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The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  625 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
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 sci ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 13th 2006 by Wisdom Publications (first published January 1st 2006)
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Kai Weber
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, psychology
When I bought the book, that was because I thought: "Oh yes, I could really do better in so many aspects if I could focus my attention better." (And also because my wife is a Buddhist and therefore we have a general interest in the topic.) When I opened the book, it was clear very soon that the book was not made for me. It introduces the ten steps of meditative insight that lead to a stage of Shamatha where attention is sustained, perfect and effortless. Out of these ten stages, the first two ca ...more
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in meditation
Recommended to Bobby by: Buddhist Geeks podcast
Fascinating tour of the 9 nine stages of shamatha, the ultimate achievement of which Tibetan Buddhist thought considers necessary before Vipassana or insight meditation practice training is even begun. That's apparently a very strict interpretation, because according to the author, the achievement of shamatha - which apparently results in a perfectly "healthy" mind - able to focus laser like attention on anything one wishes - is exceedingly rare in the modern world - especially in the West. Most ...more
Janne Asmala
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: meditation
A well-written guide to meditative concentration practice, interweaving traditional wisdom with a solid scientific perspective. My only quibble is that much of the book concentrates on hard-to-reach advanced stages of concentration, for which the book by itself is an insufficient guide in any case.
Ibrahim Niftiyev
Oct 13, 2018 rated it liked it
To be honest, I skipped several parts because they were just variations of the repeated same idea. I was expecting more from this book. Nevertheless, the work itself is not bad. The author combined both the science and Buddhism which is not rare nowadays. The narrative is really very smooth and everybody will understand the points of the writer. Having enormous problems with the attention, I just positioned my anticipation in a high peak of the possible summary of anticipations. Anyway, if you a ...more
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nunca havia lido um livro de acesso ao público em geral que explicasse os benefícios do desenvolvimento da concentração para a meditação, algo que concordo plenamente. A descrição de cada um dos estágios para se atingir a concentração perfeita é clara, mas talvez não muito fácil para iniciantes que nunca ouviram falar no assunto. Os capítulos sobre a Ioga do Sono trouxeram muitas coisas que eu já conhecia através de outras leituras, mas em termos diferentes. Se você quer sair um pouco da "modinh ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
While this book has some interesting information it's completely impractical. About 80% of the methods and practices discussed require years of full time practice, that is not now and again for years, but essentially leaving modern life and retreating to a monastery and doing nothing but meditating all day. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It just is of no use to people with families who aren't independently wealthy. If you want to learn about different stages of Buddhist meditatio
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: left-unfinished
I got to all of stage 2 and then stopped because... craving....more food (which is bound up by the more unmentionable version) - great read that helped me see the linkage between lax and relaxing. I would dip back into this when I'm...less craving
Yolanda Ruiz
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Libro interesante para entender el shamata desde el punto de vista del budismo tibetano. Hay cosas que resultarían sorprendentes incluso en una película de ciencia ficción pero eso espolea la imaginación, que nunca es malo!!
Hollis Fishelson-holstine
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual

I really enjoyed ths, but given my own progress, it was quickly beyond me in its instructions
Andreas Schmidt
La meditazione budinista
Se c'è una cosa che proprio non sopporto del buddismo, è l'eccessiva complicazione delle cose. Il cammino verso lo śamatha progredisce attraverso innumerevoli stadi e sottostadi e migliaia sono i pericoli della pratica. Attraverso queste decine di classificazioni si giunge finalmente alla padronanza, che chiaramente promette presenza mentale, felicità, benessere mentale e fisico, superpoteri etc ... (ovviamente, questo a detta dei buddisti...). Il che ricorda le millantat
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I'd really want to give this book four stars as it was well written and insightful, explaining Buddhist principles and samatha-meditation practice in a clear and modern way. Also using lucid-dreaming as practice into the nature of the mind: that's a brilliant idea.

