Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program

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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?”

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; Pap/Com edition (December 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761159258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761159254
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces

Customer Reviews

Are you sporadic with your meditation practice because you just don’t have the time to do it?

19 people found this helpful
 on August 12, 2017
By Sitka
Have you ever tried meditating and thought you weren’t good at it? Are you sporadic with your meditation practice because you just don’t have the time to do it? Have you ever wondered what is physically happening to your brain, your body while you meditate? Sharon Salzberg addresses these questions in her book “Real Happiness.” Salzberg starts by explaining what meditation is and what it isn’t. She then goes into the benefits and the science of meditation, which for me was probably my favorite chapter. Learning that the brain physically changes when you participate in mindful meditation was fascinating to me. From here the book is broken down into a four-week program with each week focusing on a different type of meditation. Each week is beautifully laid out; starting with an introduction and then going into the practice preview. I loved this because it’s nice to know ahead of time what the meditation session will be like. You don’t want to be thinking about the HOW when you should be focused on the meditation itself. Once you get a look at what’s to come, Salzberg introduces you to several different types of mediations for that week’s area of focus.

highly recommended

439 people found this helpful
 on December 21, 2010
By Dale Floody
I usually spend some time discussing meditation with several of my Psychology classes, and the more interested students often ask for additional information (readings, audio tapes, etc.). I usually reply that there are a number of good resources available, but I finally found one that I can enthusiastically recommend without reservation. Sharon Salzberg’s book describes everything from meditation (breathing, walking, body scanning, even drinking tea) to mindfulness (emotions, dealing with thoughts and feelings via recognition, acceptance, investigation and nonidentification) to loving-kindness meditation (cultivating compassion and true happiness, paying attention to ourselves and others with interest and care). She introduces a 28-day guided program of 20 minute meditation sessions. There is an extended discussion of the benefits of meditation. The book also comes with a CD with four guided meditations, which is among the best I’ve listened to. The book is what I’ve come to expect from Salzberg. Highly recommended!

This book was used as the text in a meditation …

36 people found this helpful
 on December 5, 2015
By Jess in Utah
This book was used as the text in a meditation class I attended. The change in my life since I began meditating is astounding. Off Ambien, Xanax, and my therapist discharged me from therapy because I no longer suffer from the intense anxiety I had been crippled with.

Excellent meditation guidence

10 people found this helpful
 on April 2, 2017
By Peter P.
I searched for a book on how to meditate without being discouraged for years. This is the very first book that helps to understand the process almost completely eliminating the frustration of learning process.

Bring your focus back to the NOW!

8 people found this helpful
 on December 12, 2015
By JRusso
In the past, I always looked up to people who could meditate and center themselves. Something about those types of people told me they were living a life with focus and a plan but I could never put my finger on why they were like that. This book/session shows you how to meditate, plain and simple. I’m particularly fascinated by “breathing meditation”. Included in the book is a CD with guided meditations. I started to see the benefits of meditation just after the first session: more focused, relaxed, centered. It also has helped me with other areas of my life. Sometimes while working out or playing w/ my daughter, my thoughts drift into other areas. Meditation helped teach me to “bring my focus back to the NOW!”. Priceless!

Less Dogma, more practice!

6 people found this helpful
 on June 15, 2017
By sarah wirth-blake
This book gives a great crash course in meditation with an emphasis on various practices. Less discussion about the glories of Meditation and more practical advice and practice. Study is good, but this gets you going with a weekly plan without forgetting any of the traditional ideology.

An excellent book on teaching meditation

11 people found this helpful
 on September 1, 2017
By Michele P
Meditation is not just thinking as I was taught for years when I was going to the LDS church. This book explains what true meditation is and true meditation can bring a person much happiness. This book gave an accurate description of how to focus on breath and loving kindness mantras to help calm the habitual thoughts of the mind. This book also stated the benefits one can reap from meditating. Loved this book. Love how meditation has benefited me.

I really love this book

3 people found this helpful
 on January 31, 2018
By lengel
I really love this book, its layout is very well done. Especially for someone who has difficulty staying on task such as I do. I just recently started reading books about meditation and mindfulness and of the several I have read this seemed to be the best flow for the reader. Sharon also includes audio meditations which are wonderful. Very happy with this purchase.