The Science of Enlightenment

How Meditation Works

The Science of Enlightenment

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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.


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Customer Reviews

Excellent unification of Eastern thought with the scientific Western mind. Review by mjs

Shinzen Young gives meditation a deep analysis with a Western scientific mindset. This made several core concepts more understandable for me. It freed me from any nagging doubts or skepticism about the value of meditation.

My personal practice took a huge leap as a result.

(Posted on 1/8/2018)

De-Mysitfying Mysticism: Brilliant, Clear, Multi-faceted Review by Practitioner

This book is a precious jewel from Shinzen's creative mind: brilliant, clear, multi-faceted. He explains the often-mystifying material of spirituality from many angles, utilizing an impressive knowledge of history, language, science, mathematics, even poetry. As a side note, if you are not a science person, don’t worry! In terms of the “science of enlightenment,” Shinzen describes “science” as, “an experiment that is reproducible by anyone.” Shinzen is an expert for any reader, his words are chosen with precision and care, elegance and beauty.
For me, the taste to savor most from these pages, is the 50 years of meditation practice and teaching experience from which the author writes. It is apparent that he has deep insight.
Please note: This book touches on dharma teaching as well as neuroscience. It does NOT cover Shinzen's comprehensive meditation techniques or instructions. It should not be mistaken for a practice manual. In addition, this book is not an exhaustive survey of scientific research. You are certain to learn something, if not be utterly changed, by reading this book. Profound.

(Posted on 11/8/2016)

Systemic way to understand all of meditation Review by Meditator

What was really interesting to me is that this book was not another book about explaining meditation with science. The author used the investigative spirit of science to give a systemic way to understand all meditation systems.

I also really appreciated that this comes from 50 years of meditation, and that he is speaking seriously, and scientifically, about awakening. While a lot of people make a lot of comparisons between science and meditation, this guy's work is being used by actual brain scientists (no small feat).

I recommend it!

(Posted on 11/1/2016)

The weakest book on Meditation Review by Lubo

I’ve read many books on “Meditation & Science” but this one is the weakest. I find the scientific explanations incoherent and sometimes doubtful, and the meditation-teaching aspect is at best uninspiring. With all due respect to the author, I do not buy into his claim of presenting the best or most efficent meditation system ever.

(Posted on 9/21/2016)

The best book on mindfulness practice Review by Ann

This is the ten-year work by a unique teacher, Shinzen, whose teaching will allow the reader to end their suffering and enjoy happiness independent of conditions. The best book possible for practicing mindfulness.

(Posted on 9/9/2016)


Hardback Book

Contents 1 Hardback book (233 pages)
Date Published September 01, 2016
ISBN-10 1-59179-460-9
ISBN-13 978-1-59179-460-8
Dimensions 6 x 9 inches
Product Code BK01039

Standard eBook

Contents 1 Standard eBook (233 pages)
Filetypes EPUB, MOBI, PDF, JPG
Date Published September 01, 2016
ISBN-10 1-62203-748-0
ISBN-13 978-1-62203-748-3
Product Code BK01039W