Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation : a 28-day Program

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Workman Publishing, 2011 - Self-Help - 208 pages
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Thousands of years prove it, and Western science backs it: Meditation sharpens focus. Meditation lowers blood pressure, relieves chronic pain, reduces stress. Meditation helps us experience greater calm. Meditation connects us to our inner-most feelings and challenges our habits of self-judgment. Meditation helps protect the brain against aging and improves our capacity for learning new things. Meditation opens the door to real and accessible happiness.

There is no better person to show a beginner how to harness the power of meditation than Sharon Salzberg, one of the world's foremost meditation teachers and spiritual authors. Cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, author of Lovingkindness, Faith, and other books, Ms. Salzberg distills 30 years of teaching meditation into a 28-day program that will change lives. It is not about Buddhism, it's not esoteric—it is closer to an exercise, like running or riding a bike. From the basics of posture, breathing, and the daily schedule to the finer points of calming the mind, distraction, dealing with specific problem areas (pain in the legs? falling asleep?) to the larger issues of compassion and awareness, Real Happiness is a complete guide. It explains how meditation works; why a daily meditation practice results in more resiliency, creativity, peace, clarity, and balance; and gives twelve meditation practices, including mindfulness meditation and walking meditation. An extensive selection of her students' FAQs cover the most frequent concerns of beginners who meditate—“Is meditation selfish?” “How do I know if I'm doing it right?” “Can I use meditation to manage weight?”
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
CHAPTER 1 What Is Meditation? or If You Can Breathe You Can Meditate
7
CHAPTER 2 Why Meditate? The Benefits and Science of Meditation
18
Concentration Breathing and the Art of Starting Over
35
Mindfulness and the Body Letting Go of Burdens
77
Mindfulness and Emotions Dealing with Thoughts and Feelings
106
Lovingkindness Cultivating Compassion and True Happiness
144
Keeping the Practice Going Just Put Your Body There
181
Resource Guide
200
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About the author (2011)

Sharon Salzberg cofounded the Insight Meditation Society with Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. In addition to Real Happiness, she is the author of eight other books, including the bestsellers Lovingkindness and Faith. A teacher for 40 years, she has been a contributing editor at O, The Oprah Magazine and has written for Time, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Self, Yoga Journal, More, and others. She divides her time between Barre, Massachusetts, home of the IMS, and New York City.

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