Meditation offers, in addition to its many other benefits, a method for achieving previously inconceivable levels of concentration. Author B. Alan Wallace has nearly thirty years' practice in attention-enhancing meditation, including a retreat he performed under the guidance of the Dalai Lama. An active participant in the much-publicized dialogues between Buddhists and scientists, Alan is uniquely qualified to speak intelligently to both camps, and The Attention Revolution is the definitive presentation of his knowledge.
Beginning by pointing out the ill effects that follow from our inability to focus, Wallace moves on to explore a systematic path of meditation to deepen our capacity for deep concentration. The result is an exciting, rewarding "expedition of the mind," tracing everything from the confusion at the bottom of the trail to the extraordinary clarity and power that come with making it to the top. Along the way, the author also provides interludes and complementary practices for cultivating love, compassion, and clarity in our waking and dreaming lives.
Attention is the key that makes personal change possible, and the good news is that it can be trained. This book shows how.
|Publisher:||Wisdom Publications MA|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
B. Alan Wallace is president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. He trained for many years as a monk in Buddhist monasteries in India and Switzerland. He has taught Buddhist theory and practice in Europe and America since 1976 and has served as interpreter for numerous Tibetan scholars and contemplatives, including H. H. the Dalai Lama. After graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science, he earned his MA and PhD in religious studies at Stanford University. He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than thirty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and religion.
Daniel Goleman is the author of the international bestsellers Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence, and Social Intelligence, and the co-author of the acclaimed business bestseller Primal Leadership. He was a science reporter for the New York Times, was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and received the American Psychological Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for his media writing. He lives in the Berkshires.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book grew on me as I read it. At first, I felt quite discouraged by Wallace's frequent references about the true amount of time that one would likely need to spend to even begin to possibly achieve shamatha, particularly during modern times for those of us that have "worldly duties" [my words, not his].Furthermore, he indicates that Buddhist experts believe that it is rare, at least during our modern times, to achieve shamatha.Wallace has over 30 years practice, and it is not clear from this book whether he reached shamatha.Nevertheless, as I finished the book, I was encouraged to recall that Wallace asserts early on in the book (and other references confirm) that even earlier stages and practices of attention are definitely beneficial. It was also fascinating to read small snippets of Wallace's interweaving the concepts of physics and Buddhist philosophy. Though this book only touches on these interrelationships, it was enough to entice me to read more of Wallace's books.Finally, the techniques and practices of meditation and attention and frequent exhortations of Wallace regarding letting go of one's preexisting conceptualizations, helped to open my mind regarding the nature of consciousness and even reality.
I liked the book. I was looking for something to help me sharpen my concentration. And while I don't live by the rules in the book, it does give you perspective on any attention problems you might be having. After having read this book, I am amazed at how difficult it is to keep my mind focused on something and how often I drift off. This book also gives you some basic tips on how to relax and meditate, which I find helpful at bedtime and on the train. I really enjoyed this book.
This book has good intentions and will appeal to people to who are trying to improve their attention or concentration span. However, the book is not practical. In it, the author lists nine stages that must be gone through in order to reach 'shamatha' which is a state of total concentration. However, the author states that you can't move past the third stage unless you radically simplify your life and meditate for long periods of time daily. Who has the time to do this? Here are the author's exact words: 'To achieve stage three, the dedicated meditator will need to take up this practice as a serious avocation, spending days or weeks in this practice in the midst of a contemplative way of life in a serene, quiet environment.' (p. 49) The author later goes on to describe his solitary meditation experience in India in which he lived in a cabin infested with bugs, mosquitos, and rats. His conclusion on his meditation experience is that it's hard to find a suitable solitary environment unless you're wealthy but this needs to be done in order to reach the further stages and attain shamatha. I was really disappointed in this book. With all of the demanding requirements to reach shamatha, I don't know who will be helped by this book.