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Science of Enlightenment, The

Product no.: 978-1683642121
Enlightenment—is it a myth or is it real? Across time and culture, inner explorers have discovered that the liberated state is a natural experience, as real as the sensations you are having right now.

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Publisher's Synopsis
Few teachers achieve clarity with the application of scientific inquiry to these states of consciousness like Shinzen Young. Now in paperback, The Science of Enlightenment makes Shinzen’s essential insights available to readers everywhere. The Science of Enlightenment merges scientific precision, Shinzen’s grasp of the source-language teachings of many spiritual traditions, and his rare gift for sparking insight upon insight through original analogies and illustrations.

The result: An uncommonly lucid “Aha, now I get it!” guide to mindfulness meditation—how it works and how to use it to enhance our cognitive capacities, compassion, and experience of happiness independent of conditions. For meditators of all levels and lineages, this multifaceted wisdom gem will be sure to surprise, provoke, illuminate, and inspire.

“With warmth, wisdom, and stunning precision, Shinzen Young maps out his unique path through and out of the realms of suffering; a towering work by one of the great teachers of our time.”     ~Leonard Cohen

“I am not a big fan of the language of ‘special meditative states’ or ‘enlightenment’ as the most skillful ways to think about or broadly cultivate access to the full range of our intrinsic wisdom and warm-heartedness. Nevertheless, Shinzen’s brilliant, wide ranging, deeply passionate, and very clear developmental approach here can give anyone who cares about wisdom and compassion a precise and compelling perspective—both scientifically rigorous and culturally inclusive—on what it might mean to be fully who and what we already are, in other words, fully human, and how to realize it and let it ripen us through the systematic lifetime cultivation and application of mindfulness/heartfulness writ both seemingly small and inwardly, and seemingly large and outwardly.

The fate of the world hangs in the balance, so Shinzen’s highly disciplined methods and message are best taken seriously, and yet at the same time, approached with a light touch and a sense of humor, as he himself emphasizes, so we do not take ourselves and the possibility of our attaining ‘special states’ too seriously, especially since they are already here in this moment and there is no one to take them seriously anyway. Seriously.”     ~Jon Kabat-Zinn

"As I mentioned, during my two years of graduate school, I spent my summers in San Francisco, being initiated into the drug-centered zeitgeist of Haight-Ashbury. One afternoon, my friends and I dropped acid and went to the movie Yellow Submarine. The next day, I was alone in a friend’s apartment and decided to smoke some hashish. Then I got the munchies, and began eating a delicious, chewy chocolate brownie. I really got into that brownie. For a few minutes, I entered a state of samadhi (extraordinary concentration) centered on the taste and tactile sensation of the brownie. I became so focused on the act of eating the brownie that everything else fell away. There was just the brownie. It was sweet and yummy, but I also noticed that it had interesting textural properties. There were holes in the brownie caused by gas bubbles, and around those holes, the cake was harder and more dense than in its other parts. As I bit into the brownie, I could clearly detect the diffuse texture of the cake, the dense envelope around the holes, and the nothingness inside the hole. I remember thinking, 'The holes taste as good as the cake.'

At that instant, the duality of existence versus nonexistence passed away, and for a moment, I was thrust into a world of oneness. Something had shifted—dramatically. That shift did not immediately go away, even after I had completely come down from the drugs. For about two weeks, I walked around in a magic world. Prior to that, the things I had read about in my Buddhist studies seemed to me to be nothing but mythological ruminations and philosophical conjectures, elaborated by scholars with too much time on their hands. Now, for the first time, I realized that they were not just concocting speculations. They were trying to describe something that human beings actually experience. After a couple of weeks, the experience faded into a pleasant memory, but it left me with a permanent intellectual shift. I now knew that certain parts of the Buddhist tradition, which I had been studying as philosophical concepts, were in fact direct descriptions of actual experience. At the time, I had no way to get back to that experience, but at least I knew for sure that there was something in Buddhism besides quaint culture, scholastic speculation, and superstition."

Shinzen is known for his innovative “interactive, algorithmic approach” to mindfulness, a system specifically designed for use in pain management, recovery support, and as an adjunct to psychotherapy. He leads meditation retreats throughout North America and has helped establish numerous mindfulness centers and programs.

Author Young, Shinzen
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 264 pp.
Publisher Sounds True 2018
Browse these categories as well: Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation, Southern Buddhism, Western Buddhism, Noteworthy Releases 2018

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