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

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  1,876 Ratings  ·  197 Reviews
Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society and one of the world's foremost spiritual authors, distills 30 years of teaching meditation into a concrete and accessible 28-day program that will open the door to real happiness.
ebook, 225 pages
Published December 29th 2010 by Workman Publishing
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Aug 01, 2013 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interesting in learning about meditation. It's a quick and easy read. At first I hated the title of the book, because it sounds so self-helpish, but by the end of the book, I understand why it's called Real Happiness. Here is a passage:

"Real happiness depends on what we do with our attention. When we train our attention through meditation, we connect to ourselves, to our own true experience, and then we connect to others. The simple act of being comp
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 c
Jun 22, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rate this book highly for its ability to make meditation accessible to the beginner, while adding additional depth and meaning to the experienced. Since reading Tolle's books, I have been tring to be more present and fully take in moments. Salzberg has helped me gain this presence through meditation, along with focus, peace, and lovingkindness. In a world of continuous distractions, turmoil, selfishness, nonpresence, and unkindness, I am grateful for a well written book that gives the tools to ...more
Jan 10, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was well done and accessible, but honestly, if I've got some free time on my hands, I'm always going to choose reading over meditating. This is probably a compulsion that could be cured through meditation. Anyway, I'm hoping that some of this sticks with me.
Aug 27, 2012 Lon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insight meditation, the particular tradition of meditation practice that Salzberg enjoins, takes a decidedly non-theistic approach to meditation, with the primary purposes being to live more fully in each present moment with full awareness, and gaining the skills to recognize, accept, and investigate the phenomena that arise in our bodies and minds. Through non-judgmental awareness, we are better better able to live mindfully. We are freed from the tyranny of conditioned, reflexive responses whe ...more
Kathi Crawford
Apr 21, 2013 Kathi Crawford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found Sharon Salzberg's "Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation" book very easy to understand and apply. I purchased the book because I wanted to learn more about meditation and begin a meditation practice. The book is set up to read in a weekly format as you build on your knowledge and apply the approaches in your practice. The book includes a companion CD that you can listen to for guided meditations. Sharon shares examples throughout the book with personal anecdotes to make meditation acce ...more
Rev. Sheila
Apr 04, 2012 Rev. Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found out about this book while reading someone's blog. Absolutely loved it! I think it's a must-have for any meditation student. I have to admit I was a little disappointed (confused?) in the beginning because I was expecting 28 daily readings or assignments or something. The FAQs and takeaways each week were my favorite parts of this book. The accompanying CD was great. I was especially grateful for the guidance for the walking meditation.

This is the type of book I will come back to again a
I've been meditating off and on for about 15 years. This book is a must for beginners, mid-timers and old timers at mediation. It reminded me why I practice, explained how to kick start a sluggish practice, and provided "new" approaches (for me).
Dharmamitra Jeff Stefani ¡FIVE-STARS=LOVED_IT!

I first read when a friend 'gifted' the book to me, sometime before the year 2000, in its 1st Edition. I had already been meditation daily for a few years, primarily alternating meditation practices: one day of "Mindfulness of Breathing" (in four stages), then, the next-day practice the "Metta Bhavanana" (or "Cultivation o

Katie Whitman
Enjoyed the concepts, still trying to find a way to practice them though. It is nearly impossible to clear my mind.
Jan 16, 2017 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tremendously useful primer on meditation, structured into a four-week course. I read this, rather, over the course of a year, but anticipate that I will revisit it from time to time. The utility of having a full litany of meditation practices--with the intent of generating awareness about how one relates to situations, rather than the situations themselves--lies in the ability to craft a meditation practice that mimics life overall: dynamic, arising and falling away, calling for different reso ...more
Been wanting to get back on the wagon with a more formal mediation program after several years hiatus. When this came through our library, I thought it might be the nudge I was looking for. It might come off as a wee bit disjointed for complete newbies wound up about doing something "wrong" (hint: you really can't), but it suited my purposes.

It's a very low key introduction that covers just about anything that might come up, from how to deal with that stiff knee that becomes a militant tyrant a
Jun 16, 2013 Bronson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very practical and accessible introduction to meditation. Provides a solid overview of the scienfically-proven and based benefits of meditation. A compelling case for why meditation is vital in this crazy 21st century world!

The variety of different meditations is a diverse buffet, a rich variety of pathways to new self-discoveries and deepened concentration, mindfulness, and lovingkindness. The 28-day program is well-structured to motivate you towards eventually developing a daily practice.

"Real Happiness depends on what we do with our attention."
"The act of beginning again is the essential act of the meditation practice."
"If you have to let go of distractions and begin again thousands of times, fine. That's not a roadblock to the practice - that is the practice. That's life: starting over, one breathe at a time."

Sharon Salzberg has a way of teaching, as if taking a walk in nature with a dear friend, side by side; very gentle, compassionate, clear, simple.
In this book she leads y
Dec 27, 2013 Shanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was won from a goodreads giveaway. Easy five stars. I have read several books on meditation and this by far was the best book on the practice that I have ever had the pleasure to read. Salzburg is a genius in her field and has a lot of hands on experience. This book is very helpful for all levels of meditation even if you have never tried it before. Also it comes with an accompaning CD that walks you through the steps of different types of meditation practices. I loved this book and re ...more
Oct 26, 2012 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book for the fresh meditation-curious first-timer and a wonderful refresher for the longtime practitioner. I highly recommend this book to anyone who even is slightly interested in trying meditation. She outlines a month long program to try a variety of meditations (though you can glean quite a bit even if you have no desire to follow her timeline. Those structures are a tiny fraction of the book.) she covers many frequently asked questions in each chapter. The longtime meditator ma ...more
Oct 07, 2015 Colin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to let the extremely cheesy title go, and assume that Salzberg's publisher required a "catchy" title that would sell more books (and doom more books to be buried in dust!).

