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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 listeners say about The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works

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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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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!

3 people found this helpful

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Absolute must-read for any level Western meditator

IT'S FANTASTIC. All of Shinzen Young's scholarly rigor (PhD in Buddhist Studies) and deep source-language knowledge of sanskrit, ancient and modern 일본어, 한자, etc. are combined with his 40yr meditation teaching experience and recent forays into science to design meditation-neuroscience research collaborations to create an amazingly rich text in contextual breadth and specific exemplary stories from his teaching career. The story of Gino, the tough sea captain transcending past wrongdoing on through mindful attention to his dying process, was alone worth purchasing. The performance is a bit pretentious and melodramatic - so ridiculously departing from Shinzen's own style in tenor that the minor swoons and stank the reader puts on phrases are magnified to glaring noticeability. But still a 5 star review for the amazingly rich, practically helpful, and shockingly approachable insights offered in this text. I'll be recommending to all I know who have even a slight interest in meditation.

1 person found this helpful

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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
  • 06-16-19

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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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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Nothing new

I can't understand why it took you 10 years to write it. It is basically a resume of the classical Science of Enlightenment, and Shinzen's videos both in Shinzen's YT channel and in expandcontract, and interviews. Anyway, I enjoy remembering those subjects.

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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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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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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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-11-19

If you are thinking of listening to this book - do

I'd never meditated in my life before I listened to this book (the fist time) and I'd never even heard of mindfulness. That is no longer the case. I'm now listening to it again. As a novice, for me, it was the perfect place to start... it gives you a deep and rounded understanding of the process and experience as you grow into it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Truth Seeker
  • 06-10-20

Excellent book! Highly insightful

The book is highly insightful and well presented, with clear, good narration.

The author deals with the subject of enlightment and meditation and helps the reader understand the various processes going on in human psyche as well as biochemistry that are responsible for the phenomenon of spirituality and enlightment.

It delves into the practice of meditation and mindfulness and explains its beneficial effects on our development as a species. It considers the option of making enlightment available through the use of modern day science and technology to everyone, which could change the world as we know it for the better.

The book is very interesting and presented from a unique perspective of science, demystifying the subject.

Highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to receive invaluable advice and guidence on their spiritual path to enlightment.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andy lane
  • 05-24-21

A user manual for human consciousness.

This is an incredible book, could be life changing if applied. I wish this kind of knowledge and wisdom was taught in schools.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tom
  • 08-20-20

There's no science here.

I don't understand why the book is so highly rated as to be a 4.8 (as of 20/08). I've been searching for a while to try and find a book that explains the science behind meditation and hopefully spend a few chapters describing studies that have taken place and the results - eg: science.

Instead, the book starts off with what is essentially humble-bragging, followed by pseudo-science. There are a few gold nuggets in the book but overall I'm disappointed that the author has chosen to place "Science" in the title and then go on to say things like they've invented a "meditative experience periodic table", as if it can hold a candle to the real periodic table.

I would've rated a lot higher if the false advertisement of "science" wasn't given. Do not claim that your book is scientific and then proceed to talk about something which is experience-based rather than being measured through neuroscience or other methods -- it's deceiving.

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  • Davinderdev Grewal
  • 01-21-21

Great reference guide for deeper &ordered practice

Shinzen is a great teacher with a clear and concise way of describing difficult concepts (admittedly not meant for words) with examples to really help those contours build in our mind. A great book that helps provide an overview of se levels of advanced meditation and spiritual practices and bringing a sceintfic lense to this. Would recommend for those interested in how the mind works and also in developing their practice.

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  • James B.
  • 11-18-20

Beyond excellent.

The most precise and elucidating explanation of the whole enlightenment shebang I've read to date. If you think you've heard it alllll before, do yourself a favour and let Shinzen's razor sharp insight tidy your perspective.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-17-20

This will bring you enlightenment

I cannot thank Shinzen enough for the change already brought to me. My chest beats pure again because of you. The reason as to why this book is not as popular as it should be is because you need a certain intelect and experience to know as to what is described. This book is by far the best book that can bring me enlightenment and I have already experienced deeper more meaningfull cleansing experiences than i have ever before. I cannot wait to pursue this books instructions further. please meditate when you listen to this book as jt will guide you through your sensations and experience of meditation to a better understanding. I want to thank this Man so much and the editor for their time and effort to bring out this work. A unifying clear guide on real purification and happiness inducing peaceful Equanimity

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  • Jamie
  • 12-03-19

engaging

content very engaging and brought modern descriptions to Buddhist concepts. defo recommend for those new to the teachings and Buddhism

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  • Duncan O'Brien
  • 05-10-19

A book that delivers on its title

I shared a few insights taken from this book with my friends and colleagues and most have looked to read/listen to it. Personally it has renewed my meditation practice and added to my daily awareness of the coming and going of thoughts, pain and bodily sensations ...

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  • Adrian
  • 04-02-19

Very good

Brilliant. Everyword spoken changed the way I approach everything. The words desloved into my mind changing everything.

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  • joyful
  • 08-02-19

Excellent book

I'm a meditator of ten years and a meditation teacher the last three. I had plateaued with my personal practice and I came across shinzen’s book. His style of meditation is exactly what I needed to understand meditation at a deeper level and also on a more functional level. Great for a science-minded person like myself who struggles with the spiritual side of meditation.

2 people found this helpful