those who think they’ve heard it all—this many-faceted gem will be sure to surprise, provoke, illuminate, and inspire.
the science of enlightenment
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A groundbreaking exploration of the “science of enlightenment,” told through the lens of the journey of Siddhartha (better known as Buddha), by Guardian science editor James Kingsland. In a lush grove on the banks of the Neranjara in northern India—400 years before the birth of Christ, when the foundations of western science and philosophy were being laid by the great minds of Ancient Greece—a prince turned ascetic wanderer sat beneath a fig tree. His name was Siddhartha Gautama, and he was discovering the astonishing capabilities of the human brain and the secrets of mental wellness and spiritual “enlightenment,” the foundation of Buddhism. Framed by the historical journey and teachings of the Buddha, Siddhartha’s Brain shows how meditative and Buddhist practice anticipated the findings of modern neuroscience. Moving from the evolutionary history of the brain to the disorders and neuroses associated with our technology-driven world, James Kingsland explains why the ancient practice of mindfulness has been so beneficial and so important for human beings across time. Far from a New Age fad, the principles of meditation have deep scientific support and have been proven to be effective in combating many contemporary psychiatric disorders. Siddhartha posited that “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.” As we are increasingly driven to distraction by competing demands, our ability to focus and control our thoughts has never been more challenged—or more vital. Siddhartha’s Brain offers a cutting-edge, big-picture assessment of meditation and mindfulness: how it works, what it does to our brains, and why meditative practice has never been more important.
The counterintuitive, radical message of Vedanta, the ancient science of self-inquiry, is that reality is non-dual consciousness. What this means and how it benefits people in their quest for freedom from limitation is the subject of this inspirational book. In an accessible style, James Swartz's new book develops teachings introduced in his popular first one, How to Attain Enlightenment, covering topics such as values and the enlightened person, dharma and the essence of enlightenment, and the relationship between consciousness, the individual, and the total. Demystifying enlightenment, Swartz makes Vedanta understandable to all.
From one of America’s most brilliant writers, a New York Times bestselling journey through psychology, philosophy, and lots of meditation to show how Buddhism holds the key to moral clarity and enduring happiness. At the heart of Buddhism is a simple claim: The reason we suffer—and the reason we make other people suffer—is that we don’t see the world clearly. At the heart of Buddhist meditative practice is a radical promise: We can learn to see the world, including ourselves, more clearly and so gain a deep and morally valid happiness. In this “sublime” (The New Yorker), pathbreaking book, Robert Wright shows how taking this promise seriously can change your life—how it can loosen the grip of anxiety, regret, and hatred, and how it can deepen your appreciation of beauty and of other people. He also shows why this transformation works, drawing on the latest in neuroscience and psychology, and armed with an acute understanding of human evolution. This book is the culmination of a personal journey that began with Wright’s landmark book on evolutionary psychology, The Moral Animal, and deepened as he immersed himself in meditative practice and conversed with some of the world’s most skilled meditators. The result is a story that is “provocative, informative and...deeply rewarding” (The New York Times Book Review), and as entertaining as it is illuminating. Written with the wit, clarity, and grace for which Wright is famous, Why Buddhism Is True lays the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age and shows how, in a time of technological distraction and social division, we can save ourselves from ourselves, both as individuals and as a species.
Giuliano Pancaldi sets us within the cosmopolitan cultures of Enlightenment Europe to tell the story of Alessandro Volta--the brilliant man whose name is forever attached to electromotive force. Providing fascinating details, many previously unknown, Pancaldi depicts Volta as an inventor who used his international network of acquaintances to further his quest to harness the power of electricity. This is the story of a man who sought recognition as a natural philosopher and ended up with an invention that would make an everyday marvel of electric lighting. Examining the social and scientific contexts in which Volta operated--as well as Europe's reception of his most famous invention--Volta also offers a sustained inquiry into long-term features of science and technology as they developed in the early age of electricity. Pancaldi considers the voltaic cell, or battery, as a case study of Enlightenment notions and their consequences, consequences that would include the emergence of the "scientist" at the expense of the "natural philosopher." Throughout, Pancaldi highlights the complex intellectual, technological, and social ferment that ultimately led to our industrial societies. In so doing, he suggests that today's supporters and critics of Enlightenment values underestimate the diversity and contingency inherent in science and technology--and may be at odds needlessly. Both an absorbing biography and a study of scientific and technological creativity, this book offers new insights into the legacies of the Enlightenment while telling the remarkable story of the now-ubiquitous battery.
Provides a look at the studies, innovations, key figures, and controversy in the world of science during the eigteenth-century, discussing astronomy, chemistry, botany, and medicine.
In the late 1770s, as a wave of revolution and republican unrest swept across Europe, scholars looked with urgency on the progress of European civilization. Carhart examines their approaches to understanding human development by investigating the invention of a new analytic category, "culture."
George Berkeley was considered "the most engaging and useful man in Ireland in the eighteenth century". This hyperbolic statement refers both to Berkeley’s life and thought; in fact, he always considered himself a pioneer called to think and do new things. He was an empiricist well versed in the sciences, an amateur of the mechanical arts, as well as a metaphysician; he was the author of many completely different discoveries, as well as a very active Christian, a zealous bishop and the apostle of the Bermuda project. The essays collected in this volume, written by some leading scholars, aim to reconstruct the complexity of Berkeley’s figure, without selecting "major" works, nor searching for "coherence" at any cost. They will focus on different aspects of Berkeley’s thought, showing their intersections; they will explore the important contributions he gave to various scientific disciplines, as well as to the eighteenth-century philosophical and theological debate. They will highlight the wide influence that his presently most neglected or puzzling books had at the time; they will refuse any anachronistical trial of Berkeley’s thought, judged from a contemporary point of view.
Penetrating and comprehensive, The Anatomy of Blackness shows that, far from being a monolithic idea, eighteenth-century Africanist discourse emerged out of a vigorous, varied dialogue that involved missionaries, slavers, colonists, naturalists, anatomists, philosophers, and Africans themselves.