PART1

The Basics of Meditation

In the first part of this book, I get you up to speed on meditation in general, and I tell you all you need to know in order to try it for yourself. First, I describe meditation’s fascinating history, from prehistoric times—when humans sat around their campfires and were lulled into meditative states—up through the twentieth-century development of secular techniques for use in medical and psychotherapeutic settings. All major religious and spiritual traditions have included meditative practices in one form or another, and I provide an overview of these, as well as offer a simple definition of meditation based on what all these forms have in common. I also cover the scientific research on meditation and discuss ...

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