Excellent BASIC introduction to meditation that is broken up into a 4-week program; many great mindfulness and lovingkindness meditations to experiment with and practice.
Megan Ressler
Jan 31, 2016 Megan Ressler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ideal primer for the wannabe meditator. Reading Sharon's books feels like talking to an old friend. She guides you through beginning a practice with simple but not simplistic instructions and support. Highly recommend!
Oct 04, 2014 Laurel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SO good, so highly recommended. This book is a very approachable overview of and introduction to different forms of meditation.
Aug 20, 2014 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great guide for someone beginning meditation. There is some repetition which, if left out, would have shortened it. Overall, a great guide and a keeper. CD included is an extra bonus.
Sep 24, 2015 beentsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good. So good I went out and bought a copy to keep and reread.
Rita Waller
Apr 10, 2014 Rita Waller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-art-of-zen
Fantastic introduction to various aspects of Vipasana Meditation.
Really useful introduction to mindfulness meditation. I now keep it in my backpack!
This practical guidebook has inspired me to begin the habit of meditating at least 20 minutes/day. I can feel the positive difference emotionally, spiritually, physically.

"This act of beginning again is the essential art of the meditation practice...If you have to let go of distractions and begin again thousands of time, fine. That's not a roadblock to the practice - that IS the practice. That's life: starting over, one breath at a time." (p. 49-50)

"Effort needn't be struggling or strai
Jan 22, 2017 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've done basic meditations before, but I wanted to jump-start a regular practice again. Sharon Salzberg has written a great plan to help beginners work up to a daily schedule over four weeks. Week 1 begins with breathing and mindfulness meditations. Week two focuses on body sensation and mindfulness of everyday activity such as walking or eating. Week three includes meditations on emotions, and week four includes meditations on lovingkindness. For beginners, she has some basic information on th ...more
Dec 03, 2016 Ida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audiobook version of this and it's the form I recommend. Makes it easier to follow the meditation exercises.

I have tried to increase my mindfulness for years now, but only recently decided to incorporate daily meditation. When I asked friends who are in the know for reading titles to help me get started, this one got a few mentions.

It lived up to the promise. Salzburg takes a practical, realistic approach and speaks a lot to some of the misconceptions people have about meditati
Lisa Diep
Jan 30, 2017 Lisa Diep rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you ever wanted to start practicing meditation, this is a wonderful book to pick up. It so happened to be an amazon deal and it coincided with my goal of getting more grounded and mindful. I've always failed at keeping a meditation practice (and I might fail again), but I thought I might as well give it another shot. The book breaks it down by weeks, each week focusing or practicing a new type of meditation or meditative skill. She also addresses just about every thing that will come up in yo ...more
Jess Powers
Jan 25, 2017 Jess Powers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: about-meditation
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to start or deepen a meditation practice. It is loaded with meditation examples and sage advice to increase mindfulness and happiness. Salzberg has that rare gift of a teacher who can guide and remember what it's like to be a beginner (beginner's mind), with the gentleness of a loving mentor.

I read the ebook, which had a fair share of typos. Also, I found it strange that the accompanying guided meditations are about 14 minutes long, when the guidanc
Jan 27, 2017 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally picked this back up and finished it. 5 stars for the very last chapter Keeping the Practice Going and this quote:

"What arises in our experience is much less important than how we relate to what arises in our experience."

I'm always looking for ways to yell less at my kids and be a kinder person. Definitely I will hold on to this book and refer back as needed. Love Sharon Salzberg's dry sense of humor.
Oct 30, 2016 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extremely well written and easy to follow. This is THE book for anyone interested in a holistic view of meditation with simple instructions that will allow you to dip your toe in the pool of this ancient practice, then invite you to dive in and fully enjoy mindfulness.

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Buddhist: Schedule 1 6 Feb 03, 2014 12:14PM  
  • Insight Meditation: A Psychology of Freedom
  • Meditation for Beginners
  • Work as a Spiritual Practice: A Practical Buddhist Approach to Inner Growth and Satisfaction on the Job
  • Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life
  • Spontaneous Awakening
  • Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness
  • The Science of Enlightenment: Teachings and Meditations for Awakening Through Self-Investigation
  • The Naked Buddha: A Practical Guide to the Buddha's Life and Teachings
  • Awakening Compassion: Meditation Practice for Difficult Times
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
  • True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart
  • Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master
  • The Chocolate Cake Sutra: Ingredients for a Sweet Life
  • Food for the Heart: The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah
  • One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps
One of America’s leading spiritual teachers and authors, Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work.
More about Sharon Salzberg...

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“It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn't depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn't depend on how long you've held on to the old view.

When you flip the switch in that attic, it doesn't matter whether its been dark for ten minutes, ten years or ten decades.

The light still illuminates the room and banishes the murkiness, letting you see the things you couldn't see before.

Its never too late to take a moment to look.”
“Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.” 59 likes
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