Real Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A 28-Day Program to Realize the Power of Meditation

Real Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A 28-Day Program to Realize the Power of Meditation

by Sharon Salzberg

Paperback(Second Edition, Revised)

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A New York Times best seller—now revised and updated with new exercises and guided meditations.

“An inviting gateway to the interior territory of profound well-being and wisdom.”—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are

From Sharon Salzberg, a pioneer in the field of meditation and world-renowned teacher acclaimed for her down-to-earth style, Real Happiness is a complete guide to starting and maintaining a meditation practice. Beginning with the simplest breathing and sitting techniques, and based on three key skills—concentration, mindfulness, and lovingkindness—it’s a practice anyone can do and that can transform our lives by bringing us greater resiliency, creativity, peace, clarity, and balance.

This updated 10th anniversary edition includes exercises, journal prompts, and ten guided meditations available for download online and through scannable QR codes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523510122
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 12/24/2019
Edition description: Second Edition, Revised
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 77,746
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sharon Salzberg is a pioneer in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher, and New York Times bestselling author. She has played a pivotal role in bringing meditation and mindfulness into mainstream American culture since 1974. Sharon is cofounder of The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and has authored 10 books, including the New York Times bestseller Real Happiness. Acclaimed for her down-to-earth and relatable teaching style, Sharon offers a secular, modern approach to Buddhist teachings, making them instantly accessible. Her writing can be found on Medium, On Being, the Maria Shriver blog, and Huffington Post. Sharon is also the host of her own podcast The Metta Hour, with 100+ episodes featuring interviews with the top leaders and voices in the meditation and mindfulness movement. Learn more at

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 What Is Meditation? (or, If You Can Breathe, You Can Meditate) 7

Attention, Attention, Attention!

The Three Key Skills

Chapter 2 Why Meditate? The Benefits and Science of Meditation 18

The Science of Meditation

Kicking Open The Door

Week 1 Concentration: Breathing and the Art of Starting Over 37

Getting Ready: Place, Time, and Posture 41

Practice Preview 45

Meditation: Breathing 48

Meditation: Hearing 53

Meditation: Letting Go of Thoughts 56

Meditation: Mini-Meditations throughout the Day 58

Reflections on Week One 59


Exercise: Working with the Uninvited Thought 75

Exercise: Look at Yourself with Quiet Eyes 75

Journal Prompt: Embracing the Distractions 76

The Takeaway 76

Week 2 Mindfulness and the Body Letting Go of Burdens 81

Practice Preview 84

Meditation: Body Scan 88

Meditation: Walking 90

Meditation: Body Sensations 96

Meditation: Everyday Activities 99

Meditation: Drinking Tea 100

Reflections on Week Two 102

FAQS 106

Exercise: A Time to Mind Your Body 108

Exercise: Our Bodies in Space 109

Journal Prompt: Subtle Sensation 109

The Takeaway 110

Week 3 Mindfulness and Emotions Dealing with Thoughts and Feelings 112

The Five Obstacles

Practice Preview 121

Meditation: On Emotions 122

Meditation: On Calling Up Difficult Emotions 125

Meditation: On Positive Emotions 129

Meditation: On Thinking 131

Reflections on Week Three 133

FAQS 137

Exercise: Minding the Gap 145

Exercise: The Re-Balancing Act 145

Journal Prompt: Making It Rain 146

The Takeaway 146

Week 4 Lovingkindness Cultivating Compassion and True Happiness 152

Practice Preview 159

Meditation: Lovingkindness 161

Meditation: Lovingkindness for Times of Emotional or Physical Pain 163

Meditation: Lovingkindness for Caregivers 167

Meditation: On Seeing the Good Within 169

Meditation: On Quieting the Inner Critic 171

Meditation: Lovingkindness While Walking 172

Meditation: Circle of Lovingkindness 173

Reflections on Week Four 174

Faqs 177

Exercise: Your Subway Car 184

Exercise: Predict Your Good 184

Journal Prompt: A Circle of Compassion 185

The Takeaway 185

10 Ways to Deepen Your Practice 188

The Weeks Beyond: Keeping The Practice Going "Just Put Your Body There" 191

Start Over

Remember That Change Takes Time

Use Ordinary Moments

Your Life and Your Practice

Faqs 201

Final Reflections 207

Resource Guide 211

Places to Learn Insight Meditation and Find Supplies Notes

About the Author 225

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