I guess I belong the people Alan might think have "a dogmatic faith in science", but I didn't really like the strawman arguments against scientific knowledge in the end of the book. I really appreciate buddhist "go and see yourself" me
Nestor Leal
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
It's clear that B. Alan Wallace is a great master and has so much knowledge to share. This a good book for understanding what Samatha and Vipassana meditations really are. At first I thought it was a bit boring and simple but then it got pretty interesting once getting to Vipassana practices. There are so many books about meditation, this a a good one on how to do it in order to improve our attention and wake up. It's easier to understand if some buddhist teachings are already on hand but not te ...more
Vytas Ramanauskas
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great piece of content on meditation. Love it since it Alan gives you exact techniques how to do things. Relax, close your eyes, breathe slowly... everything from the piece on the mind to physical position.
Also, the author provides a good conclusion points after each chapter which is extremely helpful.
It's definitely gem for those interested in Meditation and mindfulness.
P Michael N
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book details the stages of meditation practice up to the level of mastery- Shamatha attention. There's a good blend of personal accounts, neuroscience and Buddhist teachings together with a section I quite liked on lucid dreaming. I don't know about some of the parapsychology mentioned in there, but it doesn't take away from the great teachings and practices outlined.
Matt Wright
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very powerful principles. It’s already helped some of my meditation practice.
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
(In Spanish below)

"The Attention Revolution" is Alan Wallace take on the 9 stages conducive to shamatha (meditative quiescence) according to the Indo-Tibetan Buddhism tradition. The book also provides meditations on the Four Immeasurables, Lucid Dreaming and Dream Yoga practices to complement the shamatha practice, aswell as small dissertations about his personal experiences with the practice, modern scientific research and clarifications about commonly misconceived terms (such as mindfulness).

André Vilaça
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Good book if you plan to go all in in meditation
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some good practical advice on meditation and some interesting thoughts about the complementary nature of modern science and Buddhist philosophy/tradition. Though, he doesnt hide that about 2/3 of the book is practically only interesting to people that plan on meditating several hours a day for many years. If you are looking for some profound, yet short advice on how to meditate in order to release some stress for coping with every day life - this is not necessarily the book for you. There are sh ...more
Shashi Martynova
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Понятная и прозрачная методичка (sic) по шаматхе и випашьяне, годится даже для людей, которые впервые слышат о дыхательных практиках. Писано сильно практикующим человеком с двумя высшими (западными) образованиями и многолетним опытом протяженных ретритов по шаматхе.
Mike Kraman
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great book!!! It teaches meditation skills and how to concentrate. I am a some of the Buddhist stuff I needed to let slip by, but if you go through the first couple of levels you will be amazed!
Francesca Hampton
One of the best books on understanding meditation and buddhist practice i have even read. Working my way through all of A;an Wallace's books now. A superb teacher with the background and realizations to speak with authority.
Alex Woods
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really helps with meditation.
Jan 13, 2016 is currently reading it
Stopped reading this book because I lost interest in it. There were many claims about what this book would help with, but it all requires the dedication of meditation.
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Clear, honest and inspiring description of the path of mindful meditation
Aman Kabra
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
By far the cleanest and the most effective book I have ever read.

If you are a Buddhism follower, you should read this book. If you are not, you must read this book.
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Simply the best book on meditation I`ve ever read! ...more
Yeshe-Phillip Carbo
This is a very good introduction to meditation and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning not only how to meditate but how to deepen and enhance one's practice of meditation.
Andre Graham
Apr 24, 2015 rated it liked it
It's a good description of the stages of meditation but I find his introduction to various other techniques past stage 4 an annoying distraction, if I ever reached that far!!!
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
it gives you everything that you need to know about mindful meditation.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Advanced meditation methods and their benefits.
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“Meditation is a balancing act between attention and relaxation.” 7 likes
“Again and again, counteract the agitation and turbulence of the mind by relaxing more deeply, not by contracting the body or mind.” 1 likes
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