The Science Of Enlightenment 2
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“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.
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.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018 ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR "My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
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.
WINNER OF THE GOLD PRIZE FOR RELIGION / SPIRITUALITY OF EASTERN THOUGHT AT THE 2016 NAUTILUS BOOK AWARDS. Can meditation and mindfulness exercise make us sharper, smarter, healthier, happier? In Siddhartha's Brain, James Kingsland reveals that a complete scientific theory of how these practices work is now within our grasp and may be the key to treating a wide range of afflictions of the human mind. Some twenty-five centuries ago, an Indian sage called Siddhartha Gautama - the man who would become known as the Buddha - developed a programme for improving mental well-being which has been passed down to us by generations of monks and nuns. Today, secular mindfulness courses are proving their worth for tackling many of the problems associated with the demands of our frenetic, technology-driven modern world. Research has shown that mindfulness can be used to treat stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, hypertension and drug addiction, as well as improving concentration, empathy, emotion regulation and the quality of interpersonal relationships. There have even been hints that it could enhance immune function, slow cellular ageing and help keep dementia at bay. Taking us on a journey back to the time of the Buddha to track changes in his brain as he travels the path leading to enlightenment, Siddhartha's Brain explains how meditation and mindfulness transform the human mind.
Pope Benedict XIV Lambertini (r. 1740-58) was one of the driving forces behind the Italian Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. His campaign to reconcile faith and empirical science, re-launch a dialogue between the Church and the European intellectual community, and expand papal patronage of the arts and sciences helped restore Italy's position as a center of intellectual and artistic innovation. Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment offers a broad and nuanced assessment of Benedict's engagement with Enlightenment art, science, spirituality, and culture. The collection's essays, written by international experts in the field, cover topics ranging from Benedict's revisions to the Church's procedures for beatification and sanctification to his patronage of women scientists and mathematicians at the university in Bologna, his birthplace.
The Science of Freedom completes Peter Gay's brilliant reinterpretation begun in The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism. In the present book, he describes the philosophes' program and their views of society. His masterful appraisal opens a new range of insights into the Enlightenment's critical method and its humane and libertarian vision.
This is a rich and path-breaking comparative study of reading tastes in the final years of old regime Europe. Based on extensive research in the account books of the Swiss publishers, the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), and related archives, it charts the dissemination of literature and reading tastes across Europe in the years leading up to the French revolution. In the process, it recasts our understanding of late 18th-century print culture and the contours of the enlightenment. The fruit of a widely acclaimed five year database project, the STN database, it is also a story of pioneering efforts to apply the latest digital technology and GIS mapping techniques to traditional historical and bibliographic problems. Although written to serve as a standalone study, this book is ideally complemented by its companion volume, Mark Curran's The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe I: Selling Enlightenment, which offers a radical reinterpretation of the structure and practices of the European book trade. The STN database is now recognised as a cutting-edge digital project of global significance. Robert Darnton has called it "a prodigious accomplishment and a joy to use" while Jeremy Popkin adds, "No one working in the field of French Enlightenment studies ... can afford to ignore the rich mine of data that Simon Burrows and his collaborators have made accessible, in an eminently usable form, and the new possibilities it opens up for scholars." The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe I and II offer a roadmap of that data and what it can show us.