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This book is packed full with valuable information on every aspects of spiritual liberation. For me, the "Science of Enlightenment" painted a clear picture about spirituality and reaching liberation. This book is basically a series of recorded lectures given by Shinzen Young, which made it as if the author were talking just to me, making up the answers to my personal questions. His style is very down to earth, funny, straight, and to the point. Listening to this book, I realized how much I did not know about what the concepts and terminology in the field of spirituality and enlightenment really meant (even after reading many books on the subject, as well as meditating, and practicing yoga for a number of years.)In "The Science of Enlightenment" Shinzen Young talks candidly about theroretical and practical aspects of meditation, different schools of thought and many apporoaches to traveling the path, as well as recommendations for personal practice to fit any lifestyle. The book also contains some guided mindfulness meditations, and guidance to everyone interested in enlightenment, regardless of their levels of experience. Even though the book is very long, it is well worth listening to (even repeatedly) because it is deep, useful, and relevant to all of our experiences. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
85 of 86 people found this review helpful
For a long time I had been interested in learning more about meditation - but from my limited experience considered it too difficult. I had no understanding of how or why something like meditation could work. The one book I had tried wasn't very practical and the mystical presentation always put me off. The I got this audible on a whim because it was on discount at the time. After finally listening to it on a long car ride, I have been meditating ever since and it has become an important component of my life. Furthermore, I have told others and most everyone that has gone on to listen to it has come back with glowing reviews - this includes a retired psychoanalyst who has read/listened to tons of meditation/spiritual books who told me that this was the clearest presentation of the subject matter that he had heard. The interest has to come from inside though - a few people didn't have the patience to get through it.
What makes Shinzen's approach so helpful to me was that he described vipassana meditation as a form of "internal science". That is, he explains the process of meditation in a structure that a western scientific thinker can understand. In essence, he demystified the mysticism and enabled me to place meditation practice within my already existing framework of knowledge about the operation of the human brain. I could now see what a meditation session might do in terms of effecting actual neurophysiological changes and how that might lead to the overall benefits that are attributed to meditation.
It also offers 6 or so meditations - all about 40 minutes long. 40 minutes is long for a beginner, but I found that he explained everything sufficiently to allow me to go from someone who couldn't meditate more than 2 minutes to someone who lasted all 40.
So, if you are like me, wanting to get into meditation but need to know the how and why, the Science of Enlightenment is a very good place to start.
27 of 27 people found this review helpful
I would like to congratulate the author of this fascinating book on spirituality, and how he blends this with science. This has to be a read for anyone interested in getting a deeper insight into the nature of matter, consciousness and the source of all things. The book explains complex terms such as impermanence in a simple yet profound way. This is without doubt a book with the potential to transform the way we perceive our selves and the world we live in.
26 of 27 people found this review helpful
Shinzen Young presents a comprehensive survey of the different flavours of Buddhism and blends his knowledge of scientific matters in a very persuasive and pallatable way. His analogies are very good and help understand a potentially complex subject. I particularly liked his space and time descritpions using the analogy of microscope and oscilloscope, something every scienctist and student of science can relate to on a practical level. A very high quality and rewarding audio book indeed. What's more, it's never been done before with such expertise and unlikely to be matched.
Note to general listener: there are many blank segments as part of the meditation exercises - these are intentional!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Shenzhen is a wonderful teacher, story teller and visionary leader in contemporary spirituality, absolutely loved it
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Shinzen Young is a pragmatic and engaging speaker who is able to articulate complex experiences in a comprehensive and relaxed way.
Shinzen is extremely experienced in both Western Science and Eastern Practice (meditation), and integrates the two extraordinarily.
Shinzen holds a very open dialogue and will never say a particular method is the only way, or tell the listener what to think. Instead he validates and discusses nearly all paths, uncovering potentially deeper meanings.
I found this book extremely enlightening and insightful.