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The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works

Written by: Shinzen Young
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“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 listeners 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 
©2016 Shinzen Young (P)2018 Post Hypnotic Press Inc.

What members say

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A wealth of knowledge to be found in this book!

This covers enlightenment with tradition, science, and experience. Shinzen Young is a brilliant teacher, weather your new to meditation, or experience in it, he covers the material in a way both would get an abundance of knowledge.

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Complex and brilliant<br />

Shinzen gives an explanation of the path to enlightenment that is both useful to my low level of understanding and will continue to be useful as I progress. The narrator and production were excellent.

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  • Benjamin Davidson
  • 2018-08-28

Best book on meditation available

If you are new to meditation or a veteran, this is an ideal book and practice to start with. Shinzen Young is an excellent teacher. His skill and depth of experience are unparalleled. His knowledge of languages, science, technology, is the broadest I have experienced. Enjoy the book in print and audio.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Nigel
  • 2018-12-24

Best overview of enlightenment so far

I really enjoyed this book. So many "Wow!" moments.

If I were to sum up the single thing that really made the book stand out for me, it would be this:

So much of what is written about enlightenment feels to be about the "pre-conceptual" - taking away the contribution of conceptual thought towards our state / how we feel in any given moment. I get this - many of my most precious moments are remembered for the bliss of discovering the spirit in everything that you look at - tree, bird, sky, bush, work of art.... Getting to this point is often a switch that takes you into your appreciation of the thing just for how you sense it. For this reason, I've often assumed that full enlightenment would simply relate to being able to step fully into this "world without words". All of my encounters with the Magic of Everyday Life are consistent with this direction.

I've spent much of my life as a conceptual modeller (and sometimes quantitative modeller) of biological systems. So it's always seemed a little ironic that my pursuit of the spiritual feels like a complete negation of the way that I've invested the last forty professional years.

Shinzen's book has given me a jolt: I'm not just around the corner from living in a world of ongoing magic. I've only glimpsed that first step of the journey! His proposition is that the bliss of stepping towards / blissing out in the non-conceptual MUST be matched by equivalent effort in exploring one's inner world in a way that has analogy to developing a conceptual model of how it functions.

Before reading the book, I'd recommend going through the free course on the linked website: unifiedmindfulness.com.

But don't miss out on the book - it is a tour de force!

Absolutely five stars!

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  • Brayan
  • 2018-11-01

Esclarecedor

Este libro permite explorar temas como mindfulness, Flow, presencia y similares. Menciona prácticas budistas con términos nativos de la India. Puede ser tan profundo o ligero según lo que el lector desee experimentar.

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  • Malti
  • 2020-05-26

Enjoyed it very much - great for meditators you learn the distinctions and nuances of words used to describe and understand

I loved Edoardo Ballerini’s voice and tone.
Shinzen Young can be felt in this book for his passion to help enlighten the world.

I found the last chapter a little unnecessary though....

But in all - must read for meditators or aspiring ones

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-05-19

One of my most valuable and cherished reads!

Wow! Can't believe how totally and completely this book resonated with me. The broad and confusing wide world of thinking in meditation and enlightenment were carefully explained in such an organized manner that I feel my many years of learning was expanded tenfold in one reading. I especially liked how he dealt with all the outlier activities and concepts and put them in context of the basic enlightenment concepts he explained. I intend to listen to the book several more times - it is that deep and comprehensive.

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  • Jason
  • 2020-05-18

Excellent, simple and scientific

I highly recommend this book for someone who’s gotten past the initial stages of meditation and contemplating consciousness. I wouldn’t start with this book: There are other introductory books such as the untethered soul. But for someone who’s already taken the time to do some research, practice, and think for themselves this book really brings it all together and provides some Rational explanations to help understand meditation and the human condition.

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  • Redwin
  • 2020-02-10

I finally have a meditation practice

This the book that got me there, more than 18 years practicing yoga or other books.

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  • Ken
  • 2019-10-04

Not A Scientist

This book fell far short of what I expected it to be. It is closer to a Biography than a scientific examination of meditation or enlightenment.

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  • jg
  • 2019-06-16

EXTREMELY positive, thought provoking, inspiring

I recommed this book to absolutely every human being. a b c d e f g

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  • Dale Foster
  • 2019-06-11

Inspirational

Shinzen Young’s masterpiece gives me hope that the conversation between science and religion is deepening resulting in much needed cooperation and opening of minds to a larger whole that includes them both.