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Science and Spiritual Practices: Transformative Experiences and Their Effects on Our Bodies, Brains, and Health

Science and Spiritual Practices: Transformative Experiences and Their Effects on Our Bodies, Brains, and Health

by Rupert Sheldrake


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"I have personally adopted many of the practices Rupert describes in his book and experienced more love, joy, empathy, gratitude, and equanimity as a result. We are all indebted to Rupert, who has tirelessly brought us deep insights from both science and spirituality.” ―Deepak Chopra

The effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically as never before, and many studies have shown that religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier. In this pioneering book, Rupert Sheldrake shows how science helps validate seven practices on which many religions are built, and which are part of our common human heritage: meditation, gratitude, connecting with nature, relating to plants, rituals, singing and chanting, and pilgrimage and holy places.

Sheldrake summarizes the latest scientific research on what happens when we take part in these practices, and suggests ways that readers can explore these fields for themselves. For those who are religious, Science and Spiritual Practices will illuminate the evolutionary origins of their own traditions and give a new appreciation of their power. For the nonreligious, this book will show how the core practices of spirituality are accessible to all.

This is a book for anyone who suspects that in the drive toward radical secularism, something valuable has been left behind. Rupert Sheldrake compellingly argues that by opening ourselves to the spiritual dimension, we may find the strength to live more fulfilling lives.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640092648
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 418,436
Product dimensions: 5.52(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

RUPERT SHELDRAKE, PhD, is a biologist and the author of more than eighty-five scientific papers and twelve books. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, a Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard University, and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. From 2005 to 2010, he was the director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded by Trinity College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, California, and of Schumacher College in Devon, England.

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 13

1. Meditation and the Nature of Minds 23

2. The Flow of Gratitude 50

3. Reconnecting with the More-Than-Human World 64

4. Relating to Plants 93

5. Rituals and the Presence of the Past 111

6. Singing, Chanting and the Power of Music 136

7. Pilgrimages and Holy Places 162

8. Conclusions: Spiritual Practices in a Secular Age 191

Acknowledgements 209

Notes 211

Bibliography 225

Index 237

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